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Harvard Business School 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

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Harvard Business School 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines  [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2016, 01:49
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Harvard Business School Admissions is not adverse to change and here are a few elements in the 2016-17 application that are different:

• The essay question itself is different and much more straight-forward than last year's question. It is very similar to the question posed two years ago, which I though was an excellent question.

• HBS 2+2 applications will only be reviewed R3. There is no advantage to 2+2 applicants applying in Round 1 or 2.

• Unlike the last few years, there is no advice on the Direct from the Director blog giving insight into the question. The silence is probably because the current director, Dee Leopold, is leaving this position shortly, and the new director, Chad Losee (HBS MBA 2013), will assume the director role in June.

• The deadlines are only slightly different from last year. The Round 1 deadline is Sept. 7, 2016, just two days earlier than last year's Sept. 9 round 1 due date.

What has stayed the same:

• The essay is required, unlike two years ago, and like last year.

• There is NO word limit.


There is one question for the Class of 2019:

As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA program?

There is no word limit for this question. We think you know what guidance we're going to give here. Don't overthink, overcraft and overwrite. Just answer the question in clear language that those of us who don't know your world can understand.

Before you begin to write I have a suggestion for you:

Review Harvard's criteria for admission.


I'd also like to quote one piece of advice Dee offered for last year's question that is highly relevant to this year's question for HBS and actually for most b-school essay questions: "The essay is a chance to get to know you beyond the elements of the application that feel fixed and stationary."

I think that's true this year too. The essay is a chance for HBS to get to know you beyond your resume and the limited and limiting boxes.

Now THINK. What else – really and truly -- do you want HBS to know about you? The HBS admissions committee has told you what it wants to know in the other sections of the application. What do you want the HBS readers to know? The answer to that question is not something I can give or even suggest to you in a blog post aimed at the many. (For individual advice, please see Accepted’s MBA Admissions Consulting.) It should be different for each of you. Again, refer to the HBS criteria, as you contemplate possible topics, but the options are infinite. A few possibilities:

• Context for events described in the required elements.

• Motivations for the decisions or commitments you have made.

• Challenges you have faced.

• Something you would like to do at HBS.

• More depth on an activity or commitment that is particularly important to you.

Please don’t limit yourself to these suggestions. I am offering them to stimulate your creativity, not to shut it down.

Since I’ve been in MBA admissions consulting (over 20 years now), HBS has valued concision. And, in today’s tweet- and sound-bite-driven world, it is requiring even shorter responses, at least in the other portions of the application. Don’t take the absence of a word limit on this essay as a license for verbosity. Make every word count. If you must pull a number out of me, keep it under 1000 words. And if you can say what you need to say in less than 1000 words, do so. A few caveats and warnings on the essay. It is not:

• Stanford’s “what matters most to you and why?” or Columbia's #3.

• The kitchen sink in which you throw everything.

• An autobiography.

• A resume in prose or a rehash of your transcript and honors.


2017 Application Deadlines:

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By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Related Resources:

What Is Harvard Business School Looking For?
Harvard Business School: The Habit of Leadership
Two Years After My Harvard MBA

This article originally appeared on blog.accepted.com.

Applying to a top b-school? The talented folks at Accepted have helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to their dream programs. Whether you are figuring out where apply, writing your application essays, or prepping for your interviews, we are just a call (or click) away.

Contact us, and get matched up with the consultant who will help you get accepted!
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Re: Harvard Business School 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines  [#permalink]

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New post 30 May 2016, 14:17
I have a question regarding the joint degree with HKS. Since I'm planning to apply for an MBA/MPP program and their applications are viewed independently would it harm my chances if I include that aspect in my essay (i.e. a joint degree will help me achieve my goals) since the AdComs of both schools might think either degree without the other would be useless?
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New post 17 Jun 2016, 16:12
ConfusedB wrote:
I have a question regarding the joint degree with HKS. Since I'm planning to apply for an MBA/MPP program and their applications are viewed independently would it harm my chances if I include that aspect in my essay (i.e. a joint degree will help me achieve my goals) since the AdComs of both schools might think either degree without the other would be useless?


HBS doesn't ask about goals, although it gives you the latitude to write about them. HKS asks about your motivation to pursue the joint degree so they want to know. I don't believe that either admissions office will believe that one degree without the other is useless. They may wonder why you think you need both, not why you need theirs.

Linda
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Re: Harvard Business School 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jul 2016, 09:56
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ashsummer99 wrote:
Thanks for sharing this info! A good friend of mine is going to use the special essay writing service ( https://buyessay.org/ ) to get his MBA essay written for him. What do you think? Is is a good idea?


Seems quite stupid for anyone to buy an essay.


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Re: Harvard Business School 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2016, 07:46
ashsummer99 wrote:
Thanks for sharing this info! A good friend of mine is going to use the special essay writing service ( https://buyessay.org/ ) to get his MBA essay written for him. What do you think? Is is a good idea?


TERRIBLE idea and completely unethical! First off, the Admissions Committee at these top schools can identify an essay not written by the applicant fairly easily nowadays. They know about all these essay writing services and look for essays that look similar or don't look like they could reasonably be written by the applicant (example: if an applicant has a low TOEFL score but their essay looks like it's written by Dickens). Imagine you get an interview invite -- once you started answering interview questions and don't sound like your essay, this will raise red flags. There is an article in Poets and Quants from an Admissions employee at a top school who tells the story of how he didn't accept a woman because of this. Automatic reject pile. Second, nobody knows your story like you do. The purpose of essays is a chance for the applicant, in their own words, to share a little bit more about themselves: who they are, what they value, what they've accomplished, and what they hope to do in the future, etc. It's less about the prose (how good the writing is) and more about authentic content. It's totally ok for an applicant to brainstorm with friends and family -- they know you well and can help you come up with good stories to share in your essays. It's also fine to ask a friend, colleague, or family member to read and edit your draft essays, because they can help you clean up and refine the narrative. Admissions consultants can also be a help here, since they know better what the admissions committees are looking for.

Bottom line -- this is a bad idea. Don't do it.
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Re: Harvard Business School 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2016, 07:52
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Re: Harvard Business School 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Aug 2018, 04:26
I want to disagree with the statement that using writing services is a bad idea.
I work to pay for my study and don't really have much time to do a different kind of researches.
Though I like the process of exploring and discovering something new.
I have learned enough to pass TOEFL. Using a writing service such as writer-elite for instance
I had more time to get ready for my exams.
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New post 04 Sep 2018, 05:39
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Is it compulsory to approach consultants for applications?

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Re: Harvard Business School 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Sep 2018, 01:07
deepsanku wrote:
Is it compulsory to approach consultants for applications?

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No. Absolutely not. Many choose to use consultants to help them avoid simple mistakes and navigate through the process - it is quite helpful.
You can apply on your own with the help of friends. If you don't have anyone who can help then you can hire a consultant.
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Re: Harvard Business School 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines &nbs [#permalink] 07 Sep 2018, 01:07
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