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Summary: HBS Class of 2016 Discussion

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Summary: HBS Class of 2016 Discussion [#permalink]

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GMAT Club’s Best of the Best
Collection of Important Posts from Harvard Class of 2016 MBA Applicants’ discussion.




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Harvard Class of 2016: GMAT Club Application Stats


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“The bottom line is that it’s Harvard. People with great GMAT scores, above average essays, and solid professional pedigrees are the norm, not the exception. Harvard does not "need" any particular person with such stats. If Harvard wanted to, it could fill a class with a GMAT average above 750. But they don't. So there is clearly a lot more to it.”
- JLMBancredito, A GMAT Club member and Ross MBA Graduate


“HBS has stressed over and over again that their main job is SELECTION, not EVALUATION - their priority is to build a diverse class, not to just admit the people with the highest stats. Diversity is also defined in many other ways - sure, I can claim myself to be a unique individual and I can tell a very authentic story about myself, but on paper, I probably look like a lot of other applicants.” - CelerIP, [/b]Former GMATClub Moderator and Columbia MBA Graduate[/b]

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Applicant | Essays
sh00nya wrote:
That's interesting, what i am missing here is how does the adcom know the post-MBA career goals (esp for career switchers). Is it inferred? presuming the candidate does not mention it in this essay question. I did not find any other section in the application requirements that conveys / helps convey this explicitly.


For last year's application (for class of 2015) it was a VERY short question you fill out online (300 characters or something like that - essentially 2 sentences around "Why an MBA / Harvard").

From everything I've heard from Dee on this subject they really don't like the post-MBA career goal question. Their view is that it's such a hypothetical question it becomes useless. There's no way to know if you're being genuine or if you simply make up a really compelling story for your goals with no intention of actually doing that. They want to create a diverse and talented class that is prime to be successful - and for them the best predictor of future success is to look at why you've done the things you've done in your life.

Obviously it's up to you what to do with the essay but I would just warn to not make the emphasis of what you want to convey about future plans. If your future goals fit nicely with the story of who you are and where you're coming from it would probably fit quite organically. I didn't mention future goals in either of my essays last year and received an interview and only spent 2 minutes of the interview discussing future plans. Obviously they weren't interested in it for my application at least. - bostonbound88

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MBA Expert | Admission Stats
Interesting piece of information released by the HBS: Distribution of the Class of 2015 folks based on the years since graduating undergrad. - bb
Source: http://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/Pages ... 1#Jul24197

Image

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Admission Consultant | Application
mittens63 wrote:
For those who are currently working through the application, under the Employment section where you can list up to 3 roles - each role asks for a "Description", "Key Accomplishments" and "Most Significant Challenge". How did you guys interpret the "Description" section - did you take it to mean a description of the role or a description of the organization? I assumed it was asking for a description of the role but that seems a bit like a repetition of your resume, does it not? How did you go about differentiating this section from the information on your resume?


They're asking for a description of your role, not the company. Think of the description this way - it's a summary, high level statement
that rolls all of the bullet points in your resume into one short, concise, powerful statement. In other words, if you were at a dinner party
and someone asks what you do for company XYZ and it was someone you wanted to impress, how would you describe your job? - CriticalSquare

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Admission Consultant | Application
sc398 wrote:
Does anyone know how they decide who gets notified on the 9th or the 16th? Is it by order of submission or anything like that?

It's random, based on which Admissions Board person got assigned your file and how quickly they moved through their stack and where yours was in the pile (it's not by order received). Dee Leopold has specifically said that nothing can be interpreted from the timing; there are no tea leaves to be read in terms of interview invitations. - essaysnark

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HBS Alumnus | School Info
tripsd wrote:
Still time to schedule class visits for those looking at submitting for round 2.

http://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/Pages ... ector.aspx


It's worth noting that you can often visit classes even on days that aren't "official" class visit days. Reach out to any current students you know (particularly RCs) or to leaders within any clubs you're interested in and ask what their class schedule looks like for your potential visit days. As an admissions VP for a club, I brought dozens of guests to class over the course of my RC year and don't think any of them were on admissions-sponsored visit days--my profs and sectionmates never had a problem with it. Just make sure to arrange things in advance so you don't show up on a day that's set aside for recruiting/FIELD/etc. for the whole RC class.

Some EC classes aren't bad to visit either. I had a handful of guests during my EC year--mostly personal friends, but a few were on days where RCs couldn't accommodate visitors. - EBM

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Applicant | Interview Prep
Sure way to know how many invites were sent out would be to ask those who's gotten interview invites to check how many interview slots are signed up by the end of the sign up period. Anyone?
That doesn't actually affect your own probability of receiving an invite, all these fretting is pretty much meaningless after you hit the submit button and before you receive a decision, but does shed some light on the probability that they have already read your application. Again, it's meaningless because it doesn't affect the outcome either way. But the fact is that the application has been so consuming there's no way I can stop reading into what I know to be meaningless. - feniris

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Applicant | Interview Prep
To those who were invited - Congratulations :-D
Chin up to those who were not invited - there is always next Wednesday and if not other schools You are in esteemed company
Just to let you know how much of a crap shoot the selection process is, I will give you a couple of examples from previous years
1. Rhodes Scholar, 3.8 GPA, 770 GMAT, 3 years in a fortune 50 company - did not even get an interview
2. Churchill Scholar, 3.9 GPA, 750 GMAT, 2 years in top 3 consulting firm - did not even get an interview
All adcoms say that they look for leadership qualities and fit (that is fully vetted by the prestigious and selective scholarships - Rhodes,
Marshall and Churchill) but the whole process seems to be mysterious.
Please don’t loose hope. Behind every rejection is the seed of success - Remember Thomas Edison - dressden

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Applicant | Interview Prep
Beckham123 wrote:
Congrats to all those who got accepted, and good luck to the rest for Wave 2!
I had a couple of questions regarding interviews, was hoping someone could answer them:
1) So I'm deciding between flying to an interview location/skype interview. Does the forum feel it hurts one's chances if interviews are done on skype? What are some of the cons? Have acceptance rates been lower for skype interviewees, as compared to those who interviewed in person?
2) What is the probability of people getting accepted from the interview phase? as in, 1 in how many candidates gets in, historically.
3) In the interview phase, is decision based solely on the basis of interview performance? or are factors already considered in app processing, part of the evaluation in this phase too? (GMAT/work experience etc)
Thanks!


I was told the following at an on campus info session:

1) No difference

2) about 1800 will interview, about 1000 will be accepted (all rounds)

3) The interview is just an additional data point. Following the interview the candidate will be judged based on their entire application, including the interview.

Hope this helps. Best of luck on the interview! - DeltaOfOne

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Applicant | Admission Tips
I think too many people are confusing expectations with potential.

To tie this to a sports analogy, getting into Harvard is like winning a medal in the Olympic 100m final. There are three medals and 8, highly accomplished athletes fighting for it, all of whom have the potential to win. A 750+ GMAT McKinsey consultant/ibanker/etc. who wrote solid essays is like a person with a best time of something like 9.85 seconds. That is an amazing time and that person has the potential to win, but winning is far from a certainty. You have to be the best on the day that counts. For example, maybe your application was reviewed at the end of the day by a tired, grumpy adcom. Had you been reviewed in the morning, you would have made it through.
But those are the breaks.

Even the person who is clearly the best doesn't always win a medal (i.e. Usain Bolt did not win a medal in the 2011 World Championships). People have off days. Other people are like Tim Montgomery - less talented, but they still can win because they use steroids (i.e. kids whose parents are alumni / CEOs of fortune 500 companies, etc.).

The bottom line is that it’s Harvard. People with great GMAT scores, above average essays, and solid professional pedigrees are the norm, not the exception. Harvard does not "need" any particular person with such stats. If Harvard wanted to, it could fill a class with a GMAT average above 750. But they don't. So there is clearly a lot more to it.

People fretting over not getting an interview invite should take solace in the fact that they are incredibly smart and talented and are going to succeed at whatever they want to do regardless of whether or not they get an MBA from Harvard. - JLMBancredito

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GMAT Club Moderator | Admission Tips
I wish I can give 10 kudos to above post. HBS has stressed over and over again that their main job is SELECTION, not EVALUATION - their priority is to build a diverse class, not to just admit the people with the highest stats. Diversity is also defined in many other ways - sure, I can claim myself to be a unique individual and I can tell a very authentic story about myself, but on paper, I probably look like a lot of other applicants.

I totally understand the obsession over how many interview slots are left, but what does that really have to do with our chances of being interviewed at the end of the day? Even if the majority of the invites are to be sent out next week, and you still don't add to the diversity of the class, you are still not getting in. Perhaps you believe that if there are more seats left, so you might have a bigger chance of claiming an invite. But if a bigger interview selection group is the only reason you are getting an invite, then you are a marginal candidate at best - the interview only has the potential to hurt you, not help you.

So, I'm not discouraging anyone from dissecting the number of invites sent out this week versus next week - but I think it is somewhat pointless. - CelerIP

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Admission Consultant | Admission Tips
It's good to see a number of you end up on the waitlist! And it's awesome that there's so much (relative) positivity here. People often get very bitter at this point and sometimes the forums go very negative so it's nice that all of you aren't doing that (at least, not publicly!).
This process is REALLY taxing - a complete rollercoaster. The best part of course (if you can call a rejection "best") is that you have plenty of time to regroup and rebound for some Round 2 apps. And this process has probably helped you make the next ones even stronger. Good luck to all of you!!! There's a lot of ups and downs but the ones who are motivated, as you clearly are, will find a home in a good bschool in the end. :) - essaysnark

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Applicant | Interview Debrief
Did my interview in Mumbai. The interviewer was Sarah Lucas. The questions were entirely off the resume. Made me narrate my experiences in my startup, consulting firm, VC firm and in my extra-curricular activities. Was very conversational and chilled out. Think I did well but tough to gauge in these interviews which are hard to do badly. - bingo13

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Applicant | Interview Debrief
My interview was very conversational, and mostly came from the resume. The questions i got asked were:
- Talk me through your experiences at university
- experience at work
- asked a few questions regarding my work stories, to understand them better
- what would happen if you don't go to an mba/where would your current career path take you?
- what type of companies would you want to work for after your mba
- do you plan on returning to your home country?
- at the end, she asked me if there was anything else i wanted to add
Good luck to those who are preparing for interviews! - Beckham123

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Applicant | Interview Prep
sp67 wrote:
Did anyone send thank you notes to their interviewers? I found one email address, but not the second interviewers.

The pamphlet the handed me afterwards said that thank you notes are (truly) not necessary, but I don't want to be rude if everyone else sends thank you notes/emails.

What's the consensus here? Follow the directions to a T or send a brief thank-you note? If you sent a note, did you send it (via email) to the generic HBS admissions box or the interviewer's personal HBS email? Did you send a card via mail instead?


I didn't send a thank-you note. From my limited interactions with HBS, I feel like they mean what they say. If they say thank-you notes are "truly" not necessary, then it probably means they don't want 1000 emails clogging up various adcom members' inboxes. Esp now that they give us the flexibility to write a post-interview reflection, I think anything that I would've wanted to say in an thank-you note could be captured in that format. - @Itg1671

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HBS Blog | Waitlist

FROM HBS Admissions Blog: What's the Difference Between "Waitlist" and "Further Consideration?"
I think there's some confusion out there about these categories so here's an attempt at getting inside our glossary of terms:

  • Further Consideration (FC): We've reviewed your written application and have decided to neither move you forward to interview nor deny at this time. One reason is that we have a finite number of interview spots we can offer and still keep to our promised December 11 notification date. The other is that we can't see Round 2 applications before we need to make final Round 1 decisions - December 11 is the Round 1 notification date and the Round 2 application deadline is January 6. So we'd like to hold on to you and further consider your application in Round 2. We anticipate being able to interview a meaningful number of those FCs in February/March. Once in the interview group, these candidates have the same chances of being admitted as any other interviewee - somewhere between 50% and 60%.
  • Waitlist: No one is on the waitlist at this moment. After all interviews in Round 1 are completed, on December 11 candidates (all of whom have been interviewed) will receive one of the following three decisions: “Yes, No or Waitlist. Waitlisters will receive periodic updates and be able to contact a designated Dillon staff member. We know it's not what you planned for, but the waitlist is an active category and every year we admit in the range of 50-75 waitlisters into the class.



So...the lingo we use is FC and Waitlist. We don't use the term Deferred - adding another term would just confuse us!

It is highly unlikely that a candidate would be FC’d in Round 1, interviewed in Round 2, and then placed on the Waitlist in Round 2. Sort of an Endless Application Season. Yikes.
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Applicant | Application Essays
Mine was somewhere between 700 and 800. It was a blend of my hobbies, motivations, and an extracurricular that highlighted leadership experience. I figured my recommendations would cover my work achievements so I didn't really touch on that. - Kitkat6

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Applicant | Application Essays
slee26 wrote:
For those who has submitted your applications to HBS, may I ask what you wrote about in your essays?
I am having hard time figuring out what to write...Thanks!


I really think that everyone's essay should be different, there's no one 'thing' that people should write about. I'd suggesting thinking about who you are as a person, focusing on what made you that way, and then writing about some aspect of that. I wrote about several specific experiences that helped shape me into the person I am today. - boulderbiker

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Applicant | Application Essays
Everyone's essays will be very different. I, for one, wrote six completely different drafts before cranking out the seventh two days before the deadline. It used two amusing anecdotes to describe how I became aware of what I wanted to do, why Harvard, what I intend to do there, etc. Sub 800 words. - ltg1671

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Applicant | Application Essays
My HBS essay was short - 500 words. I focused on my desired industry/field and how an MBA will help me achieve my career goals. Didn't really mention "why HBS" except for a couple short sentences at the end. - sp67

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Applicant | Application Essays
For my essay I wrote what they asked - my theme was basically "tell us things we need to know".... I wrote 1500 words, and under about
4 sub-headings. Basically 4 mini-essays, simply about things that when I read my application in full I felt deserved more depth.
Like everyone says, it's completely individual and I suspect that's the point. How you answer the questions says as much as what you
write! - Timbob

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Applicant | Interview Debrief
Had my interview for HBS a few weeks ago in Boston. The interview was very conversational and friendly. Mix of specific questions for me and generic questions (why HBS, walk through resume, etc). Talking to others who also interviewed makes me think that HBS has tilted their interview to a more friendly conversation, compared to in the past where others felt that it was high stress. The interviewees were also very diverse by region and industry. - NYPE

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Applicant | Interview Debrief
Just want to add about my interview to help out others who may interview this week or for Round 2.
My interview is completely resume-based with all the questions that really makes me feel that my interviewer has really read through my application for real! When I mentioned one issue about my essay, she said to me like "Oh! Like you have written in essay right?" So it caught me off-guard a bit but it really showed that she really have read the whole application!
She dug deep into my details about my current job and really like super deep asking about my customer and how I do my business. She ask some normal stuff like my weakness and why I choose my first job and my university and why I move to second job as well.
She didn't ask Why MBA, Why HBS or any typical MBA questions though. No walk me through your resume neither.
30 minutes can't be faster than HBS interview I Must say and she probably asked about 20 questions in 30 minutes time!
Overall, I felt quite weird coming out don't know if I did ok or bad or good at all and now I just keep thinking how I could answered better or what aspect I should have said! It is torturing actually! haha
Now the waiting begins! Let's hope for the best! - alomo

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Applicant | Interview Debrief
Well, what I can say is that the interview was intense. Around 35 minutes of fairly rapid-fire questioning, I think we must have hit around 14 main questions, with anywhere between 2- 5 follow-on questions for a few of those when the interviewer felt that she wanted more information.

Most of the questions were fairly standard HBS fare: a lot of "WHY" and "HOW" questions about decisions and transitions in my academic and professional career. (I obtained a graduate degree in law after college). Thankfully, I didn't get any of those "toughest questions" that were in the Harbus book, though I had prepared for them.

Interviewer was definitely pleasant, but also inscrutable, she gives you no information about whether you are doing well, and was frequently scribbling notes on a copy of my resume. - ktlee1981

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Applicant | Waitlist | This post has 12 Kudos
To those of you who have gotten in (and are 100% sure you're going to matriculate) please notify the schools you will be rejecting ASAP. Given that you got into HBS there is a strong likelihood that you will get into these other schools as well. By notifying the schools quickly you may be saving someone from the wait-list. - Lampert89

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HBS Alumnus | Admission Tips
slee26 wrote:
Hi all
I'm r2 applicant.
Is it better to wait till the last moment to submit my application (so that i can check for errors as many as i want until the deadline) or do i get even a slightest better chance if i submit it little earlier....say like today? :)

Image Posted from GMAT ToolKit


No, there's no advantage to submitting before the deadline--other than avoiding any website delays caused by 5,000 people trying to submit at the exact same time. They don't start reading applications until after the deadline, and being earlier doesn't mean you'll be at the top of the pile.

If you've already reviewed your entire application 20 times, it's unlikely that review #21 will produce anything worthwhile. I'd go ahead and submit and put it behind you. - EBM

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Applicants | Recommendation Letters
Guangjujiu wrote:
ankurq7 wrote:
Any one's recommenders started getting calls yet?


HBS calls recommenders?


They only call to confirm after you get accepted and choose to matriculate. They use a employment verification service that checks with recommenders as well. I believe nobody will call your reccomenders unless you get accepted and matriculate. - asymmetric

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Applicants | Application Experience
missnomex wrote:
Any successful reapplicants in R1 who can share what they think made the difference for them?


I was a reapplicant (rejected, no interview last year) and was admitted this year. I think there were a number of things that impacted that, not least of all that I was just infinitely more confident and familiar with the process. The HBS app was due so early it was my first one last year and I was definitely still learning about how to approach the questions.

In addition to that, I had really spent the last year focusing on activities I thought would enhance my profile - a promotion at work, entering (and winning) a number of industry awards, taking on projects at work that showed my skills. I also completely rethought my essays and went for something a lot more personal - something that was easier with six previous applications under my belt and all the introspection that implies.

It's worth noting that I didn't actually do this specifically for HBS. I got into some great schools last year and decided not to go because of the successes of my start up. I was trying to prove to the schools I turned down (they wouldn't let me defer) that I had made the right choice waiting a year. Getting into HBS was just the icing on the cake :) - londoncalling1

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Applicants | Interview Prep
Congratulations to all of you who received interviews!

As I imagine that many of you will start interviewing in approximately two weeks and selecting interview dates later today around noon, I figure some people may be interested in some of my personal takeaways from interviewing at HBS (on-campus) R1 this year.

  • I was very impressed by the quality of the applicants. The pool selected seemed to be composed of very smart, personable people -- people I would be happy to have as classmates. I imagine you guys are just as strong, and look forward to meeting you as well next year. Perhaps some of us shall even be in the same section :)
  • Interviewing on-campus was definitely a good idea. If you can, do it. I advise that if you do, you sign up for a class visit either earlier in the day before your interview, or the day prior or something of that nature, such that you can talk about the HBS classroom environment during your interview. HBS is big on the case method, and Dee Leopold has said repeatedly they're trying to find people who fit well into a case method classroom. Talk about *specific* ways you'd be a good fit in this environment - things you think you can add to the classroom through your experiences that are unique and a reason they would want to have you as part of that classroom. If you've already visited a HBS class, or will have by the time you interviewed, don't sign up for a second one - due to space constraints they want people to only visit one class per application round, and you already have the experience to draw upon in your interview, so a second one isn't necessary. Also, go to all the sessions they have during your interview day! They had a career panel discussion, a session hosted by students, a session hosted by faculty, etc -- go! That's just more material you can bring up and talk about in your interview to show how strongly you're interested in the school, and that you've done your due diligence to determine HBS is a good fit for you.
  • My interviewer was very kind and friendly, however, basically had a poker face my entire interview, even as I was talking about what I thought to be my strongest points. This made me think that she wasn't impressed with my work experience, background, and decisions. From what I heard from other people who interviewed (and subsequently were accepted) as well, this is common. It, however, really threw me off -- don't let it get to you. The thirty minutes flies by, and as I stood up to walk out, I found myself a bit overwhelmed/concerned that I had not gotten enough good points through, or that I had horribly screwed some questions up, as she at no point seemed particularly moved by anything I was saying. I over-thought every question in the coming month after, and was convinced that I had bombed the interview. Don't do it. The interviewer probably liked you just fine, and you probably did not bomb the interview. It's their job to have that pokerface, and from what I've heard, all the people who had interviews like mine also got in. The one guy who I met who did NOT get in was the guy who said "man my interview went so great, that was so easy, I definitely crushed that, I'll be stunned if I don't get accepted." So, don't over-think it. My HBS interview was unique in this manner from every other school I interviewed at (MIT, Wharton), so even if you have had interviews at other schools, HBS can be a little different. It's normal, don't worry about it.
  • After you interview, you have to write a post-interview reflection (PIR) within 24 hours. I found this to actually be an excellent exercise, and I really appreciated HBS having this. As I mentioned above, there were a few things I felt I hadn't gotten the opportunity to cover, and really wanted to, and my PIR was where I did that. I don't think a good PIR alone can save a bad interview, or a bad PIR alone can ruin a good interview, but I do think it definitely is helpful if you were borderline. My word of advice about the PIR: be honest but positive! I've read about people focusing on everything they messed up in it, but I believe Dee Leopold reads *every* PIR herself. I doubt she wants to read a page about all the ways you messed up, when it's probably the 10th PIR that way she has read that day. Would a PIR like that make you really want to admit that student? If there are areas of concern, address them, but keep it in a positive light/upbeat/optimistic.
  • I also know some people walk out of the interview and sit down immediately after and write their PIR and submit it. I don't advise this. I'd take extensive notes on what was said in your interview, for yourself, right afterwards so you don't forget things, and maybe start a draft of your PIR, but I really recommend sleeping on it before submitting it. You have 24 hours. Take the time to think about what you want to convey. I was a little bit shell-shocked walking out of my interview and had a much more negative than I did after sleeping on it. Think about how many days you spent crafting, editing, etc, your essays. I think it's foolish to rush the PIR. They give you 24 hours, use them.

Overall the interview was a positive experience, even if a little daunting. You guys will all do fine! Best of luck. - asymmetric

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Applicants | Interview Prep
cc711 wrote:
This is a question for any R1 people who have interviewed already. Was the Harbus interview guide helpful? Is it indicative of the types of questioned asked? Thanks!


YES! The Harbus guide was incredibly helpful. It was essentially my bible in prepping for the interview. I got multiple questions that were nearly identical to questions in the guide. But more importantly, the guide covers all types of questions. It gets you thinking about everything you could possibly be asked about, and also pushes you to prepare anecdotes and examples. If you're able to answer all the questions in the guide, chances are that when you get a question that wasn't in the guide, you'll be able to draw on the prep you did to deliver a solid answer. - yepgirlnope

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Applicants
- After getting dinged from Harvard (He later got admitted to Wharton and CBS)

And this marks the end of the six month journey, from digging deep to finding raw, emotional topics for these essays, to waiting for R1 results in a small rural village in southern china to getting FC-ed and being cursed with a bit of hope, to the unexpectedly difficult waiting period the second time around, to the sweet release of finality today. And let today mark the beginning of the next phase: i am done with this process.
Peace out.

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HBS Blog
FROM HBS Admissions Blog: Round 3 - Should You or Shouldn't You?
You want to go to business school. You really do. But the fall season kind of got away from you. You were busy. Work was demanding. You simply didn't have time to hunker down and focus on b-school applications.

Now you've got it together. Ready. But there's all this noise about Round 3. Discouraging and worrisome noise. Let's try to address some of the myths.

Myth #1: There are no spots available.

Not true. We manage the selection process to ensure that there are always spots open for the candidates we want. Are there as many spots open as in Rounds 1 and 2? No. Are there as many applicants? No. Do I think a strong candidate has a fair shot? Yes.

Myth #2: We’ve run out of financial aid.

Not true. The very last person admitted to the class has access to the same need-based financial aid that the very first person received.

Myth #3: If I get dinged in Round 3, I can't/shouldn't apply the next season in Round 1.

Not true. There's absolutely no stigma in re-applying 5 months later. Happens a lot. Many people in our classroom today were successful re-applicants.

Myth #4: It's too late for 2+2 applicants.

Not true. Not even close to true. Round 3 is a great choice for 2+2 applicants. Why? We can be more flexible about the number of 2+2 admits given that we are not worried about a seat being occupied for this September. College seniors have another semester of grades to show us. And another semester of activities. I also see a 2+2 application as a good dress rehearsal for future applications - and possibly interviews - to lots of other selective scenarios. If you aren't admitted to 2+2, we like to say (over and over): It doesn't mean not ever, it means not now. Besides, it's a great deal. $100 application fee. A chance to get the standardized tests over with when you're in test-taking mode. And, best of all, two or three years to explore and then come to HBS.

Myth #5: There's no Welcome Weekend for Round 3 admits.

True. But all the interviews will be held on campus so you'll get to see us in real time. And here's some advice about visiting classes and the campus:

If you want to see the case method in action, there are many spots available to visit a HBS class this spring. Also, there will be limited availability for visiting a class before the Round 1 application deadline next fall, so this is a great time to visit. Register for a class visit through our online scheduling system. We will also be hosting several other events on campus in the next few months, including an LGBT Open House, Prospective Students’ Diversity Day, and lunches for prospective women applicants with members of the Women’s Student Association.

You can always meet us online, too. We will be hosting Admissions QA webinars to answer your questions before the Round 3 deadline, as well as webinars featuring members of the Women’s Student Association and the Armed Forces Alumni Association. To learn more, please see the Admissions Events page of our website.

Here's a reminder: The Round 3 deadline is April 7. We'll do our usual posts right after the deadline about timing of interview invitations. As always, hope this helps.
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Applicants | Interview Debrief
I had a very similar experience at my recent interview in Boston. As much as I had heard about the admissions committee being hospitable, I was surprised by how warm and welcoming my interviewer(s) were. 75% of my questions focus on my resume and/or essay, but I talked to others who interviewed the same day who had very few questions related to their career progression or essay.
I think everyone (including myself) leaves the interview room feeling pretty good and then begins a downward spiral into negativity, picking apart their interview and feeling progressively less confident in his or her performance and answers. I didn't answer a few as well as I thought I should have either and felt myself stumbling at times, but had other questions that I felt I nailed. Only time will tell.
The best part of it all was the opportunity to interact with other applicants. Everyone was nervous, but incredibly friendly. It was definitely a group that I would love to spend 60+ hours a week around for the next 2 years. Really solid people. - ecoates

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HBS Alumnus | Interview Prep

I'm inclined to agree with what Sandy K. (aka HBSGuru) has to say about interviews...basically, that a bad interview hurts you MUCH more than a great interview can help you. A "bad" HBS interview would usually fit into one of a few categories:
- Your English isn't very strong, causing the interviewer to question whether you'd be able to follow (and contribute to) a fast-paced case discussion.
- You can't answer questions and make your points concisely, leading the interviewer to envision you wasting way too much airtime in a case discussion without saying anything that advances the discussion.
- You come off as an arrogant jerk who the interviewer thinks would have a negative impact on your future section's experience, or who would reflect poorly on HBS once you get out into the real world.
- You can't explain your career goals well, or you can't answer "Why HBS?" with something more substantive than "Because Forbes/BW/Bloomberg says it's the #1 MBA program." - EBM

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Applicant | Interview Prep
There's an interview with Dee Leopold where she mentions a few of the reasons why someone who interviewed could get dinged.
- Character Flaws: "The first thing is to screen out, to the extent that we can, hubris and character issues. If you cannot behave yourself for 30 minutes with a member of the admissions board at Harvard and we accept you, it would be like trying to bring a loaded gun on a plane. So to that extent, we’re baggage screeners, without any thought that we are going to catch every character flaw, but we are going to pay attention."
- Disengaged Students: "We’re looking for your ability to fit into this learning model, which is not a classic academic model of you sit still and listen and take notes and write papers and spit back stuff. You come into a 90-person section and you are there to contribute. You are there not to be a bystander but are there and willing to put yourself on the line and take a risk and say that ‘I think that Sally Smith in this case should do this and here’s why.’ And you need to be able to accept pushback, to be interested, alert and engaged. I need to know you want to be there."
- Boastfulness: “They talk about their substantial accomplishments and they think I could believe that at their entry level there is no one else in the organization,” she says. “They do billion-dollar deals and all the grown ups are somewhere else. They don’t realize that the goal of this application is really not to make yourself stand out but simply to tell your story.”
- Lack of Diversity: "A superb, off-the-charts person in an interview may not get admitted because at the end of the day the interview isn’t meant to be the lightening round where how you perform in 30 minutes determines your fate. It’s not, you’re in or you’re out. You might say this person is a star in the interview but we have a lot of people with similar backgrounds who did well and we just can’t take them all. So the shaping of the class can become more of a driving factor than the evaluation." Note: this does not mean diversity based on simply ethnicity, gender, or current field. Dee specifically notes this. -DefyingGravity

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Profiles of Some Admitted folks

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List of Admitted Folks

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Re: Summary: HBS Class of 2016 Discussion [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2015, 23:43
Well.. we are starting to summarize Class of 2017 threads. Those who have gone through the summary posted above have any suggestions to make it better?? You can post your suggestions here or PM me.
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Re: Summary: HBS Class of 2016 Discussion   [#permalink] 03 Aug 2015, 23:43
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