To support my efforts here, I get daily alerts from Google spiders who hunt for news about, or otherwise concerning, MBAs and the GMAT. Every now and then one of these alerts will contain a snippet of information from the interwebs that subsequently does its job and inspires a post. One such link led me to this CNBC article about a new start-up called Hourly Nerd.
Hourly Nerd is a by-product of Harvard Business School’s FIELD curriculum—a fairly recent addition to HBS pedagogy and one I have written about before here and here. Soon-to-be Harvard MBAs started Hourly Nerd with the intention of matching money-starved students with time-and-money-starved businesses. The model actually reminds me of one used by crowdSPRING: a service that matches those in need of graphic design services with those who can provide them, all at a below-market price. For the record, I like … Read full post
While admissions officers want to know that you are interested in their schools, they are not interested in reading about your love for their school at every single turn. Some candidates mistakenly believe that they need to tie in aggressive and enthusiastic statements about how they will improve their skills at their target schools in each essay, regardless of whether the school asks for it or does not.
Let’s consider this (entirely fictitious) example of an individual who writes about how he started a small business for the Yale SOM essay question, “What do you consider to be your most significant accomplishment? Why?” Consider the following hypothetical conclusion:
“In starting ABC distributors, I learned a great deal about entrepreneurship and I hope to formalize this knowledge at the Yale SOM. Only with Yale’s vast entrepreneurial resources and profound alumni connections will I be able to take my next venture to … Read full post
One of the most common questions we hear from applicants is “What type of candidate is HBS/Stanford/Wharton/Chicago Booth/etc. looking for?” Of course, the answer to that question is that schools do not want only one type of applicant. Instead, each school is seeking to assemble a diverse class and thus wants to be able to identify distinct qualities in each candidate.
Although trying to simplify a school’s approach to admissions (“Kellogg wants team players!”) can be appealing, you should avoid trying to fit some perceived mold, because doing so will only mask your true distinct qualities. Rather than pandering to a stereotype with regard to your personal/professional experiences or changing your stated goals to match an imagined bias on the part of an MBA admissions committee, you should spend a great deal of time brainstorming to best understand how you can showcase your … Read full post
In an attempt to decrease the import of personal essays in the admissions process at Harvard Business School (HBS), the university has cut in half the number of required essays. Down from four essays of up to 2,000 words, the coveted institution will now require just two essays at 400 words per. Here are the questions:
- Tell us about something you did well. (400 words)
- Tell us about something you wish you had done better. (400 words)
Isn’t the brevity and imprecision sublime? A recent blog post by our partners over at mbaMission comprehensively and deftly analyzes the HBS essay questions as well as the impact the new requirements will have on applicants. This is a highly recommended read. The insight offered can and should be generalized to personal statements for all MBA programs.
Harvard Business School gets a lot of press. HBS is a giant in the field of graduate management education and is a coveted appointment to many aspiring MBAs. Institutions around the world look to HBS for leadership in the field of management education. I would literally be amazed if any student of business, graduate or undergraduate, had not read at least one Harvard Business Review case study and/or white paper. In fact, the case study method for educating business managers was started at Harvard and has subsequently influenced business education across the globe (although, cases have been made against the case study). Well, change may be afoot once more and Harvard’s class of 2013 will be the first guinea pigs.
In a recent Economist article, HBS’s new FIELD method is profiled. FIELD stands for Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development (kudos to the marketing geniuses at Harvard to … Read full post