20 Sep 2017

Round 1: Next Steps

For those of you who applied in Round 1, didn’t it feel good to hit the “submit” button? I distinctly remember that feeling—the culmination of some serious self-reflection and work. We don’t take that for granted and thank you for applying to HBS. On our end, every application is read in its entirety by two separate members of the Admissions Board. We’re trying to get to know you holistically.

What’s next? Interview invitations will go out on October 2 and October 5. We do it in two batches to spread out the traffic on the interview sign-up pages. On October 2, you may receive a message inviting you to interview, or you will hear nothing. On October 5, you will hear one of three things from us: 1) invitation to interview 2) "release" or 3) "further consideration." By "releasing" those of you who we cannot move forward in the process, rather than waiting until December to let you know—we hope to give you time to explore other potential options. For group 3), we would like to "further consider" your applications in Round 2, and more details will be shared directly about next steps.

Interviews are my favorite part of the process because we finally get to meet you in person. Interviews will occur between mid-October and mid-November. In addition to on-campus interviews, we also conduct interviews in Shanghai, Tokyo, Dubai, Mumbai, São Paulo, New York City, Bay Area CA, London, and Paris. Where you interview does NOT affect your likelihood to be accepted (all interviews globally are conducted only by members of the Admissions Board). Choose what’s most convenient for you, and if you aren’t able to travel, we will work something out via Skype.

So, we’ll be back in touch in about two weeks!

29 Aug 2017

Class of 2019 + GRE Scores

Yesterday was the first day for the Class of 2019—a truly impressive group of leaders—and we’ve updated the Class Profile here.

For the first time, we’ve published data about the GRE test—12% of the HBS Class of 2019 submitted GRE scores as part of their application; the remaining 88% submitted GMAT scores. I thought this would be a good chance to review how we think about standardized test scores. Here goes:

Test scores help us determine your preparation for an academically rigorous program, but we never look at them in isolation. 
Transcripts, work experience, recommenders, essay, interview—and everything else in our process—come together as we make admissions decisions.

The GRE and GMAT are different tests, and we are truly indifferent about which one you submit. 
Really. We are familiar with each test. Choose the one that allows you to best show your strengths, then move on to other parts of your application. 

We know you’re much more than a test score.
The whole application and interview process are designed to help us get to know you. We’re trying to imagine what you would contribute in the HBS classroom and community. As I’ve written about before, our learning model depends on a wide range of talent and perspectives in each Class—and we know that not all that talent is measurable in a test.

24 Aug 2017

Countdown to Round 1 & Class Visits

Students from the Class of 2019 are moving in this weekend, and that means Round 1 for Class of 2020 is just around the corner. I’ll post the final Class of 2019 Profile next week.

As you look ahead to September 6, keep a few things in mind:

  • We won’t read any applications until after the noon EST deadline. (So, there’s no advantage to submitting earlier.)
  • Your recommendations are also due at noon EST on September 6. But, we get it…and we keep the access open for recommenders for a few more days.
  • We’ll update you on interview plans in a few weeks.

For those of you applying in a later round or year, class visits are now open. Come see the case method in action! 

01 Aug 2017

Application Advice

Hard to believe August is here. I hope you’ve had a great few months. We’ve been on the road meeting many of you in cities all over the world, and we love it. For those of you applying in Round 1, good luck as you pull things together ahead of the September 6 deadline.

Can I offer you two words of advice? Be genuine. 

I know you’ve heard this before. Let me explain what I mean: I felt a need when I was in your shoes to write, edit, rewrite, edit, rewrite, edit…you get the picture. In doing so, there was a temptation to “gloss over” what I thought would be the weaker parts of my application and to portray everything in the most positive light.

Yes, we want you to put your best foot forward, but be careful not to be so “polished” that we can’t get to know the real you. 

It’s OK to mention setbacks or regrets as well as lessons learned and personal triumphs. And it’s OK to be conversational as you write! Just be genuine so we can get to know the real you. Since we are crafting a Class, that’s your best strategy for moving on to the interview stage.