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There is one essay question for the Class of 2018:
It's the first day of class at HBS. You are in Aldrich Hall meeting your "section." This is the group of 90 classmates who will become your close companions in the first-year MBA classroom. Our signature case method participant-based learning model ensures that you will get to know each other very well. The bonds you collectively create throughout this shared experience will be lasting.
Note: Should you enroll at HBS, there will be an opportunity for you to share this with them.
We suggest you view this video before beginning to write.
Yes, it’s “new”...but most of you are embarking on this business school application journey for the first time too!
Why do we like it?
• It’s just about as straightforward and practical as we can make it. It gives you a chance to tell your story however you choose. Imagine simply saying it out loud. This is what we mean when we’ve been encouraging you to use your own “voice” when approaching this part of the application. We have no pre-conceived ideas of what “good” looks like. We look forward to lots of variance.
• It’s useful. You will actually be introducing yourself to classmates at HBS.
Why did we drop the “optional” option?
• We were trying to signal that the essay wasn’t The Most Important Element of the application so we thought saying “optional” might accomplish that. But, this season, every applicant submitted a response. We get it. You want to tell us things.
Tell us again what the essay is for?
• For you: an opportunity to pause and reflect. Business school is a big experience - it’s exciting, it’s an unknown, it’s a beginning, it’s an investment in your future. Stopping to reflect and gather your thoughts in writing is a useful exercise. That’s not just our opinion - it’s what we hear from students all the time.
• For us: a chance to get to know you beyond the elements of the application that feel fixed and stationary. Can also be a starting point for interview conversations.
What is the purpose of this?
Meaning this blog/column/thing. Not HBS. We already know that: to educate leaders who will make a difference in the world.
Back to This Thing. As we get ready to kick off another admissions season, aka The Search for the Class of 2018, I think it might be a good idea to tell you what we are trying to accomplish in this space. And what we’re not. And where to find the stuff we’re not talking about here.
So, here goes:
In this column, which has been re-named Direct from the Director, my objective is to speak ONLY about admissions-related issues. To inform applicants what is going to happen, when and, often, why. It will draw back the curtain as far as we can so that this intense and intensive process of applying to HBS is as transparent as we can make it. To shun a “black box” mentality. To address myths that float around out there - and say which have some credibility and which don’t. This may be most helpful at times in the calendar when you are waiting and wondering. Waiting for interview invitations. Wondering about in which order we read applications. Waiting for decisions. Wondering how they will be communicated. In fact, I think maybe a better name for this might be “Waiting and Wondering”.
What I won’t be doing in this column is talking much about life at HBS. What it’s like to be a student. What’s going on here on campus. I’ll try to be 100% admissions focused. Sometimes I’ll throw in my personal opinions on admissions issues. And I’ll do my best to make sure your have all the facts when you need them.
But you do (really really) need to know more than that. Part of doing your due diligence about which MBA Program may be the best for you is to hear from students, faculty and alumni about their experiences and how they made this important decision. So we’re launching a separate admissions blog which will do just that.
In the words of the Dillon team on this project:
We want to tell you compelling stories from around HBS. We want you to get to know our students, alums and faculty. We want to help you get a better understanding of our clubs, initiatives and the student experience. We want you to gain insight into the career choices our students make and the myriad activities that make our campus come to life. We also want this blog to evolve to fit your needs. We want to write about what interests you and what you want to know more about. We’re aiming to launch this blog later in May and will be updating it once a week.
So, I guess this announces two things: a clarification of Direct from the Director (aka “Waiting and Wondering”) and the launch of a new comprehensive blog about the HBS Experience from the Dillon House Team, MBA Voices.
As we head into Round 3 interviews with the finish line for this application season in sight (MAY 13!!!!!), we are already thinking about the Class of 2018.
So we hope you are too.
Class visits: continue through mid-May and
there is still sign up availability. I would encourage any
potential Round One applicant who would like to see the case method in action
to come now since class visits in the fall don’t begin until after the
On-Campus Information sessions: the
schedule changes to Monday and Friday at 2:00 pm Boston time beginning May
8. No advance notice required. All of our
sessions are conducted by members of the Admissions Team with plenty of time
for Q&A. We don’t meet individually with
candidates. Our calendar will announce room locations each
Campus tours: beginning on May 8,
we’ll host tours at 1:15 Boston time on Monday and Friday. Again,
no advance notice required - just come to Dillon House a few minutes
If you come to campus when we don’t have anything scheduled,
just stop in at Dillon House for a map and a friendly welcome.
We’ll be hosting various types of presentations in many
locations this summer - including great student panels - watch the
website for our schedule.
And here’s some advance info:
Essay and recommender questions will be posted
on May 15
Application for Class of 2018 will go live in
Round One application deadline will be
Wednesday, September 9th
Just letting you know that we are on track to send out interview invitations and "release" notifications today at 12:00 noon ET.
Detailed information for interviewees will be included.
Thanks to all of you who engaged in this year's application season.
Next week we'll get some news out about our summer activities for prospective applicants and also tell you about when the application for the Class of 2018 will go live.
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