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hbs 2013 2014 essay analysis

We’ve invited mbaMission to share their Business School Essays Analyses as they’re released for the 2013-2014 application season. Here is their analysis for Harvard Business School.

Harvard Business School (HBS) is taking a bold new approach to its application essays this year by offering just one question”and one that is much more open to interpretation than many applicants would probably like:

You’re applying to Harvard Business School. We can see your resume, school transcripts, extracurricular activities, awards, post-MBA career goals, test scores and what your recommenders have to say about you. What else would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy?

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.

Few things strike more fear into an MBA candidate’s heart than vague essay directions. Because of HBS’s lack of guidance with respect to word limits and its extremely open-ended question, knowing whether you are truly responding with information that the admissions committee wants and needs will be difficult. The committee further complicates things by specifically noting the information it will already have”transcripts, extracurricular activities, awards, etc. This may make you wonder if mentioning such information is a complete no-no and would weaken your chances for admission.

First, we would like to allay your fears to some degree and help you reframe your view of this question. Think of it as an opportunity to round out your candidacy in the admissions committee’s eyes the way you want, not within the parameters of a narrowly focused topic someone else has chosen. This is your chance to tell the school what you really feel it should know about you”what you believe makes you a worthy  candidate, deserving of a spot in HBS’s next incoming class.

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GMAT News

Catch up on some business school news and tips with a few of this week’s top stories:

Who’s Smarter? Law or Biz Students? (Poets & Quants)

Poets & Quants explores the provocative and tongue-in-check question of whether business students are smarter than law students or vice versa.

Business School Tuition: An Overview of Business School Tuition Costs (About.com Business School)

While the cost of business school is notoriously expensive, it is important to remember that there are many different ways to lower and pay your business school tuition.

Should Entrepreneurs Get an MBA? An Inside Perspective From an MBA Entrepreneur (Forbes)

An entrepreneur interested in startups shares how the majority of successful entrepreneurs and investors that she admires hold an MBA.
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This post orignally appeared on the mbaMission blog.

Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported on the shifting career balance of Harvard Business School’s incoming Class of 2013. Notably, the class will have a higher percentage of students with manufacturing and technology backgrounds, and fewer students with finance backgrounds. According to HBS managing director of MBA admissions and financial aid, Deirdre Leopold, the school does not run with quotas or targets. It is worth noting that this shift is not all that significant “ the finance industry still has the strongest representation in the class.

mbaMission Founder and President Jeremy Shinewald frequently comments on how candidates erroneously try to game the admissions system. The Journal quotes him as saying, You’re going to see guys who worked on one private-equity deal with an auto manufacturer try to play up their auto experience and look ridiculous. Candidates buy into stereotypes for their target schools and become things they think the school wants. As candidates examine the stats, they should keep in mind that they can only be who they are and that they cannot go back in time and change careers. So, they are best creating an authentic picture of themselves in an attempt to set themselves apart from all others (not just those in their fields).

A B-School Boys Club?

ekrisher —  May 13, 2011 — 2 Comments

Historically, business has always been a boys club – picture spiffy suits, cigar clubs, and golf course negotiations. That was back in the day, of course, and recently women have become much greater players (think Indra Nooyi at PepsiCo).  Even so, gender equality – or inequality –  remains a hot-button issue, and some recent press has us taking a second look at women’s status in the business world.

When The Harbus reported recently on the academic gender gap at Harvard Business School, it stated that women were shocked by a marked historical difference between men and women’s academic performance at business school. The article goes on to detail how the women (the article’s authors in particular) combated their surprise by researching the causes of the achievement gap, looking to understand how personal, social, and demographic characteristics affect the academic experience.

After reviewing several possibilities, the reseNavigators found that the most substantiated cause for women’s underperformance at HBS was their feeling of discomfort towards speaking in class.  The women reported feeling less comfortable participating due to their perceived difference in academic and professional backgrounds.  They also found themselves self-editing in class in order to manage their image outside the classroom.

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This post orignally appeared on the mbaMission blog. Read the introduction below and find the full post here.

The 2011“2012 MBA application season is officially afoot. Harvard Business School (HBS) has just released its essay questions, maintaining its tradition of being the first school to do so each year. HBS usually strikes first in early May, and the other top 15 schools follow suit shortly after, throughout May and even into early June.

The HBS watchers among you will notice two significant changes this year, the first of which is that the school has released almost all new questions. Of the six essay prompts that HBS offered last year, only one remains”the school’s famed three accomplishments essay. The second major change is to a streamlined application that offers candidates few options. For the past few years, HBS has required MBA candidates to respond to two essay questions, allowing them to choose from among four. Now applicants face four mandatory questions, leaving them nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. So, this change could limit your ability to play to your strengths and mitigate your weaknesses. Our analysis of HBS’s essay questions can be found here.

With all the recent discussion about teaching ethics in business schools, some of us may have started to forget another factor involved in choosing to attend business school: moving up the pay scale.

It’s good to remember that, according to the U.S. Census Bureau , there is about a 20% increase in salary between a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree, and that’s taking into account all of the Master’s degrees out there!

Yet it seems that to make a lot of money you may have to spend a lot of money. A new study commissioned by Bloomberg BusinessWeek has found that there is in fact a correlation between an MBA’s average salary and where he or she went to business school.

Harvard, where students spend an average of $106,000 for their two years of education, comes in first. According to the study, the median income for HBS grads over a 20 year period is $3,867,903. Wharton is second and has the highest average salary at graduation: $137,000.

But if you’re looking for a large percentage increase in salary over time, check out George Washington University, where the average salary increase in 20 years is 114 percent.

It looks like  getting an MBA from a top school has its benefits. Added incentive to get a great GMAT score!