Based on Excerpts from a Real HBS Recommendation Sample
This year’s MBA applicants face fewer required essays and shorter word counts than any recent class of candidates. But applicants haven’t been the only ones facing the squeeze over the past few years. Recommenders, too, have found themselves with less and less space to make an impact: over the past two years, HBS not only reduced the number of recommenders a candidate was allowed to have, it also cut the word count allotted to those recommenders by half.
What does this mean for this year’s HBS applicants? First and foremost, applicants need to pick the right recommenders to advocate on their behalf. Second, applicants need to make sure they are adequately preparing those recommenders to write great recommendations.
In this blog post, I’ll illustrate the keys to getting great HBS recommendations by revealing a few snippets of a real recommendation from my own HBS application.
This year, the Yale School of Management will once again require all its MBA applicants to participate in a video interview as part of the 2014/2015 application process. The rationale, according to Admissions Director Bruce DelMonico who introduced video essays in 2013, is that, “one-on-one interviews, while important, do not do the best job of gauging an applicant’s ability to think on his feet. Responses are polished, and one interviewer’s impressions may not be shared by everyone on the admissions team. Video responses can be compared with those of other applicants and reviewed by multiple team members. Since the questions are not known in advance, responses can’t be scripted.”
While being videotaped may initially make a few applicants anxious, I’d encourage you to rest easy. In fact, I think this could make the application process a little easier. To understand why, read on for more of this edition of our Analyzing the Applications series…