Category Archives: Harvard Business School

Launched: HBX Live, the HBS Virtual Classroom

By Vincent Ho-Tin-Noe (last updated: August 26, 2015)

HBS just announced the launch of HBX Live, its new virtual classroom. While not immediately relevant to Full Time MBA applicants, this is truly an exciting piece of news from HBS. Indeed, HBX Live promises to open the HBS classroom and the school’s famous case method to way more participants than was previously possible.

According to Harvard Business School:

HBX Live is a virtual classroom designed to reproduce the intimacy and synchronous interaction of Harvard Business School’s famed case study method in a digital environment. Participants from around the globe can log in concurrently and join real-time, case-based sessions with HBS faculty who teach from the HBX Live studio

Having watched the below video, we were truly impressed by this virtual classroom. Not only does it emulate the actual HBS classroom experience we benefitted from as students, but some of the added features presented here are actually enhancing it (e.g. the ability to evaluate peers’ comments and benefitting from direct feedback on the value of your own contributions). Watching Yougme Moon conduct this virtual class truly reminded us of the actual classes we attended with her just a couple of years ago (on a side note, her book his definitely a must-read).

Watch it for yourself and feel free to let us know what you think in the comment section below.

Round 3 MBA Application Decisions

By Kyle Watkins (last updated: May 13, 2015)

Navigating the Waitlist and Application Ding Analysis

This is a big week in MBA admissions, with a handful of big-name programs (like HBS, Kellogg, Ross, Tuck, LBS, Johnson, and INSEAD) rolling out decision notifications for Round 3 applicants. For some who are accepted, it will mark the beginning of an exciting journey to business school, but for most, it will present an opportunity to reflect on your application and consider what comes next.

Waitlisted Candidates

To help candidates who receive a waitlist notification, we recently wrote a post about dealing with the waitlist decision, and we dedicated one of our 10-step guides tonavigating the wailtlist process. Although waitlisted candidates should follow instructions provided by the admissions committee, in some cases there are steps that can be taken to maximize your chances, so the articles are worth a read.

For waitlisted candidates, we can also guide you through the waitlist process, and answer any questions you may have about the steps you can take to increase your chances. Reach out through our Free Consultation form, and we’d be happy to help.

Ding Analysis

We have also provided ding analyses to many candidates in the past, and we have helped them secure interviews or admissions offers at top programs like MIT, Wharton, and Columbia as a result. Our Ding Analysis service has been regularly described by our clients as one of the best in terms of value.

Reach out through our Free Consultation form if you are interested, and we’ll be happy to help.

Good luck!

HBS Student Stories

By Vincent Ho-Tin-Noe (last updated: March 24, 2015)

As Harvard Business School is about to release a new batch of admissions offers, we thought that prospective applicants would enjoy watching this video. It was released by Harvard in Q4 2013 on youtube, but it still provides a pretty accurate of what HBS is about. Kyle and I even recognized some of our classmates… Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts with us after watching it; we would love to hear from you ! Good luck to everyone expecting an email from the school this round.

 

Last-Minute MBA Application Review and Edits

By Kyle Watkins (last updated: January 1, 2015)

The coming week will be the busiest of the year for MBA applications. Almost all of the top business schools have their second-round deadline, which tends to be the most popular among MBA applicants. It also tends to be one of the most stressful weeks of the year, as candidates are always understandably hesitant to finally push the “submit” button.

If you’re looking for one last set of eyes to review your application before you submit, we are happy to help. Many applicants take advantage of our Final Application Review package. For $395, we’ll read your entire application from start to finish, proof read it for any errors, and provide written edits on any last-minute tweaks you can make to improve your odds of getting admitted. We’ll also schedule a 30-minute phone call with you to review any questions you have before submitting. And we’ll do it all before the end of the following day.

If interested, please send us an email, and we’ll get back to you immediately.

Good luck, and don’t forget to check out our must-read advice before hitting submit!

Great MBA Recommendation Letters: Tips and an Example

By Kyle Watkins (last updated: January 1, 2015)

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 several years, schools not only reduced the number of recommenders a candidate was allowed to have, it also cut the word count allotted to those recommenders. Many of the top programs have also converged around the same two recommendation questions:

  1. How do the candidate’s performance, potential, background, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples.
  2. Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. 

What does this mean for this year’s MBA 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 letters of recommendations for MBA applications by revealing a few snippets of a real recommendation from my own business school applications.

The Keys to Getting Great Recommendation Letters for MBA Applications

Each part of your MBA application should demonstrate different qualities to the admissions committee. Your resume is a place to tell your professional story and to illustrate your accomplishments; your essay is a place to show the admissions committee who you are and what you value. Your recommendations, then, must be reserved to demonstrate characteristics that you yourself cannot credibly speak to:

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My HBS Interview Experience

By Kyle Watkins (last updated: September 12, 2014)

What It’s Like to Interview at HBS

My invitation to interview at HBS came on the first day that the admissions committee began emailing candidates. It was a relief, to be sure, but it also was undoubtedly a bit nerve racking. Three days later, I received a follow up email, this one with a link to an online portal where I would actually schedule my interview. I chose an afternoon spot on a Monday on campus in Boston. It allowed me to fly up from Washington D.C. during the weekend, ensuring I would be settled in and wouldn’t face any logistical snags come interview day.

The morning of the interview I kept completely free. I wanted to make sure I was well rested and unrushed. At noon I attended a luncheon hosted by the HBS admissions committee for applicants interviewing that day. We had sandwiches and made small talk in the back room of the Grille, a staple of the HBS dining circuit. There were a few of us there, and we each took turns asking relatively low-risk questions of the admissions staffer that had joined us.

After an hour or so, lunch wrapped up, leaving me about 90 minutes before I was scheduled to be at Dillon House, the admissions building at HBS. I walked across the Charles River and had a cup of coffee, rehearsing my answers to the most basic interview questions (strengths, weaknesses, why an MBA, why HBS). By that time I was wishing I had scheduled my interview for a little earlier. Time seemed to be passing pretty slowly.

I started heading over to Dillon House about 2pm, arriving 10 minutes before my scheduled interview. When you walk in the door, there is a short hallway with a big glass window on your left, so I could see the receptionist through the glass pane well before I could actually say hi to her. I greeted her warmly, and she told me to take a seat while I waited for my interview to begin. I did, playing with one of those mini Zen gardens you find in offices sometimes to keep my mind from wandering.

Sure enough, at 2:30pm on the dot, an admissions officer walked out to greet me. She walked with me about 30 feet to a small office in the back of Dillon House, and along the way we made small talk about my trip in to Boston that weekend.

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