Category Archives: Harvard Business School

HBS application deadlines – MBA Class of 2017

By Kyle Watkins (last updated: August 25, 2014)

Harvard finally released its application deadlines for the HBS MBA class of 2017.

  • Once again, Harvard Business School’s first round deadline will be very early, as applicants will have to submit their Round 1 application by noon on September 9, 2014.
  • Round 2 applicants will need to apply by January 5, 2015 (before noon, Eastern time).
  • Round 3 candidates will have until April 6, 2015 (12pm) to hit the submit button.

Kyle Watkins recently wrote a post to help HBS applicants. You can read it here.

Good luck!

The 2014 HBS Admissions Application

By Kyle Watkins (last updated: June 1, 2014)

HBS released some important details for Class of 2017 applicants this week, including what essays, recommendations, and deadlines will define its 2014 application.

HBS 2014 Essay Question

The admissions committee decided not to change its essay prompt from last year. The question remains:

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

Once again, the single essay question is optional, and the admissions committee provides little guidance with respect to length or substance. Fortunately, we’ve provided our perspective on both.

HBS 2014 Recommender Questions

If you’ve followed the evolution of the HBS admissions application, then the 2014 recommender questions will ring familiar to you, too:

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. (300 words)

Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (250 words)

We’ve blogged about how to approach these questions and the HBS recommendation section in the past, too, which you can read about here and here.

HBS 2014 Application Dates

The admissions committee also provided a bit of information about important Round One milestones, although some of the exact dates are still to be determined:

  • Application Available: “mid-June”
  • Application Deadline: September 9
  • Interviews Conducted: “from mid-October through end of November”
  • Decision Notifications: “on or around December 10”

As HBS alumni, we have provided some of our strategies for approaching the HBS application process here, or you can find more information about the 2014 HBS application on admissions director Dee Leopold’s blog.

HBS Round 3 Interviews

By Kyle Watkins (last updated: April 16, 2014)

Harvard Business Schools will send out interview invitations to third round applicants on April 17, 2014 at precisely noon Eastern Time. Admissions results will be released in barely one month, so candidates should expect to be interviewing very soon. As a former round 3 applicant, I remember how exciting it was to go from submitting my application to receiving my offer in just 5 weeks.

If you receive an interview invitation at HBS, your odds of getting in are pretty high; the admissions ratio after the HBS interview is close to 60%. This is quite a good ratio, and a common saying is that at this point of the admissions process, your HBS offer is yours to lose.

Preparation is therefore essential, and we highly recommend that you have a look at the list of resources we have put together to prepare for the HBS interview.

Should you need help to prepare for your interview, please do not hesitate to let us know.
We offer interview preparation packages for HBS that have helped many successful candidates in the past.

In the words of one of our Round 2 admits: “I wanted to follow up with good news: I got into HBS! The interview itself was, as everyone says, totally impossible to predict (…), but the practice of being nervous and answering impossible-to-predict questions with you guys was invaluable and let me push past my (high) stress level.”

HBS Round 2: Preparing for Your Interview

By Kyle Watkins (last updated: July 6, 2014)

On January 29, HBS sent out interview invitations to many of its Class of 2016 applicants (including round two applicants and round one candidates whose application was “deferred” to round two). Around 20% of all round two applicants received an interview invitation on January 29, and a second round of invites will go out to candidates on February 5, according to the HBS admissions blog. Interviewed candidates will then stand a 60% chance of being admitted to the #1 MBA program in the World (according to the latest Financial Times MBA rankings).

We’d like to wish the best of luck to everyone, and for the happy few who have received the coveted email from Dillon House, it is time to prepare for the last step of your application. While we have been writing about the HBS interview process for a while on this blog, we thought it would be helpful to bring all of our resources together in one place:
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Harvard Tops FT’s 2014 Global MBA Ranking

By Kyle Watkins (last updated: January 29, 2014)

The Financial Times just released its latest MBA ranking. Harvard Business School (#1) and The Stanford Graduate School of Business (#2) kept their respective spots from last year, while Wharton lost its 3rd position to London Business School, one of the leading European MBA programs along with Insead (#5), IESE (#7), and IMD (#12). Interestingly, the Yale School of Management gained 4 spots this year, reaching the FT’s top ten for the first time in seven years.

3 years after graduation, Stanford’s alumni earn the most, with an average salary of $185,000 (+100% vs. the pre-MBA salary), while HBS graduates come in second with $178,000 (+113%). In Europe, LBS graduates lead the pack, with an average compensation of $157,000 per year (+107%).
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HBS MBA Admissions Interviews

By Kyle Watkins (last updated: December 17, 2013)

At precisely noon Wednesday October 9, 2013, HBS sent a first wave of interview invitations to many of its Class of 2016 applicants. On Wednesday October 16, at exactly the same time (noon), more invitations will be extended. Unfortunately, no one really knows how many.

Last year the school apparently sent most (some say close to 90%) of its first round interview invitations in the first batch. This year however many believe that the split might be more balanced between the first and second wave of invites. There is no solid basis for this assumption other than data publicly available on GMATclub and other MBA discussion boards. If you receive an invitation today, we would appreciate to read about it. So feel free to leave a comment below or send us a short email.

According to Dee Leopold, “there will also be some “Further Consideration” decisions. This means that [HBS is] unable to invite you to interview now, but [they] wish to keep your application under consideration. In Round 2, [HBS] will be either inviting you to interview – and you’ll move along on the Round 2 timetable – or “releasing” you. (…) There will be information in the Further Consideration decision letter about a contact person (…) in Dillon to answer questions and keep you informed. Of course, you may decline to stay in the process and withdraw your application at any time“. Harvard Business School will also be sending “deny” decisions to unlucky candidates on October 16.

We’d like to wish best of luck to everyone, and for the happy few who receive the coveted email from Dillon House today, it is time to prepare for the last step of your application.

In no time at all, the first group of candidates will indeed be up at Dillon House or at admissions outposts around the globe sitting down to their interviews with HBS admissions committee members. While we have been writing about the HBS interview process for a while on this blog, we thought it would be helpful to bring all of our resources together in one place:

What it’s like to interview at HBS: My own personal account of what it is like to interview at HBS, from receiving the email inviting me to interview to receiving the phone call congratulating me on my admittance.

Mastering Every Admissions Interview Question: Advice and tips on how to best prepare for an MBA admissions interview — at HBS or any other MBA program.

Post-Interview Reflection: Guidance on how to approach preparing for, drafting, and sending HBS’s 24-hour post-interview reflection email.

If you’re still looking for guidance, please reach out to us via our free consultation link or via [email protected]. We’re happy to help, even with last-minute questions and requests. Also make sure to give our MBA Matching Algorithm a try and let us know what you think.