Harvard Essay Questions

Maybe the people you met or a building you saw made a meaningful impression on you.Whatever these elements are, tie them to aspects of your background and profile while adding some new thoughts and information about yourself.

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The reality is that most people should not use this essay to discuss their career ambitions and interest in HBS, because doing so will not reveal that much “more” about them.

For example, if you are a consultant who plans to return to consulting after graduation, we cannot imagine a scenario in which addressing your goals and why an HBS MBA is critical would constitute an effective use of this essay.

Because your HBS interviewer will have read your entire application before your meeting, you will likely discuss information from your resume, essays, recommendations, etc., during your interview.

This post-interview reflection, then, could provide an opening for you to integrate new and different elements of your profile, thereby adding depth to your candidacy.

Now, some applicants may fret that this means they absolutely cannot touch on anything mentioned elsewhere in their application, for fear that the admissions committee will become annoyed and reject them.

However, HBS is not asking only for fresh information—it is asking for , and specifically, whatever “more” you believe the committee needs to evaluate you thoroughly and fairly.With it, the admissions committee is subtly acknowledging that it already has a lot of information about you that it can and will use to get to know you better, including your resume, extracurricular activities, recommendations, short-answer question responses, academic transcripts, and GMAT/GRE score.You should therefore think first about what these portions of your application convey about who you are as an individual and candidate, so you can determine which parts of your profile still need presenting or could benefit from more detail. Once again, HBS has made no changes to its question.HBS Managing Director of MBA Admissions Chad Losee, now entering his fourth application season, must feel the prompt is effective in eliciting the kind of information the admissions committee finds valuable in evaluating potential students.For example, if you could not find a way to include the story of a key life experience of yours into your essays, but your interviewer touches on a similar story or something connected with this experience in your meeting, you would now have license to share that anecdote.As soon as your interview is over, jot down all the topics covered and stories you discussed.In short, take the space you need to tell your story properly and showcase your personality and experience, and then work to reduce your essay to its lowest possible word count, without sacrificing any impact or effectiveness.From the admissions committee: “Following the interview, candidates are required to submit a written reflection using our online application system.We expect that most of our clients will use approximately 1,000 words, with some using as few as 750 and a minority using as many as 1,500.We have difficulty imagining a scenario in which an applicant would truly need more than 1,500, but we certainly know of candidates who were accepted with essays that exceeded that high target.


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