Here’s a step-by-step “How to Navigate the Harvard Business School Application” video that was also posted on Poets & Quants. Believe it or not, the application’s short answers give you a really great way to present yourself as a true, and worthy member of the next class. Take every advantage of this opportunity!
This year, the HBS application takes on a disproportional importance, as it has been made very clear by the head of admissions, Dee Leopold, that the application, plus the optional essay is simply there to determine who is going to go through their face-to-face interview process.
Of course the essay is important, but it is likely that the application that will weigh heavily, especially as they determine who will be interviewed. Given the application’s importance, you’ll want to read through and think about it well in advance. Note that they require you to log into the HBS site and click through about 10 times to even read it. And then if you do, you would have to take about 20 more screenshots to even figure out what’s going on. That’s why I made this video; I went through every page and found the most important areas to differentiate yourself.
Don’t leave this all to the last minute. But incorporate the application as part of your overall strategy to make the right impression before the admissions committee, by getting clear on what you want to say in the short answers, text boxes, and even in the additional information session.
For those of you who aren’t able to see the video, (or don’t have six minutes to spare), I’ve posted the main takeaways below:
1. Start by reading through the entire online application–without typing anything in those annoying little boxes.
2. Gather all your GMAT and employment data to fill in at the same time.
3. Don’t craft substantive answers in the text boxes. Use your Word program or pen and paper to assure your answers are as good as they can be.
4. Take advantage of these opportunities to tell the truth about yourself.
Have fun with the essay, but the application will probably weigh more up front, at least as admissions officers consider the first cut.