Harvard Business School’s really good essay question
So, here’s the essay question for HBS for the class entering 2016:
It’s the first day of class at HBS. You are in Aldrich Hall meeting your “section.” This is the group of 90 classmates who will become your close companions in the first-year MBA classroom. Our signature case method participant-based learning model ensures that you will get to know each other very well. The bonds you collectively create throughout this shared experience will be lasting.
We suggest you view this video before beginning to write.
Note: Should you enroll at HBS, there will be an opportunity for you to share this with them.
And here’s Dee Leopold’s (assuming it’s Dee who is writing all of these easy-to-read posts) explanation:
Yes, it’s “new”…but most of you are embarking on this business school application journey for the first time too!
Why do we like it?
• It’s just about as straightforward and practical as we can make it. It gives you a chance to tell your story however you choose. Imagine simply saying it out loud. This is what we mean when we’ve been encouraging you to use your own “voice” when approaching this part of the application. We have no pre-conceived ideas of what “good” looks like. We look forward to lots of variance.
• It’s useful. You will actually be introducing yourself to classmates at HBS.
Why did we drop the “optional” option?
• We were trying to signal that the essay wasn’t The Most Important Element of the application so we thought saying “optional” might accomplish that. But, this season, every applicant submitted a response. We get it. You want to tell us things.
Tell us again what the essay is for?
• For you: an opportunity to pause and reflect. Business school is a big experience – it’s exciting, it’s an unknown,it’s a beginning, it’s an investment in your future. Stopping to reflect and gather your thoughts in writing is a useful exercise. That’s not just our opinion – it’s what we hear from students all the time.
• For us: a chance to get to know you beyond the elements of the application that feel fixed and stationary. Can also be a starting point for interview conversations.
The link to the HBS webpage with all this great stuff is: