If you can balance unapologetic confidence with heartfelt compassion and sincere vulnerability, that is a combination that will open a great many doors.
If you have faced particular challenges in your life, these might already be present in other parts of your application perhaps in your recommendations. If not, you might mention in passing the challenges unique to your situation, simply touch on them, but the whole focus of this essay should be where you are going, not where you have been.
/19 Harvard Business School Essay Analysis [Downloadable Sample Essays]
Here are a few thoughts about how one might approach this essay. This advice is likely to applicable to many other essays on many other applications. The core message, though, should come straight from your heart. This is your life: what inspires you? What gets you excited and passionate? Speak about what inspires you at the deepest level.
People connect with why.
Why does it matter to you? Why should it matter to anyone else?
Say more about your vision and your dream than about your plans. If you speak in your in full sincerity, they can feel who you are. Certainly they want to know about that! 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.
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However, if you are a medic at a bush hospital in Uganda and are applying to HBS with the goal of commercializing low-cost technologies to fight infectious diseases, this may well be a fitting topic for your essay, as you seek to connect the dots between your unusual in a positive sense career path and your aspirations. Why HBS? Finally, let us talk about word limits! We expect that most of our clients will use approximately 1, words, with some using as few as and a minority using as many as 1, We have difficulty imagining a scenario in which an applicant would truly need more than 1,, but we certainly know of candidates who were accepted with essays that exceeded that high target.
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. This must be submitted within 24 hours following the completion of the interview.
Detailed instructions will be provided to those applicants who are invited to the interview process. Note: While the Post-Interview Reflection is yet to be officially announced for the season, we anticipate that it will indeed be a part of the HBS application process. If this changes, we will amend our essay analysis — please stay tuned.
Beginning the Academic Essay
For the past five years, HBS has asked candidates who are granted an interview to complete one more written task. Some candidates may find this additional submission intimidating, but we encourage you to view it as an opportunity to reveal new aspects of your profile to the admissions committee. Because your HBS interviewer will have read your entire application before your meeting, you will likely discuss information from your resume, essays, recommendations, etc. 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.
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.
2. Share Your Passions
Some applicants make the mistake of talking about anything but themselves. While your interests and goals are important for the admissions committee, the essay is a unique opportunity to coherently stitch together the moments that define who you are and what kind of impact you want to make in the world.
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They have seen it all. The best essays are those that are told with an authentic voice. Seek feedback Share your essay with an MBA coach or a friend. Seek feedback from others to uncover your blind spots. Be careful, however, of having too many cooks in the kitchen; if you look for feedback, you will receive feedback. Sharing your essay with one or two trusted, experienced parties is more valuable than sharing with many readers.
There is no way to please everyone, even if they are coming from a good place. Get into the school of your dreams.
Direct from the Director
Lulu comes from a multi-cultural background across Asia, South America and the U. S, and is a Harvard Business School graduate. By ticking this box you agree to the terms and conditions.