Harvard Business School has posted the admissions essays and deadlines for 2009. Here they are, taken from Harvard’s site. Our comments are in italics:
HBS 2+2 Program Application Deadline
There is just one application round for the HBS 2+2 Program. Applications must be received by July 1, 2009, at 5:00 PM Eastern time. Applicants will be notified of their admissions decisions by September 15, 2009.
HBS 2+2 Program Application Essays
- What are your three most substantial accomplishments and why do you view them as such? (600 words)
This is exactly the same question on the regular HBS application. While you are obviously younger than the typical applicant, Harvard still expects to see several separate, concrete examples of how you made a positive impact on the organization, community, or people around you.
- What would you like us to know about your undergraduate academic experience? (400 words)
This question is unique to the 2+2 Program application. Being that you probably don’t yet have any full-time work experience, the admissions office is willing to dig deeper into your undergraduate experience to learn more about you. Don’t simply recount your transcript here. Why did you choose your major in college? What motivated you to choose certain course? What were some things that you learned that you never expected to learn? Focus on just one or two themes here, ideally showing how you have grown academically over the past three years.
- What have you learned from a mistake? (400 words)
This is also taken directly from the standard HBS application. Just like with all mistake essays, you want to show introspection (What did you learn?) and a motivation for self-improvement (How did you use what you learned to better yourself and avoid that mistake again?). While you won’t have the same experiences as a twenty-five-year-old applicant to draw upon here, look for experiences in all aspects of your life where you learned a valuable lesson.
- Optional Essays (choose one)
- Discuss how you have engaged with a community or organization. (400 words)
- What area of the world are you most curious about and why? (400 words)
- What is your career vision and why is this choice meaningful to you? (400 words)
All three of these are also taken from the standard HBS application. We always recommend that applicants err on the side of discussing themselves, the decisions they’ve made, and the impact they’ve made on those around them. These specific examples of your initiative and leadership are extremely valuable, especially if you are relatively inexperienced. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t answer one of the other questions, but be careful to avoid discussing big-picture generalities that don’t let the admissions committee get to know the real you.
For more advice and information on Veritas Prep’s specialized admissions assistance for applicants who apply to the HBS 2+2 Program, visit our HBS 2+2 Program page.