Why I Chose Harvard Business School

Harvard Business SchoolToday we feature a guest post from Veritas Prep MBA admissions consultant Tiffany Singleton. Tiffany currently serves as the Senior Director of National Campaign at Year up, a nonprofit organization. She has served as an alumni interviewer for Management Leadership for Tomorrow, and has recruited undergraduates and MBA candidates for JP Morgan. Tiffany has also represented HBS at various admissions events. Before receiving her MBA from Harvard Business School, she went to Dillard University and received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Finance.

The experience as a prospective student – in addition to the interview! (see more below) — most memorable to me was the HBS Immersion Program (aka IXP), specifically the New Orleans trek. I had the incredible opportunity to attend a seminar held in early December 2006 because of my collaboration with the Dillard team and Tim Butler, Director of Career Development Programs.

Firstly, I was moved by HBS’ interest in Dillard, my undergrad in New Orleans literally devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Given my efforts at JPMorgan for Dillard and my career goal inspired by my alma mater, it meant the world to me be seated in a room in Cumnock Hall with young, intelligent people from various backgrounds who gave up part of their winter vacation to develop and implement to do relief efforts at my school for Dillard students.

The night before their finals began, over 50 HBS students, faculty and staff convened to speak about the importance of the New Orleans trek to not just HBS, but to the city of New Orleans and the profound impact the students could make. I was inspired by the level of research and knowledge of both the devastation and rebuilding of New Orleans by Professor Dutch Leonard and the representatives from the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. The presentation by Stacy Childress, Executive Director of the Social Enterprise Initiative, brought about the most enthusiasm from me because her research on education reform and the application of management principles in the non-profit sector resonates so closely with my career vision that I would seek a field study under her guidance while at HBS. The other New Orleans projects, K-12 and housing development agencies, and the other immersion program in China and Healthcare, demonstrated students applying the HBS model of change leadership before even attaining their MBA.

This unique moment allowed me to see beyond the HBS brand and highlighted the genuine institutional support given to its students to make immediate impact in non-traditional forms of leadership. This revelation solidified HBS as the MBA program that would best continue my development as a leader in the 21st century.

This was what I wrote in my optional essay when I applied to HBS in January 2007. 2 years later, in an interview in my 2nd year, this moment – coupled with my experiences during the HBS admission process – still was very significant to me.

Got 2 more minutes? Check out the first couple of minutes of this video about what I went thru writing my essays & “the interview!” Got 5 mins? Hear about this student-led program still around 4 years after Katrina. Got a little more? Speed up to minute 7 to hear about how the elective coursework impacted my post-HBS recruiting process – or, if you’ve got 9 mins, grab a snack, and feel free to listen to its entirety on what just this southern gal turned banker experienced as “the real inside of HBS”!

For more advice on getting into Harvard Business School, download our Essential Guide to HBS, one of our 15 guides to the world’s top business schools. If you’re ready to start building your own application for Harvard and other top MBA programs, call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. And, as always, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!