In Part 1 of our “How to Get Into Harvard Business School” series, we talk about about what the admissions team at HBS is looking for. Now let’s talk about how to demonstrate what HBS is looking for in your application. Before you continue reading, take a look at “How to Get Into Harvard Business School (Part 1)”.
Two things an applicant needs to do to get into HBS or any other top MBA program are:
1) Stand out from other applicants (especially those with similar profiles), and
2) Show how you fit with the school.
So, what does that mean for your application? We’ll break it down into two easy tips:
Do Some Soul Searching
In order to stand out from other applicants you need to convey to the admissions board what makes you uniquely you. The admissions team is deeply interested in getting to know you and wants to get a sense for what you will bring to the classroom and broader community. Ask yourself: “What is it that makes me a candidate they absolutely can’t live without?” You may want to share examples that show what drives you, the experiences that have led you to where you are today, the influences that have contributed to who you are. Try to focus on key takeaways or themes that you want the admissions board to remember about you.
Use Past Performance as an Indicator of Future Success
Harvard Business School is looking to build a class of 900+ students where every member will offer a different perspective to the classroom, contribute richly to the campus community, and make a distinct impact on the world as an alum, so give concrete examples of how you’ve done that in the past. Show that you have a track record of being all that they’re looking for.
Veritas Prep consultant Kevin Richardson says, “ Perhaps more than any other school, HBS sees past performance as an indicator of future success. If you think about hitting the ‘checkboxes’ to apply to business school – good GPA, good GMAT, got a promotion, led a project/team, quantifiable success – it is SUPER important to have those for HBS.”
You may have heard this all before, but the truth bears repeating: be yourself and tell the truth. Don’t get caught up in trying to spin some story that doesn’t reflect your experience or where you see yourself going accurately. As long as you have your bases covered, if you do your research, invest in the HBS community, and demonstrate how you’ll be a phenomenal addition to the class, you’ll be in a good position for admission. You need to know “why you” out of thousands and be able to explain it. If you can’t answer that question, the admissions committee won’t be able to either.
For more helpful Harvard advice, watch the webinar we hosted, “How to Get Into Harvard Business School”, and check out the Veritas Prep Essential Guide to Harvard Business School. You can also give us a call at 1-800-925-7737 to speak with an MBA admissions expert about your chances of getting into business school and what you can do to increase them!