How to Get Into Harvard Business School (Part 1)

We recently did a webinar on How to Get Into Harvard Business School. If you have time, we encourage you to watch it here before you continue to read this article:

Here’s what you need to know: 

Over 10,000 people applied to Harvard Business School last year. 11% of applicants, or approximately 1,100 people, were admitted. HBS admissions officers concede that as much as 80% of applicants are fully qualified to attend and successfully complete an MBA program, however, there are only so many seats in any given class.

So, what can you do to earn one of those coveted offers of acceptance at HBS? Continue reading to find out!

What is HBS looking for?

Let’s start by breaking down what Harvard Business School is looking for.

There’s no big secret about what HBS seeks in candidates. HBS posts its criteria right on its website, and you should take their word for it. Without clearly demonstrating all three criteria — a habit of leadership, analytical aptitude and appetite, and engaged community citizenship — you’ll be climbing up a very steep hill to be admitted.

You may be thinking, “Yeah, I’ve got this!” One thing to consider is your perception of how well you demonstrate the qualities HBS seeks may differ from the admissions board’s perception. The admissions board is reviewing thousands of applications, and if you know someone who got into Harvard Business School or you’ve read essays written by those admitted, you know that they’re pretty impressive individuals and the bar is set very high. You will be facing some stiff competition.

How do you know if your accomplishments in these areas are good enough to be admitted to HBS? We can actually give you some idea through a free MBA consultation. If you aren’t quite up to par in one or more of the areas, don’t lose heart. There are definitely things you can do to improve or strengthen the weaker aspects of your candidacy.

It’s also worth noting that there are some applicants who think they’re really impressive in these areas, but in the eyes of the admissions board are just okay. There’s another group of applicants who don’t think they have anything or struggle to come up with good examples or stories, but they’re actually quite impressive. For some, the challenge is discovering and pulling out the aspects of your background that would make you a strong candidate.

For example, Veritas Prep MBA admissions consultant Taniel Chan says, “Don’t view ‘leadership’ with the narrow frame of formal roles. There is much that can be said, if not more, about informal leadership opportunities. Don’t boast about just the things you’ve done with a proper title. It’s appropriate and can sometimes be viewed favorably when you share an anecdote of you acting even when nothing was expected of you.”

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this article  — we’ll talk about how to demonstrate what HBS is looking for in the limited space provided in the application!

MBA Admissions Webinar with the Toigo Foundation – Feb. 25

On February 25 Veritas Prep and the Robert A. Toigo foundation will host an online seminar for anyone who is considering an MBA and a career in finance.

The Robert A. Toigo Foundation was founded to encourage more minority presence at senior levels across all areas of finance. Consistent with this mission, the Foundation recruits the best, the brightest, and the most committed minority students pursuing finance-related careers.

Minority MBA applicants may apply to become Toigo Fellows who receive tuition assistance, but the grants are really just one part of the Fellowship. The Toigo Foundation provides its members with mentors and coaches to advise, support and guide them. The organization also offers career counseling, continuing education programs, leadership training, and a host of formal and informal networking opportunities for its members.

In the February 25 webinar Veritas Prep will provide an overview of the MBA admissions process. This is an ideal way for a new applicant to get a broad strategic overview of what it takes to get into a top business school. Then, a representative from the Toigo Foundation will provide an introduction to the Foundation’s mission, its specific programs, and the benefits it provides to its members.

The webinar is open to anyone who would like to learn more about the MBA admissions process and what the Robert A. Toigo Foundation has to offer. Register now to reserve your spot!

Free Law School Admissions Webinar – Dec. 15

This Monday, Dec. 15, Adam Hoff will host an online law school admissions seminar for those who are considering applying to law school this year.

Adam, who is Veritas Prep’s Director of Law School Admissions Consulting, is a law school admissions expert, former admissions officer, and University of Chicago Law School graduate. He will discuss:

  • Admissions trends for the 2008-2009 application season
  • What law school admissions officers look for in an application
  • The increasingly popular JD/MBA dual degree program
  • Strategies for dealing with rising applicant numbers
  • What to do if you’re waitlisted by your dream school
  • Q&A and general discussion

This free online event will run this coming Monday, Dec. 15., from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM PST. All you need to need to access it is a PC or Mac with an Internet connection and sound capabilities.

Register for our online law school admissions seminar here!