Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Harvard Business School Deadlines, Essay Topics and new Post-Interview Reflection Essay for Fall 2013 Entry

Harvard Business School has announced their deadlines and essay topics for the upcoming 2012-13 admissions season. It is also adding a new twist to the interview process as well.


The round deadlines are as follows:

Round 1:
Deadline: 9/24/2012
Decision: 12/12/2012

Round 2:
Deadline: 1/7/2013
Decision: 3/27/2013

Round 3:
Deadline: 4/8/2013
Decision: 5/15/2013

Each deadline is 12pm (noon) Boston time.

Please verify all information on the application dates page within the school's official application process pages.


Harvard has in recent years been the first major program to release their essay topics, and they have done so again this year, launching new essay topics:

1. Tell us about something you did well. (400 words)
2. Tell us about something you wish you had done better. (400 words)

Joint degree candidates have a third essay:
How do you expect the joint degree experience to benefit you on both a professional and a personal level? (400 words)

These essays are challenging, so for applicants to multiple programs HBS should not the place to begin the essay writing process. There is also not a lot of space here to go into detail on what makes you special and unique.  Applicants will therefore need to use both essays, combined with the entire application, strategically in order to differentiate themselves. Note as well that the application itself contains three extra places to describe your background, goals and activities:

1. At the start of the employment section, after choosing an intended post-MBA industry and function, applicants must answer "How does pursuing an MBA support your choices above?" within a maximum of 500 characters (including spaces).
2. Within the employment section applicants may describe elements of their work (responsibilities, key accomplishments, most significant challenge for each job in 200 characters each) and within the extra-curricular section they may describe their activities (250 characters each). 
3. The application contains an additional information section (500 characters).

Be sure to check the application directly to confirm all information. 


Finally, the school has added a new post-interview reflection essay, to be submitted to the school after completing the interview.  Here is what HBS admissions says about this new final step to the admissions process:

This is, to me, an interesting twist on the interview, and may channel some to "relive" the interview, a topic which I have posted about before

This information comes from the HBS Admissions & Financial Aid blog - required reading for anyone interested in applying to HBS to follow this blog regularly. 

I will write up some thoughts about the new essay topics as well as how to consider handling the post-interview essay in a later posting.

John Couke