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2020-21 Harvard MBA Essay: As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA program?


For anyone working in analytical jobs – accounting, technology, finance, and quant-heavy titles, the answer on what more should the admission team know is tricky to compile. The easiest route is to share the communication and negotiation skills required to extract client objectives, work well with peers with strong quant skills, and demonstrate the perspective you had about the larger picture. By doing so, most applicants are hoping that they could differentiate from other equally qualified applicants.

Unfortunately, there will always be an applicant with better quant skills and academics (GMAT and GPA).

A counterintuitive strategy is to highlight a non-profit engagement that sparked an interest in an industry or a perspective you developed while working for an industry.

For accounting professionals, the opportunity to serve diverse industries, understand their business and gain a bird’s eye perspective of the competitive advantages, threats, and opportunities, are plenty. It is easy to spend half the essay on due diligence or career growth. These data points are obvious in the resume if you have taken the time and effort to capture...


2020-21 Harvard MBA Essay: As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA program?

The most common narrative for US military applicants is to quote 9/11 and the reaction your immediate family had while watching the events unfold.

The horrifying moment is captured as a motivation to join the Military. On digging deeper, most applicants would share that the motivations were diverse.

Some had a sense of alienation from the US (immigrants). The Military was a guaranteed avenue to gain respect from the society – north and south, black and white, rich and poor, and potential employers of all sizes.


Some were adrenaline junkies who had no purpose and would have easily lost in gang wars and the aimlessness of their generation.

Some wanted to take control of their future and immerse themselves in the discipline and goal orientation of military life. ...

2020-21 Harvard MBA Essay: As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA program?


Creating a narrative around values could easily turn preachy if the events are not captured with nuance. The black and white nature of most stories immediately brings down the believability of the essay. Without a story on the values that guide you, with a few serendipitous moments, the admission team would be forced to pivot the evaluation process on academic achievements and career progression. There will always be someone with a better GMAT or GPA score or a higher number of promotions in a 3-5-year career.  


To create a narrative that acknowledges failures, one must learn to let go of the ego while creating the draft.

For this fictitious profile, we look at the journey of an Asian-American applicant.

Narrative Arcs

...

2020-21 Harvard MBA Essay: As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA program?

Creating a narrative around volunteering for a passion project, the challenges, the assumptions, the setbacks, the solution, and the lessons learned transforms into an interesting narrative if the engagement has been for more than a year. Short-term projects (2-3 months), although, could be impactful, never allows the candidate to incorporate the narrative arcs in a meaningful way. It becomes forced, and the transitions haphazard.


Narrative Arcs

• The Motivation

I found it fascinating when a client goes into great trouble to offer value in the remotest villages of Africa. This is not your typical applicant. When peeling off the motivation for choosing the beneficiary, stories of hardship as a kid comes to the forefront.

...

As the program with the highest application volume, HBS must differentiate between two applicants with similar scores (GMAT and GPA). In your application (essay, resume, and recommendation letter), make sure that these 10 Winning traits are highlighted.

1) Exposure

In the HBS Case study method, professors give out scenarios and roles for students to play. You might have to decide as a CEO, a Manager, an Employee, or think like a Customer. Your decision will determine the future of your company or the competitive dynamics in your market.


Most first-time writers struggle to bring an authentic narrative to their stories, primarily because we are not as imaginative as we think. Professional writers spend just 4-hours everyday writing. The rest of the day is spent doing real work and interacting with people. Stories lie hidden in the daily struggles of life. The empathy for a character or a ‘voice’ comes from exposure. Except for a few talented writers that we can count on our fingers, most have one good book in them. They are the fictitious version of their life or a life they are familiar with. Rest are derivatives of their initial story.
...

Harvard MBA salary by Industry

Harvard MBA class of 2019 couldn’t cross the $150,000 median base salary barrier despite an impressive $30,000 median signing bonus. Among the industries, Financial Services remained the most popular as one-third of the class opted for the $150,000 median base salary and a modest $22,500 signing bonus. Career enhancers contributed to the sustained interest in the industry, whereas Consulting beat the Technology industry’s dominance in attracting offers with a formidable $165,000 base salary that attracted 21% of the class. Despite a sub-par $135,000 median base salary (by M7 standards), the potential of the industry to disrupt adjacent and unrelated industries made Technology the favorite for 20% of the class.

Media/Entertainment ($149,000), and Services ($140,000) industries attracted 3% each from the class, even though, the median signing bonuses were below $16,500.

The retail/Trading industry continued their higher bonus and middle of the lineup median base salary for all the M7 schools. On the total...

The deadlines for Harvard MBA Class of 2022 has been announced.

Round 1: Application deadline - Wednesday, September 04, 2019 at 12:00 noon EST
Decision notification - 12th December 2019

Round 2: Application deadline
- Friday
, January 6, 2020 at 12:00 noon EST
Decision notification - March 21st, 2020

So get ready and Get the Best Harvard MBA Essay Tips




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