Harvard Mba Essay Samples [BEST]
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Finally, let us talk about the (new) word limit. In the past, HBS did not stipulate any such parameter, but most of our clients used between 850 and 1,000 words, so the 900-word restriction should not prevent anyone from sharing their full story with the admissions committee. In short, take the space you need to tell your story properly and showcase your personality and experience, and then work to reduce your essay to fit the allowed word count in a way that does not sacrifice any impact or effectiveness.
Even after having read hundreds of HBS essays, I still found it worthwhile to read The Essay Guide. For applicants who have preconceived notions of what an admissible essay should be, The Essay Guide will open your eyes to 22 successful and different responses. For applicants who are wondering how on earth they should approach their essay, the guide will give them 22 different answers.
With permission from The Harbus, the MBA student newspaper, Poets&Quants has again acquired the rights to reprint three of the 22 essays in its new $64.99 2020 summer edition MBA Essay Guide, each one accompanied by commentary from the essay writer as well as an analysis by current HBS students. For each essay, The Harbus editors have chosen to anonymize identities, cities, countries and institutions to protect the identity of the authors.
Writing the Harvard Business School (HBS) essay is a daunting task, and candidates often find themselves staring at a blank screen wondering what on earth they should tell the HBS admissions committee and whether they have anything worthy of sharing. Try to ignore those seeds of doubt and take comfort in knowing that others have struggled with the same questions.
Writing any admissions essay is a tough task, however, Harvard raises the bar with its highly-challenging yet open-ended prompt. In fact, HBS likes this question so much that they have kept it unchanged for multiple years.
At its core, this essay is focused on allowing HBS to get to know the person behind the data, understanding how you have demonstrated leadership and excellence in your life, as well as gain insight into what motivates your decision.
Need more guidance? Our MBA Resource Library has dozens of past successful HBS essays and a detailed brainstorm to help you plan out a winning HBS essay. Our library also includes guides for all top global MBA programs, detailed essay brainstorms, interview tips and mocks, CV templates, and recommendation letter guides. Click to join!
In addition, business schools in general often prefer essays that incorporate good storytelling techniques. In the past, some of our most successful clients have been those who select a defining theme and connect ~3-4 examples to this theme.
Landing a spot at Harvard Business School is no easy task. Now is the time to make sure your accomplishments truly shine, and the only way to do so is to write a clear, compelling admissions essay.
Having helped hundreds of candidates gain acceptance to these elite business schools, Jeremy Shinewald of mbaMission and Liza Weale of Gatehouse Admissions, in partnership with Poets&Quants, have pooled their collective experience to now help you. Using a carefully curated collection of 50 successful essays for HBS and the GSB, they have broken down why each one worked and created a truly essential guide to crafting essays for these schools more confidently and effectively.
The HBS and Stanford GSB essay prompts are both deceptively simple and intimidatingly broad. Yet the beauty of these essay questions is that you are in control! You are a unique individual, and this is your chance to show HBS and the GSB who you genuinely are and why you are an applicant worthy of admittance. The admissions committees are not seeking a certain type of candidate. Quite the opposite, actually! They want to get to know the real you, so through your essays, you want to forge a meaningful connection with the schools, presenting yourself sincerely and honestly.
The widely varying essays in this guide prove that no one definitive path to success exists. Some of the essays are pragmatic and straightforward, while others are more sentimental and incredibly creative. They were written by a diverse group of applicants representing all walks of life and a variety of industries, functions, and geographies. These successful candidates prove that the HBS and GSB admissions committees are open to a vast range of topics, experiences, styles, and voices.
With an increasingly competitive MBA admissions process, it's important to understand what makes an applicant stand out. Admissions consultants share their clients' accepted MBA application essays and analyze what makes them work. Sponsored by
At around 1100 words, this is a long essay. However, breaking the essay down into meaningful moments that shaped the applicant made the content much easier to read. The subtitles provided a quick way to transition from one story to another while still holding a central theme.
The average GMAT score of admitted students at HBS is around 730, while the average undergraduate GPA is around 3.7. With stats lower than average, Stivaly needed to show through other data points that she is committed to academic excellence and continues to be a competitive high performer in the workplace and an attractive candidate for MBA recruiters. With seven years of pre-MBA work experience (higher than the average 4.7 years), Stivaly was able to showcase, though her resume and other parts of her application, a rich professional background including three promotions and a number of other academic and professional recognitions. She let the other parts of her application speak to her professional achievements, so that she could make space for the essay to talk about her motivations behind her achievements.
Disclaimer: With exception of the removal of identifying details, essays are reproduced as originally submitted in applications; any errors in submissions are maintained to preserve the integrity of the piece.
The Harvard Business School essay is just one component of a complete MBA application, but it certainly has its own considerations. So, it is important that you take time to consider the essay separately from the rest of the documents and information in your application. The essay prompt is as follows:
Unless you have an exceedingly in-depth resume, the essay is definitely going to be the most personal aspect of your application. The essay is your chance to use your own words to describe yourself, your values, and your insights. It will be the most significant signal to the admissions committee as to how your background has influenced you and how HBS would fit well into your future.
In light of this, the purpose of your essay is to give the admissions committee an integrated look into who you are as a student, professional, and person. Harvard wants you to reflect on the aspects of your education, work experience, and social life that you think are most significant and use the essay to tell the story behind them. In other words, the essay is your chance to demonstrate passion.
Start the process of HBS essay writing with something as equally fundamental as it is simple: thought. Consider the role that the essay will play in your application and how to make the essay benefit your goal of getting into Harvard Business School. There are two sides to useful self-reflection regarding a goal like a Harvard MBA.
First, think purposefully about your career goals and tie them to an MBA at Harvard Business School. Ask yourself, how would a Harvard MBA help you get to where you want to go, professionally? What would you most like to gain from your time studying at HBS? Thinking about these things and then including them in your essay will demonstrate to the admissions committee that you have a clear trajectory for your MBA experience and your career. Additionally, revealing these considerations in your essay will speak to your confidence in your aspirations and in your decision to apply for Harvard Business School, which will likewise be attractive to the admissions committee.
The way you begin your essay is quite important and will in many ways determine how the rest of your essay will shape out. First things first, make sure you feel good about your first sentence. Just like the opening scene of a movie, the first statement or two of your HBS essay will introduce your writing style and general tone to the admissions committee readers. Consistency always improves readability, and consistency starts with your opening sentence. Try to make the first couple sentences intriguing to garner some interest right from the get-go.
Candidates who are applying to HBS in future rounds will likely face the same essay question. In this article, we highlight common mistakes that applicants make and consider the best way for future applicants to approach this unapologetically unlimited essay prompt.
Learn from those applicants that came before you and make sure to give special thought on how you can really convey who you are in answering this essay question. It is not your typical essay prompt, so it deserves your time and attention.
HBS wants to see several qualities in the applicants it admits: aptitude, accomplishment, character, and passion. Your GMAT and GPA will speak to your analytical aptitude, your resume to your accomplishment, and your recommenders to your character. That leaves your HBS application essay to speak toward your passion: will you have interesting stories and opinions to contribute to the HBS case discussions? Will you involve yourself in the broader Harvard community? Do you have the drive to achieve ambitious things after you graduate? To give the admissions committee confidence in your candidacy, you must let your quirks and passions come through. You cannot play it safe and write a simple, boring essay. 2b1af7f3a8