Tackling the HBS Essay

First of all, no, I have not made a start on my HBS essay so far. However, this is more by design rather than being utterly confused (like Joey above) with what HBS want out of the essay. One of the best pieces of advice I have seen regarding the essay writing process in general is to read the question carefully and answer the question being asked. In this case the question is

You’re applying to Harvard Business School.  We can see your resume, school transcripts, extra-curricular activities, awards, post-MBA career goals, test scores and what your recommenders have to say about you.  What else would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy?

Therefore, until I know precisely what other information I am providing in the other portions, I just can’t make a definitive start on my essay. That is not to say I have not thought about my approach. I have a few ideas with regards to structure, relevant stories and traits that I want to demonstrate. I have also looked at what approach various admissions consultants have suggested.

Advice from Admission Consultants

mbaMission: http://www.mbamission.com/blog/2013/06/03/harvard-business-school-essay-analysis-2013-2014/
Poets & Quants: http://poetsandquants.com/2013/05/30/sandy-on-harvards-new-mba-application/
ClearAdmit: http://blog.clearadmit.com/2013/06/harvard-business-school-essay-topic-analysis-2013-2014-2/

A points to note:

  1. Even though there is no word limit, 500-1,000 words is a sensible range.
  2. There is a big overlap between HBS’s essay prompt and Stanford’s infamous “What matters most and why?” essay
  3. Don’t turn this into a Goals essay, it is not the point of this essay at all
  4. Finally, they emphasised on something that should be applied to the essay writing process for any school, do not focus on “what” but focus on “why”.
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