We can see your resume, academic transcripts, extracurricular activities, awards, post-MBA career goals, test scores, and what your recommenders have to say about you.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?Experts believe that this topic is highly significant to admissions officers and needs to be incorporated into most essays—and especially into introduction essays—in some fashion.
Although this information is mostly sourced from essays submitted to the Harvard Business School and the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the principles outlined below apply to any top MBA program, whether on-campus, executive, or online.
Before discussing the findings, it should be noted that some schools have started experimenting with high-tech replacements for their written application essays, according to Poets & Quants.
According to New York City admissions consultant Manhattan Prep, “with this essay, you essentially want to forge a meaningful connection with a complete stranger, and if you try to present yourself as something or someone you are not, you will fail.” It may be surprising how many MBA application essays display vulnerability because this quality is not generally associated with business leaders.
Candidates need to present examples demonstrating their introspection and self-awareness.
“An essay that reveals any weakness in your candidacy could quickly put you in the reject pile,” according to Poets & Quants editor John A. Best practices in application essay writing indeed exist, although some of them are not obvious and a few may seem counterintuitive.
BSchools editors reviewed analysis and advice from several authorities, along with essay examples from admitted students.
According to Kreisberg, the critical test the HBS admission committee reportedly relies on is this question: Is this someone you would want to sit next to in a case method class?
All experts agree that authenticity is a necessary winning essay hallmark.
Another admissions consultant argues that emphasizing values is necessary within any approach or structure.
Admissions consultant Stacy Blackman advises clients to select themes that will enable them to display qualities HBS highly values, especially drive, accomplishment, and leadership: We have found that both personal and career-oriented topics can work, and most candidates tell more than one story in the essay.