Kellogg | Mr. Danish Raised, US Based
GMAT 710, GPA 10.6 out of 12
Harvard | Mr. Polyglot
GMAT 740, GPA 3.65
Darden | Ms. Unicorn Healthcare Tech
GMAT 730, GPA 3.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB to PM
GRE 338, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Sales To Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 3.49
Chicago Booth | Mr. Semiconductor Guy
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3
Wharton | Mr. Sr. Systems Engineer
GRE 1280, GPA 3.3
Tuck | Mr. Consulting To Tech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Rocket Scientist Lawyer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.65 Cumulative
Stanford GSB | Mr. Navy Officer
GMAT 770, GPA 4.0
Darden | Mr. Stock Up
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Classic Candidate
GMAT 760, GPA 3.9
Cambridge Judge Business School | Mr. Social Scientist
GRE 330, GPA 3.5
Darden | Mr. Federal Consultant
GMAT 780, GPA 3.26
INSEAD | Mr. Consulting Fin
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Enlisted Undergrad
GRE 315, GPA 3.75
INSEAD | Ms. Hope & Goodwill
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Milk Before Cereals
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3 (16/20 Portuguese scale)
Chicago Booth | Mr. Guy From Taiwan
GRE 326, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Leading Petty Officer
GRE (MCAT) 501, GPA 4.0
Columbia | Mr. NYC Native
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Tepper | Mr. Leadership Developement
GMAT 740, GPA 3.77
Harvard | Ms. Athlete Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Education Consulting
GRE 326, GPA 3.58
Harvard | Ms. Ambitious Hippie
GRE 329, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Unrealistic Ambitions
GMAT 710, GPA 2.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Equal Opportunity
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0

Should Everyone Apply To Harvard Business School?

A few years ago, I was sitting in a room discussing MBA applications with some consulting peers. At the time, I had not yet decided to go to business school, but most of the others already had and were in the process of applying. One comment struck me with intrigue:

“Everyone should apply to Harvard.”

The reasoning?

The Harvard brand is the best in the world. Despite what any ranking or article may tell you, a Harvard MBA will do more for your career than any other school can. It might be hard to get into, but everyone has a shot. They have a class size of nearly 1,000 and people have even scored in the 500s and gotten into Harvard.

I didn’t necessarily agree with all of his comments, but I definitely understood his point. And it got me thinking about my application process. Now, I’m well into the 80th percentile in GMAT scores and GPA for Harvard (and thus, most other schools as well). But I’ve noticed on forums and blogs that a number of well-qualified applicants ignore Harvard completely in their application attempts. Some people have said they simply don’t want to go there and have to use the case method for their classes. Others feel it’s just too hard to get into and would rather invest their time and effort in a school where the odds are better.

After I got my GMAT score, I started seriously picturing myself at the school. My fellow MBA applicants told me that I was “dumb” if I didn’t at least try. But despite being more “qualified” than the average applicant, it’s still difficult to gauge the competition in the MBA admissions process. We’ll never really know how hard it is to get into a particular school until they start releasing their applicant data along with the admitted class data.

In my opinion, if you have the time and the funds, and you’re well within or above their middle 80th percentile, an application to the “proverbial top business school in the world” is definitely worth it. At most, it’s a $250 application fee. And if you get in, it may change your perspective on where and how far you think your career can go.

This post is adapted from Random Wok, a blog written by Mako from Silicon Valley. You can read all of his posts at Random Wok.

Previous posts by Mako at PoetsandQuants:

Why I Want an MBA

Climbing the GMAT Mountain: 630 to 710 on a Practice Test

Do Consultants Have An Unfair Edge Over Other Applicants?

Falling Behind & Stressed Out

My New Critical Reasoning Strategy

Figuring Out My Odds of Getting Into Harvard, Stanford, Wharton

With My GMAT Classes Over, It’s Now Just Me and the Test

Making a GMAT Test Taker Feel Like A Complete Pansy

With a Month to Go Before His GMAT Test, It’s Time to Focus

Is The GMAT Really Designed To Break You?

I Took the GMAT Today and Rocked It!

Charting All My GMAT Scores Over Time With Lessons

After Scoring My 750, It’s Now All About Applying

MBA Applications Wisdom from Muhammad Ali

Facing A Gauntlet of Round Two Deadlines