Harvard | Mr. Captain Mishra
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Hopeful B School Investment Analyst
GRE 334, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Stuck Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.6
MIT Sloan | Mr. Mechanical Engineer W/ CFA Level 2
GMAT 760, GPA 3.83/4.0 WES Conversion
Harvard | Mr. Certain Government Guy
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Wharton | Mr. Asset Manager – Research Associate
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Kellogg | Mr. Community Involvement
GMAT 600, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Ms. Eyebrows Say It All
GRE 299, GPA 8.2/10
Chicago Booth | Mr. International Banker
GMAT 700, GPA 3.4
MIT Sloan | Mr. South East Asian Product Manager
GMAT 720, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Ms. Hollywood To Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.5
Stanford GSB | Ms. Investor To Fintech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Kellogg | Mr. Structural Engineer
GMAT 680, GPA 3.2
Darden | Mr. Anxious One
GRE 323, GPA 3.85
Ross | Mr. Saudi Engineer
GRE 312, GPA 3.48
Harvard | Ms. Consumer Sustainability
GMAT 740, GPA 3.95
Columbia | Ms. Retail Queen
GRE 322, GPA 3.6
Tuck | Ms. Confused One
GMAT 740, GPA 7.3/10
NYU Stern | Mr. Health Tech
GMAT 730, GPA 3.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Low GPA To Stanford
GMAT 770, GPA 2.7
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Regulator To Private
GMAT 700, GPA 2.0
Harvard | Mr. Air Force Seeking Feedback
GRE 329, GPA 3.2
MIT Sloan | Mr. Spaniard
GMAT 710, GPA 7 out of 10 (top 15%)
Harvard | Ms. Marketing Family Business
GMAT 750- first try so might retake for a higher score (aiming for 780), GPA Lower Second Class Honors (around 3.0)
Stanford GSB | Mr. Deferred MBA Candidate
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Colombian Sales Leader
GMAT 610, GPA 2.78
Emory Goizueta | Mr. Family Business Turned Consultant
GMAT 640, GPA 3.0

How To Answer Harvard’s New Essays

The official start to the new MBA application season for the Class of 2014 began yesterday (May 9) when Harvard Business School released its new essay questions. Nearly 10,000 applicants typically apply to Harvard’s MBA program each year, more than any other U.S. B-school. Stanford, Chicago, Northwestern, and the other elite schools will soon follow with their newly revised application essays.

This year, Harvard’s new questions were quietly posted on the school’s website, with only a brief earlier mention that they would be coming this week by Admissions Director Deirdre “Dee” Leopold on her blog.

Yet, the publication of Harvard’s questions is “the bugle that starts the Kentucky Derby,” says admissions consultant Sandy Kreisberg, aka HBS Guru. “That’s when anyone who is focused on applying next year starts paying attention. We’re talking about the first round mindset, the bankers, the PE (private equity) guys, the consultants. These guys have known they were going to apply years ago.”

This year’s big news: HBS applicants no longer have a choice among questions. They have to write as many as 200 more words than this year. And there are two new questions, including one that requires you to fess up to three setbacks as well as three accomplishments.

The new, four mandatory essay questions (with word limits):

* Tell us about three of your accomplishments. (600 words)

* Tell us three setbacks you have faced. (600 words)

* Why do you want an MBA? (400 words)

* Answer a question you wish we’d asked. (400 words)

They replace last year’s lineup:

* What are your three most substantial accomplishments and why do you view them as such? (600 words)

* What have you learned from a mistake? (400 words)

Please respond to two of the following (400 words each):

* What would you like the MBA Admissions Board to know about your undergraduate academic experience?

* What is your career vision and why is this choice meaningful to you?

* Tell us about a time in your professional experience when you were frustrated or disappointed.

* When you join the HBS Class of 2013, how will you introduce yourself to your new classmates?

Sandy Kreisberg, HBS Guru, in Harvard Square

With Harvard’s Oct. 3rd first round application deadline less than five months away, we turned to Kreisberg to assess the changes and to offer early advice on how to craft essays to answer HBS’s new questions. Kreisberg has been advising applicants to Harvard, Stanford, Wharton and other elite B-schools for some 15 years.

Sandy, what’s the headline news here?

The important news is that you now need six stories instead of four. Last year you had to write about three accomplishments and a mistake. Now you need three accomplishments and three setbacks. That will separate the men from the girls. There’s no choice of questions. You have to write 200 more words, and then there’s a free throw question on the essay to answer a question you wished Harvard asked.

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