To entice high potential applicants to its MBA program, Harvard Business School is piloting a recruitment program that features mock case study discussions orchestrated by top faculty members. The first event tonight (June 7) in San Francisco features award-winning marketing professor Youngme Moon, the school’s senior associate dean for strategy and innovation.
The school has been reaching out to recent alumni of its MBA program for their help “in getting the word out about HBS to high potential leaders in your organization,” according to an email obtained by Poets&Quants. “This is a new pilot meant to reach those currently undecided about pursuing an MBA,” writes Chad Losee, managing director of MBA admissions and financial aid.
Though the school annually attracts roughly 9,800 MBA candidates for the 930 seats in each incoming class, HBS administrators often express concern that the school misses many highly talented young professionals who may not even known that an MBA could be helpful to their careers. One of the goals of the recruitment program is to find these possible candidates and get them in the HBS applicant pool.
In the emails, Losee asks alums to invite two to three people each to the event, offering the following suggestions on who to invite:
• Exceptionally talented women and men—people who are known around your organization as up-and-coming or very high potential
• Men and women who you know would benefit from an MBA but who may not know it themselves (yet)
• Leaders from your organization who are at the right stage of their career to pursue an MBA
• Please no family/friends (we suspect you’ve already convinced them to pursue an MBA and this event is intended to reach new talent). We will be hosting additional general information sessions in the Bay Area in July.
PULLING OUT ALL THE STOPS WITH SUPERSTAR YOUNGME MOON
The case study was sent to participants a few days before the event with Professor Moon, one of the school’s superstar profs. She has received the HBS Student Association Faculty Award for teaching excellence on numerous occasions, and she has published and sold more than two million case studies on companies ranging from Starbucks to IKEA to Uber. Moon had also been senior associate dean for the MBA program.
While there was no admissions evaluation for the event, would-be applicants were asked to spend time to prepare for the case in advance of the 6:30 p.m. start at DocuSign’s executive briefing center at 221 Main St. in San Francisco.