Harvard Business School will be sending a little surprise to round one candidates admitted to its MBA program on Dec. 10th. The package–sent via Federal Express–comes in an elaborate dark gray box.
“You’re in! Congratulations!”
That’s the message on a greeting card included in the package.
Inside are just a few items besides the card: An official acceptance letter printed on the school’s letterhead signed by Chad Losee, the managing director of admissions and financial aid, and a mini Harvard Business School felt pennant.
HBS recommends that applicants send the card to a family member, friend, colleague, or mentor who has encouraged them along the way.
‘OH! THAT’S IT. IS THAT IT?’
When the greeting card is opened, a 3-D paper replica of the school’s iconic Baker Library pops up. The card was made by lovepop, a startup founded by two Harvard Business School MBA alums (see below).
But many round one applicants who were interviewed are now receiving FedEx notices of a letter from HBS that will soon be delivered to them. It’s not the package for admits. Instead, it is “a thank you gift to all interviewees,” Losee tells Poets&Quants. “Admissions decisions come out on December 10 via the online portal, after which we mail a signed, hard copy of the admissions letter.”
One admitted candidate filmed himself opening the admit package and posted it on YouTube a couple of years ago. Once he unwraps the package, he says: “Oh, that’s it. Is that it? This is just filler. The box ix just empty. I thought there might be a brochure or promotional material inside. Maybe they forgot to include mine? I don’t know.”
Originally trained as naval architects and marine engineers, lovepop founders John Wise and Wombi Rose were inspired by the artistic and intricate handmade cards they saw on a Harvard Business School trip to Vietnam. Both earned their MBAs at Harvard five years ago when the launched the custom-designed 3D card and wedding invitation business.
‘WE HAVE ENJOYED MEETING MANY OF YOU THROUGH OUR ONLINE EVENTS’
“I fell in love with this ancient art, and I’m an engineer by training, so the design aspect is just really fun,” Rose told Inc. magazine. “That’s why I got excited about it. We’re a customer-driven brand, direct to consumer, and we spend a lot of time with our customers. Watching their reactions showed me how special it was.”
Meantime, Losee posted a thank you to round one applicants on his blog today (Nov. 23), noting that the school sent its round one decisions out on Dec. 10th.
“2022 has been a challenging year around the world,” he wrote. “Given the pandemic, we have missed traveling to your home towns and countries to meet you in-person and share more about HBS. And, we have missed hosting you on the HBS campus for class visits, campus tours, and interviews.
“Despite all that, we have enjoyed meeting many of you through our online events and, for those who applied in Round 1, through your written applications and interviews. Thank you for your flexibility and enthusiasm for connecting in these new ways. In a world with so many challenges, we are heartened by how you are leading in your organizations and leaning in to your communities.”
Harvard’s final deadline for MBA applicants to the Class of 2023 is Jan. 5.