3 Qualities Sought By Harvard Business School
Getting into Harvard Business School isn’t easy.
Stacy Blackman Consulting (SBC) recently offered a few insights into the three characteristics that the admissions committee at HBS looks for in MBA applicants.
Leadership is a one of the key components of the admissions framework at HBS.
According to SBC, there are a variety of forms leadership can take. The main forms are called “Capital L” and “Small L.”
Capital L is mostly associated by job titles such as managers, presidents, and captains. Small L, on the other hand, pertains to people who embody leadership traits even though they don’t have the official title.
“Irrespective of their actual job titles, these professionals are strategic, innovative, and proactive,” Blackman writes. “The small L leaders step up when needed and thrive when times are hard. Plus, they demonstrate leadership traits over time, and can show that track record to HBS throughout their application.”
ANALYTICAL APTITUDE & APPETITE
The second characteristic that HBS looks for is analytical aptitude and appetite.
“Academic, analytical and quantitative prowess is crucial, as HBS adcoms will look at the applicant’s GPA and test score. HBS adcoms will also comb through transcripts and consider the skills the applicant exercised and built in his or her work experiences,” Andrea, a consultant at SBC and former Associate Director of MBA Admissions Marketing at Harvard Business School, says.
Where you went for undergrad and what you studied will be considered, but that doesn’t mean you have to have a prestigious college or quantitative-focused degree to be accepted into HBS.
“Strong work experience can compensate for lack of quant classes in college,” Andrea notes. “In addition to the stated criteria, intellectual curiosity and horsepower are buried in there,” Andrea says. “Research projects, thesis projects, reading and interests you develop on your own all qualify under horsepower. One’s quest to satiate his/her intellectual curiosity needs to shine through for the HBS application. This comes across in extracurriculars, awards, on the resume, and certainly in the HBS essay.”
Community citizenship is about who you are as a person and what personal qualities you embody outside of your transcripts and exam scores.
“Personal qualities encompass ethics, morals, values, judgment, and ego,” Andrea writes.
According to Andrea, citizenship is all about the tone and manner that you give off in your application and essay.
“Talking in a braggy manner and discussing an over-the-top lifestyle would take the applicant out of the running. Instead, I recommend trying to present an unexpected application that shows real depth around how he makes a positive impact in the communities in which he’s spent time,” Andrea adds.