News, advice and resources for business school applicants
Jul 2, 2015

A PEEK Is All It Takes: HBS’s Innovative Initiative to Woo Women


HBS Professor Youngme Moon teaching PEEK students Photo credit: Evgenia Eliseeva

For Priyanka Krishnamoorthy, a 2015 Mt. Holyoke graduate working in investment banking at Bank of America, a recent weekend at Harvard Business School (HBS) helped set her sights on pursuing an MBA. The Sri Lankan native majored in economics and minored in math and had been thinking about business school for a while. She originally read about PEEK—an innovative weekend program HBS debuted last month for students from women’s colleges—in an article in the paper. She decided to apply after attending an information session HBS held at neighboring Smith College. “They pitched it really well as a way to see what HBS is like,” she recalls. “On campus you hear a lot about PhD programs and law school, but not about business school.”

For Krishnamoorthy, the highlight of the weekend was getting to meet current HBS students and alumnae and hearing about the decisions they made both before and after business school. Just a few weeks into her own first job, she found their choices really eye-opening. “I thought there was a set path to it, but they all said, ‘No, you can come from anywhere.’” She was encouraged multiple times throughout the weekend to think of the MBA more as a master’s in leadership than a master’s in business administration. Continue reading…

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Jun 30, 2015

HBS 2015-2016 Recommendation Questions

HBSThe 2015-2016 HBS MBA recommendation questions are up on the Harvard Business School admissions website. The HBS recommendation comprises identifying information about the recommender, a brief explanation of the recommender’s relationship with the applicant, and a question about how many HBS MBA applicants the recommender is supporting this year, followed by a grid on which the recommender is asked to rate the applicant on a series of skills and qualities.

The program then poses two questions about the candidate’s potential and response to a past piece of feedback.

The HBS MBA recommendation questions for 2015-2016 are:

Context of Relationship (drop-down menu)

Are you an HBS graduate? (drop-down menu)

If yes, please list year of graduation

Please provide a brief description of your interaction with the applicant and, if applicable, their role in your organization. (250 characters) Continue reading…

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Jun 17, 2015

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Jun 5, 2015

FIFA Corruption Scandal Serves Up Ethics Course Material for MBA Students

fifa“Ethics and integrity are essential in the world of sport and are topics that have continued to gain importance for FIFA and the football community in recent years.” These words, spoken by former Fédération Internationale de Football (FIFA) President Joseph “Sepp” Blatter in August of last year, ring somewhat hollow today. At the time, the international governing body for soccer that he then led was preparing to host the first-ever World Summit on Ethics in Sports in Belgium. “We therefore welcome the opportunity to host this special summit and look forward to a fruitful debate among international experts on these important topics,” Blatter continued.

Maybe he missed the conference? Apparently, he either didn’t listen to the international experts or he thought that what they had to say somehow didn’t apply to his own organization. Earlier this week, Blatter announced that he would resign as president of FIFA following the indictment by the United States government of several current and former FIFA officials and sports marketing officials for bribery, fraud and money laundering.

As devastating as the unfolding scandal has proven for Blatter and FIFA’s reputation, there are valuable lessons to be learned, and professors at several leading business schools fully expect to use the FIFA case to teach their MBA students. Continue reading…

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Jun 3, 2015

HBS Alumnus Gives Largest Gift in University’s History to School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

john paulsonAn alumnus of the Harvard Business School (HBS) today made the largest gift in Harvard University’s history—a $400 million endowment that will support the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). The gift, from billionaire hedge fund manager John A. Paulson (MBA ’80), will help fund SEAS’s planned expansion across the river from Cambridge to Allston, where its scientists and engineers will occupy research and teaching facilities adjacent to HBS and the Harvard Innovation Lab (i-lab).

“John Paulson’s extraordinary gift will enable the growth and ensure the strength of engineering and applied sciences at Harvard for the benefit of generations to come,” Harvard University President Drew Faust said in a statement. “His appreciation of the importance of SEAS to faculty, students, and schools across the university has motivated a historic act of generosity that will change Harvard and enhance our impact on the world beyond.” Continue reading…

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Jun 1, 2015

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May 28, 2015

Sustainability Takes Center Stage at Harvard Business School Commencement

Leah Ricci (left) and Allison Webster (right) stand ready to help HBS Commencement attendees dispose of materials properly

Leah Ricci (left) and Allison Webster (right) stand ready to help HBS Commencement attendees dispose of materials properly

Forget crimson. The stoles and tassels worn by Harvard Business School (HBS) graduates today may have been deep red, but the school was going for green in its commencement exercises this year. As part of the day’s events—as well as those of Class Day yesterday and Reunion tomorrow—HBS graduates, alumni and guests will take part in a coordinated composting effort unlike any in the school’s history.

For the first time ever, the back-to-back celebrations this week at HBS will feature completely compostable lunch containers and utensils, which attendees will sort into designated bins for recycling, composting and trash. And because it can sometimes be hard to determine which items go into which bins—especially for novice environmentalists—HBS Green Team volunteers will staff each of the 20 sorting stations to help people know what’s what.

Continue reading…

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May 27, 2015

Columbia Business School Admissions Director Provides Insight into 2015-16 Essays

amanda_carlsonColumbia Business School (CBS) kicked off the application cycle for the Class of 2018, sending its application live in late April, before any other leading business school. Though this year’s essay questions aren’t hugely different from last year’s, the school’s admissions director took time to share her perspective on the subtle changes with Clear Admit and offer some guidance to applicants who may be preparing to embark upon the application process.

Speaking to Clear Admit yesterday, Admissions Director Amanda Carlson turned first to the school’s first essay prompt—the “career goals/why a Columbia MBA now” question. Continue reading…

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May 27, 2015

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May 26, 2015

Harvard Business School 2015-2016 Deadlines

HBSHarvard has announced the HBS MBA deadlines for the 2015-2016 admissions season. Candidates for the Harvard MBA Class of 2018 should note that all application materials are due at noon on the submissions deadline date.

The HBS MBA deadlines for the Class of 2018 are:

Round 1
Application Deadline: September 9, 2015
Decision Notification: December 2015

Round 2
Application Deadline: January 6, 2016
Decision Notification: March 2016 Continue reading…

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May 22, 2015

Harvard Business School Essay Topic Analysis 2015-2016

HBS classroom

Harvard Business School’s 2015-2016 MBA application essay was announced last week. This is a new prompt for this admissions season; whereas applicants were previously invited to share something with the admissions committee that didn’t appear elsewhere in their applications, they are now asked to introduce themselves to their sections: the 90 students with whom they will take all of their first-year MBA classes. Further, whereas the HBS essay has been technically optional for the past two years (even though virtually every applicant chose to respond, according to a blog post from Admissions Director Dee Leopold), the adcom has reverted to a required response this season.

While the imagined audience for this essay is different from that of past year, there are some elements of the new prompt that are consistent with previous seasons. There is still no stated word limit for this response, and the program continues to urge applicants not to “overthink, overcraft and overwrite.” The program also asks that candidates take care to “answer the question in clear language that those of us who don’t know your world can understand.” This last directive makes particular sense in the context of addressing one’s section, the members of whom will come from a range of countries and industries. (Although, for the record, writing in accessible language will be a good idea for all of your MBA application essays). Continue reading…

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