EssaySnark is impressed: the bschool students are providing competition for us bschool consultants.
We recently discovered that the Harvard student publication The Harbus has published an HBS admissions interviewing guide (it actually came out in February ’10, we heard about it last month, we’re telling you about it now because your HBS app got submitted and now you’re antsy for the next step, right? And that would be the interview). For a measly $30 (wait — doesn’t that seem steep?) you can buy your very own copy of questions they claim to have been asked of current HBS students. Seems like a deal, no?
Or you can go to the Accepted.com Interview Database. And search interview reports for free. (EssaySnark is not affiliated with Accepted.com. Or HBS/The Harbus, for that matter.) Granted, the Accepted.com DB doesn’t indicate if the person posting their story was actually accepted to the respective school. But does that really matter? What you need is access to the questions, right? To get a sense for the style and approach that the school uses. The HBS guide claims to be fresher, but that’s not necessarily accurate, if you can get a just-posted interview report from some other
desperate schmuck Brave Supplicant also going through the same process as you are, in near-real-time. Meaning, the current cycle of admissions.
EssaySnark doesn’t see anything earth-shattering in the “analysis” that the HBS students have offered for those few teaser questions (no, we haven’t bought the silly thing; maybe there are true gems lurking deeper in its depths). They’re offering standard stuff here, at least based on what they’ve given in the freebie. If you’re getting admissions consulting from a reputable firm then you should be getting this level of basic advice already. Or you can find it yourself on the web. Right, oh-so-diligent Supplicant?
But oooooooooooo it’s direct from the lips of real Harvard students!! *bows down*
(Oh sorry, did we say that out loud?)
People, don’t get all googly-eyed and star-struck here. Mere mortals do in fact make it into Harvard Business School. Yes they’re typically high-achieving superstars but probably you are too, else you wouldn’t be dedicating all this time to all this research and blood/sweat/tears you’re expending in the process. You could be Harvard material, right? You could be the one to come up with a way to fleece next year’s Brave Supplicants of their hard-earned $30, right?
About the star-struck thing, ya gotta keep it in perspective. We’re pointing here to that book on “winning Harvard essays”, know the one? (EssaySnark hasn’t actually seen it but we roll our eyes whenever one of our clients brings it up.) Don’t put too much stock in it. Just because somebody got into Harvard doesn’t automatically mean that their approach to writing an essay is the “right” approach. Take everything you read with a grain of salt. Nobody — not even venerable EssaySnark here — can guarantee that any “one way” will get you into bschool. Whether it’s an essay strategy or an approach to interviewing. There’s lots of good guidance out there — and plenty of crap too. And plenty of both available for free.