This post has been marked as OLD. However, it's still relevant. The Harvard essay questions have slimmed down significantly over the years, but the advice on what goes into a good HBS MBA essay remains the same. Here's the current Harvard MBA essays. The post below should still serve you well.
Wow things seem to be getting started early. It’s a good thing EssaySnark has the groove on already.
Here are Harvard’s 2011-’12 essay questions (for the Class of 2014 — those who will enter in the Fall of 2012 — and for the 2+2 applicants who are still in college):
- Tell us about three of your accomplishments. (600 words)
- Tell us three setbacks you have faced. (600 words)
- Why do you want an MBA? (400 words)
- Answer a question you wish we’d asked. (400 words)
Talk about short and sweet! Talk about simple! No agonizing over which of the “choose one” question options you should answer. No questioning whether you need to tell them about your career goals or not (you do). No endless circles of self-debate about what strategy — oh wait. That last one. That’s a doozy now ain’t it?
Or in other words…
That is going to tie so many Brave Supplicants’ knickers in a bunch.
EssaySnark is gonna have a helluva time with this.
We’ll be back sometime in the near future to do a more formal dissection of these here HBS questions.
The biggest challenge any of you will face with these? (Besides that nasty fourth question)
They are SO EFFING SHORT IT’S RIDICULOUS.
You are going to go NUTS with those word lengths. They will TORMENT you. You will CURSE MIGHTILY over them. (We will be cursing too. Hopefully not at any of you. (just kidding. we don’t curse at our clients. no, really we don’t. at least, not in public or anything.))
More later Brave Supplicants. We have plenty of time to panic. Keep a lid on it for now. (Or, feel free to toss all that pent-up energy into comments and emails to us about this. Because yes, it’s true, IT HAS BEGUN!)