Dang it’s October! You submitted your first app almost a month ago! Can you believe how quickly the time has passed? And that means that today is your first day for absolute nerve-wracking no-productivity stress. At least until 12noon Eastern time.
Everyone who’s applied to HBS for Round 1: You hopefully already read Chad Losee’s post on Harvard’s Round 1 interview process . That covers the gist of it.
But here’s what to REALLY expect at 12noon Eastern today.
HBS typically invites somewhere around 1,000 applicants to interview in Round 1. Which sounds like a lot! But many years, schools like UCLA and Cornell and others also interview somewhere around 1,000 candidates in their entire admissions season, the difference being of course that 1,000 Rd 1 interview invites at HBS is only about 20% of their Rd 1 applicant pool, whereas 1,000 candidates at Cornell might be over 50% of their applicants in the whole season.
Sometimes people get stressed out by the Harvard two-invite-day process because they worry they won’t get an interview appointment. But that’s the smallest thing to be stressed by. Harvard can always accommodate all of their interviewees in the various cities they will be holding interviews in around the world, so don’t worry. If you’re a lucky one who ends up with a golden ticket today, there will be appointment slots available. You do need to be prepared to travel, since these are adcom-interviews, not done by alumni. The Admissions Board flies around to hub cities or in some cases the interview is done by a specially trained contractor who HBS brings onto the team for app review and interviews (meaning, they’re not a full-time employee based in Boston). Obviously though you cannot count on this being convenient. Harvard won’t be showing up on your doorstep to meet you. You’ll need to make some arrangements, and yeah it’ll likely require taking some time off of work. But don’t freak out about that part; if you end up getting the invite, you will make it happen, we’re confident (and Harvard is flexible with extreme situations like deployed military).
So here’s what you can expect:
- Monday, October 1st at noon Eastern time: First Wave Interview Invites via email (go here to convert to your local time ):
- Boston (U.S.A. – Massachusetts) Monday, October 1, 2018 at 12:05:00 PM EDT UTC-4 hours
- San Francisco (U.S.A. – California) Monday, October 1, 2018 at 9:05:00 AM PDT UTC-7 hours
- Delhi (India – Delhi) Monday, October 1, 2018 at 9:35:00 PM IST UTC+5:30 hours
- Paris (France) Monday, October 1, 2018 at 6:05:00 PM CEST UTC+2 hours
- Moscow (Russia) Monday, October 1, 2018 at 7:05:00 PM MSK UTC+3 hours
- Buenos Aires (Argentina) Monday, October 1, 2018 at 1:05:00 PM ART UTC-3 hours
- UTC (GMT) Monday, October 1, 2018 at 16:05:00
Check your spam folder. If you don’t get an email by 12:05pm or so, then — barring a deliverability problem from your internet provider which has been known to create lags in receipt — it ain’t coming today.
- Thursday, October 4th at noon Eastern time: Final Wave Interview Invites/’Further Consideration’ Invites/Release
You’ll either get: That coveted invite (low probability but not impossible); or, an invitation for “Further Consideration” which is a holding bin they place you on that’s like the “deferred” status that Columbia uses for their Early Decision candidates — kind of a waitlist, but not really, since at HBS you haven’t even been interviewed yet (see our HBS guide for more on this); or “released” which sounds like you’re a fish that they caught and threw back because you’re too small. 🙁 🙁 🙁
You can read up on these details elsewhere throughout the blahg, the (the HBS interview info being a great place to start).
You’ll basically get no work done at all on these two days this week. At least if you’re based on the West Coast of the U.S. you don’t have long to wait; you’ll wake up, get your coffee, get your butt to work and then hope you don’t have a 9am meeting scheduled since you’ll be so completely distracted that you’ll be useless. But at least you’ll have the full day ahead of you to (possibly) regain some productivity, or maybe less possibly if you do in fact score the invite since you’ll be so gosh darned excited; more possibly if it’s just some disappointment to get over, particularly since most uninvited applicants still will be holding out hope for the invite to come on Thursday.
Then three days later, you’ll do it all over again, but with a twist: Chances are even lower. 😢
We hate to be so blunt but most people reading this will have a morning full of high expectations and a letdown today, and then another morning later in the week full of more fluttery hopefulness and prayer followed by total dejection when the depressing news fully sinks in. You put it all out there, and it wasn’t enough. It can be quite the blow. But it’s just how things work at Harvard. Yeah, a rollercoaster.
If we have personally told you that we think you have a chance at HBS (through one of our Essay Decimator critiques or the Sanity Check especially), then obviously we do think you will. And we did get to say that to a few BSers so far this season!
But the sad fact is that there’s lots of blahg lurkers who, while they may be exceptionally qualified for a top business school, may have underestimated the difficulty that is Harvard. It probably doesn’t help to be rattling our doom-and-gloom drum this much, since those who get unrealistically optimistic won’t be swayed by a silly ol’ Snark trying to warn them.
Also, just as Mr. Losee said on his blog post, there is no logic or intelligence to be gleaned from trying to compare profiles or circumstances of those who receive an invite on the first day versus the second. It has nothing to do with when you submitted your app or your geography or your career. It doesn’t work that way. You can spin your head trying to ferret out a reason why you did not get an invite when you thought you should have, but you’re just wasting time. Sometimes that may feel like a good use of energy when you don’t know what else to do with yourself, so more power to you — but all the posts on the applicant blogs of people trying to compare notes about submit timing and location and profile details are just noise. It’s human nature to try and make sense of the unknowable so we understand the urge. But with Harvard especially, things like GMAT score and GPA are not the definitive factors. They’re correlated, but they’re not causal. And please don’t get hung up on some idea that Harvard discriminates. We realize that when you really put your heart into something, and you thought you had a shot (or else why try at all? everyone who applies thinks they might make it) then it can be crushing indeed to come up with nothing.
This is captured in a ‘Snark lamentation we first published in a past season which is required reading for all of you hopefuls today, and even more so Thursday: The major problem with the way Harvard handles admissions
We titled this post “Good luck!” and yet here we are, saying “Don’t feel bad, nobody makes it” — which is an odd contradiction in messaging. There’s a number of BSers who we do think have a shot at Harvard. Every year there’s a handful who make it. For those, it’s most likely that if you’re going to see an invite, it’ll come today (and when it does: Please update us in My SnarkCenter!!!).
If it doesn’t, then should you give up hope? Well, odds are pretty darned low that it’ll come on Thursday, but it still may come!!!
If you’re planning ahead: Here’s the sum total of what Thursday holds for everyone.
Our best advice for what to do starting at, say, 12:11pm Eastern today?
GET A HOBBY.