In case you don’t follow us on Twitter (we don’t tweet often but we do tweet good!):
Whelp it’s happening! Harvard HBS MBA Class of 2022 requirements are starting to come out! Deadlines have been announced … expecting to see lots of such news coming this week. https://t.co/8n4aReYz86 Watch the blahg for more!
— Essay Snark (@EssaySnark) May 6, 2019
Harvard has confirmed that they’re leaving their main application requirement the same this year. You’ll have an unlimited-length essay to write in answer to this question:
So how do you answer it?? What more would you like them to know? How in heck do you even figure that out???
There are two main aspects to learning how to deal with this question in the most effective manner possible: You need to know about Harvard, and you need to know about YOU! Seems obvious when we say it that way, right? And even then seeing it stated directly, you still may not know what to do with that as an instruction. These are both non-trivial exercises!
The best way to answer an open-ended question is to figure out what the asker of the question values. What does Harvard prioritize? What does Harvard care about? What can you do to convey to them that you have those qualities?
Pro Tip: The first place where people fall down in their essays to business school is that they try to figure out what they think the adcom wants them to say. That is NOT what we are suggesting you do.
Read what we wrote again.
We’re saying to figure out HARVARD.
And the second step is to figure out YOU.
Harvard does not care about “school fit” nearly the same way that other schools do — and again, that’s not what we are suggesting you do for your Harvard MBA essay writing assignment. You’re not trying to convince them that you love Harvard so much and that’s why they should let you in.
This essay is about pitching yourself.
How do you demonstrate the qualities that show you as “Harvard material”?
That’s a snapshot of your map to success with your Harvard essay. It’s also important to remember that the essay is just one piece of your application. They’re also going to have the entire app dataset, your resume, your full academic history including transcripts, your employment data, and two letters of recommendation (which should be from recent experiences, professional context vastly preferred).
This Harvard essay writing assignment is so complex that we’ve written a whole book on it — and hey lookee here! We’ve already updated it for the current year’s application! Our 2019 HBS MBA Application Guide has been refreshed for the Class of 2022 app, and is ready to roll in support of you and your essay-writing task!
But! Before you get too excited there, pardner:
Pro Tip: Please do not make Harvard Business School your first application!
While we would hate to squash the enthusiasm of some hot-to-trot Brave Supplicant who is chomping at the bit to get started, we strongly encourage you to slow the roll and make a plan.
Want even more support in the planning stuff? Or perhaps you’re a little nervous that you’re more a procrastinator than a planner?
The EssaySnark MBA Countdown to Round 1 can help with all of this too! The Countdown is accepting signups now and officially launches with the first weekly to-do list, sent via email on Monday, May 27th, and continuing with weekly support to keep you productive and focused all the way to the Round 1 deadline for Harvard in September. Of course, you can use The Countdown on any Round 1 applications; we just tie the scheduling to that HBS deadline since so many of you will be aiming for it. All the other schools will have their deadlines coming staggered thereafter for the month of September into early October, so making the HBS date your first target is standard, regardless of what other schools are on your short list.
Or, don’t know which ones should be short-listed? Our Comprehensive Profile Review can get you some input on that, too! Maybe you have some vague ideas of names of schools that might be worth trying for…. but you don’t really know. The Profile Review is a personalized review of your exact profile (thus the name!) against what you want to do and why. It will help you refine your list, and we usually can suggest some other schools to consider as well.
But back to Harvard.
Their application requirements have been published (“What more do you want us to know…”).
You know the date that it’s due (September 4).
So how do you get started?
Well, Shameless Self-Promotion: You really should pick up our guide. 🙂
We’re on Version 9.0 of our Harvard application guide. That’s nine years of revisions, updates, new insights, suggestions, ideas, and most importantly, exercises for you to unpack the prompt and do the investigation, inventory, and thinking that’s required to figure out a good way to answer it. There is not a single path to success with the Harvard essay, but you know what? There’s lots of paths that are total dead ends, and the vast majority of Harvard essays that we see from people who haven’t read our essay guide fall into all of those same traps. (Even people who’ve paid a bunch of money to some other consultant to help with their essay before coming to us; yes, unfortunately, that happens quite a bit.)
Last year, when a BSer who was invited to interview hit us up for help on preparing, they told us: “Also, your essay guide is amazing !” which was kinda cool to hear, given that we’d not interacted with this person at all and they were able to leverage this guide to make it to the interview stage. That’s always our hope, that you dive in and make the most of all the gobs of application goodies that we make available, you immerse yourself in this and figure out how to craft your own message, and then you pop out the other end of it and show us your successes. (Of course, we’re totally here to help with actually essay development and message crafting too! but it’s fun when someone is the do-it-yourself type who makes it happen on her own independently.)
We certainly cannot guarantee you’ll make it in to Harvard by reading this guide. But we can say you’re helping your chances immensely if you read it, and study it and do the work that we lay out that needs to be done.
If you’re reading this today, you are in the BEST POSSIBLE POSITION for success this year with applications. Don’t waste this opportunity! We’re doing all that we can to empower you with the tools, insights, and actionable information that you’ll need. We encourage you to take advantage of what we’re laying out. We’re here to help! Check out what we offer, let us know if you have questions, and no matter what, we hope you’ll be one of those who emails us excitedly in December with news of your admits.