May 11, 2016

Harvard Business School Releases 2016-17 Essay Question & Deadlines

Harvard Business School has just released its essay prompt for the coming MBA admissions season:

“There is one question for the Class of 2019: As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA program?
There is no word limit for this question. We think you know what guidance we’re going to give here. Don’t overthink, overcraft and overwrite. Just answer the question in clear language that those of us who don’t know your world can understand.”

As with last year’s prompt, there’s no word limit (a generosity on Harvard’s part that should neither be wasted nor abused) and the topic is, once again, wide open. This year, there isn’t even the slight spin that last year’s “Introduce yourself” prompt gave to the question. Harvard is not even reminding you (too overtly, anyway) that it doesn’t want you to repeat information found elsewhere in your application. So it’s all one you to decide what you want to share with Harvard and how you share it. As in previous years, I urge you to ‘go personal’ and emphasize what is truly distinctive about you. This can be professional in focus but need not be. Whatever you write about, show that you can introspect on your life and that you have self-awareness, good judgement and the ability to grow and learn from mistakes. These traits are what all of my many admitted HBS MBA clients have shown. Reach out for free feedback on your odds of admission at Harvard.

HBS also released its deadlines, which are roughly in line with last year’s:
Round 1 : September 7, 2016 (12 noon Eastern) Notification: December 7
Round 2 : January 4, 2017 (12 noon Eastern) Notification: March 22, 2017
Round 3 : April 3, 2017 (12 noon Eastern) Notification: May 10, 2017