Our Insider Top Tips on Applying to Ten Top Schools – HBS

August 19, 2014 | by Matt Symonds

With the Harvard Business School R1 deadline now only 3 weeks away, the team at Fortuna Admissions is busy working with clients for the new admissions season. To help applicants in their preparations, we recently put our heads together to come up with a selection of ’Top Insider Tips’ – a collection of insights and advice on applying to ten of the top MBA programs. In the next few weeks we’ll have tips on admission to Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Chicago, MIT Sloan, Columbia, Kellogg, NYU Stern, INSEAD, and LBS.

First up, it’s Harvard Business School – one of the world’s most iconic and sought-after MBA programs. Consistently sitting either at, or near the top of the global rankings in publications like the Financial Times and The Economist, HBS remains one of the most selective business schools.

Here are the first three tips from Malvina Miller Complainville, former Assistant Director of Career Services at HBS. To register and receive the full document and her further tips, click here:

HBS Tip #1 – Stand out from your peer group

Given the thousands of candidates who apply to HBS every year, those who are ultimately successful are those who stand out from the crowd. The HBS admissions team puts a great deal of effort into crafting a dynamic and diverse classroom, so candidates whose profile seems undifferentiated from the hundreds or thousands of others from the same sector are not going to make the cut. Give deep thought to what is unique about your application, and what your potential contribution will be in the classroom. If you can do this, you’ll have a much better chance of success.

HBS Tip #2 – Showcase your leadership

Leadership is at the core of the HBS experience. It can be seen in professional work experience, academics, hobbies, extracurricular activities, or community work. However you choose to showcase your own experiences, you should use concrete examples that demonstrate a pattern of leadership throughout the different stages of your development. Before you sit down to work on your Harvard application you should take time to identify instances from all aspects of your life that point to your ability or instinct to lead. You should also touch on potential future leadership roles in your essays and interview.

HBS Tip #3 – Articulate a clear, ambitious, and realistic career vision

Reflect on how your career vision aligns with HBS’ goals. HBS discusses its values in detail on the HBS website and in social media, so make sure you are clear on these from the outset. Your vision should be detailed, with short-term and long-term goals. Harvard is also interested in finding out what impact you intend to have on an institution, an industry, and the world. You should think of two different paths that could lead you to your long-term goals – this gives you more flexibility if one of your short-term goals proves challenging to achieve.

Get additional tips from Malvina for HBS and other top schools here, and check out more b-school application advice on our Fortuna videos.

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