MBA applicants dream of getting in Harvard. And why wouldn’t they? For the class of 2014, 93 percent of the graduates seeking employment, received an offer. The graduates who accepted offers received a median base salary of $125,000.
However, the school does not accept every applicant that wants to get into Harvard. So, what is different about prospective MBA students who get in?
Stacy Blackman, founder of Stacy Blackman Consulting, has a lot of experience helping students get into Harvard. Based on her work, her team assembled a list of 10 qualities that help students stand out to the admissions committee:
1. High-impact leadership
Your past leadership achievements are the best gauge of your potential for realizing your future ambitions,
says Stacy Blackman.
In order to impress the admissions committee, you need to show that you can make a difference. As Blackman adds, it is not about your achievements, but the fact that you are able to leave indelible footprints.
According to Blackman, there are two reasons community service is important:
- “It provides insights into your deeper interests and the causes that you care about.”
- “The admissions officers want to see evidence that you are the type of person who devotes energy to making a community stronger” because they may be inviting you into their community.
Blackman advices that the most essential question in HBS is not ‘what do you think?’, but rather ‘what would you do?’ Moreover, she adds that the committee wants “evidence that you have applied your analysis, formulated an action plan, and most importantly, executed the plan.”
So, in HBS it’s all about the results.
Passion is crucial, when it comes to staying motivated and productive in school or work. Moreover, you need to express your passion in a way that will inspire and project energy onto those you are working with, Blackman writes.
It’s not just your footprints that interest HBS admissions. They also want to see the footprints of those who are following you as you blaze a new trail in an area of passion,
5. Case method compatibility
In your application, the HBS ad com will look for qualities such as intellectual curiosity, exceptional communication skills, respect for other’s opinions, and the ability to teach and learn from peers.
These qualities are important when it comes to case studies. HBS is dedicated to using many case studies, as they help students to analyze and make decisions in a real-world simulation.
As an applicant to HBS you should not only demonstrate your achievements, but also to reflect what you have learned from each experience.
Self-awareness isn’t a quality that you demonstrate by telling a story. Rather, it has to do with how you tell the story and your ability to communicate what you learned,
As HBS’ mission is to ‘educate leaders to make a difference in the world’, they are looking for applicants, who ‘think big’.
Integrity is more than being respectful. It’s more than just a single attribute. According to Blackman, integrity is a combination of attributes. She cites the following traits from Dr. Henry Cloud’s book “Integrity” that make up this value: creates trust, unafraid of reality, results-oriented, solves negative realities, causes growth, and finds meaning in life.
You’ll want to demonstrate how you responded in a difficult ethical situation to “provide evidence of honesty, forthrightness, and expertise in navigating ethical conundrums,” Blackman says.
A key trait that HBS seeks in prospect students is their ability to stand out, rather than just fit in. As a candidate in HBS, you should be able to spark up a conversation and new ideas.
You should try to discuss with the committee any situation in which you took charge voluntarily, rather than being assigned something.
Maturity isn’t a matter of growing older. It’s a matter of growing wiser,
Demonstrate to the committee how you’ve grown- from your value to your view of the world- rather than just focusing on how long you’ve been doing something.
Interview questions Harvard asks MBA candidates:
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) August 2, 2015
Watch this video from MBA Podcaster about Getting into HBS:
Source: World Economic Forum
This article is published in collaboration with Business Insider. Publication does not imply endorsement of views by the World Economic Forum.