65 Successful Harvard Business School Application Essays: With Analysis by the Staff of the Harbus, the Harvard Business School Newspaper (英語) ペーパーバック – 2009/8/4
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YOUR LIFE . . . IN 300 WORDS OR LESS
It's a daunting task. Even the most seasoned professionals find business school application essays to be among the hardest pieces they ever write. With a diverse pool of talented people applying to the nation's top schools from the most successful companies and prestigious undergraduate programs in the world, a simple biography detailing accomplishments and goals isn't enough. Applicants need clear and compelling arguments that grab admissions officers and absolutely refuse to let go.
To help them write the essays that get them accepted into Harvard or any of the country's other top programs, the staff of The Harbus---HBS's student newspaper---have updated and revised their collection of sixty-five actual application essays as well as their detailed analysis of them so that applicants will be able to:
* Avoid common pitfalls
* Play to their strengths
* Get their message across
Wherever they are applying, the advice and tested strategies in 65 Successful Harvard Business School Application Essays give business professionals and undergraduates the insider's knowledge to market themselves most effectively and truly own the process.
The Harbus is the official student newspaper of the Harvard Business School, the number-one business school in the country. This weekly has been providing the news to students, faculty, and alumni since 1937.
- The main value: you can read the essays of the applicants who got into the HBS
- 41 recent essays; this is the new edition of the book and has been updated with 41 new essays (24 are carried over from the old edition)
- There is only one essay per person (both good and bad); you get more variety but at the same time only a fraction of the picture
- The only book with recent essays (all others have 5, 7, and 10+ year old essays)
- The main disadvantage: you see only a small piece of the puzzle and may potentially change your application for worse
- Analysis of each essay is very minimal and is not "official" per se
- Absolutely Zero advice/strategies/recommendations. The book starts off with essays
BOTTOM LINE: If you are going to a top 10 school, it is a $10 well spent. However, this book is only valuable as a reference/secondary guide. Find a good general book on essays such as Paul Bodine's Great Applications for Business School or How to get into the Top MBA programs by Richard Montauk and use them as the base and this book to compare your style, story, etc.
Some Other Suggestions & Thoughts:
1. Plan ahead - draft a schedule and stick to it
2. Find the program that fits you best. People get disappointed even with a Top 5 school. It is important to take from the school and also give
3. Understand your strengths and weaknesses - be real with yourself and with the admissions. Don't lie or make up things - I know it may seem like a better short term strategy but it backfires in the long run
4. Know your story and tell it well - to get to the top, you need to have a story that goes through your essays, recommendations, interview, and resume
5. Don't copy/plagiarize any essays - you won't be along and those people are quickly picked out and kicked out. You won't have a second chance. Also if your AWA essays are under 4.5 and your school essays are perfect, that will be a red flag.
Let me know if any questions about this book, I respond to comments.
BB, MBA, GMAT 750
Founder of GMAT Club
P.S. It is hard to rate this book - giving 4 stars as I don't think it deserves to be dinged for lack of strategies/advice - it has the most valuable part: real fresh essays from HBS admits.
I started my MBA applications before buying this book, and I thought that overall I had some great essays. After reading this book, I realized that my essays were pretty much garbage, and started over. After you read some of the examples they give you, you can really see that each of the applicants has set themselves apart from the pack in some form or another.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and believe it directly contributed to me getting into my first choice business school. However, I still think that a potential business school applicant should still supplement this reading with other readings that are available out there.