Business Education

Harvard Business School admissions criteria

How do I get into Harvard Business School?  July 21, 2016 – 09:17 am

By carefully studying my clients who have been admitted to Harvard Business School, I found three common denominators both in their make-up and, it follows, their MBA applications: they all had talent, passion, and purpose. Of course, they were competing with highly-qualified candidates who also had talent, passion, and purpose. The secret sauce, if you'll forgive the expression, appears to be the way in which those three ingredients combine to create a compelling leadership identity. The successful candidates proved in their application and interview that they had impressive talents fueled by exceptional passion and directed by a clear sense of purpose.

Therein lies the answer to your question. If this person hopes to get into Harvard Business School, his or her application (and interview) must convince the admissions committee that he or she has impressive talents fueled by exceptional passion and directed by a clear sense of purpose.

How is this done? This person needs to spend a number of weeks (if not months) answering four questions:

  • What are my most impressive talents?
  • What am I truly passionate about?
  • What fills me with a sense of purpose?
  • How do these things combine to form my leadership identity?
The challenge then becomes to use the MBA application media (essays, resume, reference letters, application form, and interview) to communicate this leadership identity to the HBS admissions committee in a persuasive, unforgettable way.

I want to add that the challenge is similar for all the top-ranked business schools. MBA admissions officers understand both the potential and limitations of the MBA experience. An MBA can supply knowledge, skills, relationships, and many new opportunities but it cannot supply talent, passion, and purpose. MBA students must have these three things the day their MBA classes begin.

Our firm would welcome the challenge of helping a qualified applicant like this one to discover his or her leadership identity and to create an MBA application that will stand out in an admissions campaign for Harvard Business School and other top-ranked business schools.


Related posts:

  1. Harvard Business School Alumni Directory
  2. Harvard Business School admissions Statistics
  3. Columbia Business School Admissions
  4. Cass Business School Admissions
  5. London Business School Admissions