#AskStacyHBS: Twitter Party Transcript
MBA admissions expert Stacy Blackman, president of Stacy Blackman Consulting, joined us for a Twitter party on September 28th at 1 p.m. EST to share tips and answer all of your questions about the admissions process at Harvard Business School.
Q1: How do you choose recommenders?
A1: First, ask direct supervisor. Then, ask those in professional roles/volunteer roles that can comment on your abilities & answer questions. http://goo.gl/eOm4Am
Q2: What does an ideal recommendation letter look like?
A2: Recommenders need to provide specific examples to back up any claims they make about your abilities.
Q3: How do I stand out from my Peer Group?
A3: By not telling what you did, but digging into WHY you did it. Everyone is different & usually ones story differs from anothers through the whys.
Q4: Does HBS Favor GMAT Test Takers over GRE?
A4: No difference. Use your strongest test. http://goo.gl/ILrLCy
Q5: What is the typical profile for a HBS admit?
A5: They have a track record of excellence & leadership in many different areas. It is not what they have done but how well they have done.
Q6: School Visitdo you recommend it?
A6: I always recommend a visit. It can also help you decide which schools to apply to and which to choose after accepted.
Q7: How do you make a great impression on the HBS Admission Team?
A7: Show leadership qualities, maturity and accomplishment. Demonstrate how you fill the HBS need. http://goo.gl/n1Gz9k.
Q8: Can you provide important tips for the HBS MBA essay?
Q9: What are the biggest mistakes applicants make in the essay?
A9: Writing too much. Telling them everything. Instead, stay focus. Decide what HBS values, how you fill their needs succinctly.
Q10: What makes HBS special from the other top tier schools?
A10: Its the biggest school with the highest global reputation. It pioneered the case method & uses it as a key teaching method.
Q11: How to make best use of Adcom/Current Students/Alumni meetings?
A11: Ask questions! Be real. Dont worry too much about forging that life-changing connection. Dont monopolize group discussions.
Q12: When is the best time to apply to HBS? R1, R2?
A12: R1 or R2 both work! Do it when you feel most ready.
Q13: GPA, GMAT, App Essays, Interview, Work Experience & Extracurriculars. Rank in order of importance.
A13: It varies by candidate. Its a holistic process where each criteria is carefully weighed. Dont underestimate each impact.
Q14: What applicants from over represented applicant pool (e.g. Indian IT Male) can do to stand out their applications?
A14: Focus on your personal story as opposed to credentials that can look like others. Think about why you did what you did.
Q15: What is the best way for my resume to stand out?
A15: Use action words, quantify results, focus on skills that HBS values, keep it one page and show progression of your skills. http://goo.gl/YnPBNM
Q16: Whats the ideal time to start essays writing?
A16: 6-8 wks before deadline. Dont overthink and start typing. Give yourself time to edit, restart, and rethink. You may need several tries.
Q17: How do Adcoms look at multiple GMAT attempts? Can multiple attempts hurt applicants chances?
A17: They take the highest score so two attempts not a problem. After 6 attempts, no increase could be a prob. Evaluate, are you spending your time wisely?
Q18: Do you have any specific tips for women MBA applicants?
A18: Critical to exude confidence in essays, interview & recommendations http://goo.gl/2OmjmJ
Q19: Do you have any advice in applying for the HBS 2+2?
A19: Its harder to show a track record of excellence & leader that early on & without work exp. Dig into extra-cur & personal stories.
Q20: What do adcoms look for in a candidate before/after the interview?
A20: They review the app holistically both before/aft the interview. In the interview, they seek clarity on the written app. http://goo.gl/FNoOvj
Q21: Would you say that HBS is more open to excellent candidates with less work experience and more depth of story and background?
A21: HBS is looking for the whole package. They want impactful work experience regardless of length.
Q22: How does HBS see candidates who look like job hoppers on paper? Even with a good profile overall.
A22: As long as they can clearly tell their story and demonstrate the WHY's behind the moves, they will be fine.
Q23: What were some challenges your #HBS clients had with the new essay?
A23: Figuring out how to tell their story within the context of introducing themselves to their classmates.
Q24: I'm from an under represented group native of Latin America, but in the USA. Should I highlight this beyond the citizenship box?
A24: YES! HBS sees a ton of applicants. The more you can highlight your diverse background, the better.