Harvard essay questions 2011

In the past, when Chicago Booth required only one essay, we often suggested 1, words as a guide; now with two essays, we propose keeping your responses to — words each.


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Approximately double the minimum seems to be a reasonable high-end target, though you will not be rejected from the applicant pool for going even higher. That said, we would recommend 1, words per essay as the absolute upper limit, and only in exceedingly rare cases. In the second essay, you have an opportunity to turn inward and share more personal aspects of your character and journey.

With the two pieces together, you should be able to provide the admissions committee with a well-rounded picture of yourself. To continue reading, click here. One of the first top programs to release its essay questions for this season, Columbia Business School CBS is again hitting candidates with a mix of old and new prompts.

The Secret to a Stellar College Application Essay - Harvard Grad Tips

As for the third essay, applicants may be glad to learn they do not need to discuss and reimagine a past team failure who wants to dwell on a defeat, right? Once again, HBS has made no changes to its question. In short, take the space you need to tell your story properly and showcase your personality and experience, and then work to reduce your essay to its lowest possible word count, without sacrificing any impact or effectiveness.

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This must be submitted within 24 hours following the completion of the interview. Detailed instructions will be provided to those applicants who are invited to the interview process. For the fourth consecutive year, Harvard Business School asks candidates who are granted an interview to complete one more written task. Some candidates may find this additional submission intimidating, but we encourage you to view it as an opportunity to reveal new aspects of your profile to the admissions committee. Because your Harvard Business School interviewer will have read your entire application before your meeting, you will likely discuss information from your resume, essays, recommendations, etc.

1. Tell us about three of your accomplishments. (600 words)

This post-interview reflection, then, could provide an opening for you to integrate new and different elements of your profile, thereby adding depth to your candidacy. For example, if you could not find a way to include the story of a key life experience of yours into your essays, but your interviewer touches on a similar story or something connected with this experience in your meeting, you would now have license to share that anecdote. As soon as your interview is over, jot down all the topics covered and stories you discussed.

If you interview on campus, note also any observations about your time there.

For example, sitting in on a class might have reminded you of a compelling past experience, or participating in the case method may have provided insight into an approach you could use in some way in the future. Maybe the people you met or a building you saw made a meaningful impression on you.

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Whatever these elements are, tie them to aspects of your background and profile while adding some new thoughts and information about yourself. Similarly, offering a summary of everything the admissions committee already knows about you will not advance your candidacy and would constitute a lost opportunity to keep the committee learning about who you are.


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  • Harvard Business School offers some additional advice on the post-interview reflection that we strongly urge you to take seriously and follow:. As for how long this essay should be, HBS again does not offer a word limit. We have seen successful submissions ranging from words to more than 1, We recommend aiming for approximately , but adjust as appropriate to thoroughly tell the admissions committee what you feel is important, while striving to be succinct.

    Sign up today at www. Do some self-exploration and see if you can identify a thread that is common to your greatest achievements, thereby illustrating its importance in bringing you to where you are today.

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    Simply stating that theme is not enough—you need to really guide your reader through the illustrative events in your life to show how and why this theme manifests. In the end, your values are what need to come to the fore in this essay, rather than just a series of discrete episodes. If this is you, do not worry—instead, consider discussing a few inflection points that were instrumental in shaping the individual you are today. This does not mean writing a very linear biography or regurgitating your resume in detail.