The more things change, the more they stay the same. Despite HBS featuring the most publicized changing of the guard in admissions that I can remember, they are basically keeping their "open-ended" question style intact. In fact, more than keeping it intact, they have reverted to the more straight forward version they used in 2013 and 2014, rather than the more clever (but probably ultimately less effective) "introduction" prompt from last year.
And because they are staying in this lane, it means that my three thoughts need to stay in the same lane they have been in for years - because understanding the psychology behind this essay goes a long way to explaining how you might solve it.
Today is one of those days on the calendar that tend to stop everyone in their tracks and dominate the headlines. Nevermind that the Kellogg Round 1 deadline is tomorrow or that some people found out today that they were admitted to MIT - no, it's all about the HBS Round 1 notification deadline. Interview or ding? Rather, interview or ding or deferral, as that appears to be a popular option this year as well. Let's make sense of things and offer some advice on how to respond from here. We'll group it result-by-result.
Today we are going to talk about the new HBS application and what it means for applicants. We've already gone on record with our thoughts on how something like "this" (a school eliminating required essays) might impact our work as consultants, so this post is going to break down what this means for applicants. First, we are going to provide some context, to properly frame expectations.
Today the MBA-journalism website Poets & Quants published an article that was more or less a summary of a recent blog post from Dee Leopold, the managing director of admissions and financial aid at HBS. In it, she tries to better articulate HBS' much-discussed new "post-interview" assignment. In a series of emphatic points, she takes great pains to tell applicants the following:
- This is meant to emulate the Real World (capitalizing these words was not our idea, by the way)
- Admissions consultants are NOT ALLOWED
All three of these points are sort of ridiculous and we will take them in the order presented above.