As a result of the revised Harvard MBA application (see my analysis here), I expect to see an increase in MBA applicants who decide to include HBS on their list.
Recycling is not trivial; still . . .
First of all, shorter and fewer essays mean that many students are going to re-use material written for other MBA application for their HBS. This was more difficult to do last year, as the HBS essays included 3 set-backs and 3 accomplishments. Last year “Tell us three setbacks you have faced” was not something a student could re-create from another application, while this year’s “Tell us about something you wish you had done better” could be a different version of a failure story, a challenge story, a leadership story or almost any story.
The Why-Not Approach
Since all MBA applications require a resume and at least two recommendations, the additional effort required to apply to HBS is mostly securing a third recommendation. If you’re applying to Stanford you already have three recommendations (two letters of reference and one peer recommendation), so why not try HBS as well?
I believe the increase in the applicant pool is going to happen across the board, and that HBS will see more candidates, both traditional (e.g., finance, consulting, IT) and non-traditional. This will make life more competitive for everyone, so get ready for a tough admissions cycle.
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