A degree from Harvard Business School School

Harvard Business School took 4th place in P & Q’s Top Business Schools 2020-2021 ranking.

HBS is consistently recognized as one of the most prestigious B schools in the world – and getting accepted into the HBS is no easy task, especially with an acceptance rate of 11%.

Stacy Blackman, founder of Stacy Blackman Consulting, recently shared some tips on how to approach the HBS MBA essay, including insight into what HBS admissions officers need of the ideal candidate.


The HBS MBA essay is open-ended, meaning there are no word restrictions. The open invitation is intended to offer applicants a platform to tell their authentic story.

Here is this year’s HBS MBA essay call:

What else would you like to know when we are reviewing your application as we are reviewing your application for the Harvard Business School MBA program? (no word limit)

Just because there are no word restrictions doesn’t mean you should go overboard when writing your essay.

“Instead, focus on writing succinctly and clearly, and consider keeping it in the ~ 1,000 word range,” writes Blackman. “Our customers have successfully written essays between 500 and 1,300 words. If you are at the top of this range, check and cut off any unnecessary words. “

WHAT HBS is looking for

The aim of the essay is that the admissions officers get a feeling for who you are – apart from the rest of the application – and whether you fit in well with the culture of the HBS. Keep these ideas in mind as you write your essay.

“First, evaluate all other aspects of your candidacy – what does your résumé say? What do you think the recommender will say? How does your transcript communicate your skills, achievements and interests? Then think about how you can fill in the gaps with the essay, ”writes Blackman.

To best understand the HBS culture and community, Blackman suggests looking at the incoming classes profile at HBS. Then think about what your story is and what value you can bring to the community at HBS.

“Choose stories that show your management potential,” writes Blackman. “HBS has always been focused on leadership and loves candidates with a track record of leadership and future potential. Your goal is to show a path to success to reveal the potential of upper management. And your path should show a passion for impact in both business and society. “

Sources: Stacy Blackman Consulting, P&Q, P&Q

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