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Hang onto your hats, things are about to get  wild around here.  Bloomberg released its newest ranking of MBA (and undergraduate B-school) programs this week.  We can see the headlines now -- Death of HBS?  Duke ascendant?  Take it easy.  Let's look at this more closely.

 

 By Ben Feuer

The first thing to consider when evaluating any ranking of schools is the methodology.  Bloomberg relies primarily on surveys of students and employers, and secondarily on faculty article publications.  This method has some obvious flaws -- there will be a tendency by students to rank their school more highly to try to make their school appear more prestigious, and since the methods of the ranking are publicly known, it would be completely conceivable for a lower ranked school to 'game' the rankings.  Bloomberg claims to correct against this by having psychologists evaluate the data.  The survey of employers seems more reliable, but ultimately basically amounts to a 'who is best known' contest.  Finally, the ranking by article publications is naturally going to favor schools with more prominent journals, since it is easier for Harvard professors to get published in Harvard Journals, Duke professors in Duke journals, et cetera.

So with those caveats in mind, what conclusions can we draw from the striking changes in the 2014 rankings?

In a post-online world, will Harvard's name brand dominance finally be challenged?  The most striking jump is HBS, from 2 down to 8.  Is this the beginning of the end of HBS's rankings dominance?  Hold your horses there, cowboy.  In their description of this year's ranking methodology, Bloomberg explains that this year’s ranking will show more change than previous rankings have done because previous years of data weigh less heavily on the current scores -- A LOT LESS.  This year's student evaluation counted for 75 percent up from 50 percent, and the 2010 survey was eliminated completely from the ranking.  The reason Bloomberg used to incorporate multiple years was to prevent 'outlier years' -- of course, this new methodology seems destined to create many outlier years (and many headlines).  Ultimately, it is far too soon to ring a death knell at HBS based on this survey alone.  All of what we just said for HBS also applies to MIT, and in almost precisely the same manner.

Holding Steady ... In some ways, given the radical difference in methodology, it's more striking to note what did NOT change.  Three of the top four -- Booth, Wharton and Stanford -- are materially identical to last year, with slight changes.  Wharton continues to hold a higher place in Bloomberg's ranking than Stanford.  Lately some pundits have been quick to bury Wharton as outdated -- not the trendiest of top MBA hotspots.  I think this ranking shows that from an employment and student satisfaction standpoint, at least, Wharton is still a top three school, year after year.

Up and Coming?  Duke and Yale have long had well regarded MBA programs, but this might mark a watershed moment for both schools.  Duke is probably benefiting from its exceptional regional reputation, since the methodology of the employer survey this year incorporates regional and industry-specific recruiting more effectively than past surveys, and also devalues pure 'name brand recognition' somewhat (a battle HBS, Stanford and Wharton will win every year).  Yale's ascendancy is the most striking -- a quantum leap from 21 to 6 -- and could mark the beginning of a big two years for Yale's business school.  Given the strong name brand recognition of the undergraduate program, it's hard not to feel optimistic about Yale's chances for climbing higher in future US News rankings.

Conclusion.  Overall, it would be a mistake to read too much into Bloomberg's biannual rankings.  They change a lot every time they're done, and this year in particular, the major shifts in methodology produced a lot of upheaval.  The healthiest approach would be to look at this as one more data point in a long line.  Perhaps it will make some students reconsider strong programs they might otherwise have overlooked, like Tepper, Yale and UCLA Anderson.  That alone would be a fine outcome for this ranking.

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UC Berkeley Haas's goals essay this year is tricky.  It is going to trip up a lot of applicants.  Don't be one of them.

By Evan Forster

Earlier today I received a call from Brenda about the Haas MBA goals essay—

What is your desired post-MBA role and at what company or organization? In your response, please specifically address sub-questions a., b., and c.
a. How is your background compelling to this company?
b. What is something you would do better for this company than any other employee?
c. Why is an MBA necessary and how will Haas specifically help you succeed at this company?
(500-600 word maximum for 3a, 3b, and 3c combined)

Brenda’s amazing—a transportation industry titan-to-be. So why was her essay so flat?

We have been writing about the archetypal MBA goals essay (and other professional why Law, Med, Architecture, etc.) for years now.  After a while, it all starts to sound the same.

“Start with a story about you, followed by the difference you want to make in your short and long-term goal—and be specific. Zero in on why that School or program is right for you and how you’re a fit. Close by bringing at all around to your short and long-term goals, blah, blah, blah….” Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Anyway, Brenda sends me this response to Haas’ prompt #1. I can easily spot the fact that she’s being vague and cautious. There’s not a lot of power in telling an adcom, “I can help manage the way that X company deals with changing guidelines and law…” I suggest making it more “active”, but I’m not seeing a way to squeeze my square peg methodology into this round hole—Still, I’m trying. God forbid I should contradict myself, after all.  I’m supposed to be the expert!

After our call, I think more about the question.  Desired post-MBA role and company.  Simple enough.  McKinsey? Bain? Accenture? It’s just another goals essay.  And yet

And then, BAM!  I fall in love with the question. It’s not about locking yourself into the right company (although it should be reasonable given your industry background), but revealing your ability to spot needto figure out what stands between a company and unbridled success.  Get it?  They are looking for people to take on making a difference … WITHOUT PRIOR APPROVAL!

Sneaky, huh?                                                                    

For Brenda (and you) to ace this Haas goals essay, you have to be the guy who, without ‘permission,’ finds a way to make a team work better.  Brenda did this naturally as a college volleyball playerand somewhere, at some time, you did too.  So dig down deep.  Find the version of you that is fearless.  Decide to expand the transportation division of McKinsey, improving how it handles its infrastructure and government clients.

 Don’t worry about being wrong or seeming arrogant.  There are no Haas goals police. Declare your intention.  State the change you will make. That’s what leaders do, and that’s what great programs like Haas are really looking for.

Like Haas itself, this essay is about a way of being. You see what’s missing in a company. You (because of your particular background) and leadership-ability can usher in that change. And you recognize that you need help, what you need help in, what skills you need to bolster and—in each one of thesehow Haas specifically can help you.

So in the end, this IS just another goals essaywith added specificity, asked in terms that only a few people will get. Be one of them.

Auntie Evan’s 5 steps to Haas Goals Dominance

A)     Look at your current history/industry and remind yourself of what you’re best at.

B)      Decide where you can be of service to that industry.

C)      Know which companies are missing out on a possible growth area (you should know this because it’s your professional background)

D)     Figure out where you are in need of growth

E)      Invite Haas and its community (via specific classes, clubs, etc.) to join you in your endeavor. 


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School Nickname: UW

Median MCAT: 31

Median GPA: 3.70

Dean: Stella V. Yee

More about the school: Also read this

Founded in 1946, the University of Washington School of Medicine is a regional resource for Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho - the WWAMI states.

It is recognized for excellence in training primary-care physicians and for advancing medical knowledge through scientific research. The school's students, staff, faculty and alumni demonstrate commitment to community service through volunteer activities.

Top Residencies: Primary care, family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics

Application: More here.

Two-stage.  First stage must be done through AMCAS.  The UWSOM secondary application follows, including additional statements, letters of recommendation, course requirement workshop and TRUST application.  The secondary application deadline is December 1, 2014.

Prescreening: Applicants with approx. 2.9 GPA AND approx. 20 MCAT score will be rejected
        International students without US citizenship or permanent residency will be rejected
        Applicants who have three previous applications will be rejected
Typically more than 95 percent of UW School of Medicine acceptances are applicants from Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana or Idaho (WWAMI).

Required Courses: full list here
    •    Four semesters of social sciences
    •    Six semesters of chemistry and biology
    •    Two semesters of physics
    •    Non-applicable social sciences or humanities: “how to courses”, English composition, English grammar, foreign language composition, foreign language grammar, journalism, leadership, music composition, music lessons, performance (dance, instrument, voice, etc.)
    •    Non-applicable science courses: laboratory courses, research, courses taught by a department other than basic science (for example, courses taught by the nursing department and listed as NURS rather than BIO on your transcript)

Secondary Statement Questions:
An autobiographical statement which should include (250 word limit)
    •    the origin and development of your motivation to be a physician
    •    your prior experiences in health care
    •    steps taken to explore a career in medicine
    •    your eventual goals as a physician
    •    and other issues of importance
The Personal Comments section of the AMCAS application may be used to satisfy this requirement, or an additional autobiography may be submitted with your secondary materials.  Your AMCAS personal statement will already be on file with our office.

At first blush, this is a pretty intimidating prompt.  The list of things they want to know is longer than the allowed word count all by itself!  But notice that they view this as a supplement to your AMCAS personal statement.  The most important thing, then, is to add to what you wrote for your general AMCAS statement any material that is specifically relevant to UW.  Did you have regional experiences or professional goals that would be of particular interest to them?  Is there anything that did not make sense for a broader audience but would for the more targeted audience of UW?

3 additional short essays (250 word limit each)

    •    How have your experiences prepared you to be a physician?

This prompt runs the risk of being doubly redundant with your AMCAS statement and your UW supplement.  Avoid this pitfall by focusing in on two specific experiences that you can discuss in depth, subjects that you did not analyze deeply elsewhere.  The experiences you choose don’t have to be professional, by any means, but they should have prepared you, either in terms of experience, values or character, to be a good doctor.


    •    What perspectives or experiences do you bring that would enrich the class?

This is a ‘diversity’ prompt — whatever makes you stand out as a person, be it your personality, your ethnic, racial or geopolitical background, or your experiences working with (and ideally bringing together) a wide range of different people, is fair game for this type of prompt.

    •    What obstacles to your goals have you experienced and how have you dealt with them?

Again, the prompt asks for multiple examples of obstacles, so don’t pick just one.  Do, however, limit yourself to two, as otherwise this would be extremely difficult to answer in 250 words.  In this case, the school is asking for obstacles you have overcome already, and how you overcame them should be the focus of the essay, rather than describing the situation, or worse still, the build-up to the situation.

For re-applicants: From your most recent application until now, how have you strengthened your application?
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Have more questions?  Email us!

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Many parents of aspiring doctors have asked me how they can choose the optimal college for medical school acceptance.  The answer is simple -- there is no answer.

 By David Thomas, Photo by Damon Sacks

Recently, the mom of a high school student asked me if I could, as an educational consultant, supply her with a list of colleges and universities that had high rates of acceptance to medical school. She had found a number of them via Colleges That Change Lives. She stumbled onto others via internet searches.

In my capacity as both a college and medical school admissions consultant, I have been asked to supply lists like these many times. The problem is always the same; it's impossible.

Why?  Many colleges boast high medical acceptance rates that are practically meaningless, since each school uses its own methodology to calculate the statistics, creating wildly misleading results.

Some colleges only calculate the number of students who were accepted to medical school using the college's officially sanctioned Pre-Med Committee. So if 100 students declare freshman year that they are applying to medical school, 50 drop out after not doing well on prerequisites, 20 get a high-enough GPA to qualify for a Committee Letter, and 18 of those 20 get into medical school. So the school claims a 90% acceptance rate, but could as easily claim a rate of 18%.  Cornell is a great example of a school like this.

But wait, it gets more complicated.  Some of the students apply without a committee letter -- let's say 30.  And 10 of those get in, meaning out of the ACTUAL APPLICANTS to medical school, 28 out of 50 got in, which yields a 56% acceptance rate.  So depending on how you look at it, 18%, 56% or 90% of Cornell applicants get into medical school.

And of course, some colleges do not have a Pre-Med Committee. In those cases, schools usually publish simple acceptance rates.  Because of the statistical gamesmanship, these schools can appear to have worse rates of acceptance but actually have BETTER rates!

The sad truth is this; MED SCHOOL ACCEPTANCE STATS ARE UTTERLY MEANINGLESS. Medical school admissions usually starts with a computer-screening process, and computers don’t weight GPAs differently (at least, not yet). In other words, a 3.9 GPA from Fresno State will always trump a 3.5 from Cornell in this process. Once the Secondary Essays are received, and humans begin to get involved in the screening process, then the subjective factors are considered (as in all admissions).

So what is important? DO WELL AS AN UNDERGRAD—wherever you are. How well you do in college is more important than where you went to college. And the existence of a premed committee doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get better advising there. In fact, the advantages and disadvantages of a premed committee can balance each other out.

Medical school admissions is incredibly nuanced and tricky, and I've just barely given the tiniest example of its complexities. But first and foremost? Ignore the acceptance-rate stats. They are meaningless.

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A study exploring the correlation between expensive and elite colleges and future earnings raises intriguing questions about the efficacy of higher education. 

We here at Forster-Thomas are busy little bees, always improving ourselves for your future benefit.  You're welcome.  Recently, a study came to our attention that we thought was worth passing along to you.

The study looked at two things -- how much does a school's selectivity impact students' future earnings, and how much does a school's cost impact students' future earnings.  The correlation you probably expected to see was nowhere to be found.  At least for the class of 1972 (upon which this study is based), students who were accepted to Harvard but chose to go to Kenyon wound up earning the same amount, on average, as those who actually attended Harvard. 

 However, there was a correlation between cost and future earnings, meaning that those students who were accepted to Harvard but chose to go to San Diego State U. to save money wound up earning less in the future.

This finding, quite frankly, is strange, and it's hard to know exactly what to make of it.  It's easy enough to make up reasons for it to be true; richer students going in tend to earn more money going out, for example.  But what it really suggests is that further study is needed.

It would be particularly helpful to know how this has evolved over time, since 1972 was a period of relatively low cost AND selectivity for all colleges, and the entire admissions landscape has transformed rapidly since then.  We'll keep our ears to the ground for you.


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Medical school admissions is one of the most complicated admissions processes of all -- it is extremely nuanced.  That said, here are the most important factors in admissions decisions, in order.

By David Thomas

So, you want to go to medical school?  Why not?  Doctors are highly compensated and respected professionals, and most, if not all of them, have bright futures and great careers in store.  Of course, becoming a doctor isn't as simple as just waving a magic stethoscope -- first, you have to attend a little thing called medical school, which means that you have to get into medical school (and thrive there).

Aspiring doctors (and their parents) often ask us what the most important factors are in determining who makes it into top medical schools like Johns Hopkins, Harvard, U. Penn Perelman and Yale.  Unfortunately, the answers are far from simple -- medical school admissions is arguably the most complex of all admissions processes.  That said, this checklist will give you a solid grasp of the basics.

1.  A high GPA in your prerequisites

 

Median GPA for a top 10 school should be in the 3.7+ range, with exceptionally high grades in  prerequisite courses such as
biology behavioral science
organic chemistry demonstration of writing skills
inorganic (general) chemistry calculus
physics social sciences
biochemistry general chemistry
humanities

2.  A high MCAT score

a score of 25.2 puts you at the 50th Percentile. A score of 31.6, one standard deviation from the mean, corresponds with the 84th Percentile, and a score of 38, two standard deviations from the mean, corresponds with the 99th Percentile. - See more at: https://benchprep.com/mcat/prep/what-is-a-good-mcat-score#sthash.3UGAMk8M.dpuf

You can read a bit more about it here, but the basics are as follows -- A score of 25.2 puts you at the 50th Percentile. A score of 31.6, one standard deviation from the mean, corresponds with the 84th Percentile, and a score of 38, two standard deviations from the mean, corresponds with the 99th Percentile.  For a top school, you'll want to be in the 85+ percentile, ideally 90+.

a score of 25.2 puts you at the 50th Percentile. A score of 31.6, one standard deviation from the mean, corresponds with the 84th Percentile, and a score of 38, two standard deviations from the mean, corresponds with the 99th Percentile. - See more at: https://benchprep.com/mcat/prep/what-is-a-good-mcat-score#sthash.3UGAMk8M.dpuf

3.  Great volunteer and clinical work

Show distinction by focusing on a particular area of practice -- show initiative by scouring local hospitals and nursing homes for good opportunities.  Most of all, show that you have a human side -- that you are not just a brain on stilts.

4.  Shadowing experience

Shadowing is a great chance to build up your bedside manner, get to know how a real doctor operates, and have some experience dealing with patients -- all of which matters a lot to top medical schools.

5.  At least one research experience (much more if you plan on applying for an MD/PhD)

Top medical schools want to take students who already know they like medicine and want to pursue it as a career, and lab experience helps show that you have thought things through.  Having trouble finding a good opportunity?  Check out this link for some tips.

6. A demonstrated interest in liberal arts and broad coursework

Fun fact -- philosophy majors have a higher acceptance rate to medical school than biology majors!  Part of this is a simple numbers game, but mostly this has to do with relatability -- after all, bedside manner counts for something, and no teacher wants to spend four years training a school full of technocrats.

So there you have it!  The six most important factors in determining whether that coveted 'admit' will be yours.  Get to cracking those books and chasing down those volunteering opportunities -- and don't forget to take a break and have a sandwich every once in a while!

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More questions? Get a free consultation or call 212-741-9090.


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It’s getting toward that time of year when prospective students begin to sweat out their applications to art school, film school, creative writing school and the like.  What do all those programs have in common?  They require statements of purpose.  But what the hell is a statement of purpose, anyway, and how do you write a good one?  Read on and find out.

By Ben Feuer, photo by Drew Coffman

Most people are confused by the very idea of a statement of purpose.  They look at it and think to themselves, “Well, isn’t it obvious?  I’m here, aren’t I?”  One of the downsides of being trapped in your own mind all day (aside from the redundancy) is that it’s difficult to see the world from someone else’s perspective — say, for example, your average admissions officer.  Perhaps there are six types of candidates for a given program — adcom wants to know what type you are so they have an idea who to compare you with.  They want to know what you’ve done and what you’re planning to do.  So no, your work samples and your resume do not speak for themselves.  You do.  And if you’re smart, you’ll see it as an opportunity.

Take us on a journey.  Another way of looking at a personal statement is as a way to answer the question, who are you and why do you need our program at this stage of your life?  Both parts of the question are important, and together they should form a kind of continuum — there should be a path you can identify yourself as being on (even if you didn’t know it at the time!).  For instance, if you started out writing serialized fiction but you’re now more interested in nonfiction because of some fabulous experiences you had abroad last year, and you want an MFA to refocus your efforts, that’s a journey.  If you’re an intellectual with a good eye who wants the chance to work with intuitive artists and better understand how they function, that’s a journey too.  It’s about transformation.  Before and (hopefully) after.

Don’t be modest — but don’t brag either. 
Sorry about the twin pitfalls, but you really do have to walk a tightrope with the content of your SOP.  Basically, if you come across as too accomplished, you won’t leave any room for the school to shape you as a writer (which is what they do).  If you come across as too self-deprecating, you won’t make any impression at all.

One important tip to remember — it’s a good idea to use the personal statement to subtly highlight other strengths of your candidacy — GPA, publications, or anything else you’re particularly proud of.  You can’t count on a bored reader to weigh every aspect of your application seriously, so make sure they don’t overlook what’s awesome about you.

Name names.  Time and time again people overlook this simple fact — doing research into your target school (and who’s going to be reading your essays), studying their work and taking something useful away from it is ONE OF THE MOST USEFUL THINGS YOU CAN DO to improve your odds of getting in.  Why?  Because everybody likes to be liked.  That, and it shows you didn’t just blindly reuse a personal statemen from another school.

This also goes for those of you who have worked with interesting/famous people, by the way — everyone enjoys a little bit of insider info about a celeb.

Be concise.  It varies by program, but typically two pages of personal statement is more than enough.  Divide your time roughly evenly between discussing your personal journey and what you want to get out of the program you’re applying to.  Notice I said ‘evenly’?  You’re going to focus 75% or more on your personal history in your first draft.  That’s OK.  Do more research and rebalance.

Get advice.  Don’t try to go it alone.  It’s extremely difficult, if not impossible, to evaluate your own personal statement objectively — your brain automatically fills in gaps others will miss.  Plus, it never hurts to have another set of eyes looking for typos.

That’s about it!  I hope this was useful, and that you spend many happy hours at your choice of MFA program with the help of this little advisory column.  If you have questions, just email me.

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Going from a HBS optional to a Stanford WMM can be quite challenging -- it requires you to add personal and social context to what began as a simple achievement story.

In order to do a great job at repurposing, you must first understand the fundamental difference between the two essays.

A great HBS optional essay boldly differentiates you and establishes your credentials (and style) as a leader, while also including elements of self-discovery and personal growth.

A great What Matters Most essay focuses on self-discovery and personal growth, with leadership material seamlessly integrated into the larger narrative.

To go from a great HBS essay to a great Stanford essay, therefore (we’re assuming you already have a great HBS essay), follow these steps.

    1.    Explore the larger context.  Look beyond leadership, beyond the obvious results of the story and what they meant for you, your company, et cetera.  That was more than enough for HBS — they just wanted something ‘different’, something they didn’t already know — but Stanford wants to know what matters most to you and why, and that’s a big question.
    2.    Talk to someone who knows you.  More than any other essay in the b-school canon, the What Matters Most essay requires insight into what makes you tick.  Sometimes a close friend or a family member sees patterns in your life that you don’t.  Try to pull out patterns in your life that connect to the central HBS incident you’re describing.  Not just successes — failures matter too!
    3.    Beginning and ending.  When you’re rewriting an essay of this kind, build around the middle.  The middle, the description of the moment, is usually mostly correct, needing only minor adjustments.  But the preamble and the way you talk about the outcome often need to change completely.

Think of it this way -- WMM is about the journey, and HBS is about the destination.  If you are a naturally introspective person who thinks a lot about the choices you make in life and why you make them, you will probably find WMM easier to write.  If you are more comfortable talking about leadership, accomplishments and professional life, the HBS optional will be easier.
 
No matter which essay you are starting from, the most important thing to think about is the focus of the central story you are telling – the defining moment.  You need to find that personal evolution or leadership slant that brings the essay to life.

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Repurposing a Stanford Essay for HBS is not as easy as it might sound, but it can absolutely be done -- sometimes. 

 

In order to do a great job at repurposing, you must first understand the fundamental difference between the two essays.


A great What Matters Most essay focuses on self-discovery and personal growth, with leadership material seamlessly integrated into the larger narrative.


A great HBS optional essay boldly differentiates you and establishes your credentials (and style) as a leader, while also including elements of self-discovery and personal growth.


To go from a great Stanford essay to a great Harvard essay, therefore (we’re assuming you already have a great Stanford essay), follow these steps.


STANFORD:

  1. Define your defining moment.  You can’t really understand your WMM essay without being able to articulate clearly the defining moment.  Understand what happened and why this, rather than any other story, is the one you are telling.

  2. Look for HBS hooks.  The version of the story you wrote out is targeted for Stanford.  It probably has references to family and soul-searching that aren’t going to play particularly well at Harvard, which is more achievement-focused.  What are the concrete accomplishments you have to show?  What, if anything, was unique, or at least unusual, about what you did?

  3. Beginning and ending.  When you’re rewriting an essay of this kind, build around the middle.  The middle, the description of the moment, is usually mostly correct, needing only minor adjustments.  But the preamble and the way you talk about the outcome often need to change completely.


Think of it this way -- WMM is about the journey, and HBS is about the destination.  If you are a naturally introspective person who thinks a lot about the choices you make in life and why you make them, you will probably find WMM easier to write.  If you are more comfortable talking about leadership, accomplishments and professional life, the HBS optional will be easier.

 

No matter which essay you are starting from, the most important thing to think about is the focus of the central story you are telling – the defining moment.  You need to find that personal evolution or leadership slant that brings the essay to life.

BTW, if you are going from WMM to HBS, don’t get lazy. Make SURE to remove all references to the phrase “what matters most”.  It’s kind of a dead giveaway.

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Everyone likes the idea of saving time on an application by repurposing one school’s prompt for another -- but when it comes to HBS and GSB, the ‘big dogs’, is it a good idea, or a risky move likely to backfire?  Read on and find out.

Applying to business school is a time-consuming and difficult process, and it’s quite natural that applicants want to take shortcuts wherever possible.  One of the most commonly MISUSED shortcuts is to mindlessly reuse a Stanford essay for HBS.  

 

HBS does make it easy for you to do this – they don’t provide a whole lot of structure for their essay, and they don’t even give a word limit! In other words, HBS gives you just enough rope to hang yourself. Don’t worry -- we’re gonna make sure you do it right.  There are good reasons to repurpose a Stanford WMM for HBS.  Laziness is not one of them.

 

Instead, think about the defining moment (your WMM essay DOES have a defining moment, right?  If not, read our blog here on how to write an amazing WMM essay).  Is it personal in nature, or professional?  Almost all great WMM essays have a purely personal component to them – a change in thinking or attitude, a struggle or failure overcome.  The current HBS essay prompt doesn’t necessarily call for this, however. In fact, we’d say err on the side of leadership. It’s HBS, after all, AKA, MBA with an Attitude.  


So, say your story--be it Stanford or HBS--is one in which you evolve a lot?  Stanford WMM essays often focus on change, coming to terms with a difficult truth or finding a new way to attack a thorny problem. Your HBS essay may simply be recounting of an exceptional moment in your life. Both essays say “leader”, but the approach is different. After all, GSB is asking “What Matters Most…” HBS is asking you to reveal that you are HBS--or not. Up to you.

Stay tuned for our subsequent posts on HOW to repurpose your WMM for HBS, and vice versa.