Martin Smith

Topics: Thing, Want, Harvard Business School Pages: 3 (1019 words) Published: August 28, 2013
You’re applying to Harvard Business School. We can see your resume, school transcripts, extra-curricular activities, awards, post-MBA career goals, test scores and what your recommenders have to say about you. What else would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy? There is no word limit for this question. We think you know what guidance we’re going to give here. Don’t overthink, overcraft and overwrite. Just answer the question in clear language that those of us who don’t know your world can understand.

Here’s the question again, stripped of all the surrounding fluff?

What else would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy?

They’re sending a message. To repeat something is to waste an opportunity. You have a shot to do something cool here. To show that you’re a leader, a doer, a “has success written all over him” guy. But so, how do you do it?!

Well, first things first. There’s no word limit, true, but there IS such a thing as too long a response here. Let’s put it differently. The guy with insane credentials, insane natural assets won’t need to write much. That may make the guy who DOES feel the need to write a lot seem like he’s…. over compensating? While there’s no word limit, we’re not sure your final product needs to be much more than 600 words or so. 700 maybe as a max, but if you’re going overboard, it’s gonna likely feel strained.

So what do you do with 400, or 500 words?

Well, let us ask you a question. Why do you think you belong at Harvard Business School? Let’s assume for a second that Harvard is the ultimate in business school education, in terms of experience, career prospects, all that stuff. Let’s just pretend, even if you don’t buy it. Pretend it’s the best, and that more qualified people want a seat there than there are seats. What is it about you that makes you feel like one of those seats belongs to you?

Seriously. What?

What STUFF about you makes you feel like you should be rubbing elbows with the...
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