Top 5 Pieces of Advice for Aspiring MBAs from Harvard Business School’s Class of 2016

Boston, being the center of higher education and innovation that it is, makes fall a season of anxiety for anyone applying to business school. Harvard Business School kicked off “invite season” on Wednesday at noon. And after pouring over almost 10,000 applications to parse out a meager 800 candidates to invite to campus, it’s no wonder people become so unpleasant to be around during this season.

As the mad rush for a coveted seat as a member of the Class of 2017 has begun, The Harbus, Harvard Business School’s weekly student-run news group, spoke with the Class of 2016 for tips on how they prepared and what they did to stand out.

Since every student walking Harvard Business School's campus has had to sit down for a meeting, we have a hub of nearly 2,000 people that serve as walking masters of the interview. Here’s what they had to say:

No. 1 Carve Out Enough Time to Prepare

Receiving the invite to interview at Harvard Business School means it is time to pull out your application and resume you submitted last month and remind yourself of why you are so great. Above everything, you will have to express why you want an MBA and how the degree will help you. Being prepared is the ultimate — and most necessary — confidence booster.

No. 2 Practice, Don’t Memorize

Harvard Business School interviewers, and interviewers from any top business school really, are experts at what they do. They specialize in recognizing BS and can almost sniff out a person who is simply rehashing their answers. Become so comfortable with your story that it comes off authentically and genuinely.

No. 3 Read, Read, Read

You want to start reading all the major business news sites (e.g. The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, the Financial Times, etc.) to make sure you stay current, especially publications or websites that cover your industry and employer. You don’t want to get broadsided during your interview. Make reading the news a part of your morning routine and keep yourself disciplined.

No. 4 Use Your Network

Chances are you know someone who attends Harvard Business School, or have a friend who knows someone at Harvard Business School. Reach out and ask for advice and practice with a friend for a mock interview.

No. 5 Relax

The interview is only one component of your overall application, and is weighed alongside all of the other astonishing accomplishments you wrote about in your essay. Just be yourself and make sure to stay confident and enthusiastic.

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