Is an MBA the right decision for me? What is HBS like? How is the case method? What is the culture like and how do I fit into it? How should I approach the essay writing section of my application? If these are a few of the questions you seek to get answered, then the Africa Business Club (ABC) is a great resource for advice and guidance throughout the application process.
Making the decision to attend business school is a very significant commitment that involves an extensive amount of time, thought and resources. We would like to welcome you to the Prospective Students section of our website, which we hope will serve as an additional source of information as you go through the application process. This section of the website contains a wealth of information that can be useful during this process.
ABC members can be an invaluable resource during your application process as well. ABC members are committed to showing prospective students what the true HBS experience is like. We're here to answer questions about the application process and to help you determine if HBS is the best fit for your business school experience.
Summer Venture in Management Program
The HBS Summer Venture in Management Program (SVMP) is a one week management training program for talented college seniors designed to increase diversity and opportunity in business education.
Using the renowned case method of instruction, HBS faculty lead class discussions on current management issues. Participants spend evenings analyzing real business cases. They use morning study groups and classes to examine and debate their ideas through lively interaction with peers and faculty.
This is the life of an MBA student at HBS. The academic program is supplemented by presentations from HBS administrators and alumni who provide information about the impact that an MBA degree can have on their careers and their lives.
While attendance in SVMP does not guarantee admission to HBS, participants are encouraged to consider a graduate business degree after completing their undergraduate education. Not being admitted to SVMP does not affect an applicant's admission to the MBA program at a future date. Admission to both programs (SVMP and MBA) is highly competitive.
Management Leadership for Tomorrow's (MLT) MBA Preparation Program
The MLT MBA Prep Program mission is to prepare minority young professionals for successful application to leading MBA programs via a 12-month program focusing on individual work-plan development and execution.MBA Prep guides Fellows through the application and interview process and shows them what it takes to be successful in business school and beyond.
Toigo MBA Fellowship
The Toigo MBA Fellowship provides minority MBA candidates committed to careers in finance with an unmatched network of contacts, a prestigious point of difference in the eyes of employers, one-on-one career guidance, leadership training, a merit award—and more.
Toigo Fellowships are awarded the Spring prior to the start of business school. Each class includes 50+ of the most exceptional minority MBA candidates from a mix of schools nationwide. All are exemplary individuals. All are minorities about to earn their MBA. If selected, you join a select group of professionals passionate about their careers and each other's success that will benefit you during school and throughout your career.
1. What part of my application is most important during its evaluation?
No single part of your HBS application is most important. The Admissions Board will take comprehensively review your entire application and take all parts into consideration.
2. What is the minimum GMAT score required for acceptance to HBS?
There is no minimum GMAT score required for acceptance and admitted applicants have a wide range of scores. However, recent class statistics can be used as a guide. The range of GMAT scores for current students is 580-790 with a median score of 730.
3. When is the latest I can write the GMAT exam?
When submitting the application, unofficial GMAT scores may be used. Official scores, when delivered to the school at a later date, will be used for verification purposes. Note that test scores are generally valid for only a certain number of years (usually five) so be sure to check that your test results will be valid for your application period.
4. What is the minimum work experience required for acceptance to HBS?
The MBA program is designed for students who have work experience. This way, students can both gain more from and contribute more to the program and to their fellow students' learning experiences. HBS also encourages students approaching their final year in university to apply. If accepted, they will be offered a deferred admission and would be expected to complete 2 years of work experience.
5. I am neither a Management Consultant nor Investment Banker. Do I stand a chance at being admitted?
Absolutely! The MBA program seeks candidates from a very diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. For more details regarding the class make-up, please visit the HBS class statistics page at: www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/class-statistics/
6. Do my undergraduate institution and degree affect my admission chances?
Again, the program seeks candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. More information can be found in the class statistics.
7. What qualities does HBS look for in a candidate?
The Admissions Board puts "an emphasis on leadership potential, strong academic ability, and personal qualities and characteristics". In addition to this, the Board also looks for individuals who have engaged in community citizenship activities.
8. What constitutes a good letter of recommendation?
HBS requires three letter of recommendation. The admissions team suggests that two of these should come from professional references. At least one professional reference should come from a current of recent manager or supervisor. A good recommendation letter would answer the questions, respect the word limits and give specific examples as they relate to the applicant.
9. My application has been rejected. May I request an application fee refund?
No, the application fee is non-refundable.
10. My application has been rejected. May I ask for feedback for a future application?
No, unfortunately the Admissions office will not give specific feedback related to a candidate's unsuccessful application. Advice as to whether a candidate should apply in the future will also not be given.
11. May I request an interview after submitting my application?
No, all interviews are by invitation only.
12. I have been invited to attend an interview. What can I expect?
Interviews take place either in person on campus or via Skype and last approximately 30 minutes. The purpose of the interview is to get to know you better and determine if you will be a good fit for the HBS MBA class.
13. I have been invited to attend an interview. How should I prepare?
There is no best way to prepare! The idea is for the Admissions Board member to get to know you better so just be relaxed, be prepared to talk about yourself and communicate your views and responses in a clear and concise manner.
14. I have been accepted! How do I finance my MBA?
HBS attempts to make its program accessible to students for whom financing is an obstacle. The school offers varying amounts of financial aid to international students. For more information regarding financial aid, please visit www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/financialaid.html
Find a more exhaustive list of FAQs answered by HBS Admissions here.
The HBS Prospective Students Day (PSD) targeted at minority students offers a wide array of resources that will allow you to gain more insight into HBS.
There is a scheduled class visit for interested prospective students which provides valuable insight into the case method of teaching at HBS.
Information sessions via panel discussions will provide prospective students the opportunity to learn more about HBS' competitive strengths and the application process. These discussions also provide a forum to ask questions of administrators, alumni and students.
Prospective students will also be able to gain insight into the social environment through on and off campus social events. The PSD represents a great opportunity to understand why HBS and an MBA is the right decision for you.
Please look out for the PSD date and register early to secure your spot.
During the annual Africa Business Club conference, the club is proud to host a series of events targeted at prospective students to the MBA program at HBS.
We hope these activities will clarify questions around the HBS application process, provide insights into the academic and broader student life at HBS, and open you to the network of African students and their experiences at HBS. These activities include:
An informal luncheon for prospective students with ABC members
An "MBA 101" presentation providing an overview of the MBA program, the relevance to one's future career plans and things to keep in mind as one weighs the prospect of applying in the future
A presentation and Q&A session by a representative from the HBS Admissions Office
A Q&A session with a panel of current African students at HBS
An opportunity to attend an HBS class and witness the case method in action
The Africa Business Club hosts information sessions across the African continent targeted at prospective students interested in the Harvard Business School MBA program. These sessions aim to demystify the HBS application process, provide insights into academic and broader student life at HBS, and open prospective students to the network of current students and alumni in Africa and their experiences at HBS.
Contact us for more information.
We can't wait to meet you. Our admitted students outreach program includes:
The club provides its members with invaluable resources throughout the academic year to help them adjust and succeed in the HBS environment. These resources include a buddy program that pairs up each incoming first year RC student with a second year EC student buddy.