Harvard MBA Guide

Harvard Business School is one of the most prestigious business schools in the world, offering a two-year, full-time MBA program that attracts talented students from all over the globe. The program has a general management curriculum focused on real-world practice, which prepares students for leadership roles in a variety of industries.

Harvard MBA graduates are highly sought after by employers, with an average starting salary of $20,000 more than those with an undergraduate business degree. The program is designed to challenge students and push them to their limits, but also provides a supportive community of peers, faculty, and staff who are dedicated to helping students succeed.

Students at Harvard Business School have access to a wide range of resources, including world-class faculty, cutting-edge research, and a vast alumni network. The program is designed to be rigorous and demanding, with a focus on experiential learning and real-world problem solving. Graduates of the program are well-prepared to take on leadership roles in a variety of industries, and many go on to start their own businesses or pursue careers in consulting, finance, or other fields.

History of Harvard MBA

Harvard Business School (HBS) is one of the world’s most prestigious business schools, and its MBA program is one of the most sought-after degrees in the field. This section will explore the history of Harvard MBA, from the founding of the business school to the evolution of the MBA program.

Founding of the Business School

Harvard Business School was founded in 1908 as the first graduate school of business in the United States. The school was established to provide advanced training to business professionals and help them develop the skills they needed to succeed in the rapidly changing business world. The founding faculty of the school included 15 professors, and the first class of students consisted of 33 regular students and 47 special students.

Key Milestones and Contributions to Management Education

Over the years, Harvard Business School has made significant contributions to the field of management education. In 1922, the school established the Doctoral Program, which provides advanced training to students who wish to pursue a career in academia. The same year, the Harvard Business Review was founded, which quickly became one of the most prestigious business publications in the world.

In the decades that followed, Harvard Business School continued to innovate and make important contributions to management education. In the 1930s, the school developed the case method of teaching, which has since become a standard teaching method in business schools around the world. In the 1950s, the school established the Division of Research, which conducts research on management and business-related topics.

Evolution of the Harvard MBA Program

The Harvard MBA program has evolved significantly since its inception. In the early years, the program was focused primarily on finance and accounting. However, over time, the program has expanded to include a wide range of business topics, including marketing, strategy, and entrepreneurship.

Today, the Harvard MBA program is a two-year, full-time program that provides students with a broad-based education in business and management. The program is known for its rigorous curriculum, which includes case studies, simulations, and other experiential learning opportunities. The program also offers students the opportunity to participate in a wide range of extracurricular activities, including clubs, conferences, and other events.

Harvard MBA Program Overview

Program Structure and Duration

Harvard Business School (HBS) offers a two-year, full-time MBA program with a general management curriculum focused on real-world practice. The program begins in late August and ends in May of the second year. The first year is divided into two semesters, with each semester having two modules. The second year is divided into two semesters, with each semester having two terms. The program also includes a summer internship between the first and second years.

Core Curriculum and Electives

The core curriculum of the Harvard MBA program covers essential business topics such as finance, accounting, strategy, marketing, and leadership. The curriculum is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in general management and to develop their analytical and problem-solving skills. In the second year, students can choose from a wide range of electives to explore their interests and deepen their knowledge in specific areas of business.

Case Method and Experiential Learning Approach

The Harvard MBA program is known for its case method, which involves analyzing real-world business cases and discussing them in class with peers and faculty. This approach helps students to develop their critical thinking and decision-making skills, as well as their ability to work effectively in teams. The program also includes a variety of experiential learning opportunities, such as field-based courses, simulations, and global immersions, which allow students to apply their knowledge in real-world settings and gain a deeper understanding of different business cultures and practices. Overall, the Harvard MBA program is designed to prepare students for leadership roles in a wide range of industries and organizations. With its rigorous curriculum, diverse student body, and world-class faculty, the program offers a transformative educational experience that can open doors to exciting career opportunities.

Admission Process and Requirements

Application Process Overview

The admission process for Harvard Business School (HBS) is a three-step process. The first step is to submit a written application, which includes assembling a variety of materials that will help assess the applicant’s qualifications. The second step is an interview invitation, which is extended to select applicants. The final step is the admissions decision, which is made by the Admissions Board.

Required Academic and Professional Qualifications

Applicants to HBS must have a 4-year undergraduate degree or its equivalent. In addition, the Admissions Board looks for evidence of leadership, analytical aptitude, and a track record of success in academics and professional life.

Standardized Tests, Essays, and Recommendations

Applicants must submit GMAT or GRE test results, as well as TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or Duolingo test results if they attended a non-English undergraduate program. Applicants must also submit two essays and one recommendation letter. The essays should be reflective, introspective, and authentic, and should provide insight into the applicant’s character, values, and aspirations. The recommendation letter should come from someone who knows the applicant well and can speak to their strengths, weaknesses, and potential.

Tips for a Compelling Application

To make a compelling application, applicants should focus on telling their unique story, highlighting their strengths and achievements, and demonstrating their fit with the HBS community. Applicants should also be authentic, self-aware, and reflective, and should avoid cliches and exaggerations.

Harvard MBA Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate for Harvard MBA is around 11%, making it one of the most selective business schools in the world. However, the Admissions Board looks for a diverse range of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, and considers each applicant holistically. Therefore, even if an applicant does not have a perfect academic or professional record, they may still be admitted based on their potential, character, and fit with the HBS community.

Career Prospects after Harvard MBA

Harvard Business School has a reputation for producing some of the most successful business leaders in the world. Graduates of the Harvard MBA program are well-equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in a variety of industries. In this section, we will explore the career prospects for Harvard MBA graduates and the resources available to help them achieve their professional goals.

Employment Statistics and Top Industries

According to Harvard Business School’s most recent employment report, 93% of the Class of 2020 had job offers within three months of graduation. The median base salary was $175,000, with an additional median signing bonus of $30,000 and median performance bonus of $40,000. The top industries for Harvard MBA graduates include consulting, finance, technology, and healthcare.

IndustryPercentage of Graduates

Notable Alumni and Their Accomplishments

Harvard Business School has produced many successful business leaders, including CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, entrepreneurs, and government officials. Some notable alumni include:

  • Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook
  • Jeff Immelt, former CEO of General Electric
  • Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and former mayor of New York City
  • Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase

These alumni and many others have made significant contributions to their respective industries and beyond.

Networking Opportunities and Career Support

Harvard Business School provides a variety of resources to help students and alumni achieve their career goals. The Career and Professional Development team offers one-on-one coaching, workshops, and networking events to help students and alumni build their professional networks and develop their careers. The school also has a vast alumni network, with over 96,000 graduates in more than 150 countries.

Harvard Business School’s alumni network provides opportunities for mentorship, job referrals, and networking. The school also hosts a number of events throughout the year, including reunions, conferences, and regional events, which provide opportunities for alumni to connect with one another and stay up-to-date on the latest developments in their industries.

Financing Your Harvard MBA

Attending Harvard Business School (HBS) is a significant investment in your future. The cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses can be daunting, but there are several options available to help finance your MBA. This section will provide an overview of the different financing options available to HBS students.

Tuition Fees and Living Expenses

The cost of attending HBS for the 2023-2024 academic year is $76,500 for tuition and $28,500 for living expenses. The total cost of attendance, including tuition, fees, and living expenses, is estimated to be $114,000 per year. It is important to note that these costs are subject to change and may vary depending on individual circumstances.

Financial Aid Options and Fellowships

HBS is committed to providing financial aid to students who demonstrate financial need. Approximately 50% of MBA students receive a need-based scholarship from HBS, with awards ranging from $2,500 to $76,000 per year. The average annual need-based scholarship last year was $42,000, or $84,000 over two years. HBS also offers a limited number of merit-based fellowships.

Students can also apply for external scholarships and fellowships. It is important to note that external funding may impact the amount of need-based fellowship awarded by HBS. Students can receive up to $10,000 per year in external funding before HBS adjusts the amount of need-based fellowship awarded.

Strategies for Budgeting and Managing Costs

Managing the cost of attending HBS can be challenging, but there are several strategies that students can use to budget and manage costs. These include:

  • Creating a budget and tracking expenses
  • Exploring loan options and selecting the right one
  • Minimizing living expenses by living off-campus or with roommates
  • Researching and applying for external funding opportunities
  • Maximizing income through internships and part-time work

It is important to note that while loans are a common way to finance an MBA, a certain level of educational debt is expected with the HBS need-based fellowship formula. Students should carefully consider their financial situation and goals before taking on debt to finance their MBA.

Life at Harvard Business School

Harvard Business School offers a unique and rewarding experience for its MBA students. The rigorous academic program is complemented by a vibrant campus life that provides students with opportunities to learn, grow, and connect with their peers.

Campus facilities and resources

Harvard Business School’s campus is located in Boston, Massachusetts, and boasts state-of-the-art facilities and resources that are designed to enhance the learning experience of its students. The campus includes world-class libraries, cutting-edge research centers, and modern classrooms that are equipped with the latest technology.

Students also have access to a range of support services, including career counseling, academic advising, and mental health resources. These services are designed to help students succeed academically, professionally, and personally during their time at HBS.

Student clubs and organizations

One of the highlights of life at HBS is the opportunity to join one of the many student clubs and organizations on campus. These groups cover a wide range of interests and activities, from professional organizations focused on specific industries to social clubs that organize events and activities for students.

Joining a club is a great way to meet new people, develop new skills, and explore new interests. Many students find that their involvement in these clubs is one of the most rewarding aspects of their time at HBS.

Work-life balance and extracurricular activities

Despite the rigorous demands of the MBA program, HBS students are encouraged to maintain a healthy work-life balance and to pursue extracurricular activities outside of the classroom. The school offers a wide range of extracurricular activities, including sports teams, performing arts groups, and community service organizations.

Students also have the opportunity to participate in a number of social events and activities throughout the year, including parties, networking events, and cultural festivals. These events provide students with the opportunity to connect with their peers, relax, and have fun outside of the classroom.

Comparing Harvard MBA to Other Top Programs

Key Differences and Similarities

When comparing Harvard MBA to other top programs, it is important to note that each program has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. However, some key differences and similarities between Harvard MBA and other top programs include:

  • Harvard MBA is a two-year, full-time residential program, while some other top programs offer part-time or online options.
  • Harvard MBA has a strong focus on case-based learning, while other top programs may use different teaching methods.
  • Harvard MBA has a highly competitive admissions process, with an acceptance rate of around 10%, while other top programs may have slightly higher or lower acceptance rates.
  • Harvard MBA has a strong reputation in consulting and finance, but also offers a variety of other specializations.

Factors to Consider When Selecting an MBA Program

When selecting an MBA program, there are several factors to consider, including:

  • Program format: Do you want a full-time, part-time, or online program?
  • Teaching method: Do you prefer case-based learning, lecture-based learning, or a combination?
  • Specializations: Does the program offer the specializations you are interested in?
  • Location: Do you prefer a program located in a certain city or region?
  • Cost: Can you afford the program, and does it offer financial aid?
  • Reputation: What is the program’s reputation in the industry and among employers?

It is important to carefully consider each of these factors when selecting an MBA program, as they can greatly impact your experience and future career prospects.

Personal Fit and Long-Term Objectives

Ultimately, the best MBA program for you will depend on your personal fit and long-term objectives. It is important to consider your career goals and how each program can help you achieve them. Additionally, you should consider factors such as the program’s culture, network, and alumni community, as these can greatly impact your experience and future opportunities. When comparing Harvard MBA to other top programs, it is important to keep in mind that each program has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. However, by carefully considering the key differences and similarities, as well as the factors to consider when selecting an MBA program, you can make an informed decision and choose the program that is best for you.


Recap of Harvard MBA’s Distinctive Features

Harvard MBA is a unique program that offers a distinctive learning experience to students. The case method of teaching, which involves analyzing real-world business situations, is a hallmark of the program. The program also provides students with opportunities to interact with industry leaders, engage in experiential learning, and participate in global immersion programs. Graduates of the program are well-equipped to lead organizations and make an impact in the business world.

Encouragement to Pursue a Harvard MBA

For those interested in pursuing a career in business, a Harvard MBA can be a life-changing experience. The program offers unparalleled opportunities for personal and professional growth, and can open doors to a wide range of career paths. While the program is rigorous and demanding, the rewards are significant. Graduates of the program are highly sought after by top employers in a variety of industries.

Final Thoughts on Achieving Exceptional Business Leadership through a Harvard MBA

A Harvard MBA can provide the foundation for exceptional business leadership. The program equips students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences needed to lead organizations and make a positive impact in the world. However, it is important to remember that the program is just the beginning of a lifelong journey of learning and growth. Graduates of the program must continue to develop their skills and knowledge throughout their careers in order to stay ahead of the curve and continue to make a difference in the business world.