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What’s it like to be about to graduate from Harvard Business School? Listen to today’s episode for an insider perspective.
[0:38] Meet Anndrea Moore, a member of HBS’s class of 2016. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2010 with a degree in Marketing and International Business. After graduating she worked as a Brand Analyst at the Nielsen Company and then in Operations at Google. Welcome!
Her path to HBS [1:20]
After studying Marketing and International Business at U of Cincinnati, she interned at Neilsen, and ultimately took a full time job there as a brand analyst. The exposure she gained there to online marketing and social media led her to a marketing position at Google.
Why the MBA, and why HBS [3:20]
Leaving undergrad, she considered pursuing a masters in marketing. But an adviser suggested that she work for 3-5 years and then consider b-school. Having worked in the tech industry, she felt some pushback against returning to school, but she wanted the skills she would gain in b-school (finance, management, etc). She thought HBS was the best fit.
What was the most challenging part of the application process? [5:00]
Managing it: preparing for and taking the GMAT (she took it twice); deciding who she should ask to write her letters of rec. And the essay was pretty difficult – HBS has a broad essay question, and figuring out a strategy was challenging.
How much time did she budget for her essays? [6:35]
She applied Round 2, and started writing in October. After writing a rough draft, she showed it to friends, her mom, and a coach – people she trusted. She went through multiple revisions.
What were the most memorable/difficult interview questions she faced? [7:45]
The interviewer asked why, if her goal was brand management, she hadn’t considered going straight to PnG (based in Cincinnati). It was a very specific question based on her education, experience and goals.
Was the interview high stress because of the stakes? Or the questions? [9:00]
Both. Once you’re at the interview stage, it feels like it’s yours to lose. And the interview consisted of rapid fire questions on all aspects of the application.
It’s important to show continuity with your application.
What she wrote about in her interview reflections [10:45]
She addressed the PnG question with more detail, thanked the interviewers, and referenced the questions she’d asked them at the conclusion of the interview.
Any surprises about HBS life? [11:35]
You really get a chance to understand how people think. The way classmates approach cases shows their reasoning process and can help you create better arguments.
Has HBS met her expectations? [12:55]
Yes! She’s met great friends, heard wonderful speakers, and made connections to a helpful alumni network. It feels like she’s part of a family.
Her FIELD experience (Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development) [14:10]
She went to Peru. Their client was a fast food hamburger chain – their team’s job was to prepare the business for the next 5 years. They visited the food processing center, restaurant locations, etc. And they presented their recommendations to the company’s leadership team, who said they’re going to implement some of them.
Anything she wishes she’d known about the FIELD experience? [15:55]
Even though you prepare at home, there’s nothing like being on the ground in person – you pick up a local perspective.
How does the second year (EC) differ from the first year (RC)? [16:55]
They’re very different. The case method still applies. But in the first year, everyone takes the same courses. In the second year, you can focus – take different electives, independent study, etc. She’s taken tech courses, retail & marketing courses, etc.
Is year 2 more experiential, or still case? [18:30]
There’s some experiential learning. Her marketing course is an example. Another example is a short course she did over winter break, where they traveled to Ethiopia and Tanzania to study city-building and innovation.
Benefits of the case method? [20:05]
You have to be very prepared when you go to class. You need facts to back up your stance, and you need to be able to think on your feet.
Is the social life expensive/elitist? [21:00]
B-school is expensive across the board. She feels like participating in expensive activities (weekend trips, etc) is a personal choice.
Her summer internship [22:10]
She interned as a product manager at Apple. She wanted to learn more about brand management, e-commerce, etc – and she wanted to return to tech. It was a great experience, and she’ll be returning full time after graduation.
What’s it like to be ready to graduate from HBS? [23:00]
After spring break, she realized how quickly graduation was coming, and that she’s about to part from her b-school friends (who are moving around the country).
What she will miss [23:50]
It’s a unique time to be around lots of smart people from different industries. And it’s a unique time in that it’s time off work to reflect and think about who you want to be and what you want to do.
Her advice for applicants [25:10]
Know yourself! Your application needs to be truly representative of who you are: your essay needs to represent you; your letters of recommendations should speak to your impact.
• Anndrea Moore’s website
• Connect with Anndrea Moore on Twitter
• Get Accepted to Harvard Business School, Accepted’s on-demand webinar
• Harvard Business School 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
• HBS Post-Interview Reflections, a video
• Sample Essay from Admitted HBS Student
• Alula Eshete podcast
• Stanford GSB Alum Transforming Online Dating for the Ambitious
• Harvard MBA, 2+2 and How to Get In
• Insights into MIT Sloan MBA Admissions with Dawna Levenson
• Breaking Some HBS Stereotypes: An Interview with Ben Faw
• Tuck Talk: IV with The Dean Of Admissions