Today’s Wall St. Journal provides an excellent interview with Dee Leopold, Director of Admission at Harvard Business School.
A few highlights:
- WSJ: “Ms. Leopold personally reads applications for the 1,800 candidates invited to interview. About half of those are accepted.”
- Dee Leopold: “Sometimes the challenge in the essays is to be honest and to be clear. It may be helpful for someone to say, ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about.’ De-jargonizing is helpful.”
- Dee Leopold: “The best recommendations have a lot of verbs. They say, ‘She did this,’ versus adjectives that simply describe you.” (LA: Same is true of MBA essays and interview responses.)
- Dee Leopold: ” We like to think that our arrogance detectors are pretty good. We’re looking for confidence, with humility.”
- Dee Leopold: “I do see more people coming from entrepreneurial backgrounds, and we have more engineers. “
The last point was particularly timely because yesterday we uploaded our latest video, MBA Admissions Tips for Engineers, to Accepted’s YouTube channel, Eye on Admissions. If you are an engineer applying to HBS or other top MBA programs, the simple approach provided in this video will help you “de-jargonize” and focus on what’s important to your readers.
By Linda Abraham, President and Founder of Accepted.com, co-author of MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.