Around the same time that I received an offer from HBS, other business schools I had applied to also announced their decisions. I was lucky enough to be accepted by Kellogg, Columbia, Tuck and MIT. As well, I received interview invitations from Stanford and Wharton, but declined them as I already had decided to accept the offer from HBS.
Here is a theory: it doesn’t matter how many schools you are admitted to – no one can attend more than one.
I had visited each school’s campus and was more than a little attached to them. However, the following factors were key in my decision to attend HBS.
Ultimate decision-making training:
Having worked at an investment bank and a consulting firm, I was proficient in business jargon, frameworks and analytical skills. What I needed was to hone my decision making skills before assuming a management position.
With this in mind, HBS was definitely the ideal choice. During the two years, we make about 800 decisions through the case method. Every case mirrors an actual business situation and students are required to make their own decisions. Every class is like a company board meeting. When I first visited an HBS class, I realized that HBS was the place for me.
Business passport to the world:
Since I aspire to expand my own business globally, I wanted a “passport” which would make it easier to travel from organization to organization, from country to country, everywhere around the world. HBS’ reputation and strong network will make this possible. Bottom line – when I meet someone anywhere in the world, there will be no need to explain my business acumen from zero.
This factor was quite attractive to me. There are a lot of great business schools, but in many cases their reputation varies depending on the region.
City of Boston, a healthcare haven:
Boston was the city I had long wanted to live in. In addition to the beautiful sights and fresh seafood, Boston is known as a city of healthcare.
In southwest Boston, there is an area called Longwood Medical and Academic Area (LMA). In this area, surrounding Harvard Medical School, are nearly 20 healthcare institutions attracting a multitude of talented healthcare people from around the globe. Since my career interest is in the healthcare industry, I wanted to build a good network in this city.
HBS MBA admission rarely asks “Why HBS?” in its interview process. But if they had asked, I would have answered like this.