Yesterday the HBS admission board released its decision on the second round of applications. Meanwhile, I have been receiving a multitude of email from this year’s applicants scattered all over the world. The bulk was from admitted students who shared with me their defining moments and their excitement. As well, I also received a few from rejected applicants informing me of the sad news and their aspiration to other opportunities.
Here is my message to HBS applicants, both admitted and rejected:
To those admitted:
Congratulations! Your herculean effort on the application process – GMAT, essays, and interviews- have paid off! You can now relax, stop worrying about test scores, forget about checking other applicants’ status on MBA forums, and best of all – no more anxiously awaiting email from the admission board.
Being admitted to HBS not only speaks to your intellect, but also demonstrates your potential to be a leader who makes a difference in the world – literally! The coming two years will be incredibly interesting, exciting, challenging and tough. It will be one of the most transitional experiences in your life.
You did a great job. Enjoy this moment before a wave of paperwork in the pre-admission process floods you!
To those rejected:
If you are applying to multiple schools, put HBS out of your mind for the time being and focus on your secondary choices. You don’t have to be admitted by multiple schools, no one can attend more than one school, correct? There are a plethora of outstanding business schools that offer different ‘cultures’ – no school fits everyone. Also, of course, no one fits every school. You just need to find the best-fit school for you and your aspirations.
If you desperately want to study at HBS and are not looking at any other schools, I strongly recommend that you re-apply next year. The acceptance rate on reapplication to HBS is not as low as people generally believe. It’s tougher than the first shot, but I personally know successful re-applicants. You may need to improve your test scores and/or change your strategy, but it’s worth trying.
Decision day always has a major impact on an applicants’ life regardless of the result. Although it is actually almost fifteen months ago, it seems like yesterday that I received the decision that has set me on the path I now travel.