Harvard Business School Admission


A few days ago Harvard Business School (“HBS”) was in Lagos for an information session at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos.

So as it seems, these ivy league schools are paying more attention to Africa. I know Wharton and Stanford have similar events coming up in the next couple of days.

I was at the program and even though I was a few minutes late, I don’t think I missed much.

There was a panel of current MBA students (Class of 2015) and some other Harvard Alumni at the program. The students talked about several things – course work, campus life etc.

We were also given a run through of HBS’ evaluation criteria which is as follows:

• Habit of leadership
• Analytical aptitude and appetite
• Engaged community citizenship

For the admission process, you would need the following:

• Written Application
• Transcripts
• GMAT
• Resume
• Recommendations
• Essay

Some points to note however:

• The average GMAT score for the Class of 2015 is 730 out of a possible 800
• Average age 27
• You need at least 2years of work experience to apply else try HBS 2+2
• Recommendations are very important

Other Statistics:



Source: HBS Website

Once you are successful with the above, you would be shortlisted for an interview which can take place over skype of a one on one. After the interview, you have 24 hours to let the school know if there is anything you missed out which would aid your application but forgot to mention.

For those not aware, an MBA at HBS costs a staggering $300,000 (inclusive of tuition, living expenses and lost income). For my undergrad at University of Lagos, I don’t think I spent up to $7,000 so this is well over 40 times what it cost me to acquire a first degree. HBS however assists their students secure financing and fellowships for the program.

The presentations were over and we began networking. I met a couple of people I knew and some new people too. I met a guy who scored 700 in GMAT had worked at a big 4 audit firm in Nigeria but wasn’t even shortlisted for an interview last year. Suddenly the odds of admission began to dawn on us as we listened to his story.

Leaving the venue that day we reached two main conclusions:

• Our chances of getting in would be almost 100% if we find the missing Chibok girls (lol) did I mention a Nobel Peace Prize to go with it;

• If we do not get into the MBA, we would get into the EMBA just like how if you can’t get on through JAMB, you try Direct Entry :) .

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