Harvard MBA Essays 2015 and Writing Tips

MBA essay question for 2015 application, class of 2018:

It’s the first day of class at HBS. You are in Aldrich Hall meeting your “section.” This is the group of 90 classmates who will become your close companions in the first-year MBA classroom. Our signature case method participant-based learning model ensures that you will get to know each other very well. The bonds you collectively create throughout this shared experience will be lasting.

Introduce yourself.

First impression stays for long, and in this case, will stay with the adcom till decision making. You might want to introspect well and freeze the aspects of your personality that need a mention in your introduction to a possible academic and professional network. You are going to be a special addition to your section at HBS because you have diverse experiences, personal values, skills and motivations. HBS has a past record of admitting professional with that leadership streak and proven accomplishments at work. So, it is going to be a good idea to showcase the high points at work. While doing so, also keep in mind that, for your section mates and future team mates, you are going to be much more than your professional resume. Try to include the personal qualities and interests that can help you get along with them.

When you click on the video that the adcom wants you to view, you would get into the world of HBS and closely view the case-study method and the synergies between professors and students and learning teams. You would find that in a typical class, you will participate, collaborate and co-facilitate the learning of your fellow students. Your mates in the learning teams will contribute to your understanding of case studies by drawing from their own professional experience during and before the class discussions. It would be great to bring an experience which can showcase your pre-job(presentation, client visit, board room) preparation, ability to mastering the details and giving recommendations, experience of putting yourself in the shoes of the protagonist and taking decisions. Know your metacognitive abilities well.

This narration is an introduction and hence needs to be broad, clear, crisp. Please try to be informative yet resist bragging about things which are out of the scope for your ‘first impression’ at HBS. How would you remember someone who introduced himself some time ago? – maybe the person was attractive, had experiences or qualities that you admired and made the narration memorable. It’s your turn now.

In conclusion, please help HBS adcom to find reasons why should you be in the class.

Read the question prompt again, if you need to, but remember

1. You want to focus on aspects which you could not showcase much via other sections and components of the HBS application
2. Stay authentic, because this is not the place to fit in all the super abilities that you want your classmates/adcom to know, a good judgment will prevail
3. The good and not so good part is, they have not suggested a word limit. However, if you imagine introducing yourself, about two to three minutes would be a good time. Let’s safely assume about 700-1000 words.

While reviewing your HBS essay, we would read them aloud and get a feel of how they will sound. Would you like to do the same and rehearse?

Before you start writing the essay, here are two links which you might find useful –

1. Dee Leopold’s full thoughts on this question at on her blog, Direct from the Director
2. Dee Leopold’s interview with Poets and Quants. Read more

ISB Essays 2015-2016


ISB has released essay topics for 2015 application, the intake of 2016. There have been changes in the essays, this year as well. The questions are more focused, intend to cover applicant’s personality and require applicants to see clearly into their aspirations.

ISB essays, 2015-2016 cycle – for the class of 2017

Essay 1: If we were to admit just one more student, make a compelling argument as to why that student should be you by describing an (only one) achievement in your personal / professional life that you are most proud of. What did you do that sets you apart from others? What did you learn? (400 words max)

Essay 2: Describe a (only one) defining moment in your personal / professional life when you had to make a risky decision, and explain what you did, why and the outcome?


Describe a (only one) situation in your personal / professional life when you had to interact with people from diverse backgrounds. How did it affect you and what did you learn? (300 words max)

Essay 3: What are your post ISB career plans and how will your past experiences and the Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP) contribute to taking you there? (300 words max)

Essay 4 (Optional): Please use this space to explain any career breaks / provide any other information not covered elsewhere in the application that could significantly impact your candidature at ISB. Note: It is not necessary to write this essay. Please use this space only if there is something really significant that you would like us to know. (200 words max)

ISB launches Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise

Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise has been established with the objective of creating sustainable family enterprises and institutions, strengthening the custodianship role of business families and other stakeholders which in turn will create value for the economy and the society. Some core areas of focus are – wealth management, philanthropy, developing mentors for family businesses, managing family business boards, and research on global family enterprises. The ongoing activities will include research, case studies, training, teaching, external engagement and institution building.

Please read more at http://www.isb.edu/thomas-schmidheiny-centre-for-family-enterprise

Round-2 MBA Deadlines and Adpplication Help

Rush turn around on all essays – 24 hours or less!

All of you who are working tirelessly for completing your applications, ApexWriters goes a step ahead and promises to partner and work equally hard by catering to all your last minute needs in less than 24 hours.

Just check ‘rush service’ during checkout and get your documents reviewed in 24 hours. Should you need to discuss your application strategy, select the right stories, get your application essays edited or simply critiqued, you can find the services in our catalog.

When you need start-to-finish support on a bunch of schools, you may want to check out our Comprehensive MBA application packages

Need flexibility? Check out our A-La-Carte Essay Editing

Or simply check the offerings on Application Resume, Interviews and Application Rejection Analysis.


Email: info[@]apexwriters[dot]com
Google Hangout/Skype: ‘ApexWriters’

MBA Admissions Consulting Packages

Like most serious b-school applicants, if comprehensive and end-to-end support is what works best for you, here is a snapshot of what you will appreciate in our end-to-end packages-

From the time you decide to do an MBA, there are many critical aspects about applying to the business schools. Aspects like evaluating if your GMAT scores are enough to target your choicest school, identifying if the program you are targeting fits your goals and profile or considering the specialization and recruitment opportunities after graduating from a particular school. We do not serve just as your admission consultants but your partners, we help you bring the best from your own profile by conducting brainstorming sessions and encourage you to come up with relevant stories from your life. We help you strategize your essays and select the right recommenders. We work with you even after you get your admission results and help you decide between the schools.

ApexWriters’ comprehensive admission counseling service works in stages. A consultant guides you through various phases starting with discussion on strengthening your profile to helping you with interview preparation.


Once you find ApexWriters’ end-to-end MBA Admissions Consulting Packages appropriate for your needs, we will ask you for your current resume and map your profile, needs, and expectation of time commitment and assign you a consultant. We would discuss about Your professional background and future career goals – your criteria like concentration, location, tuition fee, recruitment prospects and scholarships/fellowships,your strengths and weaknesses and how can you convey them in a way that would impress the admission committee. We will give you our expert feedback on your profile and about your chances of getting accepted at your choicest schools. We would be candid to admit if we would find that your goals are a little too ambitious for the school you are applying to but at the same time, we will also counsel you about the programs that fit the most. Even if you do not specific schools in mind, you will go with us through a comprehensive list of business schools and choose with our continuous guidance. Once the schools are decided, we will highlight the aspects of your applications which can be highlighted and the obvious weaknesses which can either be mitigated or presented as learning experiences. We will give you pointers for resume, reference letters and essays.

Reference letters carry weight because recommenders are unbiased individuals who can provide additional details about you and testify what you have already written in your essays and resume. During the brainstorming sessions, we will can help you choose the right people who you may wan to approach for soliciting a reference letter. We would also help you share the information with your recommenders which will help them relevant letters for you.

Most applicants, tired of writing the essays, prefer cut and paste job on questions which are near common among the schools they are applying. You should know that admission committee can intuitively know if an applicant has not done the research about the school and the essays are not tailored to the essay question. Our expert consultants and editors can help you draft your personal essays by bringing out the most convincing and relevant stories from your life. Through your application essays, you have a unique opportunity to convince the admission officers your fit to their program and we promise to guide you showcase your goals and stories in a much improved manner. You can discuss with us the possible layouts for each question and we can suggest you on what would seem us the most appropriate. Before you start writing the essay outline, we will brainstorm with you the content, which would not only save your time and effort but also bring a flow in the essay. Once you are done with the first draft, you upload your essays which we will now evaluate in every possible way as an admission officer and share the HONEST feedback. Now it is your turn to work towards your second draft, it may not take as long as your first draft but will surely require some substantial work. There are usually two such rounds depending upon the content.

Already breathless? Do not worry, after all this is how good essays are born! Your partners (consultants?) would work together on improving your essays and will make sure that essays look apt in flow, syntax and relevance. What is also of importance is that school specific information and your goals come out clearly in the write-up.

A happy news and it is an interview invite, great! We would share a detailed questionnaire and share strategies to answer frequently asked questions at the business schools.

ApexWriters’ Comprehensive and high touch service; if you are ready, we are too! Welcome

USA MBA Programs accepting 15 years education

US business schools accepting three years undergraduate degree from India

US education system requires students to complete four years of undergraduate education to obtain a degree. Thus, most business schools in the US require international students to to complete a minimum of 16 years (10+2+4) of education before they apply for programs like MBA. In countries like India, apart from courses such as medicine and engineering; most undergraduate courses need three years for completion.

While some schools would accept 15 years of education, some would ask you to increase your competitiveness by obtaining a Master’s degree before applying; some would mention that a post graduate diploma in the same area of study as your Bachelor’s degree can qualify you for the program and some would consider you eligible if you are a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and hold a 3-year Bachelor’s degree.

In our eight years’ experience, we have seen many successful applicants who have done well in their career, have a good extracurricular records and convey their case convincingly getting through almost all schools. Since the schools evaluate the applications in totality, we would encourage you to write the admissions committee of your choicest school and check the eligibility and frame application in accordance to those preferences.

Here is the list of b-schools that accept three years Indian undergraduate degree.

  1. Harvard Business School –
    Official Link for confirmation
  2. Stanford Business School –
    Official Link for confirmation
  3. University of Chicago-Booth –
    Official Link for confirmation
  4. Kellogg Business School –
    Official Link for confirmation

– See complete at: http://apexwriters.com/US-MBA-three-years-degree.jsp

ISB-MFAB-Essays -2014-2015

ISB’S MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME FOR FAMILY BUSINESS (MFAB) aims at grooming the younger generation of family-owned businesses for effective leadership. Mr Deepak Chandra, Deputy Dean at ISB, shares that 70% of market capitalization on BSE is attributed to family businesses but the survival rate in the next generations is not encouraging. MFAB, thus, aims at developing and enhancing business leadership through innovative world class program. You may check out the admissions information and online application to know more about the program.

Apart from taking the BAT, ISB requires you to write the following essays/Video Essay.

Application Essays:

Q1. Why do you intend to pursue MFAB program? (500 words)
Q2. Describe an important initiative that your business has undertaken during the past 5 years. Explain why you consider it important. You may share an initiative taken by your company even if you were not necessarily involved or associated with it. (500 words)
Q3. According to you, what are the main challenges faced by your business and how would you address them? (500 words)
Q4. Please use this space to highlight anything you wish to bring to the notice of the admissions office/admission committee which could not be highlighted in any other part of the application. Examples of things to list here would include explanations for gaps in work or education, inconsistent or below average academic performance. Use this space to also highlight work and non-work related awards & achievements which you feel would add value to your application. (500 words)
Q5. VIDEO ESSAY – Based on your strengths, how would you add value to your peers in your joining class at the ISB? You could site examples to substantiate your response. (90 Seconds)

Additional Questions:
Q6. What are the short-term and long-term goals of your business and how do you envision your role in the orgainisation? (300 words)
Q7. Describe the department/organizational unit for which you are responsible. Relate it to the whole organization in terms of size, scope, and autonomy of responsibility. What human resources, budget, and capital investment are you responsible? (500 words)
Q8. When was your business started and what have been the important milestones in the business? (300 words)
Q9. Please describe the roles, responsibilities of the family members involved in managing the business. (500 words)


While working in your family business and preparing for BAT if you find that you need support in preparing your best application – please consult your ISB-MFAB admissions partnersOur team is tirelessly working to help MFAB applicants prepare their application, review their essays and writing their resume.

Please check our ISB-MFAB Essays Editing service that can just be the help that you may need.

Berkeley-Haas- MFE Essays 2014-2015 | MS-Financial Engineering Admissions Essays

Application essays are now available for the applicants who are applying to the Financial Engineering program at Berkeley Haas.

Please check MFE’s website for details

Q1 Please provide a statement regarding your experience, if any, in applying your quantitative skills in problem solving in business or research settings (250 words)

Q2 Please discuss your intermediate and long-term professional goals and why you want an MFE degree at this point in your career.(250 words)

Q3 Innovation is often viewed as one of the hallmarks of successful financial practitioners. Please describe how you have demonstrated this characteristic in your personal or professional life. (250 words)

Q4 How will your presence in the MFE program benefit the other students? What do you think you will be able to contribute to their experience while at Berkeley? (250 words)

Short Answers (Close to ~150 words)
1. List all courses in progress and courses you expect to take before enrolling at Berkeley. Indicate the institution, department, course number, number of units, expected date of completion, and a brief description for each course. Do not include courses listed on transcripts that you have already sent to us.

2. If you have ever been placed on academic probation, been dismissed from a school, or received a failing grade (including nongraded courses for which you received an assessment of unsatisfactory or “not pass”), please explain.

3. Do you feel that your academic record is an accurate reflection of your ability and potential? In comparison to your college friends and classmates, do you feel that you were particularly advantaged or disadvantaged? Please explain.

4. What do you view as a particular strength of yours? What do you view as a particular weakness? Would friends or family share your view?

5. Provide an account of any gaps in your employment since your undergraduate degree.

While you are preparing your best application, and you need additional support – you can check out ApexWriters’ offering for Haas-MFE program. You would be pleased to know that we not just help you with the editing of the essays, but partner with you for your successful application.

ISB Essays 2014-2015 | Writing Tips

To get a head start, it would be nice to look at the writing tips and analysis to generate more ideas.

Here, are some of the tips-
Innovation or doing things differently it is said is a key to future success. Could you substantiate or negate this idea based on your experience. Please provide examples from your own experience ? either examples of your own innovation or examples of others whom you have worked with. 300 words
This is an opportunity to showcase your ability to stand out. Here, innovation does not have to be a patent or some technical marvel you had invented; it could be just anything – a time when you decided not to follow a set path and become an agent of change delivering value to people, organization or society. Now, it is example time. Think deeply and talk about 1-2 experiences that are insightful, to you and to the reader. Talk about the results and how have they convinced you that being innovative is being futuristic. We don’t want to guide you with any structure and let you be creative here, just ensure that you are precise and convincing.
Applying to and enrolling in a Business School is an important career decision. Critically look at your career to date, the choices you have made, the key influences behind those choices, your goals for the future and how you expect to benefit from the ISB experience in achieving your goals. 300 words
Crisply put – why MBA and why ISB? Talk about your motivation behind the first job – it could be your passion, need to get the job, money or any other interest. Describe how moved forward in your career (different roles with same company or different companies) and fine tuned your aspirations. By now, you should have steered the reader towards your goal. This section should close in about 100 words. Now, talk maturely about your immediate and long term goals. The story should further flow towards the role that a PGP from ISB can play. Each school has a unique flavor-in terms of clubs / students activities, center of excellence, reputed alumni base and specific electives. Connect with students, visit the campus or attend events if need be, and let the reader know that you have done your home work and ISB is ‘the’ school for you.

A) This experience completely changed my way of thinking. OR B) An instance when you went out of the ordinary to achieve something significant, but in hind sight feel you could have done better. OR C) Tell us about your role in a team that made a significant contribution to the organization OR D) Contribution to peer learning and engagement with the ISB student body are important aspects of the ISB experience. What contribution do you expect to make in this direction during the one year at ISB. 200 words
A) These are experiential questions where you can talk about professional or personal experiences. You may just want to see that your application has a good blend of personal and professional stories. With 200 words at disposal, straight away start with your experience and then talk about how it impacted your thought process. Also, clearly mention that the ‘experience’ has certainly changed your way of thinking with some real world example(s)
B) Don’t confuse it with the previous question (doing things differently). This question would talk about your ability to reflect back (one of the key traits of leaders) and courage to identify your shortcomings. Highlight the learning and your pursuit of improvement.
C) When you talk about your role, it could be of a team member or a leader. As evident from the prompt, success is the outcome and your suggestions, methodologies, efforts and ability to steer the team is what the adcom would like to see here. If possible, see if you can talk about your contribution in measurable terms.
D) Student engagement at a b-school is priceless. Ask yourself – when you would not be studying, what do you want yourself to be occupied with? how will you mingle with peers and share the life experiences? You could contribute to the student body by becoming a sports champion / organizer/initiator. Link the same with your past-if you have actually participated in / led events in your college / company.


You can trust us as your accountability partners, who not only support or guide you but also work tirelessly for your/our success. Contact us today to know how can right partnership make a difference in your ISB Admissions journey.

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