Harvard Business School has a promotional video up at http://www.hbs.edu/mba/academics/
The video can also been seen here.
It’s an ad for HBS of course, highlighting its main point of distinction: the case method, which, according to HBS creates “special moments that pull everything we have learned into focus. When theory, practice, experience and talent all come to one sharp point — a decision.” And so on.
For the MBA admissions applicant this is a worthwhile watch for a few reasons
1. It is good insight into how b-schools work and think. It is good background on the culture and attitudes at play, including overall assumptions and ethics, and therefore what would be expected of the next class too.
2. It is good insight into the dynamics of the business school classroom, and the requirements of individual and group-based learning. The applicant positioned well to work in this way, is well positioned to be admitted.
3. It is good insight into the case method of teaching. HBS is “ground zero” of the case method, but actually almost every school uses cases to a significant degree, so it is useful for understanding all schools.
By the way, the case method has been under a bit of scrutiny, and voices have been raised that Harvard did not adequately prepare its graduates to assess risk / business failure (the credit crunch and fallout). See example stories in Forbes and Bloomberg News. But, to me it doesn’t look like HBS did worse than anywhere else …
Note also how HBS focuses on its distinctive marker – the case method – in branding and advertising itself. Same principles apply to MBA applicants.