HBS Adcom is answering applicants’ questions every day until the R1 deadline. Answers so far…

Deidre Leopold, Harvard Business School’s Managing Director of Admissions and Financial Aid is answering applicant questions at the rate of two a day on the HBS ‘From The Director‘ blog, until Harvard’s Round 1 deadline on October 1.

The following are the questions that have been selected so far, and HBS Adcom’s answers:

September 25, 2009

1. Are you reading applications now?
No. We don’t begin until the night of October 1. That’s when we print all applications and begin review. So our process is not “rolling” in a classic sense. That said, I would advise NOT waiting until the final moments before the deadline to submit because the server will probably be backed up and you will be very anxious.

2. When can I visit a class?
The online scheduler for class visits is available now. Class visits begin on Monday, October 19. Whether you have visited a class or not has no bearing on our consideration of your candidacy. However, here’s (yet another) plug for our video filmed in the first year classroom.

September 24, 2009

1. Must applications for the MPP/MBA Program, or other joint degree programs, be submitted separately?
Yes. In order to participate in a Harvard joint program, you must be admitted to each school independently. HBS offers five joint degrees with four Harvard schools.

2. May I scan an unofficial transcript into the application?
Yes. After admission, we require the official transcript to be sent to us.

September 23, 2009

1. Do you expect applicants who are working in consulting to include actual client names in their resumes and essays?
No – even though applications are confidential and not reviewed outside the Admissions Board, please don’t do anything that violates confidentiality policies of your organization. Use general language such as: “For a client in the energy industry, etc. etc. etc.”

2. I know that you need GMAT/GRE results in order to submit an application and that AWA/Analytical Writing scores can be added later…but what about the TOEFL or IELTS?
If you are required to take the IBT TOEFL or IELTS, you must have results to report or else we will consider your application incomplete until scores are reported. If you do not submit an IBT TOEFL or IELTS score by the Round One deadline of October 1, your application will not be considered until the next round.

September 22, 2009

1. Do you accept the GMAT or GRE total score in the application without the AWA or Analytical Writing score?
You must have a GMAT or GRE score in order to submit an application. If you haven’t yet received your AWA or Analytical Writing score, that’s fine. We will add it to your file when it arrives.

2. Is it OK to write about accomplishments that are not recent?
Every year, many successful candidates write about things that happened quite a while ago. It’s probably not a good idea to have everything you write about be from your childhood – we would wonder if you were moving forward or fixed in the past. As always, we encourage you to use your best judgment and remember that this is an application to business school.

September 21, 2009

1. What should I enter on the application for GPA if my university doesn’t use a 4.0 grading system?
Don’t enter anything. Don’t convert your grades to a 4.0 system. We review all transcripts and are familiar with a wide variety of grading systems.

2. Are essays read in consecutive order?
Not always. Each Board member may have his/her own way of approaching the written application. Speaking for myself, I often skip around with no particular pattern. If I start with an essay that seems to be building on a theme in another essay, I just go back and catch up. Not a problem. I can reassure you that all essays are reviewed!

Do You Have Any Questions? Submit your questions via email to admissions@hbs.edu and put “Questions for the director” in the subject line.