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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Updated with fresh real essays but very limited by itself
I am the founder of GMAT Club, a massive online MBA community, representing 10% of the incoming class at top business schools this year. Here are my thoughts about the book:

The GOOD:
- The main value: you can read the essays of the applicants who got into the HBS
- 41 recent essays; this is the new edition of the book and has been updated with 41 new...
Published on August 18, 2010 by GMAT Club (Expert)

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Too outdated
Those essays are quite outdated.. some are probably from the late 90s.. You may learn about various writing styles but may be disappointed by some materials that are overused.
Published 18 months ago by Xuefeng Liao


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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Updated with fresh real essays but very limited by itself, August 18, 2010
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This review is from: 65 Successful Harvard Business School Application Essays, Second Edition: With Analysis by the Staff of The Harbus, the Harvard Business School Newspaper (Paperback)
I am the founder of GMAT Club, a massive online MBA community, representing 10% of the incoming class at top business schools this year. Here are my thoughts about the book:

The GOOD:
- The main value: you can read the essays of the applicants who got into the HBS
- 41 recent essays; this is the new edition of the book and has been updated with 41 new essays (24 are carried over from the old edition)
- There is only one essay per person (both good and bad); you get more variety but at the same time only a fraction of the picture
- The only book with recent essays (all others have 5, 7, and 10+ year old essays)

The BAD:
- The main disadvantage: you see only a small piece of the puzzle and may potentially change your application for worse
- Analysis of each essay is very minimal and is not "official" per se
- Absolutely Zero advice/strategies/recommendations. The book starts off with essays

BOTTOM LINE: If you are going to a top 10 school, it is a $10 well spent. However, this book is only valuable as a reference/secondary guide. Find a good general book on essays such as Paul Bodine's Great Applications for Business School or How to get into the Top MBA programs by Richard Montauk and use them as the base and this book to compare your style, story, etc.

Some Other Suggestions & Thoughts:
1. Plan ahead - draft a schedule and stick to it
2. Find the program that fits you best. People get disappointed even with a Top 5 school. It is important to take from the school and also give
3. Understand your strengths and weaknesses - be real with yourself and with the admissions. Don't lie or make up things - I know it may seem like a better short term strategy but it backfires in the long run
4. Know your story and tell it well - to get to the top, you need to have a story that goes through your essays, recommendations, interview, and resume
5. Don't copy/plagiarize any essays - you won't be along and those people are quickly picked out and kicked out. You won't have a second chance. Also if your AWA essays are under 4.5 and your school essays are perfect, that will be a red flag.

Let me know if any questions about this book, I respond to comments.
Best Regards,
BB, MBA, GMAT 750
Founder of GMAT Club

P.S. It is hard to rate this book - giving 4 stars as I don't think it deserves to be dinged for lack of strategies/advice - it has the most valuable part: real fresh essays from HBS admits.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great tool for MBA applicants, April 19, 2011
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This review is from: 65 Successful Harvard Business School Application Essays, Second Edition: With Analysis by the Staff of The Harbus, the Harvard Business School Newspaper (Paperback)
I didn't apply to Harvard, so I can't comment on whether this book can help you get in there. But, since Harvard sets a very high bar for its applicants, you can be sure that reading this will help you set a higher standard for yourself.

I started my MBA applications before buying this book, and I thought that overall I had some great essays. After reading this book, I realized that my essays were pretty much garbage, and started over. After you read some of the examples they give you, you can really see that each of the applicants has set themselves apart from the pack in some form or another.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and believe it directly contributed to me getting into my first choice business school. However, I still think that a potential business school applicant should still supplement this reading with other readings that are available out there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful!!, December 15, 2011
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This review is from: 65 Successful Harvard Business School Application Essays, Second Edition: With Analysis by the Staff of The Harbus, the Harvard Business School Newspaper (Paperback)
This is a very useful tool when looking to write concise essays for MBA program applications. There are an array of different types of writing and the comments on why HBS used the essay as reference were also useful. If you want to have a cheap book that helps give you ideas to write your own essay BUY THIS BOOK!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Too outdated, September 2, 2013
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Those essays are quite outdated.. some are probably from the late 90s.. You may learn about various writing styles but may be disappointed by some materials that are overused.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, December 5, 2014
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This review is from: 65 Successful Harvard Business School Application Essays, Second Edition: With Analysis by the Staff of The Harbus, the Harvard Business School Newspaper (Paperback)
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