My thoughts on the 5 Applications (HBS, Yale, Kellogg, Wharton, Tuck)


Hello everyone, today’s post focuses on the five applications that I completed. These are solely my opinions, but hopefully they can help some R2ers and R3ers out there. Also I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on any of the schools that I cover. And if you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe to my blog on the homepage!


Harvard Business School
This was the first application that I completed. It wasn’t too tough, and was actually one of the shorter applications with one open-ended essay. Also, their recommendation questions were common with Yale, Kellogg, and Wharton, which was nice for my recommenders. Overall, it was fairly straightforward with no surprises.

Summary: Basic application, one essay, with common LOR questions… great to use as a template for my other apps!


Yale SOM
The application form was VERY similar to HBS’s. However, Yale also had a short answer question regarding my decision to pursue an MBA (which I really liked). Yale also employed video essays that had to be completed up to one week after turning in the application. I was really nervous, but I ended up really enjoying the experience! Ultimately, I felt that the application did a good job of trying to understand who I was as an applicant.

Summary: Basic application (one essay) augmented with “Why MBA” question and video essays… good job at understanding applicants


By far my favorite application. This application did the ABSOLUTE BEST job at trying to understand the applicant. Besides the basic application form, they asked several short answer questions concerning career accomplishment, desired position, short-term goals and long-term goals.The essays (2) focused on experiences in regards to grit and leadership. I feel this format is EXCELLENT at finding out WHO the person is and WHAT they want to do and HOW they do it. Instead of spending lots of time word-smithing goals in essays, you focus on communicating a definitive experience that highlights your character. Also they had video essays, which I really liked (and “practiced” with Yale).

Summary:  Basic application (fantastic two essay questions) augmented with 4 short answer questions and video essays… fantastic job at understanding applicants


The application form was VERY similar to HBS’s and Yale’s. The essay was very straightforward.  Straightforward and to-the-point with no surprises.

Summary: Basic application (one essay) allowed time to really focus on the essay.


By far the most detailed application due to how they deal with career details (if you have “significant” changes in responsibility within the same company they want you to detail it out… therefore instead of 1 career space, I had 2 career spaces). They also wanted details on international experience and more details in regards to extracurricular activities. I had a head-start since I made sure to download last year’s application, but it was still time intensive. Also, I had to complete two essays (plus a third as a re-applicant). I really liked the third essay (very straightforward). The LOR was MUCH MORE intense, allowing my recommenders to share A LOT about me. Overall, the application did a great job at understanding the applicant, really utilizing both the detailed career growth and recommenders’ opinions.

Summary: Intense application (two/three essays) that did a GREAT job of understanding career movement/character.


What are your thoughts on the varying applications process?


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8 Responses to “My thoughts on the 5 Applications (HBS, Yale, Kellogg, Wharton, Tuck)”

  1. gnpth

    Hey Grantmeadmission,

    All the best. My wishes to you. Hope you get through your target school 🙂

  2. A Girl's Musings

    Thanks so much for sharing! I’m going to apply in R2 and it is really helpful to get first hand info from a fellow applicant! I’m kinda overwhelmed with so much of information on the internet! I find myself constantly referring back to your blog posts for help!

  3. akhilesh

    Hey All the best with your applications and thanks for such a wonderful site. This is really helpful for fellow aspirants such as me.
    I wanted to ask you since you have already filled in the applications that what format did you follow to fill in job description details.
    I am planning to fill in those details in bullet format.

    Also what aspect of job description did you write in those sections.


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