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HBS Rolls Out New Recruiting Program Targeting Students at Women-Only Colleges

HBSHarvard Business School (HBS) last week announced a new recruiting program designed to help increase the pipeline of qualified female applicants to its MBA program. The program, called Peek Weekend, invites juniors, seniors and recent graduates from women’s colleges for a June weekend of case studies, presentations and other activities designed to serve as an introduction to HBS and the MBA degree.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, HBS Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Dee Leopold explained that the school hopes through the program to give women a fuller sense of what an MBA can lead to. Calling the MBA “a misunderstood degree,” she noted that there is a perception among many that pursuing one “must mean you want to go work in a bank forever and sit in a cubicle and wear a suit.”

As for why Peek Weekend targets students from women’s college, Leopold explained that graduates of these schools make attractive MBA candidates because they have often held leadership roles on campus. HBS has historically looked for applicants who demonstrate clear leadership abilities or potential.

The inaugural Peek Weekend will take place on the HBS campus on June 19th to 21st. HBS faculty will lead class discussions on current management challenges using the school’s signature case method of instruction. In the evenings, participants will analyze real-life business cases, and in morning study groups and classes they’ll convene to discuss their ideas with other participants and faculty. “This is the life of an MBA student at HBS,” read a page devoted to the new program on the HBS website. The weekend will also include a range of workshops with HBS staff, students and alumnae.

The intent of the program targeting college students is not to attract younger students to the business school, but rather to help them better understand the HBS MBA “at a time when they’re making decisions about next steps,” Leopold told the Journal. The average incoming HBS student is 27 with about four years of work experience, according to the class profile.

HBS staff visited Wellesley College and Barnard College last week to announce the new program, but it is also open to students from other women’s colleges. To be considered, members of the Class of 2015, 2016 and 2017 must complete a basic online application form by the May 15th deadline. Cost of attendance is $500, which includes all materials, housing and meals. Scholarships will be available based on financial need.

Learn more about HBS’s Peek Weekend.