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HBS Admissions Director “Impressed,” “Pleased,” “Proud” and on Schedule

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Yesterday, Harvard Business School (HBS) Managing Director of Admissions and Financial Aid Dee Leopold had some glowing things to say about applicants in this year’s first round at HBS. “All of us in Dillon are impressed,” she wrote in a post to her Director’s Blog. “Impressed that you met such an early deadline. Impressed at the variety of ways in which you ‘introduced yourselves.’ Impressed that you have all worked so hard to do well,” she wrote. She and her team, meanwhile, are both pleased and proud to be part of a place that applicants see as “a training ground for aspirational leadership,” she continued.

These warm, almost effusive words from Leopold, who is perhaps better known for her direct, no-nonsense style, suggest that the HBS admissions director is indeed quite pleased with the initial responses she and her team received from the new “Introduce yourself” essay prompt that debuted this admission season.

HBS admissions directorThe real news in her post, of course, was about the interview invitations that her team would send out to anxious applicants eagerly awaiting them.

The first round of invites would go at at 12 noon ET today, to roughly 600 Round 1 applicants, she shared yesterday. Another 350 invitations (total) will go out in subsequent batches on October 8th and 14th, she continued.

We have it on good authority—through posts to Clear Admit’s LiveWire and elsewhere, that Leopold was true to her word and that invites did indeed begin trickling out right around the lunch hour in Boston.

One applicant posting on GMAT Club shared the entire text of the interview invite email. The message, according to that post, began as follows:

“Warm greetings from Harvard Business School! After careful consideration of your application materials, we would like to get to know you better. This is our invitation to interview. Take a moment and exhale. Then keep reading.”

As Leopold promised in her blog post yesterday, the invitation did contain detailed instructions for how to schedule an interview. (The online scheduling system will go live on Wednesday, October 7th, at 12 noon (ET), at which point [but no earlier!] those who have received an invitation will be able to register for a specific interview slot by logging into their HBS application. Interview slots will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.)

The invitation also shared details about where interviews will take place. “We conduct interviews on campus and all over the world. We even do some via Skype,” it read. Regardless of where or how you choose to interview, all interviews are conducted by a member of the MBA Admissions board, the invitation continued.

Didn’t get an interview invitation today? All hope is not lost. Again, HBS expects to issue another 350 invites between now and October 14th.

“Please don’t speculate about the day you receive the interview invitation,” Leopold stressed. “It’s not about you. It’s about us and how we set internal deadlines for applications to be read.”

All interview invitations for 2+2 candidates will go out as part of the October 14th wave, Leopold continued in her blog post. That means no news for this group on October 6th or 8th.

On October 14th, Leopold and her team will also “release” candidates who are not moving forward in the process. “We hope that by doing this early, we are enabling this group to pursue other options sooner vs. later,” she wrote. Another group of applicants—which Leopold anticipates will number around 100—will learn on the 14th that they’ve been bumped to Round 2, where HBS will “further consider” their applications.

Parting words from Leopold: “PLEASE don’t send any additional materials or letters of support. We’ve designed an evaluation process that we believe is as thorough and fair as we can make it. It’s not perfect, but it certainly is a process to which we dedicate a tremendous amount of care and concern.”

SO, did you get one of those 600 coveted invitations to interview today??? We want to know—and so do your peers. So by all means share your news on LiveWire. Now might also be a good time to check out the Clear Admit HBS Interview Guide, filled with first-hand accounts from prior applicants who interviewed, HBS-specific interview prep strategy and detailed analysis of some of the interview questions HBS has posed most often in the past.

If you didn’t get the good word today, stay strong and positive. We’ll be rooting for you again on the 8th and the 14th.