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Real Humans of Harvard Business School’s MBA Class of 2021

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In this edition of Real Humans, we are pleased to introduce a handful of MBA students who each earned a coveted spot in Harvard Business School’s Class of 2021.  While this year’s Round 1 MBA applicants anticipate interview invitations, let’s get to know the latest set of students who made it through HBS’s highly selective admissions process.

The MBA program at HBS received 9,228 applications last year, and 938 of that group matriculated this fall.  The large class size at HBS supports diversity of experience and perspectives throughout the learning experience.  Across the board, the program has solid numbers in regards to diversity: 37 percent are international students who hail from 71 countries, 27 percent are U.S. ethnic minorities, and 43 percent are women.

While it should come as no surprise that the Class of 2021’s overall academic record was strong (the median GMAT score was 730 and average undergraduate GPA was 3.7), their GMAT results spanned 590 to 800, the former suggesting that there is more to gaining admission to this top-ranked school than a perfect standardized test score.  The latest crop of students had a range of majors at their undergraduate institutions as well.  Forty-three percent had pursued business and economics, 38 percent had studied a STEM subject and the remainder earned degrees in humanities and social sciences.  Following their undergraduate years, the Class of 2021 spent an average of 4.7 years in the professional world.  Venture capital/private equity was the most popular pre-MBA industry, with 16 percent of the class coming from the sector.  Consulting followed with 15 percent.  Financial services, manufacturing/industrial/energy, and technology each saw 12 percent of the class before they headed to HBS.  Nine percent had worked in consumer goods/retail and another 8 percent came from a non-profit/government/education background.  The rest of the class came from healthcare, the military and other occupations.

Read on to hear from HBS first-years about their unique journeys to the top business school.

Jonathan Pfeffer
Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as Contributing Writer at MetroMBA and Contributing Editor at Clear Admit, he was also a co-founder of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.