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哈佛商学院招生主管详解面试内幕

David Whitford 2012年04月20日

怎样才能如愿进入哈佛商学院学习?GMAT高分自然不用说,但除此之外呢?我们不妨听哈佛商学院招生主管利奥波德谈谈她认为申请者还应该具备哪些软素质。

迪•利奥波德,哈佛商学院招生主管

    你是否曾经思考过,成功申请哈佛商学院(Harvard Business School)需要满足哪些条件?GMAT高分是毫无疑问的。哈佛每年招生900人,收到的申请数量却超过9,000份,而且申请者的GMAT平均分都在700分以上。

    那么,申请者怎么才能脱颖而出?迪•利奥波德1980年获得哈佛MBA学位,已在哈佛商学院工作多年,近六年来一直担任招生主管。我们不妨听听她高见。

    利奥波德总有办法让紧张的申请者在最后一关、也就是面试中放松下来。她告诉他们,比如她到时候会查收一下电子邮件,因此请他们写下3、4个问题,面试结束后她可以问他们这些问题。有一次,遇到一个特别紧张的面试者,利奥波德提了一个自认很容易回答的问题:“假设今天是新年前夜,你有很多新年计划,你希望在新的一年能在哪些方面取得进步……”

    结果,这一招居然不管用。可怜的家伙还是坐在那儿,如坐针毡。最后,他说:“我希望能做事更有条理一些。”

    “好,”利奥波德说,当时她想:“接下来我该说什么呢”于是,她让他举个例子。

    “我本以为这趟行程该带的东西都带了,”他说。“但昨晚我到了波士顿,住进酒店的时候已经晚了。时间已经是周日晚上的10点。我打开行李,这时,我发现居然没有准备衬衫,而第二天一早9点我就得去哈佛商学院面试。”

    利奥波德开始有了兴趣。他当时正穿着一件衬衫,干净雪白,熨得平平整整。“你怎么办?”

    “我穿上了我的大学生联谊会T恤,”他说。“然后做了一块广告牌挂在身上:‘我愿意拿T恤交换一件正装衬衫’。然后,我走到了街头。”

    录取!“这就是我们希望在现实生活中看到的,”利奥波德解释称。“也就是能想出办法的人。不抱怨,不装腔作势,就是这么简单。”

    那位申请者的年龄不到20岁。他参加的是哈佛商学院的“2+2计划”,即在每届MBA招生中为大三学生留出约100个名额,这些人会保留学籍,完成本科学业并工作两年后在进入哈佛就读。

    Have you thought about what it takes to get into Harvard Business School these days? Stratospheric board scores, that goes without saying. Harvard receives over 9,000 applications for 900 spots, and the average score on the GMAT for the applicant pool -- the applicant pool -- is over 700.

    So how does one stand out? Dee Leopold, who earned her Harvard MBA in 1980 and has been working at the B-school for many years, the last six as director of admissions, offers some clues.

    Leopold has tricks she uses to put nervous applicants at ease during their final hurdle, the mandatory interview. She'll tell them, for instance, that she's going to check her email, and invite them to jot down three or four questions she can ask them when she's finished. Once, when faced with a particularly anxious interviewee, she tossed him what she thought was a softball question: "Let's pretend it's New Year's Eve and you're making a list of resolutions of what you're going to be better at this year…."

    It didn't help. The poor guy sat there, miserable. Finally, he said, "I'd really like to be more organized."

    "Okay," Leopold says she was thinking, "Where am I going to go with this?" She asked him for an example.

    "I thought I'd packed really well for this trip," he began. "But I got to my hotel late last night, 10:00 on a Sunday night in Boston. I unpacked, and I realized I have a 9:00 Monday morning interview at Harvard Business School and I don't have a shirt."

    Leopold perked up. He was wearing a shirt now. Clean and white and neatly pressed. "What did you do?"

    "I put on my fraternity tee-shirt," he said, "made a sandwich board that said 'Will barter for dress shirt,' and went out on the street."

    Accept! "That's exactly what you want in real life," Leopold explains. "Somebody who's going to figure it out. No fuss, no fanfare, that's it."

    That applicant was barely 20 years old. He came in through Harvard's "2+2 Program," which sets aside about 100 slots in every class for college juniors who agree to postpone their enrollment until they've finished school and worked for two years.

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