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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。

    哈佛和大多数一流商学院一样,多年来一直希望MBA申请者至少应该具备一定的工作经验。从十年前开始,哈佛商学院就已经停止了招收完全没有工作经验的本科毕业生。但利奥波德称,为此哈佛损失了太多优秀的申请者,因为希望早日完成学业的学生们都申请去了法学院、公共政策学院和博士生项目。2+2计划是“走进本科校园,汇聚学生人气”的一种方式。利奥波德称:“然后我们可以谈谈MBA学位,它不只是打开一扇门,而是让很多门都保持开启状态。我们不想让你现在就入学。但不妨从现在就开始考虑考虑?”

    哈佛商学院最希望通过2+2计划吸引“科技、工程和数学专业的学生。他们不太懂商业,但最终仍会从商,并且有所建树,因为他们知道如何做事,如何制造,如何思考。”利奥波德称,哈佛可以在这个基础之上传授商业技能,合作技巧和说服艺术。“有点像既会反手,又会正手。”

    利奥波德和她的同事们每年到访约60家本科学校,宣讲2+2计划,有些学校传统上并非不是哈佛的生源地。(“我们喜欢位于密歇根州弗林特的凯特林大学(Kettering),”即前通用汽车学院(General Motors Institute),以工程学院和合作项目著称)如果说有什么问题的话,那就是这个项目近年来太成功了,产生了利奥波德称为“松鼠钻进喂鸟器”的现象,也就是喧宾夺主的问题。

    被利奥波德比作“松鼠”的是“那些还在娘胎里就知道自己将来希望成为投资银行家的人”,他们把2+2计划视为捷径。倒不是利奥波德对投资银行家有什么看法。(“我有一些最慷慨、最友善的同学就在华尔街工作。因此,我绝不会,你明白的……”)利奥波德说,只是松鼠虽然很可爱,但却具有一定侵略性,它们最终挤走了鸟儿。接着,她讲了另一个故事。

    “故事发生在招生办公室的楼下,”利奥波德说。“当时所有人都在楼下集合,个个都很紧张。他们在想,招生办公楼简直比牙医诊所还可怕。我下楼叫一个人,带她上楼面试。远远地,我看到这位年轻姑娘在楼梯半道停住了。她说:‘稍等,我得下楼一趟。’她说,她刚才告诉坐在她旁边的人,到了3点钟就应该自己上楼去面试。“我必须得和他们说一声,不是这么回事,到时候会有人带我们上楼。”

    “这些事情真的会触动我,”利奥波德说。“这么年轻,在全力投入一件事的时候还能够想到别人,真的很了不起。”录取!

    译者:老榆木

    Like most top-tier B-schools, Harvard has long preferred that its MBA candidates arrive with at least some job experience. It stopped accepting students straight out of college a decade ago. But according to Leopold, Harvard was losing too many fast-track candidates to law schools, public policy schools, and Ph.D. programs. The 2+2 option was conceived as a way to "get on a college campus and attract a crowd," Leopold says. "We could then talk about this degree that doesn't open one door, it keeps many doors open. We don't want you to come now. But what if you think about it now?"

    The students Harvard wants to attract most through 2+2 are "STEM people -- science, technology, engineering and math. People that don't know a lot about business, but they're going to end up in business, and they're going to be really good at it because they know how to do things, make things, think through things." Start with that, Leopold says, add what Harvard can teach -- business know-how, collaborative skills, the art of persuasion --and "it's like having a backhand and a forehand."

    Leopold and her colleagues promote 2+2 with visits to about 60 college campuses a year, not all of them traditional Harvard feeder schools. ("We love Kettering in Flint," the former General Motors Institute, known for its engineering school and co-op program) If anything, the program has been too successful in recent years, giving rise to a predicament Leopold describes as "squirrels at the bird feeder."

    The squirrels in Leopold's analogy are "people who've known they want to be investment bankers since they were in diapers," and see 2+2 as a shortcut. Not that Leopold has a problem with investment bankers. ("Some of the most generous and kind classmates I have are on Wall Street. Therefore I would never, you know, geez….") It's just that, well, cute as they are, squirrels are aggressive, Leopold says. They crowd out the songbirds. Then she tells one more story.

    "It happened downstairs in the admission office," Leopold says. "Everybody congregates down there. They're all nervous. They're all thinking this is worse than the dentist's office. I go down to pick someone up and bring her upstairs for an interview. And this other young woman I was watching from a distance, she stops halfway up the stairs and says, 'Wait, I need to go back downstairs.' She had told the person sitting next to her that she should just go up the stairs at 3:00. She said, 'I have to tell them no, someone will come and get you.'

    "Those are the things that really get me," says Leopold. "Wow, when you're so young and self-absorbed and you can already think about somebody else, that's, like, really beautiful." Accept!

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