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HBS sets the standard for business programs. It innovates ahead of the curve and is very experimental with the curriculum, which is a great feat considering the size of the school. It is the biggest school, allowing a great amount of diversity and an incredible level of energy and activity at a constant pace. It's a place where people challenge each other in every way possible. You leave wanting to be better in career, life, culture, and leadership.
Too many things are left up to "chance" and a lottery system. Perhaps implementing more of a "market" economy for the things that matter such as class selection and housing would work better.
Between the students, the faculty, and the alumni (who are very actively involved with the school), the overall network of people connected to HBS is incredible.
I feel time allotted for a small number of electives during the first year would be beneficial for some people who are honestly looking to make a career change and want to explore options in-depth. The recruiting process for internships starts so early (basically six weeks into school) that it's hard to get a lot of experience and interactions with people in a new field beforehand.
The case method at Harvard Business School prepares students very well for their careers post-graduation. After attending HBS, I feel much more comfortable taking on leadership roles and articulating my opinion among more senior colleagues.
As an entrepreneur, I always want more resources to help support entrepreneurship efforts.
Our establishment of the case methodology and its application makes the execution better than at other schools. Additionally, the use of attendance requirements really improves classroom engagement and preparation.
The MBA curriculum is currently being revamped to include a stronger focus on practicing teamwork, entrepreneurship and hands-on work, all previous weaknesses of the program. The curriculum is in its second year of practice already and the results are phenomenal. First year students are involved in running teams outside the classroom throughout the year to both consult global companies (involving required global travel) and start a new business.
I believe the caliber of he professors and the case method of teaching at HBS is exceptional. In addition, I feel that the large size of the class allows for an incredible amount of diversity, inside and outside of the classroom. A large part of my personal growth came from intimately getting to know persons of very different backgrounds, supplemented by a good amount of international travel.
The case method does not work for accounting and finance and faculty only half-heartedly try to impose it. The school needs to be more international in its perspective and do a better job of integrating with the rest of Harvard.
The caliber of the students is the best. The case method allows these students to teach each other. The tenure of faculty is based partly on ability to teach, which is unmatched by other top schools.
They could drop an occasional "soft class" and make skill classes such as "negotiations" mandatory - I consider the class we took in ethics to have been a trite and poorly coordinated waste of time.
In my section of 90 people we had the daughter of the chairman of BP, the daughter of the former CEO of McKinsey, the son of the former CEO of Black & Decker, the granddaughter of one of the 50 richest Americans, the son of a billionaire hedge fund manager, and on and on. Students at HBS expect to be successful and will be successful. Students at HBS are already leaders, which is why very little emphasis is placed on leadership training by the HBS curriculum. So many trips/clubs/conferences/etc. are student run. Students are passionate about something, and they go out and do it.
HBS could work a bit harder to connect current students with alumni during their time at the school.
The Harvard name grants you not only unparalleled access to job opportunities but also an initial stamp of approval in the eyes and minds of employers. It may not always be deserved, but it is there and it's what makes HBS unique among almost all of its peers.
Employer data includes graduates and current students.
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