Why I applied to Harvard Business School!

Like I mentioned in an earlier post, HBS was one of the schools I applied to, however, I was dinged and I remember mentioning that it was for obvious reasons. Well, before telling you why I think I got dinged, I want to lay out my reasons for applying to HBS. In other posts, I will also explain why I applied to INSEAD.

HBS happened to be the first of the 3 schools I applied to – HBS, INSEAD, LBS – in that order. The first question was why did I apply to HBS? If you already observed, the other 2 schools I applied to are not in the US and its a bit unconventional that I did not apply to other US schools such as Stanford, Kellogs, Wharton etc. However, from the onset, there were some basic filters I applied in determining the school I could attend. First, it has to be a top business school which is globally recognized; second, it has to be extremely internationally driven and finally, 2 years for MBA was not something I was willing to give. Anything short of 2 years will do the trick. INSEAD is 10 months and LBS is 15 – 21 months. With a young family, I doubt staying away from work for 2 years will be in our collective best interest. Well, this is a topic for another day and I guess we could argue this all day long!

However, I applied to HBS despite being a 2-year program for obvious reasons – not because it was a top business school as that’s a given based on my earlier filters but because 7Up Nigeria was offering full scholarship to 1 Nigerian who gets admitted into HBS. With full tuition, flight tickets, living allowances/stipends starring me in the face, who will blame me for not resisting the temptation to want to attend HBS for free. And really, how many Nigerians get admitted into HBS every year; meaning I had a good shot at that ‘wealth’ if I got admitted.

My thinking was this – HBS satisfies my first 2 criteria for a  business school (though not as internationally diverse as INSEAD and LBS) and the 3rd criteria which is basically about finances will be answered by 7Up scholarship. So, why not apply?

This however begs a very important question – Will I have gone to HBS if I got the admission but not the scholarship? Hmnn…I’m still thinking about this but am I glad I did not have that decision to make. If I got INSEAD as the case is now, I will definitely have chosen INSEAD over HBS but if I did not get INSEAD, my mind says I will still have gone to HBS but my pocket seems to be crying foul!

So, now you understand why I applied to HBS. Basically, your choice of a business school to attend should be well supported by strong reasons and motivations. IMO, if your reasons for attending a business school is not strong and clear enough, do not attempt to. In my next post, I will explain why I think I got dinged from HBS and probably nail some lessons from the experience as well. Ciao!

4 thoughts on “Why I applied to Harvard Business School!

  1. Yhello! That’s great Mr Deji Adebusoye. I am more enlightened in many areas with your post. Thanks! But please answer this question as objectively and professionally as you can: what is your take on going for a top MBA programme when you do not have so much of professional experience but you have the opportunity. Prompt reply will be awesome. How are they? Ibk


    1. Hi Ibukun, thanks a lot for your comment. When I completed my B.Sc, I tried applying to Stanford for my MBA but I did not get the admission. I’m glad I did not get the admission. The best MBA experience is gotten when you already have some work experience. Working prior to your MBA helps clarify your expectation from the program and you would have already identified weaknesses and strengths you can work on. I’d advice you get some 2-3 work experience at least before you go for the program.


  2. Deji, if you have some time, you can read “what they teach you in Harvard business school”. I’ve learnt quite a lot from reading that book. Harvard is known for general management and leadership. Stanford’s for silicon valley hopefuls. Wharton’s focused on finance, kellog’s known for marketing. Whichever MBA you get into, I am well informed of the life-changing value it’d offer. I hope you get into Harvard.


    1. Femi, thanks a lot! Actually, I did not get the HBS admission as I will talk about in one of my next blogs. I however got into INSEAD and very hopeful it will truly be a life-changing journey:)


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