Today’s print edition of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports on the shifting career balance of Harvard Business School’s (HBS’s) incoming Class of 2013. Notably, the class will have a higher percentage of students with manufacturing and technology backgrounds, and fewer students with finance backgrounds. According to HBS’s managing director of MBA admissions and financial aid, Deirdre Leopold, the school does not “run with quotas or targets.” And in the end, this shift is not actually all that significant—the finance industry still has the strongest representation in the class.
mbaMission Founder and President Jeremy Shinewald frequently comments on how candidates erroneously try to “game” the admissions system. The WSJ quotes him as saying, “You’re going to see guys who worked on one private-equity deal with an auto manufacturer try to play up their auto experience and look ridiculous. Candidates buy into stereotypes for their target schools and become things they think the school wants.” As candidates examine the stats, they should keep in mind that they can only be who they are and that they cannot go back in time and change careers. So, they are best creating an authentic picture of themselves in an attempt to set themselves apart from all other candidates (not just those from the same field).