Saturday, March 06, 2010

Harvard: Quality management education

Harvard University, which is often considered as the oldest university in the U.S., appears as number one in most global rankings. It has a glittering galaxy of alumni. Forty-three current and former Harvard faculty members have been awarded Nobel Prizes. There are several instances where Harvard has broken new ground. Chlorophyll was first synthesised by Robert Woodward in 1960 at Harvard University. Harvard-educated American cardiologist Paul Zoll made the first pace-maker. Harvard University developed the first transgenic mouse, now in use worldwide for cancer research.

The name Harvard brings to the mind its renowned business school. But there is much more than that. As an expert once said, it is good at everything the human mind can cope with. The scientists at Harvard have won many laurels, especially in the fields of research in biology and medicine. The alumni includes not only eight U.S. Presidents, including Barack Obama who graduated with honours from Harvard Law School, but illustrious dropouts like Bill Gates and Edwin Herbert Land, inventor and co-founder of the Polaroid Corporation. Harvard has sometimes come in the limelight for wrong reasons too like when its president Lawrence H. Summers sparked uproar at an academic conference in 2005. He contended that the innate differences between men and women might be one reason for fewer women succeeding in science careers.

The Harvard College was founded in 1636. Students from more than eighty countries are on the rolls. There are students with a remarkable diversity of interests, professional goals, and passions. Harvard offers a platform to suit almost any kind of academic interest, from philosophy to photography and from linguistics to physics. Renowned faculty and a residential house system add to the quality of the university. Harvard has a philosophy of making educational opportunity accessible. So applying for financial aid does not diminish a student's chances of admission. International students also enjoy the benefit of the financial policy. Selection is based on achievement and promise. Academic accomplishment in high school is important. Enthusiasm, creativity and character may also decide the admission of a candidate.

A freshman should have completed SAT and three SAT subject tests. Information pertaining to admission requirements is available in the web site It is advisable to confirm that your academic and personal interests match the Harvard style. On the website, you will find details of the financial aid available to students. Nearly sixty per cent of undergraduates receive scholarship assistance. For specific information, you may write to Harvard College Financial Aid Office, 86 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, or call (617)-495-1581.

Harvard Business School
One of the best places in the world to get business management education is the Harvard Business School that runs two-year programmes. It was founded in 1908. The school does not ‘teach', but offers leadership practice immersed in real-world challenges. In every case, class, event, and activity, you are asked not only to study leadership, but to demonstrate it. There is much more than routine classroom instruction or reading textbooks. You learn how to make decisions in the face of conflicting data, complex politics, intense time-constraint and fiscal pressure. You should defend your choices among fellow students.

One may find it hard to believe that you may have to apply your decision-making skills more than five hundred times in two years, through in-depth case-method learning. You will be exposed to the frontiers of new markets, practices, and technologies across the globe. The experience is inherently international. As you would know, the case method is a powerful interactive learning process that brings the complex and dynamic realities of business analysis and decision making into the classroom. The case method provides students with diverse skills, insight, and confidence to meet the challenges in real business situations. In order to support its research and case development process, the school maintains a network of Global Research Centres from the Asia-Pacific to the Silicon Valley, from Latin America to India and Europe.

When you graduate with an MBA from Harvard Business School, you earn a place in a community of business leaders in 150 countries. Your focus may be in corporate management, entrepreneurial enterprises, non-profit leadership, or other areas of interest to you. For details on admission, you may contact, Harvard Business School, MBA Admissions, Dillon House, Soldiers Field Road, Boston, MA 02163, USA; Ph: 617-495-6128; e-Mail:

Remember that Harvard Business School looks for students with demonstrated leadership potential and a capacity to thrive in a rigorous academic environment. Your leadership history may be anything from organising a classroom to running an independent business. It may be an achievement in the community or social sector. You should have potential for intellectual growth. Sophisticated ideas, analytical ability, and discussion skills are welcome. The school has a self-contained, residential campus that helps students to imbibe the core values of Harvard. Qualities such as high ethical standards, respect for others, willingness to share experience, and support others carry weight in the admission process.

You should have a Bachelor's degree. In the application for admission, you will have to list all post-secondary educational institutions you have attended. You may have to get an official transcript directly from the college or university. Candidates who received their bachelor's degree from a non-English-speaking university are required to take either the Internet-based version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL IBT) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Your work experience will be considered as also your scores in GMAT / GRE and TOEFL / IELTS. However, there is no minimum work experience requirement. Sometimes you may be asked to attend the on-campus summer Pre-MBA International Programme. Before admission to the MBA programme, you may be invited to an interview.

Joint degree candidates
Harvard Business School offers joint degree programmes with Harvard Medical School (MD/ MBA), Harvard School of Dental Medicine (DMD/ MBA), Harvard Law School (JD/ MBA), and Harvard Kennedy School (Master in Public Policy/ MBA, Master in Public Administration in International Development/ MBA). Applicants to these programmes must complete the individual application requirements of both graduate schools.

Financial aid
The steps to get financial aid have been described on the website. After admission, you will have to complete and submit the financial aid applications that will be available to you on the HBS Intranet. Also, you should explore loan options and research outside funding opportunities. Related information is available on the websites and

Source: The Hindu, February 23, 2010 (Article by B. S. Warrier)

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