About 100 aspiring yuppies traveled across the river last night to attend a symposium on what it takes to get into the Business School.
The pinstripe-clad undergrads, most of whom were seniors, were given the basic facts and figures about the B-School and its admission policy. They were also told they would most likely have to wait until the next decade before beginning their professional education.
Deirdre Leopold, associate director of admissions at the B-School, said that students were rarely accepted straight out of college and that aspiring students of business would be better off applying with two or more years of work experience on their resumes.
"There are zero direct admits in the first-year class at the Business School," Leopold said. The B-School annually admits 850 applicants.
One senior who attended the symposium said he was not fazed by the admission officer's warning. "I think I've got the right stuff," he said.
Besides explaining the B-School admission's policy, panelists described the school's case-oriented method of teaching. Harvard Business School is one of only two schools in the United States exclusively using the case-study method in its classrooms.
Leopold stressed that B-School students must cooperate with each other in order to succeed in class, and that the school is much less competitive than is generally perceived.
But academic pressures do lead many B-School students into trouble, said Leopold. In any given year, she said, 20-40 percent of a class may "hit the screen", which is B-School lingo for encountering academic troubles. Of this group, Leopold said that some continue at the school, while others are advised to leave.
Attendance at the symposium was not limited to seniors, however. Doug MacLaren '90 said that he attended because he wanted to know if concentrating in a particular field would increase his chances for admission. He said the answer he received from the symposium was a resounding no.