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Tips for Answering the Harvard Supplemental Essay Prompts

Harvard always taking the top spots in business school rankings does not really surprise anyone anymore. Due to its popularity, many prospective students aspire to enter this higher educational institution.

To apply to Harvard, you can use three kinds of applications: The Common Application, The Universal College Application and The Coalition Application. Any one of them would suffice. However, all of them include an essay.

When planning to enter a business school, you have to remember that the crucial thing is to choose wisely and find a university that would help you to find your own path and develop your talents. That’s why you have to do a lot of research to find the university that really ‘clicks’ with you.

The good thing is that you don’t need any additional essays to apply to Harvard. Still, you can send them more than one essay if the application format is not enough to show all your accomplishments.

If you feel that a supplemental essay is needed, don’t forget to use it for addressing some crucial information that was impossible to address thoroughly in the first essay.


As Harvard wants as much information about you as they can get, an additional essay that shows your personality and allows the business school to assess all your achievements. In the supplemental essay, you can talk about your interests, communication skills, ability to inspire others and indicate how Harvard would be a place where you can develop all these traits further. However, don’t forget about the part where you talk about your own contribution to classroom discussions and the university in general.

If Harvard Business School is your first and only option, then you can use the Early Action program to apply. Its deadline is November 1st. There’s a catch in this variant: you cannot apply to any other university before you get your response from Harvard, which will arrive in the middle of December.

When writing an additional essay, try to make it as compelling as possible. Show your research of Harvard and talk about how their excellent program will help you improve your professional skills. The best business schools like students that are not limited by academic achievements, but also try to change the world around them, are open-minded and appreciate others as sources of new experiences.

The supplemental essay may have a topic of your own choice, or it can be written based on one of these standard topics:

1. What is unusual about your life?

Here, you give information that was not focused on in your application essay, but is vital for knowing you as a person. You have to indicate how your unusual life circumstances helped you shape your personality and character, as well as worldview and hopes. Also, you should talk about how a person with such unique experiences will thrive in Harvard.

2. Living abroad or travelling

Your intercultural experience is important for your further professional life. Travelling abroad makes you the person you are, and that’s why your target school needs to know about what you learned about other people and cultures while travelling.

3. Information about yourself that you would share with your roommate

Here, you can write pretty much anything, but don’t just try to shock the admissions team. Be appropriate, but make your writing compelling and engaging.

4. Meaningful academic projects

In this kind of essay, you can tell about your most challenging educational problems. The main object of your writing is to show how you developed critical thinking and became the creative person any business school would gladly accept. Tell about changes in your worldview, broadening your horizons and overcoming obstacles.

5. How you plan to use your education in your future job

Here, you share all your perspectives, aspirations and plans for the future. If you are applying to an undergraduate program, talk about your further education. If you are a prospective master’s program students, share your professional goals.

6. What books you read in the past year

You don’t have to talk about every one of them, just the most significant and life-changing ones. Thus, you will be able to show your personality and worldview through the content you read.

These are just some of the topics you can cover in your supplemental essay. Make sure you show yourself from the most attractive side. Don’t forget about deadlines, and good luck in convincing the Harvard admissions team that you are the best for them!

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