Application Tips

Applicant FAQs: Strengthening Your Quantitative Profile

By Brett Twitty-

We continue our application tips blog series with another frequent applicant question. In our previous post, we shared some of the dimensions our admissions committee considers when evaluating a student’s quantitative background. Today, we offer a few ways applicants can strengthen their quantitative profile. Check it out! 

How do you strengthen your quantitative profile?

There are definitely steps you can take to enhance your profile, and below you will find a few suggestions. However, it is worth noting that you shouldn’t do any of these things simply because you think they might have value to our admissions committee. You should only seek out these activities if you think they would have value to you. As noted in other blog posts, the key to a strong application is being true to yourself and authentically you in all phases of the application process.  

And now, our suggestions:

Consider taking an online course or two. If you’ve looked online, you’ve likely noticed there are a ton of online courses. So, where to start? We recommend statistics and accounting. Why? These subjects are the basic building blocks of business, and courses in these areas will expose you to concepts and nomenclature you will encounter throughout business school.

Interested in something more extensive than an online course? Consider HBX CORe. This Harvard program is designed to prepare you for the world of business, and consists of a series of online modules touching upon business analytics, economics and financial accounting.

Seek out additional responsibilities at work or volunteer activities that would allow you to further develop your quantitative skills. Even something as simple as additional Excel practice can pay dividends down the road.

Consider retaking a standardized test. While your test score is only one piece of information in a broader holistic review, a strong test score can help offset a lack of quantitative work in other parts of your application. It can also contrast prior struggles in quantitatively-oriented courses. 

Underscore your willingness to learn. Highlight past experiences where you have taken on new or unfamiliar tasks and persevered. Curiosity, enthusiasm and resilience go a long way in business school. Remember: all students come with strengths and weaknesses, and your sucess and growth during the next two years will largely depend upon your willingness to embrace both ambiguity and challenges. 

In our next blog post, we’ll discuss the “traditional” vs. “non-traditional” career binary and whether it is still relevant in B school.