Duke v Harvard application experience

Which application do you think is better? Bit of a loaded question, but let’s be honest we all ask it. So let me set out my thoughts on my two applications.

At the initial stages I thought my Duke application was better, however I’ve switched and on reflection I think I done a better job on Harvard.

The Essays
At first Duke’s two essay questions were clear and written in such a way to suit my writing style. Very easy to start to write. While in comparison Harvard was so open-ended I wasn’t sure where to start.

However by the end I really welcomed Harvard’s approach. I was able to really sell my skills and build in aspects about my dyslexia, my low GMAT score and my good technical skills in a really authentic way. I really felt I had the opportunity to put my best case forward.

By the end with Duke essays I felt that while they got to know me and I’m not the essays help the admissions committee know why I’m a great fit for the programme.  The essay questions didn’t really fit that approach.

Application form
At first glance the questions asked by Harvard were a little annoying. What’s your greatest achievement and challenge for every job. However by the end I really do think the questions  enabled me to provide a rounded picture of my skills and how I’ve learnt from my experiences.

While Duke’s questions on the application are simpler I’m not sure how much they add. Duke seems very qualification and score heavy. I’m not sure how well I will do in that assessment due to my low GMAT score.

The computer system
Both were annoying for different reasons. What bugged me about Duke’s online system was that I had to log on using a computer generated ID. Grrr! I had to find the email with it every time I tried to log in.
Give Duke its due, the site was smooth and it never crashed on me. Good work Duke.  Duke can you make one change; can you make the pages shorter? It took an age to scroll down the page and hit save.

Harvard’s application system was annoying for two reasons.  One it was hard to find how to even register for the online application; it’s easier to sign up to the marketing emails than apply to the business school.

Plus the system kept crashing on me, in part as I use internet explorer and it doesn’t like it.
The application uses lots of pop up boxes and my system specialised at crashing when I had almost finished inputting the data I wanted but not yet pressed save.  It took an age to complete some sections because of this issue.

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