Yale President Richard Levin remarked in 2001: “Harvard is blessed with the broadest and deepest assembly of intellectual talent and academic resources in the world, and it is to Harvard that the whole world looks for leadership. These are mere facts.”
Seven presidents of the United States of America have graduated from Harvard University. Since 1974, 19 Nobel Prize winners and 15 Pulitzer Prize winners have served on the Harvard faculty. Around 75 Nobel Prize winners have associated with the University while 167 Harvard faculty are in the United States Academy of Sciences. The University boasts the largest University library in the world and the third largest in the world after the Library of Congress and the British Library. Harvard also has the largest financial endowment, with $32 billion in 2012.
Harvard Business School, also known as HBS, is one of the graduate Schools of Harvard University. The school’s official name is ‘Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration: George F.Baker Foundation’. The School was established in 1908 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with 59 students. Since then, the school has produced leaders and ideas that have shaped the way the world does business. An iconic B-School, it pioneered the case study method of teaching, developed the first entrepreneurship program, and popularised the amphitheatre model of classrooms.
By the 1920s the class size reached around 500 students. In 1927, the School was moved to its present location in Allston, near Boston. This new campus was across the Charles River from old campus and hence the custom of referring to the rest of the University as ‘across the river’, started. Currently, the School’s MBA Class of 2015 has 941 students, which makes its program one of the largest in the world. The entire batch is divided into sections. Each section takes classes together for the first year. The aim behind this is to form a deep social bond among the students who hail from different countries and cultures.
Teaching is almost exclusively done through the case method, also referred to as the Socratic Method. In 1925 the case method was introduced as a powerful interactive learning process which is continued till date. Case studies replicate actual business situations and are taught so that students work together to make difficult decision under typical management conditions, including a lack of complete information, complex trade-off situations, and time pressure. These things provide students with skills, insight, and self-confidence, which are required by real business situations.
An admission to Harvard Business School is a hot commodity. Approximately 9000 students applied in 2013, just 13% got in. The cost of education in HBS is around U.S.$90000, including board and lodge, for each year and about 65% of the students who are admitted get some kind of financial assistance.
The medium base salary of the 2012 graduating batch was U.S.$120000 per annum. About 1400 companies are recruiting partners with the B- School. Currently, 57 chief executives of Fortune 500 companies are HBS alumni, by far the largest representation by any B-School.
A century after its founding, HBS continues to be “the brand” for management education and it is one that everybody would love to have in their resume.