which one did you have in mind?
HBS essays do not, in most cases, get you in. A bad essay — one that is annoying, mannered, odd, un_PC, or magnifies other boo boos in your app–can keep you out.
As to essays in this article that you may not think are super, the answer is that writer was otherwise qualified by dint of normal criteria–stats, work history, recs. etc. and high in his or her bucket [white male bankers, URM consultants etc] and the essay did no real harm and supported other things in the app.
That is also how Stanford works altho that essay is more easily mangled and does you harm, and of course, Stanford is REAL hard to get into in any case.
Nationality: International applicants can apply for these scholarships. (MBA Class Scholarship for Emerging Markets-For citizens of developing countries, Staton Scholarship-For applicants from South America (with the exception of Brazil), IMD MBA Alumni Scholarships-Asia, Africa/Middle East, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Western Europe/North America/Oceania, Nestlé Scholarship for Women-Preference is given to women from developing countries, Jim Ellert Scholarship-Preference is given to citizens from Africa, Central and Eastern Europe and the South-Eastern Asian Peninsula)