The MBA application process is a stressful one, particularly since so many parts of the process are determined by external factors. The one part of the application that you have the ultimate control over is the essay section. Through the essays, you have the space to discuss your candidacy and tell your story directly to the admissions officer without any outside interference. It is an amazing opportunity and the following are five (hopefully) helpful tips to maximize this unique opportunity.
1. Be Authentic
The MBA application process should be an introspective one, and as you hone in your goals, dreams, and ambitions, you should have a real sense of who you are as a person and what you want to tell the admissions committee. Do not fall into the trap of trying to craft an image of yourself that you may think is more appealing to a particular school. As experienced application reviewers, we know when someone is trying to portray something that is not really them. We will (eventually) figure it out, and if that happens, it would not reflect well on your candidacy. So, just be yourself and keep in mind that this is an application for a professional graduate program. This means that we will also be considering your judgment with respect to what you choose to discuss in your essays.
2. Answer the Question Asked (Not the One You Think We Are Asking)
We recognize that business school application essays could start to sound the same once you start reviewing them. However, they are not the same. We spend a lot of time thinking about the questions that we ask you to answer and we expect that you will also take some time to carefully answer those questions. Avoid the temptation of quickly cutting and pasting the essays from one application to another. You may have an idea of the general themes that you wish to cover in your applications and that is completely fine. Just be sure that you are actually answering the questions that are in the application in front of you.
3. Proofread Carefully
In the age of spell check, it still amazes me when people send in essays with grammatical and spelling errors. As I said earlier, this is an application to a professional graduate program and we want to see that you will represent our brand well in the future. This means that we expect that you will carefully review everything that you send to us and perhaps even have someone else read over it for errors. Spell checkers don’t find everything – for example “their” is not the same as “there”. (Apologies to anyone who has already heard me say this on any number of admissions panels!)
4. Respect the Word Limit
This one is pretty straightforward. We have word limits for a reason and we expect that you adhere to them. In the words of the great Cartman from the classic “South Park”, you will respect our authority.
5. The Optional Essay Question Is Indeed Optional
If you believe that there is any part of your application that needs additional clarification, please quickly address it and how you have improved since then. Bullet points are fine. Pasting in an essay for another school’s application is not fine.
Good luck with your essays and the rest of the application process. Take your time and (this may seem like an oxymoron) enjoy yourself! Let us know if we can be of any assistance.
|Full-Time Admissions Update||Managing Your Application||Full-Time MBA vs. Part-Time MBA||7 Tips For A Better Resume|