How can you separate yourself from the competition successfully? By crafting an excellent application essay. Get Accepted! Find the service that best meets your needs:. Which program are you applying to? Read 7 Sample Essays. The Background Essay Read now. The Goals Essay Read now. The Guitarist Read now. Don't write like this! Read now. No two people have the same history. Use stories and examples to make your background bright and stand out to demonstrate what makes you special.
Discuss how your history has brought you to this point. What is there in your background that compels you to pursue an MBA at this time? Show your direction in the goals essay Use this opportunity to show that you have clear direction and purpose based on experience and planning. Use your optional essay to explain negatives in your stats If your GPA was lower than you would have liked early in your undergraduate education, use your essay to show how you learned from this experience.
Everyone makes mistakes. How you deal with your mistakes shows a lot to the admissions committee — determination, discipline, success, resilience, and breadth of experience are qualities that will serve you well in your MBA studies and later in life. Show that you understand the mistake you made, learned from it and changed as a result of processing the experience. That response shows maturity. Justifying — instead of learning or changing — is a sign of immaturity.
MBA programs want mature adults. Almost all of them have made mistakes. Say what you mean, and mean what you say Admissions committees read thousands of essays during each admissions round. A concise, well thought-out essay will have them reading yours to the end. You need examples and stories to support your statements and make your essay interesting and readable. Each of these needs to be to the point.
These professionals are trained to spot an essay that is full of fluff and without substance. Avoid rambling and the use of keywords that you think the reader wants to see. A non-substantive essay will lead the reader to conclude that you, too, are without substance. Here are a few questions you should ask to help determine which of your ideas have the most potential. First, ask which essay topics or stories on your brainstorming list offer you the greatest opportunity to feature the qualities MBA programs value most.
Next, ask yourself if the topic or story will score top marks for this essay type. For example, if this is a Leadership essay, did you rally other people and motivate them to work together to achieve an important shared vision or goal? To winnow down your list, cross off any stories where you were working on your own, and circle the stories in which you made an impact by leading others. Another important test is whether you think the essay can be written with a clear beginning, middle, and end within the word count provided.
Given the tight word limits business schools allow, you need to choose stories that you can tell succinctly. For example, instead of writing about a trip around the world, perhaps you can focus on a portion of the trip that was particularly meaningful. A related question to ask yourself is whether the story will be easy to understand without a great deal of background or technical knowledge. Finally, try your best to write about situations that occurred relatively recently.
The more time that has elapsed since your story took place, the higher the bar for how powerful and defining that story needs to be in order to qualify as an effective story for an MBA application essay. Tyler Cormney is the co-founder of MBA Prep School , a full-service, boutique MBA admissions consulting firm that specializes in helping aspiring MBA candidates realize their dream of attending an elite business school.
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