How to Write Powerful MBA Admissions Essays

Posted by Howard H. Spencer January 11, 2014 at 1:43 pm Comments Off on How to Write Powerful MBA Admissions Essays Category: GMAT Preparation

After you’ve attained a 700 plus score on  the GMAT , you need to focus your attention on the writing of a powerful admissions essay. This admissions essay can be extremely important, especially if any part of your application is weak or you’re trying to get into a program that is highly competitive.

In addition on GMAT, GPA/ and Class Rank, the two other key parts of an application are the recommendation letters and the essays. While the recommendation letter lets the Ad.Com. know what others think about you and your work. Essays, on the other hand, provide the admissions committee with what you deem as most important in your life. With your essays, you’re given the chance to speak directly to the committee – using your own words.

The essay you write is your chance to show the university’s admissions committee just who you are, what makes you an important asset to their program,  and what sets you apart from the other applicants they may see and talk to. The application you send them already outlines your educational history , achievements and test scores. But, the essay you develop and write will provide them with a sense of your  individuality, creativity and articulation.

How to Write It

Picture yourself talking to a room full of people, letting them know what it is you want to attain in your life and convincing them of the potential you have. The idea behind this essay is to be sincere.  People judge each other by how they talk. Adcom members can spot exaggerations, lies and omissions; they’re experts at this. Therefore, when writing an essay, you want to be as honest as possible.

A powerful, reflective essay assists the admissions committee to “see” what a person is like through their accomplishments and experiences that can already be read on the application. As essays are read, the information included in the application is taken into consideration. The primary objective of an admissions committee is to learn what the motivation of prospective students is and how they’ve become the person they are now.

Print and Study Topic Lists For All Prospective Schools

Every school application is going to demand that you respond to between two and six essay questions. Therefore, you need to print out each university’s topics list and carefully go over them. It’s in your best interest that you completely understand the questions asked and answer them appropriately.  Don’t try submitting a “quicky” essay. You must address all parts of the question without going off topic.

For instance: you have an essay question of:
Talk about one of your accomplishments that demanded the most effort to attain. What steps did you take to attain it? What challenges did you have to overcome and how did you do it?

The response you give to these questions must cover what you did and how you were able to do it. Bear in mind that the question asked for one accomplishment; not many of them.

Carefully Think About the Responses Before Answering

It’s important that you think over your answers before you start to write out your essay. Be sure to talk with people – advisors, friends, parents, colleagues – before the writing process starts. You want every essay to have the right equilibrium of accurate details and information analysis. Your essay must show the admission committee your goals, morals, desires and designs.

One of the biggest misconception people are told is “Let the admission committee know what it is that makes you unique.” What this does is make students think they need to write exciting details – awards they won, TV appearances, and skydiving. This misconception often leads students to make up experiences. An admissions essay is not where these need to be. Your uniqueness is made up of various life experiences – dull or exciting – to shape who you are now.

One possible essay question you may come across is: “Talk about, in great detail, a problematic professional or personal challenge you experienced. What did the experience teach you? What lessons did you take from it?

It’s important not to make things up to look dramatic. Rather, you need to focus solely on what you actually learned from an actual experience.

Write The First Essay Draft

After you’ve mulled over the admission essay questions, you need to write your first draft out for each. Try to divide writing and reviewing into two separate days. Work on writting one day and then review the draft the next day. If you believe what you have written is your best, be sure you show it to someone who will give you their honest opinion. You want this person to be someone you respect. After they give you their feedback, think of how you can rewrite it.

Before you start rewriting it, ask yourself this one question: Have you spent time on it explaining what your life’s outlook is, how the situation influenced you and how you attained those important decisions?

One possible essay question could be: Showcase your five-year career plan. Talk about the goals for your professional life and how you plan to put them into action. Talk about how you think an education at the prospective school will positively affect the plan.

What an admissions committee is looking for from applicants is an in-depth assessment of the goals you have in mind. It’s true that all the plans you’ve made won’t work like you want. However, a realistic look at what you want to attain is what the admissions committee is looking for.  A business school committee is trying to learn how they can assist you to attain those goals you have put forth for yourself.

There’s no reason to lay out your whole life. But, many applicants have a hard time trying to answer as to why an MBA degree is so important to reach their goals when those goals are not fully laid out. The important thing applicants need to showcase to an admissions committee is how an MBA will assist them in attaining all their goals – professional and personal.

Use Feedback To Rewrite The Essay
After you’ve received the feedback, it’s time to rewrite the essay. And, once you do that, hand it over to an expert to review it for mistakes in grammar, punctuation and more. You want the essay to be a representation of you and be original. You don’t want mistakes to take away from what you have to say.  Word limits are also imposed on essays so you need to make sure you haven’t gone over it.  One of the biggest qualities the admissions committee is looking for is a brief but powerful essay.

Print Out and Read All Your Essays

Once you think you’ve written an outstanding essay, you need to print them out and read them all at one time. Look over the whole set as one piece with the application. Does the set express all the important information? Did you tell the committee everything you wanted them to know?

The majority of schools provide students with an optional essay that allows them to write about anything they want to explain. Make use of the opportunity if you think something important is worth mentioning. Follow all directions including numbers the essays accurately.

Final Note: Be sure you spend time on the essays and write them to the best of your capabilities. You should never leave them for the last moment because it could jeopardize the entire application. Essays are very important in getting into business school, especially top 10 programs. And, if you have a particular business school in mind, your essay can make or break that chance of getting in.
By Howard Spencer
Director at
EES Chile

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