When you start applying to business schools, you want to approach your essays as though they are the greatest pieces of writing you will ever compose throughout your lifetime. Of course, one can only hope that you will continue to improve as a writer over the course of your lifetime, but you need to take these essays very seriously. You want to sound confident, but you don’t want to sound egotistical. You want to be admitting of past failures, but you don’t want to make any excuses. Knowing how to keep everything in balance is the key to the perfect essay. Here is how to write a stellar MBA application essay.
Research Your Top Business Schools Extensively
Once you have a list of all the business schools that you want to apply to, you want to start studying the history of those schools ad nauseam. You should know these schools so well that you can paint a clear picture in your mind of what each school’s ideal business student looks like. Once you can see that person, you can start approaching your essays for each school and bringing out the sides in yourself that resemble the person they’re looking for.
Stay Within the Guidelines of the Prompt
If there is a word limit to your essay, you definitely want to stay within that limit. Some people think that exceeding the limit shows an effort to go beyond the norm, however, to admissions officers it looks like you have trouble conforming to rules and respecting guidelines. You also want to make sure that you address each and every question that is asked in the prompt without fail.
Paint a Cohesive Picture of Yourself
Within every business school application there are usually several essay prompts. When you answer these questions, you want to be sure that you’re building on the same image that you were drawing with the last one. If you write each short essay as though it lives in a vacuum, then it won’t be easy for the admissions officers to really see who you are. In effect, you will just look like a dismantled mannequin if you don’t find a way to connect all of these essays in a meaningful and logical way.
Emphasize Your Unique Talents
The last thing you want to do in your essay is talk about how you are the best at anything. Claiming to be the best at something is extremely bold and it rarely ever comes off the way you intend it to. Instead, you should focus on the aspects of yourself that are unique and why those characteristics help you to bring something new to the table.
Be Personal and Honest
Getting personal is extremely important because the whole purpose of an essay is to move past the GPA and the GMAT scores so that you can connect with the school on an emotional level. If you don’t allow yourself to be vulnerable in any way, then you are not fully appreciating the purpose of the essay. Even if you plan to earn your degree from an online program, the school will need to be able to relate to you, despite the fact that no one there will ever see you in person.