I have been planning for the last few days to highlight several excellent posts that can benefit 2008 applicants who will soon be slaving away on their MBA application essays. While I did not plan to post this particular piece on the day that Clear Admit releases its Best of Blogging awards, that’s exactly what has happened. It is not coincidental that all the authors, recently accepted 2007 applicants, are also deserving winners of the 2006-07 Best of Blogging awards. They have done a super job. Kudos to all the winners.
The following posts provide down-in-the-trenches advice for those of you who will soon be in the authors’ shoes.
- How I got into H/S? by MBA Babe. Accepted at Harvard, Stanford, and Kellogg.
- Worst of Apps ’07: my top 10 also by MBA Babe.
- Essays!, by Juggler. Accepted to Wharton, Chicago, and Kellogg.
- Essay Writing, by Iday. Accepted to Chicago.
While I strongly recommend these posts for their insight into the application process and essay writing specifically, I want to issue a caution about one aspect of Iday’s advice. It’s an ironic warning for an editor to give. Iday urges applicants to have many reviewers comment on the essays. In my over ten years of reading applicant essays, I have seen the benefit and the harm done by multiple critiques. Hence the caution.
Yes, it is vital that you show your essays to others. I recommend that you show them to 1-2 people who know you well and can tell you whether they reflect You, and 1-2 people who can comment on the writing quality and help you with editing. I don’t recommend you seek feedback from a small army of people, because I have seen how too many critics can suck the life, unity, and personality out of essays. Furthermore, when you receive feedback, don’t accept it blindly; consider it thoughtfully and decide whether you want to incorporate the comment.
Other than that caution, 2008 applicants, take the advice in these posts to heart.