(Continuing my series on essays that sound like baby talk and are frequently application killers.)
I am not sure why I made muddled thinking the last flaw. Good writing starts with good thinking and end with lots of editing, but editing is a topic for another series. Let’s stick with thinking in this post.
One of the biggest causes of muddled thinking: Writing what you think the admissions committee wants to read as opposed to what you want them to know. In fact, most admissions committee members believe that is the most common mistake applicants make.
I am occasionally surprised by people who call me up and say they want to be a management consultant but their experience in IT supports continuing to work in IT. So they intend to apply to schools with strong general management programs and say they want to return to IT. If you are in that camp, you’re not being honest with the school or yourself, and the readers may just decide that your goals don’t match their program or that you don’t need an MBA to achieve your goals.
Do you honestly believe that you can convince a consulting recruiter that your experience combined with your education is valuable when you can’t convince the school of that proposition? If you can’t convince the school, what makes you think you can convince a recruiter? The thousands of dollars you spend on your education won’t impress him or her.
Before you put pen to paper or finger to keyboard, think about what you want to say clearly and critically. Your dreams are important. As I said in "Lack of Substance," examine your head and your heart. Just make sure your head is in good working order when it listens to your heart.