You need to write impressive MBA application essays if you want to grab the attention of the admissions readers and snag a coveted interview invite (and then actually score a seat in the next class). But what should you write about? What shouldn’t you write about?
The do’s and don’ts – or poisons and antidotes – discussed in the following video will help you write MBA essays that truly reflect who you are and why you deserve a spot at your top choice MBA program.
Ugh. Those MBA application essays. You gotta write them, but what do the admissions committees really want to read? And the competition is murderous at top programs.
You may be thinking: “I’m not a great writer. And there’s so much advice out there. One person tells me to write one thing and someone else tells me to write another. I’m getting more and more confused. I don’t have a lot of time to write anything, and I haven’t had to write anything…well, since I applied to college – almost 10 years ago! And I really don’t want these essays to stop me from getting into a great program and pursuing my dream career.”
If this describes you and the jumble of thoughts in your head as you stare at a blank screen worried you’re going to blow your essays, then you need to watch this video. The essays shouldn’t and don’t have to stop you.
With thousands of accepted MBA applicant clients over the last 20+ years, I know what’s poetry and poison to in an MBA application.
Here is typical feedback from one of our clients:
I wanted to thank you and Natalie for all of your help. I got accepted into all three programs I applied to and received a $20K scholarship from my top choice. None of this would have been possible without your help.”
So let me help you out a bit here. I’m going to share with you the three most common and most dangerous MBA essay poisons along with the antidotes to them.
Poison #1: Failure to answer the essay question
This is so common! I am frequently asked: What does the adcom really want? I’ll tell you: They want the answer to their question. A sincere, thoughtful response that introduces you to them as a real human being and goes beyond bullets in your resume and raw data contained elsewhere in your application.
Antidote: An essay that answers all parts of the question posed is the antidote to Poison #1, failure to answer the question.
Poison #2: Superficiality
Generalities about networking opportunities, outstanding faculty, fantastic program, meaningless jargon, and various other platitudes and clichés that just cause adcom members’ eyes to roll are application poison.
Antidote: Self reflection and school research along with realistic, feasible goals that still show ambition are the antidote. Strategic use of specifics, examples, and anecdotes also protect against vacuous generalities.
Poison #3: Writing what you think they want to read
We had a client a few years ago. Actually, this client was Esmeralda Cardenal’s first client. Esme is a former Admissions Director at Yale School of Management, and her first client purchased a rejection review. She reviewed his rejected application and said, “I would have rejected you too.”
To which he said, of course, “Why?”
And she said, “Because your goals made no sense. They had absolutely nothing to do with what you’ve done previously.”
He said, “Well, my friends told me that this goal that I stated is the hot goal this year. So I decided to write this is what I wanna do. It’s not really what I want to do.”
He decided to work with her on his application. He provided an authentic and logical goal for his MBA studies and he is now at a top MBA program.
Antidote: The antidote to writing what you think the adcoms want to hear is writing what you want them to know. What are you proud of? What reveals that you identify with the school’s mission and will fit in with and contribute to their community? That’s what you want to tell them about.
There are a few other forms of application poison as well as more information on these three that you really need to know about. You can find them in our free download, 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in your MBA Application.
To get your copy:
1. Go to accepted.com/5MBAFlaws.
2. Download 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in your MBA Application.
3. Slay the MBA essay dragon!
Write stellar MBA application essays, get accepted to your top-choice school, and pursue the career of your dreams.
Need help writing flawless MBA application essays that will impress the adcom and get you accepted? Work with an Accepted pro and become one of the thousands of successful business school applicants that have benefited from our vast admissions experience.
• Different Dimensions of Diversity, a podcast episode
• Affordable Online Test Prep, a podcast episode
• English Language Skills & Your MBA Admissions Profile