Helpful for: MBA Applicants

Read Time: 10 minutes

Quick Facts: • A fun and stress-free way to begin preparing for your MBA essay is by simply being observant, and jotting down interesting things in a notebook. This can be anything from an inspiring lecture, a casual conversation with a friend, or a memorable quote from a book you’re reading. These notes will accumulate into a bank of topics you can choose from to write your essay later on.

• A “brag sheet” is a list of personal qualities, skills and other things you are proud define you as an individual. Now is not the time for being modest. Some examples include languages you speak, hobbies, and even family traditions. Write this list and store it for later use as well.

• So you’ve generated a lot of content to work with, but you’ve just read the essay question and you’re stumped. Answering what matters most to you, can be difficult to decide. The Economist offers a fun tip:

Chosen Quote:

Here is an exercise that stops you from over-thinking: set your alarm clock for 3am. When you wake up, ask yourself the question. The first thing that comes to mind might surprise you. Do this for a couple of nights and you may come up with a few options or find that you are building a consensus around a certain topic.

• Visually map out and write the topics you will cover in each one of your essays. As you finish with a topic, check it off your list. This ensures that each business school you applied will receive a variety of stories, and you will avoid being repetitive.

• Each business school carries their own unique values and traditions. Researching your target schools down to the nitty gritty and reflecting that in your essay will definitley give you an appeal. At the same time, there are some qualities that are universally sought out in a successful applicant: leadership, teamwork, ethics and effective communication. Remember, that every skill you claim to have must have a supporting story that will convice the admission team in an honest and assured way.

• Many first applications take around 40 hours of dedicated sweat and tears. Develop a schedule that works for your individual style. Make sure you work on one application at a time. Stay calm, and prioritize quality over a sudden act of an adrenaline rush.

Useful Information:

• Don’t be afraid to reveal your quirky character and mention weaknesses you’ve dealt with; they will demonstrate your self-awareness. We are all human after all.

• Striving for perfection is ambitious but can sometimes hinder your progress. Staring for hours at a blank screen, hoping for the perfect phrase to roll out your tongue can be tiresome and unproductive. Regardless of what will end up on the page, just start writing and worry about editing drafts later.

• Even the most amazing writers let someone else review their work. Do the same, and be open towards a fresh perspective on your essay.

Do you have personal tips to share on the essay question of the MBA application? 

Have you heard about the latest writing trick to help you organize your essay? Read The STAR Technique in Your MBA Essay. Then I suggest glancing over Application Essay Tips from MBA Admissions Directors and A Guide for the MBA Application Essay.

Source: The Economist