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Remember, admissions committee members are reading hundreds of essays, and they don’t have the time or the patience to wade through last-minute essays that are generally overly long, repetitive, and don’t quite answer the question.Remember the old adage: “If I had had more time, I would have written you a shorter letter.” Now you have the time to write that concise, elegant, and to-the-point essay — an essay that may just get you into your dream school.
And by unique we mean talking about something only you can talk about — so it shouldn’t sound like what the guy in the next cubicle over is talking about.
For example, Wharton is pretty tired of run-of-the-mill private equity stories, particularly when many applicants that have private equity as their goal frequently don’t know what it is.
Specificity is the soul of credibility, which means that the more specific you are about what you have done and what you want to do the more credible your entire MBA application becomes.
So your goal is not to “join a private equity firm,” rather it is to “join a private equity firm focused on mid-size manufacturing companies in India.” Similarly, consulting is a big field, so pick up on the story you are telling about your future career and narrow that down some.
Conversely, if nothing in your background indicates any entrepreneurial experience or initiatives, then don’t bother talking about your dream to start your own company, even if that is what is students are doing at places like Haas or Wharton.
An authentic story, generally, means a unique one as well.A very successful applicant to INSEAD explained why infrastructure investment banking was his goal.As an engineer who was in charge of big infrastructure projects, he had seen only too well how many great projects couldn’t get the financing they needed to be built.Maybe by consulting you really mean healthcare consulting.And then even take it a step further: Will you be looking to join the healthcare group of a large consulting firm like Accenture or at a boutique healthcare consulting firm like Do your research, drop some names, show that you are knowledgeable about the space you want to go into. It is easy to say that all business schools are alike but in actual fact they can be much different, and your applications must reflect this.Each additional essay takes less time, as you build off all the other essays you have completed.If you can complete an essay in a week or less, good for you, but I am somewhat skeptical of its quality.This is generally not something that can be hurried.While everyone works differently, some faster and some slower, my own instincts on this say that it takes about six weeks to really produce a high-quality first essay.It’s tempting to highlight the strengths and downplay the growth areas, but that reveals only a portion of the complete person.Show us that you acknowledge and own both.” Are you telling your own story, or a story that you think the MBA admissions committee wants to hear? Business schools are looking for students who are self-aware — who think about their own strengths and weaknesses — so you have to talk about something that gets at the heart of who you are, and it has be genuine to you.