When you write about weakness in an essay, focus on real weakness, the consequences of the weakness and how you were able to realize and work towards turning your weakness into strength.
Dos and Don’ts for MBA Weakness Essay
1.Identify your real weakness
Understanding weakness from an MBA Application point of view is critical in identifying your real weakness. Stating trivial personal weakness will not help you. You have to dig deep in your career and list instances where your weakness negatively impacted your work.
2. Focus on weakness that you have worked on
The main idea behind the weakness essay is to find out what you have done to address your weakness. There is no point in stating weakness for which you have hardly taken any concrete steps.
This is what Stacy Blackman has to say about answering Weakness question:
"When describing weaknesses you will want to focus on those weaknesses that you have taken concrete steps to address, or that have been a route to learning more about yourself. Often strengths and weaknesses are two sides of the same coin, in which case you can even tie your key weaknesses to your key strengths. Because it is often difficult to write about one’s weaknesses this is an especially important essay to share with others to seek feedback on tone and impact"
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1. Do not mention the weakness like ‘I am a perfectionist’
You might have adopted a strategy to use strengths as a weakness. This might have worked in early 2000 but the admission committee has seen many essays with similar strategy. It shows that you are not sincere about addressing your weakness. The last thing you want to do is to show that you have not done due diligence in addressing your real weakness.
2. Do not mention the weakness like ‘I am a workaholic”
This is another strength disguised as a weakness. Although you have to show how committed you are towards achieving your goals, direct mentions like “workaholic” will be taken in a negative context. MBA is not just about completing your tasks in the prescribed time; it’s about teamwork and networking.
In the following example, the weakness is "Trust"
“As far as my professional drawbacks is concerned; I have a tendency to “Do the entire task on my own”. I feel that starting my career as a software developer has habitually made me to take charge of an entire solution. However, I had to pay a bigger price in one of the projects, where in trying to develop the functionality on my own, the project was delayed by two weeks. Understandably, my project manager was not thrilled with my performance. On retrospect, I feel that creative aspirations, mistrust and the need to control had made me take up the ownership of the entire functionality. I realized the importance of delegation and trust during the course of my career. Proper delegation can improve the productivity of your team and can in effect help you achieve your job responsibilities. When you see how your team members are able to perform the tasks allocated to them, you will begin to trust them. That is exactly what happened to me. I began to trust my team members and it changed my outlook towards my team and my responsibilities. Their output improved considerably and it had a positive impact on my career. I was able to come up with unique solutions not because I came up with all the ideas on my own but because I was lucky to receive a bigger pool of ideas from my teammates. Some of the solutions that we created were the result of hours of brainstorming and prototyping. My team played a crucial role in retaining at least two major accounts for our company”
Weakness: Lack of trust (mistrust).
Action due to weakness: Do the entire task on my own
Consequence: Delayed project, criticism from project manager
Realization: Importance of delegation and trust
Positive Action: Task Delegation
Positive Results: Improved efficiency, creative solutions and high team spirit
Discuss, Review and Create a Winning Weakness Essay with Stacy Blackman Admissions Consulting