I can assure you that writing a B-school Application, especially the essays are a big pain. It is more time consuming than preparing for your GMAT exam (if you have a 12-hour workday). Writing essays require reflection on your life objectively and presenting your case with honesty. Did I say honesty?
When you prepare your B-School application there are lot of questions that are personal and are uncomfortable like “What is the biggest mistake that you have made and what have you learned from it ". Let us be honest here - who in the right mind would write, "I made a managerial blunder that cost my company 1 million dollars".
End of the day our objective is to get through the admission process. So let us focus on the less costly mistakes or present the same mistake, in such a way that you have a complementary story to tell that nullify your mistake. If you have truly learned from your mistake and have taken corrective actions, then you might well write about it. However, I would suggest you to focus on the less costly mistake.
The truth is that - we make decisions based on our belief system and less based on the facts that we are presented with. Do we have to tailor-make our essays for the business school?
Are you following a process in collecting the information, breaking down the information and creating proper inferences out of it? We all make the initial action plan based on the information that we have. However, most of the time, information changes and our ability to adapt and make the right decision depends on the experience that we have developed over the years (this forms part of our belief system), which we call as intuition.
Experienced managers have excellent intuition. They don't have to go through bar charts and graphs to make a decision. For them, intuition is the result of the experience that they have developed over the years.
If you are writing about costly mistakes, write about the rationale that you followed in coming up with a particular decision . If change in information or factors over which you had very little control was responsible for the mistake, then mentioning it is acceptable. If your decision was based on wrong information then do not mention it (it is your responsibility to check the validity of the data). You can mention mistakes caused by error in judgment if it was during the initial years of your career. Business schools are not kind towards people who repeat their mistakes.
1) Write about mistakes that you made at the initial stages of a skill development( Due to lack of knowledge of certain processes)
2) Write about the corrective measures that you took.
3) Write about the lessons that you have learned from the mistake
Avoid mentioning mistakes that you cannot explain or for which you cannot answer two and three convincingly.
Does that mean that you have to be dishonest or write what the admission committee wants to hear?
The admission committee has read hundreds and maybe thousands of applications. They can easily distinguish between applications that are honest and that are 'made to fit'.
Be honest and think strategically before writing your essays. List your five strengths and weaknesses. Ask your friends and colleagues to list your five strengths and weaknesses. Compare the two lists and pick the common ones.
When you apply for an MBA, you are competing against candidates on Entry factors - GMAT, GPA, Work Experience, Nature of Work Experience, Extra-curricular activities, motivation and Critical Success Factors – Maturity, Communication and Leadership. Apart from this, you are also fighting against your “Typecast” (read MBA Admissions typecast)
Class diversity is a factor that business schools will not compromise. Rightly so! Even if you have a balanced score with the Entry Factors, there are MBA Candidates from your country with similar background and achievements. Now what I was suggesting with honesty was that objective evaluation of your failure is not enough to guarantee your place as an MBA. Mistakes that will not raise a red flag should be mentioned in your MBA application essays. Even if you mention your biggest mistake, the critical success factors, especially the maturity with which you reason your mistakes is what matters.
If you want to know whether your essays satisfy the Critical success factors : Grammar, Spelling, Style, Tone, Uniqueness, Pace, Completeness and Coherence, submit your essays to us. Our MBA consultants will review it for you with suggestions and corrective actions.
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Sample Essays + Essay Writing, Review & Editing Tips + 15 School-Specific Tips = Winning MBA Essay Guide
"Pressed against the deadline, I ordered F1GMAT's Winning MBA Essay Guide as their blogs always had something interesting to say. It was by far one of the best decisions I have made in my life. Going through the Essay Guide, I learned the art of storytelling, using various ploys mentioned in the book. Most important one being the “W pattern,” a strategy of information sharing that creates a sense of excitement in the mind of the reader." - MIT Sloan MBA Candidate
Only 1 in 900 gains admission to Harvard MBA program. If you write your essay focused only on your achievements, post-MBA goals, and your pre-MBA experience, you will be among the 899 rejected applicants.
ATTENTION is the secret ingredient. How will you get the attention of the essay reviewer?
You know why parables shared 1000 years ago are still shared among us?
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Winning MBA Essay Guide Includes
+Harvard MBA Essay Tips (2020 Entering Class) (NEW)
Sample Harvard MBA Essay – Gratitude & Giving Back (318 Words)
Sample Harvard MBA Essay – Entrepreneurship (Influence of Childhood) (667 Words)
Sample Goals Essay 1: Enterprise Technology to Consumer Marketing (496 Words)
Sample Goals Essay 2: Healthcare (Finance to Consulting) (499 Words)
Sample Goals Essay 3: FinTech (Product Manager to Strategy) (482 Words)
Sample Columbia Good Fit Essay 1: Value from NYC (237 Words)
Sample Columbia Good Fit Essay 2: Entrepreneur Mindset (Persistence/Creativity/Opportunity Seeking) (237 Words)
Sample Columbia Good Fit Essay 3: Teamwork and Learning (242 Words)
Sample Columbia MBA Leader I admire Essay #1 (Elon Musk) (250 Words)
Sample Columbia MBA Leader I admire Essay #2 (Father) (244 Words)
Sample Columbia MBA Leader I admire Essay #3 (Mother) (243 Words)
Sample Columbia MBA Leader I admire Essay #4 (Math Teacher) (242 Words)
Sample Columbia MBA Leader I admire Essay #5 (Co-Founder) (250 Words)
Sample Why Stanford MBA Essay (Consulting)(399 words)
Sample Why Stanford MBA Essay (Tech Entrepreneur) (390 words)
Sample Booth MBA Essay #2: Leadership experience (Teach for America)(640 Words)
+ MIT Sloan MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
Personality Type (Accepted MIT Sloan Students)
Cover Letter Checklist
Sample Essay 3: Extra-Curricular and How enriched you are
+ Haas MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
Sample MBA Essay: Non-Profit
Sample MBA Essay: Technology
Sample MBA Essay: Marketing
Sample MBA Essay: Getting Fired
Sample MBA Essay: Diverse and Inclusive Culture
Sample MBA Essay: Leadership
Sample MBA Essay: Post-MBA Goal & How Pre-MBA Experience will help
+ Yale SOM MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Business Development (Mobile Start-Up)(486 Words)
Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Investment Banking (IB)(404 Words)
Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Consulting (442 Words)
Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Technology (452 Words)
Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Marketing (492 Words)
Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Entrepreneurship (497 Words)
+ Ross MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
Sample MBA Essay: Finance Professional who was a former member of a rock band (96 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Marketing Professional with a hidden talent to do Impression (100 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Life Philosophy through the prism of an Entrepreneurial failure (94 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Consulting for a Pharma Giant (Made a Difference) (91 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Three-Level Sanitation Campaign (100 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Water Conservation Kit (99 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Losing client (100 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Misreading Market Conditions (93 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Strategic Planning vs. Tactical Dominance in Chess (97 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Out of my comfort zone(extra-curricular) (93 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Out of my comfort zone (Daily Science Show) (99 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Simplifying Operations for Manufacturing (extra-curricular) (90 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: I am aware that I am different (Leadership and Culture) (98 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: I am aware that I am different (Technology Project and Last-minute change) (98 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: I am aware that I am different (Making Business metrics relevant to a Creative team) (91 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: I find it Challenging when People (Timidity)(98 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: I find it Challenging when People (Laziness)(100 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: I find it Challenging when People (Pessimism) (96 Words)
Sample Essay – Short-term Goals and why the goal is the right choice for you (Technology to Marketing)(299 Words)
+ London Business School MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
London as the Financial Hub
London as the Technology Hub
London as the Consulting Hub
Sample LBS MBA Essay (A Career Switcher from Hospitality to Consulting) (499 Words)
Sample Short-term Goals Essay – Technology to Consulting (100 Words)
Sample Long-term Goals Essay – Consulting for Government (100 Words)
Sample Long-term Goals Essay – Plan B (89 Words)
Framework for Answering the Duke Fuqua 25 Random Things
Sample Duke Fuqua Essay: The Fuqua community and you (Max 2 Pages)
+ NYU Stern MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
Sample NYU Stern Essay 1: Goals (498 Words) (Finance)
5 Examples with Images
7 Professional Gains
Sample Wharton MBA Essay 1: Gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (473 words)
Sample Wharton MBA Essay #2: Math Tutoring and Experimental music’s value (388 Words)
+ The Art of Storytelling
+ Leadership Narratives
+ Review Tips
+ Persuasion Strategies
+ The Secret to "unleashing" your unique voice
+ How to write about your Strengths
+ How to write about your Weaknesses