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8 Best Practices for MBA Application Video Essays

MBA Application Video TipsMBA Video Essay had some degree of success in the admission sphere over the past three years with the advent and growth of internet video as a popular viewing medium. Kellogg MBA Admissions team popularized the Video Essay where students get 1-2 minutes to prepare for the question and 2-3 minutes to record their answer in video format. For INSEAD, the recording time is as low as 60 seconds. Most schools offer a platform where you can practice the Video Essay multiple times with just once chance to record the answer. Use the time wisely. Practice for pacing the answer and covering the core of the question in the first 30 seconds.

We have compiled the eight Best Practices for creating awesome MBA Application Video Essays:

1) Use a Good Camera


Most laptops have a 3 Megapixel to a 5-megapixel inbuilt camera. But if you have watched some of the regular contributors in YouTube, what differentiates them from the amateurs is the quality of the video. You can borrow these cameras but here is our pick:

Top 3 video camera for MBA Application Video recording:

1) Canon 600D (Canon EOS Rebel T3i 18 MP)
2) Nikon D7000
3) Canon EOS 700D(Canon EOS Rebel T5i 18.0 MP)

If you couldn’t get the camera, use the inbuilt camera on your laptop, and change the settings until you find the optimum pixels, hue, and color.

The advantage of using high pixel camera is that - once you have recorded your answers, it can be converted to lower pixels with reduced file size, and uploaded to MBA application page, depending on file upload requirements. With lower pixels, you cannot change the quality even with some of the best video editing software.

2) Buy a Good Mic


Audio compensates for the lack of video quality. AdCom wants to hear your answer and know that you haven’t edited your essays, 10 to 20 times with the help of consultants, and created an essay that is a far off representation of your true self.

We have tested a few mid to lower budget USB mics (mics that can be plugged into your laptop without any tuners), and here are our recommended two mics.

1)  Audio-Technica ATR2100USB (Good Quality & Affordable)
ii)  CAD u37 (Good Quality & Affordable)

3) Failsafe Internet Connection

We recommend applicants to avoid public Wi-Fi connections for recording sessions as you would have less control over the interruption in connection.  Make sure that you have a backup connection for the session. Most Business Schools will give you 2-3 chances to re-record your answers. Therefore, a foolproof internet connection is mandatory.

4) Set up the Environment

a) Software

Make sure that all the unnecessary background software applications are closed, and 90% of the processing power is allocated for the session. Close that Adobe Updater, email client software, and chat applications. You don’t want to record chat conversations and interesting email notifications accidentally during the session. Make sure that you record the answers on the full screen.

b) Lighting

Let the light fall on the subject – in this case, you. Don’t beam the light source to the viewer. Make sure that your room is well lit, and your background clutter free.

c) Noise

Make your room sound proof.  Close the door and windows, check for AC Noise, and test if any unanticipated noise is being recorded.

d) Interruption

Ask you friend, colleague, partner or family to guard your recording room against any unwanted interruption.

e) Dress Code

Even if you are recording the session at home, stick to the recommended dress code.

Recommended Dress Code
Men: No Jeans and T-shirt, No Jewelry except watch
Women: No revealing outfits. No Jeans and T-shirt. Minimal Jewelry

5) Know the Motivation

Getting a sense of who the interviewer is, and what the schools look in a candidate can be helpful for your preparation. If you are recording the answer with no live audience, the goal of the Video Essay is to measure Authenticity. The Admission team wants to make sure that the essays are a true representation of the applicant as a person. It is tough to fake your personality with visuals and voice without any retakes. Most admitted candidates take some form of help in Editing their essays. The School wants to avoid admitting students with mediocre communication skills.  Repeat the core positioning that you have used for your essays. Although you don't have to repeat the essay word by word, stick to the story and motivations. Don't diverge.

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6) Prepare

Most Video application questions are prompted randomly, and give little opportunity for the applicants to prepare. But if you have spent enough time preparing for MBA Admission interview, answering tough, and thought-provoking questions might have become second nature to you. Read our MBA Admission Interview Guide, and go through the list of questions asked in top Business Schools. It is a long list, but once you get the nature of questions, and learn how to answer them effectively, video answers become just another medium to answer questions. Practice the questions in an actual recording environment.

7) Focus on the Question

With MBA Video Application, the time allotted for each question is limited (1-3 minutes). Therefore, pay close attention to the question, understand the context, and answer only the question being asked. With essays, applicants have the option to rewrite and edit, but for video essay, you don’t have this luxury. Rambling about related topics from the question is not a good strategy. Start with the topic, and if you have the time to cover a related topic, go for it. A stopwatch on the side would come handy for practice and during the actual session.

8) Edit if Possible

Not all Business Schools would ask applicants to record the answers spontaneously. If you have the option to edit the video, choose one of the following software: Audacity (Free) for audio editing and PowerDirector 15 Ultra for video editing.

A lot of the tips shared in our MBA Admission Interview Guide can be used for your Video Essay. Download it here


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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.

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Storytelling!

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If you feel that the essays are not persuasive, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will teach you how to use the W-Pattern narrative, Contexts, Turning Points and "The Show Don't Tell Approach" to write a Winning MBA Essay.

If you don't have enough leadership experience, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will show you how to highlight non-obvious qualities like Trust, Focus, Listening Skills, Personal Responsibility, Humility, Self-Knowledge, and other secondary traits to prove your leadership.

If you don't know how to review your essays, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will demonstrate how to improve readability with the power of iteration, and maintain your original voice by removing review biases.

Pages: 756

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 Harvard MBA Essay - Volunteering (Mental Health Awareness)  (776 Words)
+ Columbia MBA Essay Tips (2020 Entering Class) (NEW)

   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)    

+ Wharton MBA Essay Tips (2020 Entering Class) (NEW)
   Sample Wharton MBA Essay: What do you hope to gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (473 words)  (Consulting to Finance)
   Sample Wharton MBA Essay: What do you hope to gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (482 Words) (VC to Consulting   
   (Healthcare))
   Sample Wharton MBA Essay: What do you hope to gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (497 Words) (Business Development to
   Finance (Non-Profit in Energy))

   Sample Essay #2: Math Tutoring and Experimental music’s value for the Wharton Community (388 Words)   
   Sample Essay #2: Non-Profit – Obesity Epidemic and Healthy Lifestyle at Wharton (399 Words)   

   Sample Essay #2: Non-Profit – Energy Efficient Offices for Start-ups and value of Design Thinking in the Wharton Community (395
   Words)   

+ Stanford MBA Essay Tips (2020 Entering Class) (NEW)

    Sample Why Stanford MBA Essay (Consulting)(400 words)    
    Sample Why Stanford MBA Essay (Tech Entrepreneur) (390 words)    
    Sample Why Stanford MBA: Career Switching (Finance to Green Energy Consulting) (389 Words)
    Sample Why Stanford MBA: Career Switching (Private Equity to Operations) (399 Words)    
    Sample Essay A: What matters most to you, and why? (740 Words)(Balance in Life)    
    Sample Essay A: What matters most to you, and why? (750 Words)(Vulnerability and Learning)    
    Sample Essay A: What matters most to you, and why? (748 Words)(Freedom and Commitment)

+ Chicago Booth MBA Essay Tips (2020 Entering Class)(NEW)   

   Sample Goals Essay #1: Oil & Gas to Consulting (475 Words)
   Sample Goals Essay #2: Social IMPACT to Marketing (Non-Profit) (472 Words)
   Sample Goals Essay #3: Accounting to Entrepreneurship (Fashion)(495 Words)
   Sample Goals Essay #4: Technology (Programming to Product Development) (493 Words)
   Sample Leadership Experience & Choices in Life Essay #1 (492 Words)(Technologist - Father’s Restaurant Business and Leadership)
   Sample Leadership Experience & Choices in Life Essay #2 (639 Words) (Education - Teach for America and Leadership)
   Sample Leadership Experience & Choices in Life Essay #3 (496 Words)(Physician - Opioid Crisis and Healthcare Innovation)   

   Sample Leadership Experience & Choices in Life Essay #4 (500 Words) (FinTech and App Revolution - Disrupting the Food Supply Chain)
+ INSEAD MBA Essay Tips (2020 Entering Class)(NEW)

   Sample Essay: Candid Description, Strengths & Weaknesses (Marketing Lead) (499 Words)   
    Sample Essay: Candid Description, Strengths & Weaknesses (Consulting to Product Development) (492 Words)   
    Sample Essay: Achievements and Failures (398 Words) (Technology Consultant)
    Sample Essay: Achievements and Failures (395 Words) (International Relations) (Negotiations)
    Sample Essay: Extra-Curricular and How enriched you are (272 Words) (Hiking and Vlogging)
    Sample Essay: Extra-Curricular and How enriched you are (298 Words) (Improv Acting)

+
Haas
MBA Essay Tips (2019 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 (2020 Entering Class)(NEW)      
     Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Business Development (Mobile Phone Start-Up)(485 Words)   

     Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Investment Banking (IB)(404 Words)
     Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Consulting (447 Words)
     Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Technology (448 Words)
     Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Marketing (491 Words)
     Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Entrepreneurship (496 Words)
    Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: IMPACT Investing (495 Words)
    Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Oil & Gas to Clean Energy (Consulting) (464 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)   

+ Duke Fuqua MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    Framework for Answering the Duke Fuqua Short-Answer Essay Questions   
    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)
     Sample NYU Stern Essay 1: Goals (494 Words) (Consulting)
     Essay 3:  Personal Expression (a.k.a. "Pick Six")    
     5 Examples with Images

+ Darden MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    Sample Darden MBA Essay – About yourself (100 Words) (Near Death Experience)
     Sample Darden MBA Essay – About yourself (100 Words) (Networking and Job Offer at an Unlikely place)   
     Sample Darden MBA Essay – About yourself (100 Words) (Mountaineering)
     Sample Darden MBA Essay – Where you want to go with Darden (47 Words)
     Sample Darden MBA Essay – Evolving Leadership Style (198 Words)
     Sample Darden MBA Essay – Meaningful IMPACT (200 Words)
     Sample Darden MBA Essay: Short-term Post-MBA career goal (149 words)
+ MIT Sloan MBA Essay Tips (2020 Entering Class)(NEW)   
    Personality Type (Accepted MIT Sloan Students)   

    Cover Letter Checklist   
    Sample Cover Letter – Technology to Consulting (284 Words)    
    Sample Cover Letter – Healthcare Entrepreneurship (297 Words)    
    Sample Cover Letter – Consulting to Technology (298 Words)    
    Sample Cover Letter – Wealth Management to FinTech (299 Words)    
   Sample Cover Letter – Manufacturing to Consulting (Retail) (299 Words)    
   Sample Cover Letter – Strategy to Consulting (297 Words)   

+ Kellogg MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)(NEW)  
   Sample Essay: Demonstrated Leadership, the challenges you faced and what you learned (Marketing) (449 Words)   
    Sample Essay: Demonstrated Leadership, the challenges you faced and what you learned (Technology) (447 Words)   
    Sample Essay: Demonstrated Leadership, the challenges you faced and what you learned (Non-Profit) (441 Words)   
    Sample Essay: Values important to you and how have they influenced you? (Changing the Traditional Recruitment Formula)(443 Words)
    Sample Essay: Values important to you and how have they influenced you?(Seniority-Based to Performance-based Culture)(444 Words)
    Sample Essay: Values important to you and how have they influenced you?(From machine-centric to Human-centric customer support)(446 Words)
+ London Business School MBA Essay Tips (2020 Entering Class) (NEW)   
    London as the Financial Hub   
    London as the Technology Hub   
    London as the Consulting Hub   
    How to Cite the Curriculum (Example)   
    Sample LBS MBA Essay: Post-MBA Goals  (489 Words)(Technology to Consulting)
    Sample LBS MBA Essay: Post-MBA Goals (493 Words)(Hospitality to Consulting)
    Sample LBS MBA Essay: Post-MBA Goals  (500 Words)(Government/Non-Profit to Technology)
    Sample LBS MBA Essay: Post-MBA Goals  (495 Words)(Medical Doctor to Investment Banking)

+ Sample Essays
+ 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

Pages: 760
Sample Essays: 80+
Version: 2020 Entering Class


Download Winning MBA Essay Guide (2020 Entering Class)




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