MBA Essays: Four Personas (Superman, Peter Parker, Rocky or Frank Abagnale Jr)

MBA Essays Personality TypesWho are you - Superman, Peter Parker, Rocky, or Frank Abagnale Jr.? What we learned reviewing hundreds of essays during Round 1 and Round 2 deadlines is that almost all applicants fall under four categories:

1) Superman

These applicants are confident about their skills and know how to demonstrate it. There is not even a single line in the essay where the applicant shows any self-doubt. It is all about the goals, how they got there, the process of overcoming the obstacles, and finally achieving objectives for the team.

Pros: There is no beating around the bush. The goals are clear; the thought process articulated in simple English, and the journey captured in such a way that the applicant’s abilities are revealed at the end of the essay.

Cons: The narrative borders on the narcissistic "I am the best" slogan, and some applicants think it is normal to take credit for the entire team. The majority of accepted applicants were careful, not to overdo the 'Superman' narrative. The credit for the team and supervisors were mixed in plenty in the essay to balance the teamwork qualities with individual achievements.

2) Peter Parker

The dorky version of a superhero, Peter Parker persona gives the hint that the applicant was not extraordinary. They were average with the GPA (2.8 to 3.4) and GMAT (650-700) but the professional achievements were extraordinary. We have not seen even a single case of this Persona where their extra-curricular was the reason for their admission.

Pros: The weaknesses are clear even before reading the Essays. What accepted applicants in this persona do brilliantly is breaking the typecast. Just when the reviewer was expecting street smarts, the applicant cites a problem that requires academic rigor to solve it. The essays demonstrate why Academic criterion is a flawed system to evaluate the candidate's ability to solve complex problems.

Cons: Candidates with this persona are captivating writers. They know how to play with the words, and get the attention of the reviewer. Reviewers who view 'attention-grabbing narrative' as a weakness will reject the applicant. Success in this category is highly dependent on the Essay Reviewer.

3) Rocky

Unfortunately, the underdog story has become a clichéd narrative. Over the years, Applicants have overdone this persona and forced a spin on their story to meet the traits of ‘Rocky’ even if they do not fall under this category. A well-written essay captures the vulnerability of the applicant including personal and situational handicaps and sparks empathy in the reviewer.

Pros: The weaknesses are overwhelming and as a reviewer, we sub-consciously root for the candidate. The curiosity to know how the applicant achieved the goals will force the reviewer to read the essays completely - not a common occurrence when there are thousands of boring essays.

Cons: If the applicant uses 'ready to use' opening paragraphs, the fake 'Rocky' persona will be easy to spot.

4) Frank Abagnale Jr.

Although it is rare to see such persona captured in essays, a few brave applicants have shared how they are forced into making unethical decisions. The wrong turns are clear in the essays; the moral weakening apparent, and as a reviewer, I find the narrative the most interesting.

Pros: These essays give complete authenticity to the applicant.

Cons: Essays under this category gives an honest account of corporate corruption. But Admission team rarely take a chance on reformed professionals, and depending on the tone of the essay will interpret the candidate as brave or a coward.

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?


Yes, the art of storytelling has won presidency for Obama, transformed Apple from an unknown start-up to a brand synonymous with Quality, and gained admission for the average MBA Applicant.

F1GMAT's Winning MBA Essay guide will teach you how to transform your essay to an epic life journey with trials and tribulations that will move the admission team.

Who Should Buy The Winning MBA Essay Guide?

If your essay looks too bland, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will show you, with examples, on how to use the elements of Storytelling like Incorporating "The Struggle", Using Emotional connectors, narrating the Journey and the use of Chronology, Vividness and Active Verbs to transform your essays.

If you are stuck in the Writing process, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will show you how to silence the Analytic Mind and overcome mental blocks.

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: 618

Winning MBA Essay Guide Includes
+Harvard MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
    Sample MBA Essay – Gratitude & Giving Back   
    Sample MBA Essay – Entrepreneurship (Influence of Childhood)   

MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
    Sample Essay A
+ Chicago Booth MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
    #1. Modern Art = Make you Think   
    #2. Teamwork and Individual Ambition   
    #3. Adventure   
    #4. Diversity = Creativity   
    #5. Classroom Experience   
    #6. Harper Center   

+ Columbia MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
     Sample MBA Essay – Most Passionate About   
     Sample MBA Essay – Free Day   

+ MIT Sloan MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
     Sample Cover Letter
+ Kellogg MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
     Sample Essay - Leadership and Challenges   
     Sample Essay - How you have grown and intend to grow   

+ Insead MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
   Sample Essay 1: Candid Description, Strengths & Weaknesses
    Sample Essay 2: Achievements and Failures
    Sample Essay 3: Extra-Curricular and How enriched you are

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 (2018 Entering Class)
     Sample MBA Essay – Investment Banker
     Sample MBA Essay - Consultant  
     Sample MBA Essay - Technologist  
     Sample MBA Essay - Marketer  
     Sample MBA Essay - Entrepreneur  
+ Ross MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
    Sample MBA Essay: Finance Professional who was a former member of a rock band   
    Sample MBA Essay: Technologist (Idea to Action)   
    Sample MBA Essay: Creative Marketing (Idea to Action)   
    Sample MBA Essay: Consulting (Made a Difference)   
    Sample MBA Essay: Losing a Client (Resilience)   
    Sample MBA Essay: Finance to Marketing (extra-curricular)   
    Sample MBA Essay: I am Aware that I am different   
    Sample MBA Essay: I find it Challenging when People   
    Sample MBA Essay: A valuable thing I have taught someone   
    Sample Essay – Part 2 (Short-term & Long-Term Goals, skills relevant to your career goals and how Ross  
    prepares you for the goals)   
+ Wharton MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
    8 Professional Gains

London Business School
MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
    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 - How Prior Experience & LBS MBA will contribute (486   
+ Darden MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
    Case Study Method   
    What is valued at Darden?
    Framework for Answering the Darden Essay Question   
    Sample Darden Essay: When your opinion evolved through discussions (499 Words)

+ Duke Fuqua MBA Essay Tips (2018 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 (2018 Entering Class)
     Sample NYU Stern Essay 1: Goals (498 Words)    
     Essay 3:  Personal Expression (a.k.a. "Pick Six")    
          5 Examples with Images

+ 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

Download Winning MBA Essay Guide (2018 Entering Class)

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