The first version of essays submitted to our Essay Review Service is mostly a rehash of the resume. When we ask, “Why are you reiterating the resume” in your essay, the answer is universal. “The word count is 500 or 350 words. We can’t help but include facts and ignore ‘our feelings’? “. The first drafts are so dry that we don’t find any ‘spark’ in the applicant. After the Life Audit questionnaire, we learned that the applicant is a three-dimensional personality with feelings about goals, success, and failures.
It is impossible to write freely from the heart when the word count is restricting your creativity. Forget word count for the first draft, and silence the analytic mind. Most applicants targeting top MBA programs are gifted analytically, but essays require your right brain to function at an optimum, capturing honest emotions. How do you do it? Here is how…
1) Find Events that evoke Emotions
The first task in capturing honest emotion is to search and list all the life-changing events. Go to each event one by one, and measure how you feel about the event. Imagine the key actors in the event – you, your teacher, your boss, your colleague, a mentor, or a contemporary. What were the circumstances? What were the problems that you were trying to solve? What were the obstacles? What were your strengths and weaknesses at that time? With a vivid detailing of the event, you would feel more intensely about the event. The event, which you feel strongly about, is what you should write.
2) Answer the ‘Why’ question
Another flaw that we have observed in MBA Application Essays is the excessive focus on the how, what and where part instead of the ‘Why’. The narrative is filled with words when the ‘where’ and ‘what’ part is answered. It is essential to offer context, but the most important question that you have to answer is the ‘Why’ part. As an evolutionary being, we depend on other’s experience for our survival. Have you wondered why you slow down near an accident site? It’s not that we are sadistic creatures dying to see blood or flesh dangling on the metal, but we have to see ‘why the accident’ happened. First instinct is to answer the ‘how’ – a truck crossed the path, the driver did not break on time, or the signals were faulty. Then our natural survival instinct kicks in – “Why” he could not divert from the accident – that is the life lesson we are picking from the accident.
3) The Unique Voice
When we ask the applicants to capture their true feelings, they go on a tangent making controversial statements about an ethnic group, an observation about an organization or criticize an individual. That is not what we meant by unique voice. Controversy does not sell in MBA Application Essays. Don’t plugin your prejudices. What we mean by your unique voice is the free flow of phrases or words that came from your creative mind. The day you polish the words to fit with the ‘MBA’ vocabulary, your uniqueness dies. When the first draft is created, these phrases look ridiculous, but by the 2nd or 3rd iteration, you will capture two or three unique phrases in the essay, just enough to make a memorable opening or a philosophical reflection about an event.
4) 40% Fact , 20% on How and 40% on Motivation
An analytical mind thrives on facts. What were the deadlines for the project? What were the target sales numbers for the quarter? What was the qualification of the team? What were your weaknesses?
‘What’ , ‘When’ and ‘Where’ questions covers the facts, and in most cases gives a context about your problem, but it should only cover 40% of the essays, preferably spread across the essays. 20% of the essays should focus on the ‘How’, and 40% on the ‘Why’ part. Why did you choose one individual over the other for solving the problem? How did you solve the problem? Why do you feel that an MBA in necessary? Why now? That is why most application essay questions ask a lot of ‘why’ questions. They reveal your motivation.
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.
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)
+ Stanford MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
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)
Sample Columbia MBA Essay 2: New York for Marketing Professionals (244 Words)
Sample Columbia MBA Essay #3 - Team Failure (Marketing Lead) (242 Words)
Sample Columbia MBA Essay #3 - Team Failure (Technology) (248 Words)
Sample Columbia MBA Essay #3 - Team Failure (Pharma) (244 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