Military MBA Applicants are conditioned to categorize obstacles to smaller problems, allocate the right resources to tackle each of them and apply the full force of their might to achieve the objective. Not many applicants have this natural inclination to systemize the problem and hit one goal after the other.
Evaluation reports in the military require cutting the fluff and focusing on the quality of the outcome, leadership, and character. Excessive capture of the scenery is not encouraged for MBA applicants, but we have noticed a concentrated effort from Military applicants to eliminate context or limit the context while explaining a challenging scenario. Not many of us have lived through life and death decisions and remained focused on the goal. Even in non-combat operations, the interactions between complex systems and documenting the plan and resource utilization is not what a traditional job entails. Offering a bird’s eye view of the interactions and why it is relevant for smooth operations of the military is a narrative that many don’t spend too many words on.
Another common error in perception I have seen in Military MBA Applicants is the assumption that the ‘general audience’ that includes the admission team is aware of the various terminologies used to separate military units, the rank in charge of the unit and the scope of the responsibilities.
Since the organizational hierarchy in Military is clearly defined with expectations set on the results, applicants are less enthusiastic about connecting the impact the unit’s work had on achieving the country’s strategic objective. Maybe a show of military strength and aggressive maneuver might have forced a controversial political head to seek a diplomatic solution. However, Military personnel are discouraged from thinking in terms of IMPACT. In MBA Admissions, ‘IMPACT’ is the one differentiator that separates an applicant with GMAT 720 from a 770 candidate. Academics and GMAT could separate you out of the crowd of underperformers, but true magic happens when you articulate the IMPACT your work had at the highest level.
The military does not encourage creativity. At least that is the perception the general audience have. With roles, responsibilities and outcomes clearly defined, anyone rebelling against the commanding officer and taking over tasks that help the unit achieve strategic objective would be seen as a misconduct.
The exception is in Combat operations.
When the enemy becomes creative, the rules of engagement and tactics in accordance with the military playbook does not bear the desired results. The only way to combat ‘out of the box’ thinking is to be creative.
That is why Business Schools and MBA Admissions team have a high affinity towards applicants with experience in combat. There are no corporate challenges big enough for someone who saved ‘5 fellow soldiers’ while disengaging the ‘enemy’ and limiting civilian casualties.
The fast thinking, assessment of the hostile environment and the adaptability to ‘pivot’ by the second is not something any MBA can teach.
For non-combat applicants, differentiating and showcasing creativity becomes tricky. Luckily, with the proliferation of technology into military operations, Generalist with skills just in ‘warfare’ is not enough to excel as a leader.
You should have the creative problem-solving skills to resolve personal problems of your troop, integrate and operate complex systems, change the perception about your country to seek local support in a combat zone, or address numerous logistical and cultural challenges in a partner country – skills that are transferable to general management, technology, marketing, and operations respectively.
6) Agreeability and Innovation
Another contentious trait many admission team members might not reveal is the high level of agreeability among Military applicants. This is a required trait to work efficiently in a well-defined organization like the military, Fortune 500 company and in Manufacturing, Healthcare, or the Investment Banking industry. Creative rebels don’t thrive in such environment. However, the trait might not encourage recruiters to employ military applicants in roles that require process or product innovation as agreeableness has a negative correlation with individual innovativeness.
A healthy level of disagreement in marketing and Management Consulting is required for ideas to clash on campaign choices, process changes and market strategy. Without a propensity to question the assumptions of the team members, the brainstorming would turn into a session of confirmation bias. Choosing examples within the military communication framework where you initiated a change in procedure or a practice is sufficient to demonstrate that you have the inclination to innovate. The challenge is at offering enough context to avoid translating the example as trivial or too complex.
Ask MBA Applicants from marketing or with the penchant for blogging on what is their biggest achievement; they would be ready with at least three plot points with the right amount of suspense, fear and joy mixed into the narrative. It is not a big stretch for applicants with a creative background to engineer an interesting narrative. MBA Admission team will have a problem if mediocre achievements are converted to creative narratives or what we call a ‘spin’. Fearing this tendency, competitive applicants learn to mix the right amount of narrative, numbers and objectivity to their essays.
80+ Sample Essays + Essay Writing, Review & Editing Tips + 15 School-Specific Tips = Winning MBA Essay Guide
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 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 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 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)
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 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
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)
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
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)
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 as the Financial Hub
London as the Technology Hub
London as the Consulting Hub
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