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Shocking truth about MBA Application Essays

MBA Application Essay Reality
During the orientation session in a leading Business School, when MBAs were asked “Who among you are clueless about your short-term goals?” -  87% of the participants raised their hands. So much for clear post-MBA goals. AdCom would rather admit candidates who can articulate their goals than an aimless wanderer who look at professors or classmates for inspiration. Not many will follow the professor’s academic path when they hear stories about the wretched academic papers and the boring tasks of evaluating test papers of the brilliant to the not-so brilliant to the plain awful students.


History Repeats Itself

Most applicants who plan for the MBA have reached the upper strata of their career path, and look at MBA as an escape from their routine jobs. The research about MBAs will lead them to the employment report that give split-up of jobs by functions and industries. “Consulting sounds fine” is the inner dialogue of most applicants. “I have good communication skills. I had even offered sound advice on investing in stocks. Maybe I should consider Finance.” Further research happens, and the realization that finance is second only to consulting for increase in post-MBA salary soon follows. Applicants now start to think about top MBA in Finance. “Wharton, Booth or Stern?”. Strategies are developed to create two sets of essays for each job function. What happens - year after year, is that the employment report is the cue that directs MBA applicants to one of the job functions; evaluation of their strengths and weakness is an exercise only for the essays.

Private vs. Personal

“Don’t fake it. Show your authentic self.” Even we have given such advice but writing personal essays is not writing about your private lives. The AdCom does not want to hear about your dog or the girlfriend that broke up with you when you revealed your MBA plans. “She was thinking too low.” The applicant felt that the sentence would offer context on the adversity that he had faced. A less ambitious girlfriend is not an adversity that the AdCom is expecting. ‘Shock and Awe’ works in brilliant essays and even for the unintentionally funny ones. I bet there is a collection of essays that the AdCom has kept safely, and read every other day for comic relief. Your essay does not deserve to be there. Applicants assume that they are creating the context with private details. No matter how colorfully you have written your essays, your upbringing, lifestyle, and aspirations cannot be completely put into words.

Great Writers = Guaranteed MBA? NO!!

What more can applicants do when an essay is one of the two mediums to convey your motivations? You can either write like thousands of other applicants or find that unique inner voice. You don’t have to write like Howard Jacobson, Salman Rushdie or William Faulkner. If you do, what are you doing getting an MBA? Start writing novels. What AdCom expects is an “emotional connect.” You have heard that several times. No one has cared to explain what it is. I will try. Any writing that invokes a strong emotional reaction: sadness, disappointment, humiliation, uncertainty, joy, and finally inspiration will put you in a different category – “the unique applicant.” There is little place for “laughter.” It’s a thriller/suspense/parable genre. If you had paid close attention to the list of emotional states, you would notice that there are just two positive emotional states – “Joy” & “Inspiration”.

Why do we love negative emotional states?

Don’t blame yourself or your brooding genes, blame Freud!

According to Freud’s Structural Apparatus of the Psyche, our personality is shaped by two conflicting elements – “Id” that dictates our impulses and “Super Ego” that advises you “not to put mud in your mouth.” Now picture that in your mother’s voice.

The parental advice that has shaped our beliefs about personal safety, religion, or lack of it, and ideal behavior in a cooperating society is the “Super Ego.” Our environment, friends, siblings, parents, and thinkers who have influenced us over the years reshape our “Super Ego.”

The residue of the conflict between “Id” and “Super Ego” is our “Personality.”

We are inherently managing conflict on a regular basis, either internally with our dialogues or externally through problem solving. AdComs are having the same  “Inner Conflict” – “Should I read the essay again”, “Am I missing on a great candidate”,  “This essay sucks..Oh wait a minute”, “Should I go for the coffee break?”, or “This is the 100th Boring Essay. I hate my life”. You can’t manage their inner conflict, but you sure can replicate this natural state of conflict with your essays.

The essays that lack conflicts are often rejected. Let’s face it, they are boring. No one wants to sit through a brag sheet even if you are an excellent candidate, and the bragging is with full earnestness. Learn the art of subtlety and strategically include bragging in recommendation letters. The essays are your opportunity to take the admission team through a journey that changed your life. You have to shortlist events in your life that had conflicts. Take the AdCom through the four negative emotional states: sadness, disappointment, humiliation, uncertainty and don’t forget to end with “Joy” or “Inspiration.”

For complete Essay Writing Tips - Download our Winning MBA Essay Guide


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?

Storytelling!

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: 682

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)    

+ 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 Why Stanford MBA: Career Switch(Finance to Green Energy Consulting)(394 Words)
    Sample Essay A: What matters most to you, and why? (740 Words)
+ Chicago Booth MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    Sample Booth MBA Essay #1: Oil & Gas to Consulting (475 Words)
     Sample Booth MBA Essay #1: Social IMPACT to Marketing (478 Words)   
     Sample Booth MBA Essay #2: Leadership experience (Father’s Restaurant Business)(493 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 Cover Letter – Technology Consulting (286 Words)
     Sample Cover Letter – Healthcare Entrepreneurship (296 Words)
+ Kellogg MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    Sample Essay 1: Demonstrated Leadership (Marketing) (449 Words)
     Sample Essay 2: Demonstrated Leadership (Technology) (449 Words)   
     Sample Essay 3: MBA as a Catalyst for Growth (Technology) (438 Words)
     Sample Essay 4: MBA as a Catalyst for Growth (Non-Profit to Consulting) (442 Words)
+ INSEAD MBA Essay Tips (2019 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
+
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   

    How to Cite the Curriculum (Example)
    Sample LBS MBA Essay (A Career Switcher from Technology to Consulting for FinTech) (489 Words)
    Sample LBS MBA Essay (A Career Switcher from Hospitality to Consulting) (499 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)
+ Wharton MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    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)

+ 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 (2020 Entering Class)




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