If you have ever reflected on stories and movies that had the potential but just could not live up to the novel idea, one thing becomes very clear – “lack of relevance.” The writer is so focused on making the story an intelligent one; she starts including sub-plots into an otherwise interesting narrative. This trend is not limited to movies and novels but also prevalent in MBA application essays.
The MBA Admission consulting industry is a multi-million dollar industry that co-exists with GMAT Prep, MBA Tour & MBA Admission Interview Prep industries, often overlapping their services under a single entity. When MBA applicants realize this, they reason with something like “The MBA Application essay reviewers charge me by hundreds of dollars per hour. This must be due to their ability to translate simple essays to intelligent ones.” And so starts the rewriting process, resulting in out-of-scope essays.
Simplicity has amazing power to influence the reader. A simple, easy to read narrative is more than enough to convey your motivations for an MBA.
Here are some tips to remove irrelevant sentences, and experiences from the essay:
1) Personal vs. Social vs. Spiritual vs. Professional
Each of the four aspects of our personality plays a major role in defining our motivations, values, and achievements. A balanced approach to these four aspects is not necessary. Some applicants tend to think that if they don’t highlight their spiritual upbringing, it never fully convey their values. This is not the case. You can instead go into details on why you believe certain values without going into the origins of those values. There is a universal code for ethical behavior. You don’t need any special explanation to convey the importance of fairness and equality.
2) Avoid Politics & Religion
Conversation in Politics & Religion never ends well. It is especially ineffective in MBA application essays where the conversation is one-dimensional. You might believe is certain religious doctrines, and political agenda, but MBA application essays are the last place to include your beliefs. Instead, find out the values that you realized from these two organizations and check whether those values define who you are. If it is just a minor influence in your behavior, and motivations, avoid including them.
3) Understand Scope Before Life Audit
One strategy that we have recommended throughout our MBA Application Essay Tips is the process of life audit. During this process, the applicants should chronologically list events, people, and circumstances that influence their personality. But before doing so, one thing that should be clear is the importance of scope.
Scope is the “depth of details” that you are willing to analyze in order to explain a problem.
To show your motivations on how you started helping the under privileged children, your school performance in Math & Science subjects is irrelevant, unless you can connect those two ideas. It is amazing to read essays, and wonder why applicants go into details that don’t answer the question in hand.
4) So What?
If you are unable to find ‘irrelevant details’ in your essay, ask the “So What?” question at the end of each sentence. This is an effective step to question your motivations. There should be a clear explanation on why the sentence was included in the essay. If your explanation to the “So what?” question lacks merit, remove it or rephrase it. To judge the merit of your explanation, ask your friend, colleague, or an expert reviewer to sit with you and go through each sentence.
Each year, the word count is going down in MBA Application essays. Any words or sentences, that takes the focus away from the core question in hand will decrease the impact of the essay, and would reduce your chance from entering a top MBA program. Download our essay guide, and use it as a guideline for your MBA Application Essays.
Image Credit: Benis Arapovic
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 (2019 Entering Class)
Sample MBA Essay – Gratitude & Giving Back (319 Words)
Sample MBA Essay – Entrepreneurship (Influence of Childhood) (401 Words)
Sample Harvard MBA Essay - Volunteering (Mental Health Awareness) (774 Words)
+ Stanford MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
Sample Essay A
+ Chicago Booth MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
#1. Modern Art = Make you Think
#2. Teamwork and Individual Ambition
#4. Diversity = Creativity
#5. Classroom Experience
#6. Harper Center
+ Columbia MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
Sample Columbia MBA Essay 1: Enterprise Technology to Consumer Marketing (495 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 – Engineering Lead) (248 Words)
Sample Columbia MBA Essay #3 - Team Failure (Pharma – Product Manager) (244 Words)
+ 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 (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 (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