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How To Write Essay

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Business school essays are the ‘deal maker’ or ‘deal breaker’ for applicants. Based on the story that you project, an admissions officer, who has never met you before, can either accept your candidature or reject your application and shatter your MBA dreams. So much is the power of the 2 or 3 essays that you write for your MBA application!

Without a doubt, to gain the admit, you HAVE to present your best version!

Things to remember to write ‘deal maker’ essays:

Take time to introspect and select the points you want to bring out – Start early (10 weeks before the deadline) so that you have sufficient time to introspect. Jot down all the important points that come to your mind. Select a few which bring out the diverse aspects of your profile and have the potential to create an impact on the admissions committee. Bring out the uniqueness in you!

Caveat: Writing too much will not help but may dilute the impact. Avoid flowery language and jargons.

PSU add-on: The important points should be from the perspective of admission committee. What we think as unimportant may actually have more value for the colleges. Take an expert advise on what experience in PSU/govt work is actually valued more than others!

Structure your ideas, prepare an outline, and write about the impact – The essays you write should be in sync with your LORs and resume. Do not just mention the action, but the impact that your action created. Quantify the impact, wherever possible.

Caveat: The essays, LORs, resume, and other parts of the application should be coherent but not a mere repetition of each other.

PSU add-on: Quantifying achievement may be difficult in case of PSU/govt experience because of vastness of project and lack of clear individual target. But the admission team wants clear quantified achievements. Get a guidance to fill this gap.

Relate your experiences with the contribution you can make to the class – MBA is about finding the perfect mutual fit. Apply to a b-school only when you are confident that the school is the right one for you to achieve your goals. Similarly, give concrete reasons to the admissions committee to select you over thousands of other applicants.

Caveat: Having a great profile will not suffice if you cannot answer the question “Why this b-school?”.

PSU add-on: Bring out your diversity here! Prepare a story, show how you are different from others.

Be concise, to the point, and stay within the word limit – Understand the prompt (cue) and answer it while staying within the permissible word count. Some colleges have strict algorithms to prevent the applicants from crossing the word limit. While some others allow a deviation of 5-10%. Any which way respect the word limit.

Caveat: Do not underutilize the word limit.

Avoid plagiarism at all costs – Generally, the essay topics are very personal in nature. Be genuine, have confidence in your ‘own’ story, base your essays on facts, and avoid copying parts from others’ applications. Most of the b-schools run the applications through plagiarism detection software before evaluating.

Caveat: If caught in the act of plagiarism, some colleges permanently red flag the candidate’s profile, hence, eliminating the chances of securing an admit in future, as well.

Now you know the basics. Start working. All the best!

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