10 Key Tips for Creating Compelling Business School Essays

The Round 2 application deadlines are only 2-3 weeks away.  Some applicants are already half way through the application process while some are still at the beginning stage.  Whichever stage of the application process you are, you are still working on showcasing your best personal and professional stories.  Indeed, your stories about the various aspects of your professional career (goals, accomplishments, leadership experiences etc.) and personal life (background, cultural experiences, setback/mistake etc.) play a key role in determining your chances of admission to you dream school.  Therefore, you must invest a significant amount of time in reflecting on your best … Continue reading

MBA Application Essays- 10 Common Mistakes You Should Avoid

Essays are the most critical part of the application package for business schools that showcase those aspects of the  applicants’ profile which other parts of their application package do not reveal. B-schools use essays as tools to know their prospective candidates outside of the typical academic and professional environment. When working with the B-school applicants on their application essays in the past five years, I have come across the following common mistakes which, I believe, can be easily avoided with careful thought and preparation. 1.  Insufficient Time: Year after year, I have noticed that some applicants do not give themselves … Continue reading

Writing a Compelling Personal Statement

This article first appeared in the February , 2016  issue of    Valley India Times Almost all top business schools and other graduate schools require applicants to write a Personal Statement or a Goals essay in which they discuss their goals  as they pertain to the target school’s particular program.  Personal statements, sometimes also called ‘Statements of Purpose,’ or a ‘Goals’ essay are essentially essays written in response to a question or a set of questions on a graduate or professional school application form which asks for a precise response. A Personal Statement requires you to make a logical connection between … Continue reading

Helpful Tips for Creating Compelling Essays – a Summary

For the last couple of days, we have been discussing one essay tip every day. I have illustrated each of these super useful essay tips with examples from  students’ essays. I hope you have enjoyed them. For those of you who missed some of them, here is a compilation of the links of all of the blog posts at one place. Tip # 1 Comprehend the Essay Prompt Tip # 2 Brainstorm Ideas/begin Writing Tip # 3 Address Each Part of the Essay Question Tip # 4 Make your Introduction Engaging Tip # 5  Organize Your Story Well Tip # … Continue reading

Creating Compelling Essays Day 13 Tip 13 Proofread, Proofread, Proofread

So you have written, rewritten, and revised your essay multiple times and have made sure that you have adequately addressed all parts of the essay question within the prescribed word limit effectively and persuasively. Now the last step is to get your essays edited for sentence structure, punctuation, grammar, and spelling errors. If neglected, these errors are a poor refection on your candidacy and can jeopardize your chances of admission despite your great GMAT score, good GPA, and impressive work experience. In order to bring variety to your writing, try to compose a mix of simple, compound and complex sentences. … Continue reading

Creating Compelling Essays Day 12-Tip 12 Conclude your Story Well

Sometimes I read essays with compelling stories, impressive accomplishments, and flawless writing, but when I am done reading them, I feel something is lacking. What is that? — An effective conclusion. When you forget to wrap up his/her story, it leaves the reader wondering if the writer is really done. The key to a good story is an engaging beginning, a well-developed middle and a compelling conclusion. Therefore, it is important to sum up all the key components of your story and tie them to your thesis, that is, your main point. You need to bring it full circle to … Continue reading

Creating Compelling Essays – Day 11-Tip 11 Choose Your Words Wisely

Every year, B schools are cutting down on the number of essays and the word limits of essays they require their prospective students to write. What is the reason behind this changing trend? We all know that Admission officers have thousands of applications to review, so they  don’t want to be frustrated  with essays filled with overly lengthy paragraphs or sentences which they need to read 2-3 times to make sense of. Clearly, reducing number of essays and their word limits will ease the burden of the admission committee.  Soojin Kwon, the admissions director of Michigan Ross School of Business, … Continue reading

Creating Compelling Essays- Avoid Using Quotations Day 10-Tip 10

 When writing admission essays, most applicants tend to use quotes of famous and distinguished people ( leaders, philosophers, and scientists etc.) who have made a positive impact in the lives of future generations. It is a general perception that using quotations of eminent personalities is a powerful way to impress the readers. I, however, do not recommend using precious words to quote someone else. These essay questions about your goals, accomplishments, leadership experiences, cultural experience, background, setback, and life experiences are designed to evaluate YOU to determine  your ‘fit’ with the school, so using someone else’s  words, no matter how … Continue reading

Creating Compelling Essays Use Transitional Expressions – Day 9 Tip 9

Specific details and examples are essential in making your  stories engaging and persuasive. The use of transitional expressions make these specific anecdotes/ details coherent and help the reader  to transition smoothly from one bit of information to the other. The use of transition words and phrases not only helps us write clearly and coherently, but also helps our readers (in this case the AD Com) follow our story and stay focused. These transitional expressions act like road signs that help the reader follow the direction of our thought. True, we all are familiar with these most commonplace words and phrases, … Continue reading

Creating Compelling Essays – Day 8 Tip 8 Do Not Use Jargon

  It has been a common experience for me to review essays filled with technical terms of the applicant’s industry. Whether it is ‘leadership’ essay, ‘setback’ essay, ‘goals’ essay, ‘ethical dilemma’ or even ‘background’ essay, some applicants inadvertently provide lengthy technical details which are comprehensible only to their industry people. In their enthusiasm to showcase their technical expertise, they often omit relevant information (e.g.  ‘What were the main challenges?’ “How did they deal with the situation?’ or ‘How was the experience meaningful?’ etc.).  The use of excessive jargon  makes it challenging for the readers to comprehend your story and  distracts … Continue reading