With Round 1 admissions, each business school will have already admitted a diverse range of candidates. In submitting a Round 2 application, you are asking the admissions committee to integrate you into the mix. To show that you are a standout applicant, make sure to set yourself apart through what you say in your essays. What important skills and qualities will you share with your MBA peers? How will your unique experiences and ambitions strengthen the current MBA class and program? It is vital that you answer questions like these in a confident and articulate manner.
How have you demonstrated already that you can impact an environment positively or bring excellence to a task/ project? You should highlight the “proof” that you will be a great student in your essays. This is what I refer to as “strategic content.”
Typically, when I review the applications of candidates who applied on their own and received poor outcomes, one of the biggest ways they could have improved their applications would have been with much better strategic content throughout both the essays and recommendations.
What is one way you can achieve this? In addition to excellently written essays, you should make sure you present a great blend of achievements and interests. You don’t want to come across as a one-dimensional candidate, particularly not in Round 2. If the school has already admitted 35 engineers and it only intends to admit 50 engineers total, you won’t maximize your odds of admission if you present yourself as a candidate who is wholly interchangeable with a candidate of a similar background. The committee should read your essays, resume, application form and recommendations and come to the conclusion that you are a unique candidate of your profile, and thus, when choosing among candidates who otherwise might have similar work experience and similar academic strengths, you will stand out with experiences and interests that add a new flavor.
Essays function in many ways like your marketing package – they should emphasize your chief leadership achievements, experiences, and attributes that will make the admissions committee see you as an indispensable asset to the school.
Good luck in the admissions process!
Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)