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Goals Essays: How much reuse are you doing?

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GMAT Club Legend
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Goals Essays: How much reuse are you doing? [#permalink] New post 13 Sep 2007, 16:53
Hey everyone,

This is specifically for the goals essays of each school, especially the ones that pretty much ask "What are your career goals/aspirations? Why do you think an MBA at School X will help you?"

For me, Haas and UCLA questions are nearly identical in their question and their length. I plan on only re-writing paragraphs that talk about Haas and aim that towards my findings about UCLA. The rest of the goals essay I'm just going to tweak minor points here and there for flow.

Stanford's question is pretty similar with similar lengths, so I'll probably do the same.

So my question for everyone is, for the goals essays that have very similar questions (nearly identical), are you reusing most of your essays for other schools, minus the part about "Why School X?" Is there anything else I should be worried about?

One thing that comes to my mind (which I'll adjust for) is whether the other essays cover all the themes you want to portray about yourself. If not, then you might need to includes those in your new goals essay. If so, then you might remove redundant sections of the goals essay.

Other than that, I can't really think of anything else I need to watch out for.
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 [#permalink] New post 13 Sep 2007, 16:59
The goals essay skeleton for me is a copy paste job ..

I read up on each school, focus on their strong points, see the uniqueness of each of their programs and talk about those.

Ex. NYU would be about finance while Cornell would be more of a college environment (this is BS, but I am just showing a hypothetical example)

If you read my essays for both schools, you will see the same flow of ideas, the major differences being why this school...

Anyone following some other approach?
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Re: Goals Essays: How much reuse are you doing? [#permalink] New post 13 Sep 2007, 17:02
kryzak wrote:
So my question for everyone is, for the goals essays that have very similar questions (nearly identical), are you reusing most of your essays for other schools, minus the part about "Why School X?" Is there anything else I should be worried about?


Pretty much! I want my goals essays to not change much between schools (Except for the Why school X part - as mentioned by you). Any addition / subtraction that I want to do to my profile for a specific school, I will do that in other essays. For example, if I feel that for a particular school, I haven't been able to "highlight" that I am a male-Indian-IT, then I may look at fitting that information somewhere in my other essays. But I would not twist my goals essay for this.

This way, hopefully, I would have a pretty nice goals essay by the time I reach the deadlines of all schools. I can't really do this for any other essay as other essays differ for each school. A terrible plan?
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 [#permalink] New post 13 Sep 2007, 17:06
My goal is consistent through all my essays, since my goal really is my true goal and not a fabrication. I don't think I have a single paragraph exactly the same between any two schools but definitely have the same theme.
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Re: Goals Essays: How much reuse are you doing? [#permalink] New post 13 Sep 2007, 17:17
mNeo, are you serious? Why would you want to highlight that you are male-Indian-IT :-)

mNeo wrote:
For example, if I feel that for a particular school, I haven't been able to "highlight" that I am a male-Indian-IT, then I may look at fitting that information somewhere in my other essays. But I would not twist my goals essay for this.
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 [#permalink] New post 13 Sep 2007, 17:26
No, I am not serious. That was just my way of laughing at my tough luck :(
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 [#permalink] New post 13 Sep 2007, 17:36
Well, Haas and UCLA Leadership essays are pretty much the same too, except UCLA asks "how does this show your managerial potential", which I'll answer specifically.

Glad to hear. That means I'm pretty much done with UCLA then! ;)

Stanford I'll use the same themes, but other than the goals essay, the others will be a copy and paste of the outline, but a rewrite from scratch.
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 [#permalink] New post 13 Sep 2007, 20:53
Fortunately, my favourite schools are quite similar, because I chose them according to the main career goal. Thus I'm going to rewrite only parts regarding the Why this school, because each of them can add a different element into the whole goal image and going to make a bit different accents in the career progress to make the better fit.
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 [#permalink] New post 13 Sep 2007, 21:06
I've been able to keep the same basic outline and points but I've had to rewrite the goals essay 3 times (Tuck 500 words, Wharton 1000 words, Kellogg approx. 700-800 words) but at least I can reuse large chunks of the Tuck essay for LBS.
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 [#permalink] New post 13 Sep 2007, 22:05
My first essay was the U-Chic goals essay (1500 words). I am basically re-using this is all other apps.......for example for Stan I use the same essay - remove an anecdote an spin it off into another essay and then change the "I love freezing my butt off in the winters "U-chic part to reflect how "I am a pot smoking hippie" Stan part.

The problem I have is what do I do for MIT - they dont have a goals essay - instead they want a letter. Now that i am an essay writing mode, I really doubt if I can write a letter ;)
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 [#permalink] New post 13 Sep 2007, 22:42
yeah, I am SO glad I'm applying to schools with very similar essays...

Stanford, Haas, UCLA and Kellogg all have goals essays that range from 800-1000 words.

Haas, UCLA, and Kellogg all have leadership essays, even though the question is slightly different. They're also all roughly 400-500 words.

UCLA and Stanford have very personal essays, both roughly 2-3 pages, though I'm not sure if I'm going to use the theme in the UCLA family essay as "what matters most" yet.

UCLA, Haas, Kellogg all have places I can put my community service essay (optional for first two, "I wish adcom had asked me..." in Kellogg)

Stanford Essay C allows me to use my Berkeley leadership and extracurricular essay with a different spin, and with 400 words, I can write that out pretty easily now.

So yeah... that's how I'm going to reuse my essays.
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2007, 07:00
I'm surprised Rhyme didn't chime in here, but I will act as his self-appointed minion:

Be careful with recycling. I have to say that I recycle a TON, but I'm a strong writer who knows how to put on a good spin. I've heard that lots of students try to recycle and get into lots of trouble. Rhyme went so far as to say that anyone who got into schools and recycled is just lucky. He read a lot of applications last year, and saw lots of recycling gone awry.

From my side, the goals section lends itself more to recycling than other essays. I've heard of students not quite bothering to answer the question because they simply stuck another essay in.
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2007, 08:21
aaudetat wrote:
I'm surprised Rhyme didn't chime in here, but I will act as his self-appointed minion:

Be careful with recycling. I have to say that I recycle a TON, but I'm a strong writer who knows how to put on a good spin. I've heard that lots of students try to recycle and get into lots of trouble. Rhyme went so far as to say that anyone who got into schools and recycled is just lucky. He read a lot of applications last year, and saw lots of recycling gone awry.

From my side, the goals section lends itself more to recycling than other essays. I've heard of students not quite bothering to answer the question because they simply stuck another essay in.


I agree, to highlight both Tuck and Wharton ask for a leadership essay...describe a time when you exhibited leadership skills blah blah but the focus of each essay is slightly different. Tuck asks for what you learned, and Wharton really asks you to highlight your leadership skills. For the goals essay I've managed to recycle 1-2 paragraphs (with edits) between Kellogg and Wharton because the prompts are very similar and that's the part where i discuss career progression et al. but I've had to rewrite the rest of the essay (and write a brand new essay for Tuck) based on slight variations in the prompts. My two cents...copy paste to get the ideas down and then rewrite the paragraphs to make sure that the question is properly answered.
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2007, 10:00
Thanks for the good points! Yes, blindly copy and pasting will get you in trouble. Always make sure that the question is answered.
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2007, 12:41
Just to add another data point: I did copy some ideas or stories, but it was really tough to find 2 questions from different applications that would have the exact same answer AND the same word count limit, so I could not do much "literal" recycling.

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 [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2007, 13:03
Even if the general question is the same between two schools, the wording and the specifics they are looking for are slightly different for every school. Schools most likely have a really good idea of what their competitors ask so copying is a risky proposition. It could be very obvious if you reuse the whole portion from another school. Its not worth the risk to save a few hours of work considering how much you end up putting into an application.

Reading your essays for other schools right before and during the writing of another essay seems to work pretty well with getting the creative juices flowing.
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2007, 15:03
Well, actually, the three schools I'm applying to have very similar questions, especially Haas and UCLA. I think I'll be reusing sentences here and there, and also answer the question specifically. The only exception is the UCLA and Haas optional essay. Since there is no questions asked, the essays can be identical. :)
  [#permalink] 16 Sep 2007, 15:03
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