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# How much do you exaggerate?

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Current Student
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Re: How much do you exaggerate? [#permalink]  21 Sep 2010, 05:50
correct me if i'm wrong, but i heard if a school ever found out you lied about something that major on your apps, they can revoke your admission completely.

personally, the cancer thing I feel is inappropriate to lie about.
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Re: How much do you exaggerate? [#permalink]  21 Sep 2010, 11:10
SaMoCU wrote:
What about writing about an offer you received two years ago, but chose not to work there? Can the school go back to the employer and verify the offer? I ask because I wonder if I should contact the firm and let them know that they may receive a verification call from Kroll/Bschool.

1. They wouldn't verify that anyway
2. They couldn't if they tried
3. The employer wouldn't disclose that (or probably even have a record of it) in the first place
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Re: How much do you exaggerate? [#permalink]  22 Sep 2010, 06:24
u0422811 wrote:
On job descriptions people exaggerate quite a bit. On scholastic history I would bet its minimal if non-existent. On extracurricular activities I bet its pretty heavy.

I believe this is probably the most accurate response on this thread. The cancer thing is just wrong.

Personally, I find it much harder to creatively write a story from scratch vs. taking a personal story and writing it well.
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Senior Manager
Joined: 25 Jul 2010
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Re: How much do you exaggerate? [#permalink]  22 Sep 2010, 06:55
Dawgie wrote:
A lot, you gotta sell yourself. A lot of the small details cannot be verified anyway. For example, I heard some guy that had a low UG say he was suffering from cancer.

Couldn't it be true?
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Re: How much do you exaggerate? [#permalink]  22 Sep 2010, 18:43
I'm all for adding personality to the essay, but stealing/borrowing/faking stories is just wrong. I would hate to find that a peer of mine had fudged his/her way through the application process. Would you report such a person to the school? Now there's a moral dilemma!

I don't have a halo on my head, but I do have experiences and lessons that are just mine.
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Re: How much do you exaggerate? [#permalink]  22 Sep 2010, 18:54
wiredo wrote:
I'm all for adding personality to the essay, but stealing/borrowing/faking stories is just wrong. I would hate to find that a peer of mine had fudged his/her way through the application process. Would you report such a person to the school? Now there's a moral dilemma!

I don't have a halo on my head, but I do have experiences and lessons that are just mine.

I guess, have honesty of intention and you will get what is truly yours.

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: How much do you exaggerate? [#permalink]  23 Sep 2010, 06:28
Sailorette wrote:
coaks wrote:
emsepower wrote:
Hey guys-

I was working on my applications today and was wondering how much, if at all, people exaggerate on their apps?

Yeah, lying's bad. But don't undersell your accomplishments either. I think the best advice I've heard is to imagine that your mother or father or spouse/partner is writing the application for you. How would that family member describe your accomplishments to someone else if they knew all the most impressive parts?

I use a variation of the above advice- I pretend that my boss/spouse/fellow committee members were going to read the application and be asked for comments on my answers. That helped me identify a firm line in the sand without being too modest.

It turned out to be a good approach, as for one of my ECs I described co-chairing a silent auction at my employer for the United Way annual fundraising drive. The person I co-chaired with is my former boss, is writing my letters of rec, and requested that I share my application with her so she could include additional points she may have forgotten.

How embarassing would it have been to send her a document that described my taking all of the responsiblity for something we accomplished together?!?

Keep in mind you're telling the schools how great of a candidate you ARE, not how great you would be if you had done X, Y, and Z. And if a school can tell that's there a mismatch between what you claim and what they think actually happened (which I believe that most adcomms are quite adept at identifying), the message they're going to get is that even YOU don't think you're good enough for them. Then what are they supposed to do, but believe you & reject your application?

In my opinion this post is the best if we are searching for a criteria to help us draw the line and avoid unnecessary lies. Thank you for bringing this issue up.
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Re: How much do you exaggerate? [#permalink]  23 Sep 2010, 08:56
2
KUDOS
As a person who has done some interviews (work related and mock MBA interviews with friends on this forum) one of my favorite parts is to ask a question I know candidates can't answer and see how they handle it (do they admit they don't know, do they fudge, do they outright lie and think I don't know the answer). The same applies to experiences that seem too good - its easy to ask for details and see clues such as eye movement, tone of voice to dig for issues. To think that an experienced interviewer won't do that and more, is naive.

When it comes to lying / over-exaggerating - don't do it, because with this many angles they have of you (essays, app, recommenders, interview, chats with students while you're there) it would be extremely tough for you to keep all loose ends together. Now multiply that by 3-4 schools and you can see how many opportunities you'll have for slipping. If the cancer story is really true and the guy is at HBS, he'll have plenty of arrogance and opportunities to mess up. That kind of attitude catches up with you eventually - the later the harder, just read about Bernie Madoff.
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Re: How much do you exaggerate? [#permalink]  23 Sep 2010, 18:09
Its possible the cancer story could be an "exaggeration" as well. The person may have had a benign tumor or something that required a mild degree of chemo.
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Re: How much do you exaggerate? [#permalink]  23 Sep 2010, 19:31
Heck, I had a quarter size basal cell cercinoma carved out of my forehead a couple years ago, maybe I should play it up. It was cancer after all. In that sense I am a legitimate cancer survivor....well well then!
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Re: How much do you exaggerate? [#permalink]  23 Sep 2010, 19:34
Faking cancer is so wrong... I am not for exaggeration either, but i do belive that every person has some credits to him/her and you need to put them in best light. Its not about which posts you held but its about what every activity taught you and helped grow your character...
Director
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Re: How much do you exaggerate? [#permalink]  23 Sep 2010, 20:39
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Re: How much do you exaggerate? [#permalink]  24 Sep 2010, 11:47
2
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So you're telling me I shouldn't write about the time I built a house for orphans... in outer-space (I was an astronaut)... and then delivered a baby (part-time doctor) in the space shuttle during re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere? All while battling cancer?

Then WTF am I going to write about?

On a serious note, if you can't come up with a couple decent stories for essays and resort to lying (making your own stories sound more interesting than they really are is not lying), then you:

A) Are extremely boring
B) Lack creativity
C) Lack will/discipline
D) All of the above

I can't decide whether or not someone is accepted into bschool, but I sure as hell wouldn't want to sit next them in class if they are -- for fear of them cheating off my exams. Like my kindergarten teacher used to say, "Eyes on your own papers!"
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Re: How much do you exaggerate? [#permalink]  24 Sep 2010, 18:38
method wrote:

Find any of the old 'didn't get admitted anywhere club'... those are pretty awful to read too when you see dozens and dozens of posts in them.
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Re: How much do you exaggerate? [#permalink]  26 Sep 2010, 21:24
Guys,
This thread has become more about the cancer example. Please let us get back to the main question.
Can someone throw some light on what all in done in a "Background Check"??
Do the schools write back to the recommendors to know more about the claims made by the applicant?
Do they look up the web or other sources to look for any clues etc?

Appreciate all the responses in advance!
Current Student
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Re: How much do you exaggerate? [#permalink]  27 Sep 2010, 16:29
anaghamahajan01 wrote:
Guys,
This thread has become more about the cancer example. Please let us get back to the main question.
Can someone throw some light on what all in done in a "Background Check"??
Do the schools write back to the recommendors to know more about the claims made by the applicant?
Do they look up the web or other sources to look for any clues etc?

Appreciate all the responses in advance!

Don't BS on your application and then you don't need to worry about any background checks.
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Re: How much do you exaggerate? [#permalink]  27 Sep 2010, 17:24
It's no wonder that all b-schools are integrating ethics' lessons into their curriculum
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Re: How much do you exaggerate? [#permalink]  27 Sep 2010, 17:28
2
KUDOS
anaghamahajan01 wrote:
Guys,
This thread has become more about the cancer example. Please let us get back to the main question.
Can someone throw some light on what all in done in a "Background Check"??
Do the schools write back to the recommendors to know more about the claims made by the applicant?
Do they look up the web or other sources to look for any clues etc?

Appreciate all the responses in advance!

Write as if they check everything. It will make your writing better, and your consciousness lighter, which might also make you a better candidate during interviews. Its better to write details on things you know (much more vivid and interesting to read) than to fudge on things you haven't really experienced.

Admissions doesn't care how many people you have managed, how many extracurriculars you can brag with, or how much money you have handled so far, they care about:

1. Are you aware of you strengths and weaknesses and can you be honest about them so you can use your strengths and work on your weaknesses.
2. Are you passionate about something (whether its an extracurricular or something at work) and are you proactive enough to contribute to things you are passionate about consistently.
3. Do you have goals that are:
a) worthwhile.
c) actually achievable, when you add up your previous experience and an MBA from that school.

The rest is context. Don't exaggerate to the point where you have to ask yourself "Will they check?". Focus on the important parts!
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Re: How much do you exaggerate? [#permalink]  28 Sep 2010, 12:09
I feel disheartened but at the same time cheaters were rampant within my undergrad so I can't so I'm not surprised.
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Re: How much do you exaggerate? [#permalink]  29 Sep 2010, 02:05
People can cheat on their CVs, such as saying that they managed 100 people or their company earned millions thanks to them. However, if the recommenders say nothing to support that then the ding is assured
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Re: How much do you exaggerate?   [#permalink] 29 Sep 2010, 02:05

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