Find all School-related info fast with the new School-Specific MBA Forum

It is currently 24 Oct 2014, 17:09

Close

GMAT Club Daily Prep

Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track
Your Progress

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Not interested in getting valuable practice questions and articles delivered to your email? No problem, unsubscribe here.

Events & Promotions

Events & Promotions in June
Open Detailed Calendar

How to Stand out and be Creative on Essays

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  
Author Message
TAGS:
Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 03 Feb 2007
Posts: 164
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 3 [0], given: 0

How to Stand out and be Creative on Essays [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2007, 08:26
I heard that 90 percent of the essays they read are the same and boring, so it is of upmost importance to be creative. What is too creative? And how to stand out?
SVP
SVP
User avatar
Joined: 01 Nov 2006
Posts: 1855
Schools: The Duke MBA, Class of 2009
Followers: 16

Kudos [?]: 180 [0], given: 2

 [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2007, 11:05
I think it depends on the essay. There are many common essay topics and many common responses. Especially if you're a more typical applicant with a common backgrand, you might try to think a bit harder about your topics, and choose an angle that would be more particular to you.

And telling a story is another way to make your essays more interesting, rather than thinking of it as a recitation of your most recent great accomplishment.

Humor can work, but you have to be good. I avoided it like the plague, mostly.

Books like Montauk's and Bodine's will discuss common pitfalls for different kinds of essays.

I don't think there's a general answer to your question.
Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 46
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0

 [#permalink] New post 30 Apr 2007, 15:20
Well,

I would be careful about trying to be too creative in the essays. Adcoms have read thousands of applications and I guess not so many things will really surprise them. So one must be careful about not screwing up what otherwise can be a great application.

I don't think I was original, but I worked hard so my applications had strenght, passion and professionality, which were the main things that I wanted to show about myself. They weren't bestsellers, but I guess were interesting enough to get some admits and scholarships.
GMAT Club Legend
GMAT Club Legend
User avatar
Joined: 10 Apr 2007
Posts: 4320
Location: Back in Chicago, IL
Schools: Kellogg Alum: Class of 2010
Followers: 78

Kudos [?]: 701 [0], given: 5

 [#permalink] New post 30 Apr 2007, 17:16
For one thing the essays aren't for a creative writing course, so what is presented in them should be truthful. There is a fine line between standing out as a great/interesting applicant and being seen as someone full of it. In my opinion the real key is to be honest but also memorable.

The hard one for most people to set themselves apart is the career goal and why you want to attend our school essays. Also this is probably the most focused of the essays you should write since it is the one you are trying to convince them, that they are the only school for you. I do think you are right, that any one in an admin office can only read so many essays by a graduate of school X who works for firm Z and wants to work in banking who want to further their career in investment banking. I personally would read the majority of those as (no offense)...I want to go to your school cause its got the right name and will help get me a job with Goldman Sachs so I can become a multi-millionaire. So this isn't the spot to set yourself apart if that’s the situation you find yourself in. Unless you want to go work in something like socially conscious investing, you aren’t setting yourself apart from the pack here.

The real key are the other essays. If they ask for an experience that tested your leadership abilities, come up with the most interesting story you have...not one that necessarily is the I lead our business to record profits this year speech they get. They see that on your resume give them something that is unique and that someone else hasn't done and it would be a lot better essay. Leadership is not necessarily directing work from a position of power, so you could write how you motivated your peers to do something. Or leading by example. You need to find something that sets yourself apart. I was involved with some hiring this year, and reading a couple dozen cover letters a day is mind numbing...I can only imagine what admins feel like after doing it for months.
GMAT Club Legend
GMAT Club Legend
avatar
Affiliations: HHonors Diamond, BGS Honor Society
Joined: 05 Apr 2006
Posts: 5925
Schools: Chicago (Booth) - Class of 2009
GMAT 1: 730 Q45 V45
WE: Business Development (Consumer Products)
Followers: 256

Kudos [?]: 1580 [0], given: 7

Premium Member
 [#permalink] New post 30 Apr 2007, 19:16
I took liberties with my essays in being creative. I even poked fun at the admissions staff in my Kellogg application. I used some self deprecating humor in my other essays, and made a point to talk evenly about my professional and non-professional interests. For instance, I wrote almost 1500 words for GSB's "Describe a significant study abroad... " question - which wasn't even technically an "essay" question - I used it to talk about all the things that I really enjoy -- things that had nothing to do with my professional goals, but all of which had to do with certain elements of the GSB.
Director
Director
User avatar
Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 958
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 72 [0], given: 0

 [#permalink] New post 01 May 2007, 06:03
I think it's best not to get too creative or too edgy in your essays if you think you are a competitive candidate for that school. In other words, if your stats and work experience are competitive for a given school, then play it relatively safe with the essays.

However, if you're applying to a school where you think you might be a bit of a long-shot, then getting more creative with your essays may be the only way that you can stand out.

There is a pretty good book called something like, "67 Harvard Business School Essays That Worked," some really good essays. All of the essays in the book show an acute self-awareness. In other words, from reading these essays (most of which aren't very long) you get the sense that the person who wrote it knows themselves very well, and are comfortable with themselves. I know that probably sounds a little vague, but I guess what I'm trying to say is that really good essays make the person who wrote them sound very "tuned in" as opposed to oblivious.
Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 46
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0

 [#permalink] New post 01 May 2007, 06:31
Johnyx9,

I read that book (and some others) and there were impressive essays there. However, I also got the impression that those people were impressive applicants, and most of times it wasn't about how they wrote it, but what they had to write about. You know, if you're an IB, have travelled to 30 countries, have three nationalities, founded your own Nasdaq start-up and helped to save a country in Africa, then obviously you will have outstanding essays.

Obviously, I'm exaggerating, but after reading the book I got the feeling that I would never make it, that I was too common to apply to most Business Schools. Of course, I overcame that feeling and I invested a huge amount of time in finding out the right material about my life and what I wanted to show to the adcom people. In the end, and I guess we all agree in this, what we write is the key for most business schools.
1 KUDOS received
GMAT Club Legend
GMAT Club Legend
avatar
Affiliations: HHonors Diamond, BGS Honor Society
Joined: 05 Apr 2006
Posts: 5925
Schools: Chicago (Booth) - Class of 2009
GMAT 1: 730 Q45 V45
WE: Business Development (Consumer Products)
Followers: 256

Kudos [?]: 1580 [1] , given: 7

Premium Member
 [#permalink] New post 01 May 2007, 06:51
1
This post received
KUDOS
gmahn wrote:
Johnyx9,

I read that book (and some others) and there were impressive essays there. However, I also got the impression that those people were impressive applicants, and most of times it wasn't about how they wrote it, but what they had to write about. You know, if you're an IB, have travelled to 30 countries, have three nationalities, founded your own Nasdaq start-up and helped to save a country in Africa, then obviously you will have outstanding essays.

Obviously, I'm exaggerating, but after reading the book I got the feeling that I would never make it, that I was too common to apply to most Business Schools. Of course, I overcame that feeling and I invested a huge amount of time in finding out the right material about my life and what I wanted to show to the adcom people. In the end, and I guess we all agree in this, what we write is the key for most business schools.


I read that book too. Let me summarize every single essay for you.

"In 2004, when I was staffed as Team Leader to the Ugadan Water Filtration Project for the Poor(tm), I travelled to Africa. Originally a Swedish Portguese immigrant to the US, I was curious to find this new land far away. I was worried that as one of the few swedish black jewish lesbian MENSA members in the world, I might not be welcomed into a new culture. On my third day there, I was caught in a mine collapse with the president of Burundi, Mr. Mobutu. For the next six days we were forced to learn each others languages and tunnel out of the collapsed mine, working together. When we finally reached the surface, I knew I had learned the meaning of teamwork. At the ceremony thrown in my honor by the president, he awarded me with a gold plated helicopter for "soaring like icarus" in ways he had never seen. I spent the next four weeks building a hospital for the poor with my own bare hands and after orchestrating the collapse of apartheid, I discovered a cure for cancer. On my way home to meet with Goldman Sachs about an early round funding idea related to my freshly launched consulting firm, I reflected on my experiences in Africa and learned that teamwork was all about understanding each other."
Director
Director
User avatar
Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 958
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 72 [0], given: 0

 [#permalink] New post 01 May 2007, 06:53
Gmahn,

You're right, those people were very impressive in terms of the experiences they had to write about.

While some of us don't have the top-caliber types of experience that those students have, we can write about the great experiences that we have had and communicate the lessons we have learned in such a way that shows ad-coms that we are intelligent, self-aware people.
CEO
CEO
User avatar
Joined: 20 Nov 2005
Posts: 2922
Schools: Completed at SAID BUSINESS SCHOOL, OXFORD - Class of 2008
Followers: 15

Kudos [?]: 82 [0], given: 0

 [#permalink] New post 01 May 2007, 07:30
Creative writing will help if and only if the story you are writing is creative or not. A story can be creative and it all depends on you what you want to highlight and how you spin that. Humor is OK but I would suggest that keep away from that until you are confident that it is formal. Don't be casual.
There is no one line answer to your question.

Last edited by ps_dahiya on 01 May 2007, 07:32, edited 1 time in total.
Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 03 Feb 2007
Posts: 164
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 3 [0], given: 0

 [#permalink] New post 01 May 2007, 07:31
johnnyx9 wrote:
Gmahn,

You're right, those people were very impressive in terms of the experiences they had to write about.

While some of us don't have the top-caliber types of experience that those students have, we can write about the great experiences that we have had and communicate the lessons we have learned in such a way that shows ad-coms that we are intelligent, self-aware people.


I'm not sure what type of leadership I can say. I've had tons of volunteer work, but nothing where I had distinct leadership. Does leading a really drunk friend home safely after a night of boozing count?
SVP
SVP
User avatar
Joined: 01 Nov 2006
Posts: 1855
Schools: The Duke MBA, Class of 2009
Followers: 16

Kudos [?]: 180 [0], given: 2

 [#permalink] New post 01 May 2007, 07:35
rhyme wrote:

I read that book too. Let me summarize every single essay for you.



It's been a while since we've seen such antics from you. Finally, a good laugh!
GMAT Club Legend
GMAT Club Legend
avatar
Affiliations: HHonors Diamond, BGS Honor Society
Joined: 05 Apr 2006
Posts: 5925
Schools: Chicago (Booth) - Class of 2009
GMAT 1: 730 Q45 V45
WE: Business Development (Consumer Products)
Followers: 256

Kudos [?]: 1580 [0], given: 7

Premium Member
 [#permalink] New post 01 May 2007, 07:53
aaudetat wrote:
rhyme wrote:

I read that book too. Let me summarize every single essay for you.



It's been a while since we've seen such antics from you. Finally, a good laugh!


I've been INSANELY busy..... thats why I've been a little bit hard to find the last two or three weeks. I've...

1) Travelled to Miami for 4 days for a party
2) Put my house on the market, negotiated a contract and survived an inspection
3) Attended an admit weekend at the GSB
4) Been in a friends wedding in Washington DC
5) Seen about 40 or 50 properties in and around Chicago
6) Placed a bid on one property
7) Gone to the inspection
8) Completed a mortgage application and lawyer crap
9) Updated a wedding registry to match the new planned space
10) Worked on the essay consulting business marketing materials
11) Got sick with some kind of cold
12) Transitioned to a new boss
13) Finalized wedding plans
14) Finalized honeymoon plans

etc etc etc
Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 03 Feb 2007
Posts: 164
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 3 [0], given: 0

 [#permalink] New post 01 May 2007, 08:03
rhyme wrote:
aaudetat wrote:
rhyme wrote:

I read that book too. Let me summarize every single essay for you.



It's been a while since we've seen such antics from you. Finally, a good laugh!


I've been INSANELY busy..... thats why I've been a little bit hard to find the last two or three weeks. I've...

1) Travelled to Miami for 4 days for a party
2) Put my house on the market, negotiated a contract and survived an inspection
3) Attended an admit weekend at the GSB
4) Been in a friends wedding in Washington DC
5) Seen about 40 or 50 properties in and around Chicago
6) Placed a bid on one property
7) Gone to the inspection
8) Completed a mortgage application and lawyer crap
9) Updated a wedding registry to match the new planned space
10) Worked on the essay consulting business marketing materials
11) Got sick with some kind of cold
12) Transitioned to a new boss
13) Finalized wedding plans
14) Finalized honeymoon plans

etc etc etc


getting married? Why do that? :-D
SVP
SVP
User avatar
Joined: 01 Nov 2006
Posts: 1855
Schools: The Duke MBA, Class of 2009
Followers: 16

Kudos [?]: 180 [0], given: 2

 [#permalink] New post 01 May 2007, 10:10
rhyme wrote:
aaudetat wrote:
rhyme wrote:

I read that book too. Let me summarize every single essay for you.



It's been a while since we've seen such antics from you. Finally, a good laugh!


I've been INSANELY busy..... thats why I've been a little bit hard to find the last two or three weeks. I've...

1) Travelled to Miami for 4 days for a party

2) Put my house on the market, negotiated a contract and survived an inspection
3) Attended an admit weekend at the GSB
4) Been in a friends wedding in Washington DC
5) Seen about 40 or 50 properties in and around Chicago
6) Placed a bid on one property
7) Gone to the inspection
8) Completed a mortgage application and lawyer crap
9) Updated a wedding registry to match the new planned space
10) Worked on the essay consulting business marketing materials
11) Got sick with some kind of cold
12) Transitioned to a new boss
13) Finalized wedding plans
14) Finalized honeymoon plans

etc etc etc


Oh dear. Your life sounds SO HARD! At least you don't actually have to work, or even really sit at your desk. I mean, IMAGINE if you had to do that!!

;)
Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 28 Oct 2006
Posts: 82
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0

 [#permalink] New post 01 May 2007, 15:48
rhyme wrote:
I read that book too. Let me summarize every single essay for you.


rotfl!!! :lol:
Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 08 Dec 2009
Posts: 43
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 2

Re: How to Stand out and be Creative on Essays [#permalink] New post 07 Jan 2010, 23:08
I seem to following a trend of reviving old threads from 2007 and bringing out the old great lords of MBA Applications. Anyho just wanted to know that starting a essays with a description of post MBA work life, kinda like this one here from accepted.com

8:00 AM. July 1, 2010. The 23rd floor of the Bank of China building in Hong Kong. A woman sitting behind the mahogany desk calls a Shanghai trader to buy 200,000 shares of China Telecom's stock. Moments later, she dashes into a teleconference with Tokyo analysts. When the teleconference finally concludes two hours later, the woman rushes down the stairs, hails a taxi to the Chek Lap Kok Airport, catches a flight to Thailand, and ends her day with a meeting with the CFO of DynaTech Computers. I look forward to maintaining this busy schedule as a portfolio manager of an....

Will this kind of opening be called creative and is this a good strategy ?
_________________

GMAT 720(94%) (Q 49(87%) V 39(87%))

Director
Director
User avatar
Joined: 26 Mar 2008
Posts: 652
Schools: Duke 2012
Followers: 14

Kudos [?]: 116 [0], given: 16

Re: [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2010, 06:35
rhyme wrote:

I read that book too. Let me summarize every single essay for you.

"In 2004, when I was staffed as Team Leader to the Ugadan Water Filtration Project for the Poor(tm), I travelled to Africa. Originally a Swedish Portguese immigrant to the US, I was curious to find this new land far away. I was worried that as one of the few swedish black jewish lesbian MENSA members in the world, I might not be welcomed into a new culture. On my third day there, I was caught in a mine collapse with the president of Burundi, Mr. Mobutu. For the next six days we were forced to learn each others languages and tunnel out of the collapsed mine, working together. When we finally reached the surface, I knew I had learned the meaning of teamwork. At the ceremony thrown in my honor by the president, he awarded me with a gold plated helicopter for "soaring like icarus" in ways he had never seen. I spent the next four weeks building a hospital for the poor with my own bare hands and after orchestrating the collapse of apartheid, I discovered a cure for cancer. On my way home to meet with Goldman Sachs about an early round funding idea related to my freshly launched consulting firm, I reflected on my experiences in Africa and learned that teamwork was all about understanding each other."


Oh my gosh, this get's bb's new funny tag, which I believe is just a collection of rhyme posts. Perhaps if I actually get any admits next week, I can turn my time to entertaining the masses. Also, can I just say it reminds me of that brady bunch christmas episode they always used to show where mike is stuck in some building and somehow carol's fabulous (in reality unfabulous) singing draws him out.
_________________

"Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity." - Frank Leahy

Get the best GMAT Prep Resources with GMAT Club Premium Membership

Current Student
avatar
Joined: 27 Jun 2008
Posts: 101
Schools: R1: Kellogg WL, Haas WL, Fuqua, Darden R2: Wharton
WE 1: Biotech Strategy
WE 2: Health Economics
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 11 [0], given: 2

Re: How to Stand out and be Creative on Essays [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2010, 07:02
crackfire2003 wrote:
I seem to following a trend of reviving old threads from 2007 and bringing out the old great lords of MBA Applications. Anyho just wanted to know that starting a essays with a description of post MBA work life, kinda like this one here from accepted.com

8:00 AM. July 1, 2010. The 23rd floor of the Bank of China building in Hong Kong. A woman sitting behind the mahogany desk calls a Shanghai trader to buy 200,000 shares of China Telecom's stock. Moments later, she dashes into a teleconference with Tokyo analysts. When the teleconference finally concludes two hours later, the woman rushes down the stairs, hails a taxi to the Chek Lap Kok Airport, catches a flight to Thailand, and ends her day with a meeting with the CFO of DynaTech Computers. I look forward to maintaining this busy schedule as a portfolio manager of an....

Will this kind of opening be called creative and is this a good strategy ?



In my opinion (can't stress that word enough), no. While the above is okay writing, it basically says what every person applying to bschool wants (powerful, dynamic job). On top of that, phrases like "mahogany desk" come across as cliche.

There is not one thing personal in there. Why do you want to do all that stuff? Is there a reason it's all in Asia? Is there a personal connection there? What have you done to allow you to complete all those tasks?

For example, you could write something like:

"I get a call to buy to 200,000 shares of China Telecom's stock. While trading $BIG NUMBER still makes my heart skip a beat, I am used to that feeling. I've been trading XXX for Y years and can now process these transacitons witout losing focus on my next task. I head into a meeting and am able to block out the huge trade that could cause XXX. Now, I switch gears and engage people on a personal level. it's a different feel than the trade but I still draw from my experiance at YYYY."

Again, just my opinion.
Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 08 Dec 2009
Posts: 43
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 2

Re: How to Stand out and be Creative on Essays [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2010, 07:17
Duckpond please have a look at this sample essay at accepted.com (http://www.accepted.com/mba/sampessay02.aspx) the introduction does tie into the background and future aspirations of the applicant.

What I was trying to get at was can one take a "day in the life of XXX" as a beginning of an essay and then demonstrate that XXX is wad you want to do post MBA and how XXX ties in with your background. The reason I am asking this is coz this kind of intro would be pretty engaging from a reader's point of view.
_________________

GMAT 720(94%) (Q 49(87%) V 39(87%))

Re: How to Stand out and be Creative on Essays   [#permalink] 08 Jan 2010, 07:17
    Similar topics Author Replies Last post
Similar
Topics:
Creative essay submission for Stern bizschool2014 1 10 Nov 2013, 06:44
1 Experts publish their posts in the topic How To Write Essays: Direct or Creative? dioenigma 8 27 Nov 2012, 16:13
Experts publish their posts in the topic Tuck Admissions Director Offers Tips On Standing Out StacyBlackman 0 30 Nov 2011, 22:30
Trying to figure out where I stand jackel414 5 28 Jun 2011, 19:49
Creative approach for Goals Essay aldric 1 26 Aug 2006, 12:07
Display posts from previous: Sort by

How to Stand out and be Creative on Essays

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  

Go to page    1   2    Next  [ 26 posts ] 



GMAT Club MBA Forum Home| About| Privacy Policy| Terms and Conditions| GMAT Club Rules| Contact| Sitemap

Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group and phpBB SEO

Kindly note that the GMAT® test is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council®, and this site has neither been reviewed nor endorsed by GMAC®.