Kryzak's Semi-Blog for Themes, Essays, and Apps : The B-School Application
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# Kryzak's Semi-Blog for Themes, Essays, and Apps

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Kryzak's Semi-Blog for Themes, Essays, and Apps [#permalink]

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15 Aug 2007, 21:27
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Alright, I'm the biggest procrastinator known to man. There I said it! If only I can put that on my application to make me "unique", haha!

Anyway, I'm going to start a "semi-blog" of my thought processes, just so people can comment on things, help me brainstorm, and maybe this will be helpful or funny to read once it's all over. Who knows. It's a "semi-blog" because I'm not going to update it with all the steps I'm taking, but it's more of my own little process tracking utility and sounding board.

The first thing I managed to finally put down tonight was my theme/handles. No, this isn't the theme/handles like "Empathic Leader who's a Quant God" type "slogans" that people talk about, but the 5-6 "Chapters" of my essay package that I want to make sure I talk about. Feel free to comment as you like, but I think these are the things I want to talk about in my essays:

My 4 themes are broken down into Work Leadership, Career Motivation, Non-Work Leadership, and Community Involvement/Volunteering. I'll also put some comments out there on why I'm including the item:

- Leading a summer intern program: This one is a shining example of my leadership skills, even if it was roughly 3 years ago.

- Other minor examples of leading smaller groups in 2 different functions (5-15 people)

Motivations:

This is for my "Why MBA/Why Now" essays. These three "brief mentions" will combine into a coherent story of my thought process and reasons for how I decided on what my career goals are and why I need an MBA. Think of them as one big theme encompassing three minor ones:

- Brief mention of the leadership program I was in: This explains how I got exposed to the business side of things

- Brief mention of a "startup" group I was in within a big company, and how I enjoyed seeing the process of concept exploration to fully funded program. My entrepreneur friend said that this is the best story to show why I'm interested in entrepreneurship even though I've never done it.

- Brief mention of my quest to shift from a tech position to a more business position in my company

to show my well-roundedness

- Company and local tennis team(s) founder/captain

Outside Community Involvement:

The key is to show that I am involved with the community *and* school/alma mater whenever I find an opportunity. It also shows that I focus my involvement in things I'm passionate about.

- Music and Astronomy teaching:
- Mentor/Advisorship of an alma mater student society:
- Starting a social network for new employees at the company:

Alright, so this what I'll be using for the various essays for each school. 4 major items, Work Leadership, Why MBA, Non-work Leadership, and Community involvement. Work and Non-Work Leadership each have one major example, and I'll leave it at that. Motivations always encompass a wide variety of reasons that go throughout your career, so having 3 brief examples is good. Involvement I'll pick and choose the best ones that fit the essay question.

Since my background is engineering, I will leave the tech stuff out of all my essays, and let me transcripts, GMAT, and GPA do the talking. My focus is on leadership, people sklils, well-roundedness, minor innovations, and passion for the things I do.

Comments? Questions? Hope this brainstorm is at least of some use to others... at least it's been good for me to type it out...

Last edited by kryzak on 23 Aug 2007, 16:23, edited 1 time in total.
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16 Aug 2007, 02:51
I am also doing a blog about the whole process (on blogspot). I think one great thing about it is if you can keep updating your blog then you know you are still moving forward. It seems to help with keeping on track and continuing to make progress.

Everything you say sounds pretty solid, one thing though, you may not want to leave your tech abilities out entirely if you are planning on doing anything remotely related to them. It would be better to spin them into being helpful with your progression into your desired field after school. If you are going to finance it will be tougher than if you are going into management for a high tech company. Schools know that most of an engineer's work is technical so don't ignore it totally instead try and make it work for you...they are going to assume its your strongest skill set so turn it into an advantage for getting a job post grad.
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16 Aug 2007, 04:58
i agree with riverripper... i would portray my tech skills in a way that would facilitate my career goals... if tech has been a big part of your work life until now, take advantage of it and put a positive spin on it
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16 Aug 2007, 05:44

Good points. I think my tech experience will pop up somewhere, since it's hard to not talk about it at all as it is 5 years of my work experience. I'll probably mention within a paragraph how I was a lead modeling and simulation guy right out of grad school and have been integral to a proposal we worked on (and won) because of my technical abilities. How does that sound?

Debating whether to move this to a blog or keep it as a thread... maybe Praet can give me the pros and cons of each...
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16 Aug 2007, 07:57
My blog is http://riverripper.blogspot.com/

It might be nice to get some blogs together and make a sticky at the top of everyone who has a blog relating the process and maybe a few current students would like to write some too and give another perspective. I would say write a real blog that way we dont clog the board with a bunch of people imitating you by starting threads about themselves...last thing we need are dozens of threads about peoples individual application process.
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16 Aug 2007, 09:31
kryzak,
Do you know what you have started!!!!!!!!

That semi-blog of yours is going to be probably in a few application essays - quote/unquoute.

You literally gave away some good start points for the whole "why MBA", and career goals.

Thank you my friend!! Thank you!!

Just kidding.
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16 Aug 2007, 09:45
On a slightly more serious note, I am worried that the points the kryzak made in the first post, and the points about alternative/nuclear energy that riverripper made in his blog may actually be copied by some poachers (More so in case of riverrippers post).

Taking riverrippers post as an example. Environmental awareness is a big deal in this century. A few lazy a**es looking for a quick theme to write their entrepreneurship essays around can just pick riverrippers points. Now, that will not be sufficient for those a**es to get in good schools (Hopefully), but that will be sufficient for the adcoms to think that perhaps some essay-editing service was recommending such themes (With these 2-3 specific sentences) to all its candidates .. which may hurt riverripper's application unnecessarily (Assuming riverripper's essays also end up mentioning the same nuclear energy theme knowingly or unknowingly).

Maybe I am getting paranoid for no reason (Thank you very much, Black Sabbath ) .. but I still would want to limit my postings on a publicy accessible platform. We can trust that the small community that we've formed here will never try to harm each other .. but we can't say the same about the one-time visitors.
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16 Aug 2007, 09:56
mNeo wrote:
On a slightly more serious note, I am worried that the points the kryzak made in the first post, and the points about alternative/nuclear energy that riverripper made in his blog may actually be copied by some poachers (More so in case of riverrippers post).

Taking riverrippers post as an example. Environmental awareness is a big deal in this century. A few lazy a**es looking for a quick theme to write their entrepreneurship essays around can just pick riverrippers points. Now, that will not be sufficient for those a**es to get in good schools (Hopefully), but that will be sufficient for the adcoms to think that perhaps some essay-editing service was recommending such themes (With these 2-3 specific sentences) to all its candidates .. which may hurt riverripper's application unnecessarily (Assuming riverripper's essays also end up mentioning the same nuclear energy theme knowingly or unknowingly).

Maybe I am getting paranoid for no reason (Thank you very much, Black Sabbath ) .. but I still would want to limit my postings on a publicy accessible platform. We can trust that the small community that we've formed here will never try to harm each other .. but we can't say the same about the one-time visitors.

I was thinking the same. While it is admirable to share thoughts and ideas with a larger audience, we need to make sure that we dont shoot ourself in the foot by disclosing information personal to our application. General advice and tips are fine, but we need to draw a line somewhere.

river, you should re-consider what you post on the blog.
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16 Aug 2007, 10:24
Maybe I should get a live journal and only let friends read it haha. I have to figure out if there is a way to limit who reads certain posts I guess. I never really thought about people being scummy enough to steal ideas. I wasn't planning on posting essays or themes more of experiences with the whole thing. That first one might have been to detailed on why I want an MBA though.

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16 Aug 2007, 12:22
Guys,

Chances are that some of the stuff will get copied - theres no stopping that, but hopefully the creators of these ideas are miles ahead in terms of creating essays.

This forum is live ammo for ideas - original or copied.

I guess people who are comfortable sharing opinions among themselves can just pm each other - a bit tedious, but it keeps the family jewels offline.

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16 Aug 2007, 16:34

aviroop, mNeo, and ncprasad, good points. I know there's a risk of one-time visitors stealing ideas and sentences off these posts, and I WILL be careful. I debated this quite a bit, but I think my "themes" will not be enough for someone to "steal", just because it's a summary of MY experiences. If someone out there is an engineer who just happens to love tennis, play the violin, ran an intern program, is an advisor for their alma mater's engineering society, and is applying R1 to the three schools I'm applying to, then our essays will be similar no matter what we do. Otherwise, can you imagine riverripper writing about playing tennis or me wanting to do alternative energy entrepreneurship?

Someone will probably steal a piece here or there, but it's the OVERALL package that matters, as rhyme says, like chapters in a book, right? I don't mind if someone finds a way to explain their "Why MBA?" essay by using their experiences in a small group environment; there are probably dozens of people who will use that as an example, but do they also play tennis or teach children astronomy? Probably not (at least I hope not). I guess what they say in books and what all the people who applied said is correct, write about your own story, and let the adcom determine if it's "unique" or not. rhyme also mentioned in his old thread that it's probably not a good idea to trade essays with each other, since if anyone intentionally or unintentionally copied a sentence into an essay, it'll land both people in a world of hurt trying to explain why they talked about the same thing the same way.

Anyway, like riverripper, most of my other posts will be updates on where I am on the essays, where I'm getting stuck, and trying to find inspiration from our small group of friends here. Speaking of "stealing" ideas, we're all probably guilty of "stealing" suggestions made by the likes of rhyme, pelihu, aau, and others who help us understand how to answer some of the most common essay questions, right?

Alright, Praet, Hjort, or any other CEOs, if you think this thread is going to spam the boards, let me know and I can move it to a blog. Also, I would love to hear your comments on whether this will be a "risk" to my application due to others copying it or not... thanks!
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16 Aug 2007, 17:35
kryzak, I must say that my concern was more about riverripper's detailed post on his thoughts on the nuclear energy. Your posts on this thread have not been too personal (At least so far), so I don't think that anybody can really copy what you've mentioned.

But if riverripper wants to discuss his thoughts on nuclear energy and how he plans to counter the points against nuclear waste in the MBA applications, then he should not post that information in his blogs at such details.

Since both you and riverripper have already thought about it, and are making sure that you do not post very personal details, I think I need not worry. I can sleep in peace at last
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16 Aug 2007, 21:42
Thanks for looking out for us, mNeo!
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16 Aug 2007, 22:08
Here's mine:

http://hbsobsessed.blogspot.com

(I need to spam it because I have a total of like... 2 visitors. Hella is slow to adding me to the MBA blog list. When I seek feedback via comments, I usually get... nothing. So please go visit it!! I like to delude myself into thinking that I write well, so I hope you find it entertaining)
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16 Aug 2007, 23:17
hey guys,

kryzak an river gr8 posts .......an yes I agree with the Ozzy fan that its good to be a lil paranoid.......but all the same, I am pretty sure the stealers an the poachers will be more the "Pheonix Online B-School" variety. I really doubt if any direct competitor will copy paste stuff. Get ideas - yes, but then again, who among us gmatclubbers can say they have not benifitted from someone else's posts.

That been said - I know enough ppl who despite having 750's are actually concocting stories of social work. I have half a mind to rat em out
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16 Aug 2007, 23:44
sangoman wrote:
That been said - I know enough ppl who despite having 750's are actually concocting stories of social work. I have half a mind to rat em out

What do you mean by "concocting"? If they claim to do something that they didn't actually do, they will be found out. If they have done social work, but it isn't their main passion, tehre is nothing wrong with marketing their previous accomplishments anyway they want.
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17 Aug 2007, 05:28
beny wrote:
sangoman wrote:
That been said - I know enough ppl who despite having 750's are actually concocting stories of social work. I have half a mind to rat em out

What do you mean by "concocting"? If they claim to do something that they didn't actually do, they will be found out. If they have done social work, but it isn't their main passion, tehre is nothing wrong with marketing their previous accomplishments anyway they want.

I think a lot of people are afraid to just be themselves since the view is that everyone else applying is also extremely well qualified and they don't want to do anything to risk their chance of getting in. You have those that think they are above the law and are so great that they can do whatever they want, ie lie or claim credit for things they aren't really responsible for. You have those who are afraid they aren't good enough so they embellish or just plain make up experiences. Both can come back to hurt you if caught but a lot of people aren't caught. The issue with it is that if its not the real experiences and its not 100% accurate it can be hard for people to write convincingly about it. Essays shouldn't be creative writing.

Also if you are too perfect of a candidate it can come across as being fake or not an accurate picture of a person. There is a fine line between being the perfect person for a school and thinking you are perfect and letting the school know that. I think a slightly more humble honest approach is going to be a lot better than thinking you are going to be god's gift to the school or feeling inadequate and having to make up tales or embellish who you really are. With so many executives being caught and arrested doing illegal things schools are placing a lot of stock in bringing in ethical people who have enough integrity to not lie or embellish.
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17 Aug 2007, 23:02
Alright, got my Haas outlines done... wasn't as painful as I thought. Tried to really look at all the themes I wanted to talk about, showing that I had leadership potential yet also can be a great team player, and mentioned some important logical steps in my motivation to acquire an MBA. Also had a strong "Why Haas?" and "what can i contribute" section for my conclusion of the long essay (the Why MBA? essay).

now I just need to let it sit overnight and re-read it tomorrow morning for some revisions. Then the draft on Sunday.

Now I see what all y'all are talking about the word limits... I'm at 75-80% of the word limit for all my Haas essays JUST WITH THE OUTLINE... oh boy...

And I couldn't find a place to really talk about my community service/volunteering in the essay questions... I guess I'll elaborate in the supplemental questions section.

Whew, I'm less stressed now...
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19 Aug 2007, 01:28

Today, I was proud of myself for a sudden realization (with the help of an entrepreneur muse friend of mine) of how to write my intro and conclusion paragraphs for my goals essay for Haas. Right now it's like hot Biryani, tasty and great... we'll see how bad it smells tomorrow. I went off to a friend's housewarming party in a very jolly mood, and recited my entire goals essay to a close friend and he thought it made logical sense and was well thought out.

Now, the problem is, the rest of the essays are in outline form, though I'm already at 1800+ words for a 1000 word essay!!! In OUTLINE form! I guess that's better than not having things to say. Elements of Style, here I come!

I'll spend Sunday trimming down my outlines and filling out paragraphs (in very very bad grammar) so that I can get my 1st draft out. As I mentioned in avi's "how many drafts" post, I'll probably do two drafts, a review, 2 more drafts, another review, and 2 final drafts, final review. so 6-7 versions if necessary. Maybe I'm being too optimistic, but other than minor grammar things and such, and the major revisions between reviews, I don't see why one needs to write that much. Then again, I do appreciate Haas' essay format with multiple questions. I don't have to worry about what order to talk about my themes.

Any thoughts?
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19 Aug 2007, 14:48
Just finished my optional essay outline, I'm pretty excited that I found a place to talk about my volunteering work and a way to connect my passions for some of my hobbies with my passion for teaching/mentoring. Listed 2 major examples and a couple smaller ones, and linked it to a different kind of leadership than ones where you lead a work team or a group of people. I think I am happy with how my Haas outlines are coming out (other than their length)... they covered every aspect of my life that I wanted them to cover, and touched upon work/extracurricular leadership, Motivations, Goals, Volunteering, and that I'm a People-person.

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