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MBA Essays: More Direct? Or More Story-like?

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MBA Essays: More Direct? Or More Story-like? [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2012, 12:21
What are peoples' thoughts on how MBA essays should be approached?

Should they be more direct... i.e., clear and direct topic sentences

Or should they be more storylike... i.e., starting off with a quote, or something like "Issues? What Issues?"
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Re: MBA Essays: More Direct? Or More Story-like? [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2012, 15:54
I have no idea what the "right" answer is since I am also writing essays for this round, but mine fall on the story telling side. This is because I feel most natural writing in a story telling tone and the repeated advice I have read is that you need to write in your own voice and be as authentic as possible.

So maybe the answer is that it depends on what syle of writing would best convey to the adcom your personal message about who you are?
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Re: MBA Essays: More Direct? Or More Story-like? [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2012, 17:06
I think that either way can work as long as you answer the question they're asking. If you can answer the question through a clearly articulated story, that will probably be more interesting. However, a clearly worded answer will be superior to a confusing and unrelated story.

My strategy has been to answer in one or two sentences completely directly and then to go into storytelling mode. Basically I'm setting the stage and then bounding off into the sunset...and it's hopefully an intelligible sunset! :)
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Re: MBA Essays: More Direct? Or More Story-like? [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2012, 20:16
Expert's post
You have got some great advice from the previous responders. Let me point out a few places where people really go wrong in their story telling - avoid these mistakes:
1. A lot of people who use quotes tend to forget that it should also have a relevance to their story. The quote begins to stand apart and the reader is left wondering why it was there in the first place.

2. Many applicants are unable to weave a common thread through their essays, especially in the behavioral ones. They tend to start the essay from point A (introducing one of their strengths), explain it through an anecdote, and conclude at point Z (introduce another strength, rather than concluding the first one). Closing the loop is important.

3. In the anecdote itself, its your role in that situation which is most important, not the situation itself. A lot of applicants spend all their space situation building and the reader gets no idea about their problem solving skills .

4. Maturity- this should reflect both in the way you handle the situation, as well as write the essay.

Hope these help,

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Re: MBA Essays: More Direct? Or More Story-like? [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2012, 23:02
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Well why not both? you DO have to directly answer the question. Because if you are passing that by, then well, that ain't good, let's say. But DRAMATIZING the story through quotes, structure, detail, actions, statistics, results are all GREAT ways to get your essay leaping off the ground!
You aren't gonna get any brownie points for having essays so standard that they put the reader to sleep, so it is a good idea to "shake things up" a bit.
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Re: MBA Essays: More Direct? Or More Story-like?   [#permalink] 17 Sep 2012, 23:02
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