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

It is currently 24 Jul 2014, 22:50

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

Using optional essay to discuss a outside work interest

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  
Author Message
TAGS:
Current Student
User avatar
Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Posts: 187
Schools: Wharton
Followers: 18

Kudos [?]: 102 [0], given: 0

Using optional essay to discuss a outside work interest [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2008, 18:48
Is it frowned to write an optional showing leadership and creativity in an non-professional/community activity? I will try to fit this in with the mandatory essays but if can't, I am looking to use the optional essays to show this aspect of my personality.. what say? should the optional essay be used JUST for addressing a deficiency?
Director
Director
User avatar
Joined: 26 Mar 2008
Posts: 652
Schools: Duke 2012
Followers: 14

Kudos [?]: 114 [0], given: 16

GMAT Tests User
Re: Using optional essay to discuss a outside work interest [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2008, 18:59
It seems like the optional essay is highly discouraged. Between that and the fact that most essay questions I've seen will allow you to weave that in, it seems like a bad idea.
_________________

"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
User avatar
Joined: 27 Jul 2007
Posts: 874
Location: Sunny So Cal
Schools: CBS, Cornell, Duke, Ross, Darden
Followers: 11

Kudos [?]: 184 [0], given: 4

GMAT Tests User
Re: Using optional essay to discuss a outside work interest [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2008, 19:29
highhopes wrote:
It seems like the optional essay is highly discouraged. Between that and the fact that most essay questions I've seen will allow you to weave that in, it seems like a bad idea.


I diagree with the fact that the optional essay is highly discouraged. The reason that it is there is to explain situations about your application. This would include things such as a low GPA in your sophomore year or why you didn't use your current supervisor to provide a recommendation.

To answer the original question, I would not consider it as an opportunity to talk about things that you like to do for fun. Save that for your blog.
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 346
Location: Newport, RI
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 32 [0], given: 0

GMAT Tests User
Re: Using optional essay to discuss a outside work interest [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2008, 19:35
I've heard it is always better to end your application with a positive optional essay rather than negative. If you didn't have a chance to express something that makes you truly unique, I would write it in the optional essay.
GMAT Club Legend
GMAT Club Legend
User avatar
Status: Um... what do you want to know?
Joined: 03 Jun 2007
Posts: 5464
Location: SF, CA, USA
Schools: UC Berkeley Haas School of Business MBA 2010
WE 1: Social Gaming
Followers: 63

Kudos [?]: 327 [0], given: 14

GMAT Tests User
Re: Using optional essay to discuss a outside work interest [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2008, 22:39
I used the optional essays of UCLA and Berkeley to discuss my leadership and EC activities. I would recommend against using the optional essay for negative things, unless they really need to be explained (if so, keep it SHORT). But for a different dimension to your application that you could not fit into the other essays, I would suggest using the optional essays.

Every school is different, so make sure you're not just writing an optional essay for the sake of it. Stanford didn't allow optional essays. Kellogg did, but I was able to fit everything that I talked about in the Haas/UCLA optional essays into the regular essays. Haas and UCLA didn't give me a chance to talk about my ECs (which were pretty extensive), so I added a 500 word essay there.
_________________

****************************
GMAT Club Knowledge Vault:
http://gmatclub.com/forum/123
Haas Ambassador
http://gmatclub.com/forum/128-t62555
Kryzak's Profile:
http://gmatclub.com/forum/111-t56286
Member Essays:
http://gmatclub.com/forum/103-t50969

Current Student
User avatar
Joined: 16 May 2008
Posts: 125
Schools: University of Michigan Erb Institute '12
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 10 [0], given: 0

GMAT Tests User
Re: Using optional essay to discuss a outside work interest [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2008, 07:14
I think Paul Bodine's book talks about the optional essay almost as if it is compulsory, particularly for top schools. I wouldn't use to to talk about something inconsequential, but I would use to it talk about something that makes me unique, something that I can demonstrate great passion for, or something that I think would be of great interest to the adcoms. I probably wouldn't want to talk about study abroad in France or something like that, but if you lived in sub-Saharan Africa for a year in the bush, and didn't fit it in elsewhere, the optional essay would be a good place to talk about that. HTH
Director
Director
User avatar
Joined: 10 Jun 2006
Posts: 624
Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 51 [0], given: 0

GMAT Tests User
Re: Using optional essay to discuss a outside work interest [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2008, 08:20
sterny wrote:
Is it frowned to write an optional showing leadership and creativity in an non-professional/community activity? I will try to fit this in with the mandatory essays but if can't, I am looking to use the optional essays to show this aspect of my personality.. what say? should the optional essay be used JUST for addressing a deficiency?


Thinkin about that Columbia app huh?
Current Student
User avatar
Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Posts: 187
Schools: Wharton
Followers: 18

Kudos [?]: 102 [0], given: 0

Re: Using optional essay to discuss a outside work interest [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2008, 08:33
LOL - you got me! :)

I don't see how else to put my non-professional interest in without seriously jeopardizing the spirit of the failure and theory essay.

One of the reasons I am so hell-bent on writing about my non-professional interest is simply because I think it differentiates me significantly and I bring something to the community..that I want the school to be aware of.

I will wait for the formal announcement of Columbia essays but if it is just the 3 essays, I will most certainly write the optional essay..I guess I am willing to take a small risk by using the optional essay for a "different" purpose, but more importantly I want to make sure that the adcom is fully aware of what I bring.

EDITED - I now actually WANT it to be just the 3 essays! One of the benefits might be that the passion essay was just 250 words, which was not enough for me - atleast the optional essay gives me 500 words :)
Director
Director
User avatar
Joined: 26 Oct 2007
Posts: 608
Location: The High Seas
Schools: Tuck, Yale (ding), NYU, Columbia, Duke (int)
Followers: 5

Kudos [?]: 22 [0], given: 13

GMAT Tests User
Re: Using optional essay to discuss a outside work interest [#permalink] New post 16 Jul 2008, 15:58
Can I ask a sort of off topic question? I was about tell sterny and the rest of you how I was able to weave my passion + interests into my career goals/why mba essay flawlessly (in my opinion obviously). In fact, I honestly consider it so good and unique (I've been working hard, and again...it's just my opinion) that I didn't post it because I was afraid somebody would steal my ideas and rework them, or even take them word for word. I would have had to basically write out the essence of my essay in order to do that, and I was uncomfortable. Am I reaching a dangerous level of bschool applicant paranoia/neuroticism? Tell me if I am so I can catch it early.
Re: Using optional essay to discuss a outside work interest   [#permalink] 16 Jul 2008, 15:58
    Similar topics Author Replies Last post
Similar
Topics:
Experts publish their posts in the topic Optional essay to discuss why i left my last job? Shawshank 4 24 Nov 2012, 21:42
Optional Essays raptr 3 15 Nov 2007, 22:01
The Optional Essay skaballet 13 17 Oct 2007, 09:29
Experts publish their posts in the topic Should I use my optional essay to.... GMAT? 8 12 Feb 2007, 06:23
Optional Essays !!!! Ozmba 4 31 Dec 2006, 16:25
Display posts from previous: Sort by

Using optional essay to discuss a outside work interest

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  


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®.