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Advanced MBA Essay Tips

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Advanced MBA Essay Tips [#permalink]

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Advanced MBA Essay Tips

The Twelve Advanced MBA Essay Tips, By the Aringo Admission Consulting research team.

1. Promote the Admission Drivers

• Admission Drivers are the traits that admission committees look for in a candidate. For Example:
    - Leader/Manager - Led/managed/recruited people.
    - Team Player/Relationship Builder - Worked well with others, built relationships
    under difficult circumstances.
    - Smart - GPA/academic distinctions, GMAT, recommender reviews.
    - Initiates - Initiated successful projects / changes.
    - International/Cultural - International orientation/experience, cultural sensitivity.
    - Presentation Skills - Public speaking (large audience is strongest - state the
    number of people), presenting to senior people, presenting to team.
    - Persuasion Skills - Persuaded people (senior people in particular).

• If a sentence doesn’t promote an Admission Driver:
    - Is it required in order to answer the question?
    - If not, remove or replace it!

• The king of Admission Drivers:

• Where is our best chance to promote leadership?
    - The Episode essay

2. Focus on the Question

• Answer all segments of the question.

• Example:

    – Describe one of your greatest achievements and why you view it as such

• Remove sentences that go beyond the scope of the question.

3. Focus on Facts

• Avoid subjective terms
    - Objective = it's either right or not.
    - Subjective = it's a matter of opinion.

• Examples:

    - “We completed the project 6 days ahead of schedule“ - objective
    - “We completed the project quickly" - subjective
    - “Singcom is a large company" - subjective
    - “Singcom is Singapore's second largest company“ - objective
    - “The project succeeded“ - subjective
    - "I felt that the project succeeded" – objective (this is what I felt) but not "hard
    - “In the company’s 2002 annual conference, the CEO cited the project as one of
    the company’s 5 main successes of the year” - objective, hard facts – this is the
    most effective of the above three.

… and Let the Reader Conclude

• Avoid "spoon-feeding" the reader with conclusions.

• Let the reader reach the conclusions.

• For example:
    - “Following my success in the project, I was promoted to Vice President” – This is
    spoon feeding.
    - “Four weeks after the project ended, the CEO announced my promotion to Vice
    President” - This is good! Let the reader conclude the project was successful.

4. Go Deep

• Go deep into the details

• Be as specific as possible
    - “I have learned how to delegate responsibilities” - shallow
    - “I have learned that effective delegation of responsibilities requires clear definition
    of sub-goals” - deep
    - “Singcom is one of Singapore’s largest companies” - shallow
    - “Singcom is Singapore’s third-largest company” – deep

5. Make it interesting to read

• Make the essay unique / bold / funny / suspenseful.

Some ways to achieve this:
    – Suspense, drama
    – Short paragraphs, short sentences, section titles
    – By writing it as a script for a great movie
    – By writing it as a chapter in a book
    – By using unique, bold and funny ideas, stuff they never saw before. For example:

Essay Question: "What would you do if you had 1 hour with our dean"?
Answer: "I would lock the room from the inside. Until the security people break in, I will have at least two hours to convince him why Kellogg is my #1 choice"

6. Avoid Introductions and Summaries

• What do we mean by “introduction”?
    – “here’s what I will tell you about”

• What do we mean by “summary”?
    – “here’s what I told you about”

• Why?
    – Space is limited
    – Patience is limited

7. Less is More

• Why?
    – Because they skim

• Keep the paragraphs at 3-5 lines.

• Keep the sentences “real short”.

• Avoid "AND".
    – What two things can you do to avoid “and”?
    – “I presented the background and my analysis”
    * Break sentences into two: "I presented my background. I explained my analysis."
    * Cut one "wing": "I presented my analysis" – this is best!

8. Use Orphan Sentences for the Key Points

• Why?
    – Because they skim


On April 3 I was appointed Vice Commander of the Submarine.


9. Keep it Authentic

• Why?
    – It helps chances

How do we keep the essay authentic?

• The essays shouldn't present the candidate as a perfect person.

• If possible, some of the essays should be moving, sincere, introspective, emotional. Less so for Harvard.

10. Modesty Wins

How to be modest?

• Admit mistakes

• Criticize yourself

• Be sincere

• Focus on the facts

11. Episode essays: tell it as a chapter in a book.

• Episode essays are stories (like: "My greatest achievement").

• Episode essay questions often begin with: "tell us about a time when…".

• Effective episode essays are told like chapters in a book. They often use quotes.

12. Use Optional Space!


• Chance to promote candidacy further

• Shows commitment to the school

For additional MBA Essay Tips:
_________________ – MBA Admissions Consulting

Specializing in candidates with GMATs under 720

Try our free Admissions Chances Calculator -

All statistics verified by Ernst & Young

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Re: Advanced MBA Essay Tips [#permalink]

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New post 21 May 2015, 22:20
I wonder, how many essays I have to write in order to master the skills of essay writing?
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Re: Advanced MBA Essay Tips [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2017, 22:58
Hello from the GMAT Club MBAbot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

Want to see all other topics I dig out? Follow me (click follow button on profile). You will receive a summary of all topics I bump in your profile area as well as via email.
Re: Advanced MBA Essay Tips   [#permalink] 13 Jun 2017, 22:58
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