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NOVICE MBA-Application questions

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New post 27 Dec 2017, 22:59
Hey everyone.
First time novice applicant here.

What is the word count for essays that do not specify the word count?
To be more specific, here is the question ->
One essay (maximum of two pages)


Two page on standard word doc? What should be the word count?


Another question -> What about open ended essays that do not even specify the page count?



Thanks.
Stone Cold



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Let me help this novice applicant before he becomes an expert. ;) :P

Ideally for every open ended essay, it is preferable to restrict yourself to a limit of 800-1000 words.

You should consider the fact that adcoms will be flooded with lots of applications and if every individual writes very long stories, they may feel tired and hence may loose the interest of reading the essays further or may even skim quickly looking at the number pf words. Not a good sign, right?

Writing your story/sending across your message in few words is a good sign of a successful manager and that's what B Schools are looking at. So, just writing "Open Ended" is a trap that students ignore and hence write long long stories.

For a two paged essay: I would prefer writing the content with Times New Roman and 12 sized font essay and make sure you are restricting yourself to the limit I mentioned above.

Feel free to reach out for more queries.

All the best :)
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New post 28 Dec 2017, 00:32
abhimahna wrote:
Let me help this novice applicant before he becomes an expert. ;) :P

Ideally for every open ended essay, it is preferable to restrict yourself to a limit of 800-1000 words.

You should consider the fact that adcoms will be flooded with lots of applications and if every individual writes very long stories, they may feel tired and hence may loose the interest of reading the essays further or may even skim quickly looking at the number pf words. Not a good sign, right?

Writing your story/sending across your message in few words is a good sign of a successful manager and that's what B Schools are looking at. So, just writing "Open Ended" is a trap that students ignore and hence write long long stories.

For a two paged essay: I would prefer writing the content with Times New Roman and 12 sized font essay and make sure you are restricting yourself to the limit I mentioned above.

Feel free to reach out for more queries.

All the best :)



Finally someone to the rescue.
I finished my first draft which is like 1400 words.
Will tone it down.

800-1000 words with 12point TNR in MS word. Got that.

I am gonna post all my queries in this post.
Keep bumping in here from time to time for us mortals :cool: :angel:

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New post 28 Dec 2017, 10:20
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stonecold wrote:
abhimahna wrote:
Let me help this novice applicant before he becomes an expert. ;) :P

Ideally for every open ended essay, it is preferable to restrict yourself to a limit of 800-1000 words.

You should consider the fact that adcoms will be flooded with lots of applications and if every individual writes very long stories, they may feel tired and hence may loose the interest of reading the essays further or may even skim quickly looking at the number pf words. Not a good sign, right?

Writing your story/sending across your message in few words is a good sign of a successful manager and that's what B Schools are looking at. So, just writing "Open Ended" is a trap that students ignore and hence write long long stories.

For a two paged essay: I would prefer writing the content with Times New Roman and 12 sized font essay and make sure you are restricting yourself to the limit I mentioned above.

Feel free to reach out for more queries.

All the best :)



Finally someone to the rescue.
I finished my first draft which is like 1400 words.
Will tone it down.

800-1000 words with 12point TNR in MS word. Got that.

I am gonna post all my queries in this post.
Keep bumping in here from time to time for us mortals :cool: :angel:


Hey,

Even I faced the same issue while writing the Questrom re-applicant essay. Since there was no word limit in the question, I reached out to the Adcoms. As per the input received at one of the Info session, 750 words is the ideal count. However, it differs from school to school.

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I agree, keep it no more than 750-800 words, and of course don't go over the instructed page count.

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New post 01 Jan 2018, 23:32
Hi guys
I was writing my first MBA essay and have completed already couple of drafts.

I have this weird fear which keeps getting to me as I open up more and more about my family business background.
That being -> IF they know I have sufficient resources(which I frankly don't) they might be hesitant to offer the money.


Imagine yourself being an Adcom
Who would you rather give the money to ?

Someone from the family business background OR someone who is working 9-5 for some startup involved in empowering the lower middle class?

There is a preconceived notion that all family business owners applying to B-schools are sitting on gold mines with egg shells to break.
I am small business owner for god's sake.I don't have a Birla attached to my surname (apologies for the satire)


I know they all say that all scholarships are merit based they are humans after all right ?


Any thoughts ?

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stonecold wrote:
Hi guys
I was writing my first MBA essay and have completed already couple of drafts.

I have this weird fear which keeps getting to me as I open up more and more about my family business background.
That being -> IF they know I have sufficient resources(which I frankly don't) they might be hesitant to offer the money.


Imagine yourself being an Adcom
Who would you rather give the money to ?

Someone from the family business background OR someone who is working 9-5 for some startup involved in empowering the lower middle class?

There is a preconceived notion that all family business owners applying to B-schools are sitting on gold mines with egg shells to break.
I am small business owner for god's sake.I don't have a Birla attached to my surname (apologies for the satire)


I know they all say that all scholarships are merit based they are humans after all right ?


Any thoughts ?


Most developing nation applicants rather all applicant across the globe wants a scholarship. Since many are in the mid-management role and don't make a lot of money or have savings since they would have just got out of their loans if they have for their Bachelor degree. Also, I believe more than 75% of applicants are from middle class. :|

Unfortunately, schools have limited scholarship.

So It doesn't matter what is your background if you can still bag a scholarship. I mean, adcom know that all businesses are not like Apple to have billions of dollars profit on their balance sheet. :lol:

They would get your story from your essay whether you are filthy rich or someone who worked his ass of to save their business and clear out the debts on the balance sheet.

In above line of thinking.

I wouldn't just give the scholarship to a person who is working for a startup. It matters what he contributed not the company. He would have to say it in his essay. If he started the company then it explains.

And for a family business owner- Same as startup person. If the owner can say similar things as I mentioned above. He or she might get the scholarship.


It all comes down to their story! :thumbup:
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New post 02 Jan 2018, 04:13
Gnpth wrote:
stonecold wrote:
Hi guys
I was writing my first MBA essay and have completed already couple of drafts.

I have this weird fear which keeps getting to me as I open up more and more about my family business background.
That being -> IF they know I have sufficient resources(which I frankly don't) they might be hesitant to offer the money.


Imagine yourself being an Adcom
Who would you rather give the money to ?

Someone from the family business background OR someone who is working 9-5 for some startup involved in empowering the lower middle class?

There is a preconceived notion that all family business owners applying to B-schools are sitting on gold mines with egg shells to break.
I am small business owner for god's sake.I don't have a Birla attached to my surname (apologies for the satire)


I know they all say that all scholarships are merit based they are humans after all right ?


Any thoughts ?


Most developing nation applicants rather all applicant across the globe wants a scholarship. Since many are in the mid-management role and don't make a lot of money or have savings since they would have just got out of their loans if they have for their Bachelor degree. Also, I believe more than 75% of applicants are from middle class. :|

Unfortunately, schools have limited scholarship.

So It doesn't matter what is your background if you can still bag a scholarship. I mean, adcom know that all businesses are not like Apple to have billions of dollars profit on their balance sheet. :lol:

They would get your story from your essay whether you are filthy rich or someone who worked his ass of to save their business and clear out the debts on the balance sheet.

In above line of thinking.

I wouldn't just give the scholarship to a person who is working for a startup. It matters what he contributed not the company. He would have to say it in his essay. If he started the company then it explains.

And for a family business owner- Same as startup person. If the owner can say similar things as I mentioned above. He or she might get the scholarship.


It all comes down to their story! :thumbup:


Precisely my point.

What I am asking is ->
Lets assume I am filthy rich and go around buying cars in cash like Walter white.(Notice the word Assume :cool: )
And my profile is stellar.

Candidate B is an average Joe.
But he is financially unstable and has a crapload of debt tied to his shoulder.(like myself)


Who would you give the money?
Remember that the schools say that it is MERIT based.

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New post 02 Jan 2018, 08:23
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stonecold wrote:
Precisely my point.

What I am asking is ->
Lets assume I am filthy rich and go around buying cars in cash like Walter white.(Notice the word Assume :cool: )
And my profile is stellar.

Candidate B is an average Joe.
But he is financially unstable and has a crapload of debt tied to his shoulder.(like myself)


Who would you give the money?
Remember that the schools say that it is MERIT based.


Dear Novice applicant ,

I would prefer giving scholarship to the average Joe because I think he is in more need than you are.

Now, coming back to the point, no matter whatever your business is, can we bring some average salary for you excluding all the expenses. Don't you think that would be sufficient to prove your point that you are not Mr Birla. :)

Does that make sense?
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stonecold wrote:
Hi guys
I was writing my first MBA essay and have completed already couple of drafts.

I have this weird fear which keeps getting to me as I open up more and more about my family business background.
That being -> IF they know I have sufficient resources(which I frankly don't) they might be hesitant to offer the money.


Imagine yourself being an Adcom
Who would you rather give the money to ?

Someone from the family business background OR someone who is working 9-5 for some startup involved in empowering the lower middle class?

There is a preconceived notion that all family business owners applying to B-schools are sitting on gold mines with egg shells to break.
I am small business owner for god's sake.I don't have a Birla attached to my surname (apologies for the satire)


I know they all say that all scholarships are merit based they are humans after all right ?


Any thoughts ?


Thank you for the post, and for reaching out to me privately to ask me to reply. I appreciate that!

Don't worry about the family business. We work with A LOT of family business applicants each year and they do quite well. In terms of financial support, merit based scholarships are given based on merit. Salary / family savings does not enter into the equation for merit based money.

Good luck and reach out if you would like further assistance!

Best,
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New post 04 Jan 2018, 11:12
Aloha to all the awesome folks who are helping me out here.
Thank you so much for responding with all the answers.

Here is the new query -->

I want to write the optional essay to address why both of my recommenders have gmail ID.
I think there might be a credibly issue and so want to address it heads on.


However, the word count is 250 and I have researched a lot and everyone has told me -> Not to drag this essay and be short and sweet.



Since the only issue I have to address is the recommenders will it be Okay if this essay is 100 words?

I can create a 250 words memoir but that would be a waste of time and energy and will born the crap out of adcoms.



Looking forward to some advice.

Best
Stone Cold

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stonecold wrote:
Aloha to all the awesome folks who are helping me out here.
Thank you so much for responding with all the answers.

Here is the new query -->

I want to write the optional essay to address why both of my recommenders have gmail ID.
I think there might be a credibly issue and so want to address it heads on.


However, the word count is 250 and I have researched a lot and everyone has told me -> Not to drag this essay and be short and sweet.



Since the only issue I have to address is the recommenders will it be Okay if this essay is 100 words?

I can create a 250 words memoir but that would be a waste of time and energy and will born the crap out of adcoms.



Looking forward to some advice.

Best
Stone Cold


Dear About to be an expert applicant,

Here is the thing:

Schools put the limit on such essays for two reasons :

1. To prevent literature writers from adding long long stories, so that schools don't need to read that much of content.

2. To see how concisely you can give your message in less words. This is also a managerial skill that schools check. A good manager is someone who can pass on the information in few words but exactly what he wants.

Now I will leave the answer to your questions to you only. What do you think you should do? ;)

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You are just addressing the recommenders mail id issue. So here is what I suggest apart from abhimahna 's comment.

1. Why you chose them.
2. Why they have public server emails.
3. What's their job and how they are related to you?
4. And why they are only ones who tell best about you.


The 3rd and 4th is basically to check you are not providing any fake recommenders. Since with company email id- they will get to know the authenticity immediately.

P.S- If your recommendation page already has why you choose these recommenders. Don't write the optional essay. Explain in the box, which is already there.
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Gnpth wrote:
stonecold wrote:

Aloha to all the awesome folks who are helping me out here.
Thank you so much for responding with all the answers.

Here is the new query -->

I want to write the optional essay to address why both of my recommenders have gmail ID.
I think there might be a credibly issue and so want to address it heads on.


However, the word count is 250 and I have researched a lot and everyone has told me -> Not to drag this essay and be short and sweet.



Since the only issue I have to address is the recommenders will it be Okay if this essay is 100 words?

I can create a 250 words memoir but that would be a waste of time and energy and will born the crap out of adcoms.



Looking forward to some advice.

Best
Stone Cold
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You are just addressing the recommenders mail id issue. So here is what I suggest apart from @abhimanha's comment.

1. Why you chose them.
2. Why they have public server emails.
3. What's their job and how they are related to you?
4. And why they are only ones who tell best about you.


The 3rd and 4th is basically to check you are not providing any fake recommenders. Since with company email id- they will get to know the authenticity immediately.

P.S- If your recommendation page already has why you choose these recommenders. Don't write the optional essay. Explain in the box, which is already there.


Only one thing to add to advice from Gnpth,

250 words is the LIMIT,
NOT the target.
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stonecold wrote:
Hey everyone.
First time novice applicant here.

What is the word count for essays that do not specify the word count?
To be more specific, here is the question ->
One essay (maximum of two pages)


Two page on standard word doc? What should be the word count?


Another question -> What about open ended essays that do not even specify the page count?



Thanks.
Stone Cold




You will never have essays that have neither of the two restrictions, word or page count. Word count is straightforward. Page count is usually 800-1000 words as anything more will make your reader lose interest in your essay. Thumb rule, for a 2 page essay, stick to 1.5 line spacing with 11-12 font size. This will automatically limit you to 800-1000 words for 2 pages.

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New post 05 Jan 2018, 09:59
ENGRTOMBA2018 wrote:
stonecold wrote:
Hey everyone.
First time novice applicant here.

What is the word count for essays that do not specify the word count?
To be more specific, here is the question ->
One essay (maximum of two pages)


Two page on standard word doc? What should be the word count?


Another question -> What about open ended essays that do not even specify the page count?



Thanks.
Stone Cold




You will never have essays that have neither of the two restrictions, word or page count. Word count is straightforward. Page count is usually 800-1000 words as anything more will make your reader lose interest in your essay. Thumb rule, for a 2 page essay, stick to 1.5 line spacing with 11-12 font size. This will automatically limit you to 800-1000 words for 2 pages.


I have come across many essays this season which specify neither. So the important thing to remember is this:
1) Keep your essay Succinct; Cut repetitions, word-wastage and redundancies. Your English is not under test here. But to the Ad Com readers, your essays represent work. The moment they see a really long essay, trust me, their minds shut down (even if they want to do a sincere job) - You have lost HALF your battle already...

2) After you have done everything to make it as succinct as possible, count the words, and then condense it by ANOTHER 10%.

3) Re-Read your esssay; Have it read by those you respect (preferably MBA and from a similar school as is your target) for CLARITY of thought.

Now your essay is ready to submit

Hope it helps.
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I would actually recommend even lower on the word count for top programs. Most essay promote hover around 500 with Stanford being more on the upper bound of 750 so you definitely want to use 750 as your max and lower if possible.


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New post 07 Jan 2018, 01:45

Fabulous!
Thanks everyone.
Great to see so man succinct responses.

Here is my next worry ->

The Mendoza's essay prompt ->
Quote:
The University of Notre Dame was founded in 1842, by Father Edward Sorin, C.S.C, with a mission to become “one of the most powerful means for doing good in this country”. In 1879, Father Sorin's vision for Notre Dame appeared to be at a sudden, abrupt end. A massive fire destroyed the building that housed virtually the entire University. Instead of giving up, Father Sorin interpreted the fire as a sign that he had dreamed too small, and decided to rebuild, bigger and better than ever. That Main Building still stands today, topped by the gleaming Golden Dome, not only as an iconic campus building, but as an ongoing symbol of perseverance and vision.

Tell us the story of a time in your own life or career when you had to overcome an obstacle, start over, or rebuild.




Now, I have a 750 word essay that looks decent enough to submit except one thing.
The essay never asks for my short term and long term goals. It just asks for the of "obstacle" and what we learned from that.

I have captured the obstacle in about 550 words. The next 200 words I have rambled on and extended the narrative to Notre dame's culture while specifying my short term and long goals.
I feel it might slightly overpower the obstacle thing I have going around in the previous part of the essay.

Should I omit it out the word count of these last 200 words ?

In other words -> Should we just focus on the question or should we specify of the extraneous details that we think the Adcoms might be interested in and are important ?


NOTE -> Mendoza also has Slide presentation's and I can cover some of the goals in there too.

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NOVICE MBA-Application questions [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jan 2018, 01:52
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stonecold wrote:

Fabulous!
Thanks everyone.
Great to see so man succinct responses.

Here is my next worry ->

The Mendoza's essay prompt ->
Quote:
The University of Notre Dame was founded in 1842, by Father Edward Sorin, C.S.C, with a mission to become “one of the most powerful means for doing good in this country”. In 1879, Father Sorin's vision for Notre Dame appeared to be at a sudden, abrupt end. A massive fire destroyed the building that housed virtually the entire University. Instead of giving up, Father Sorin interpreted the fire as a sign that he had dreamed too small, and decided to rebuild, bigger and better than ever. That Main Building still stands today, topped by the gleaming Golden Dome, not only as an iconic campus building, but as an ongoing symbol of perseverance and vision.

Tell us the story of a time in your own life or career when you had to overcome an obstacle, start over, or rebuild.




Now, I have a 750 word essay that looks decent enough to submit except one thing.
The essay never asks for my short term and long term goals. It just asks for the of "obstacle" and what we learned from that.

I have captured the obstacle in about 550 words. The next 200 words I have rambled on and extended the narrative to Notre dame's culture while specifying my short term and long goals.
I feel it might slightly overpower the obstacle thing I have going around in the previous part of the essay.

Should I omit it out the word count of these last 200 words ?

In other words -> Should we just focus on the question or should we specify of the extraneous details that we think the Adcoms might be interested in and are important ?


I would never prefer to add anything, which is out of scope of the question.

This is a behavioural essay question and I would stick only to the ask.

If you feel you still need to cover 200 words, I will suggest try to find out whether there is any specific thing in your essay that can further be explained using examples.

Then you can say I faced a very similar situation later but learning from my past experience helped me did XYZ. I may also add about what similar situations I can face in this B School and how I can use my past experience to tackle the same.

Strict No to Goals if they are not making sense within the scope.

Good Luck :)
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NOVICE MBA-Application questions   [#permalink] 07 Jan 2018, 01:52

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