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# The value of essays

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SVP
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The value of essays [#permalink]

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27 Oct 2006, 02:29
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First of all, I have finally started preparing my applications in earnest. I have created profiles at the schools I plan to apply to, and I am probably going to just let my thoughts stew for a few more days before I begin my essays.

In starting my applications, I came across an admissions blog at the Wharton site. Not surprisingly, Wharton comes down against using admissions consultants, but I also something that was even more interesting. Straight from the horse's mouth, here's what Wharton has to say about application essays:

"At the end of the day, the truth of the matter is that most MBA programs select the best applicants rather than the best applications. Spend less time on â€œimpression managementâ€
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Re: The value of essays [#permalink]

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27 Oct 2006, 02:43
[quote="pelihu"]First of all, I have finally started preparing my applications in earnest. I have created profiles at the schools I plan to apply to, and I am probably going to just let my thoughts stew for a few more days before I begin my essays.

In starting my applications, I came across an admissions blog at the Wharton site. Not surprisingly, Wharton comes down against using admissions consultants, but I also something that was even more interesting. Straight from the horse's mouth, here's what Wharton has to say about application essays:

"At the end of the day, the truth of the matter is that most MBA programs select the best applicants rather than the best applications. Spend less time on â€œimpression managementâ€
GMAT Club Legend
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27 Oct 2006, 04:31
I'll go back to my experience at the GSB with the three candidates the adcoms showed us...

They accepted "Jed" - the arrogant guy who had (1) copied part of the essay from Montauk, (2) used his kellogg essay in Chicago's app but.... was clearly a rising star at work. The way she put it she said "We'll accept the strongest candidate with the weakest application. We'll also accept the weaker candidate with the stronger application." (referring to the other two candidates)
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27 Oct 2006, 04:41
rhyme wrote:
I'll go back to my experience at the GSB with the three candidates the adcoms showed us...

They accepted "Jed" - the arrogant guy who had (1) copied part of the essay from Montauk, (2) used his kellogg essay in Chicago's app but.... was clearly a rising star at work. The way she put it she said "We'll accept the strongest candidate with the weakest application. We'll also accept the weaker candidate with the stronger application." (referring to the other two candidates)

Maybe the adcoms do possess a secret Z-ray machine that is able to evaluate the potential of a candidate no matter how crappy his/her essays are?
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27 Oct 2006, 04:44
There's a book by famous Russian sci-fi writers - Strugatsky brothers. It describes a machine. You feed a manuscript of a book to this machine and it tells ya how many copies of this book will be READ. (READ, not printed, or sold). It really evaluates the success of a book
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27 Oct 2006, 05:20
helg wrote:
There's a book by famous Russian sci-fi writers - Strugatsky brothers. It describes a machine. You feed a manuscript of a book to this machine and it tells ya how many copies of this book will be READ. (READ, not printed, or sold). It really evaluates the success of a book

My name is mobuto gando, and I am the late son of ahmed gando, director of the proliterat in country of Nigeria. Please I investing in your machine. I have 20,000,000 USA dollars to invest. You please sending me copy of passport and social security number to mes for signing legal document to begin wire transfer.

Regards,
Montialary Gando
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27 Oct 2006, 06:57
rhyme wrote:
helg wrote:
There's a book by famous Russian sci-fi writers - Strugatsky brothers. It describes a machine. You feed a manuscript of a book to this machine and it tells ya how many copies of this book will be READ. (READ, not printed, or sold). It really evaluates the success of a book

My name is mobuto gando, and I am the late son of ahmed gando, director of the proliterat in country of Nigeria. Please I investing in your machine. I have 20,000,000 USA dollars to invest. You please sending me copy of passport and social security number to mes for signing legal document to begin wire transfer.

Regards,
Montialary Gando

Dear Monty,
gald to hear from you at last! how's life? Am still waiting for USD 33,000,000 promised for the latest model of computer - SUCABA. you promised to transfer them to my acc at the Cayman islands number of which I have sent to you.
Waiting for you reply asap.
Kind regards,
John Smith
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Re: The value of essays [#permalink]

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27 Oct 2006, 10:51
[quote="helg"][quote="pelihu"]First of all, I have finally started preparing my applications in earnest. I have created profiles at the schools I plan to apply to, and I am probably going to just let my thoughts stew for a few more days before I begin my essays.

In starting my applications, I came across an admissions blog at the Wharton site. Not surprisingly, Wharton comes down against using admissions consultants, but I also something that was even more interesting. Straight from the horse's mouth, here's what Wharton has to say about application essays:

"At the end of the day, the truth of the matter is that most MBA programs select the best applicants rather than the best applications. Spend less time on â€œimpression managementâ€
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27 Oct 2006, 14:39
I agree with Wharton's approach. Business schools schould let in the people most likely to succeed in the business world after graduation as opposed to the people who simply write the best essays. Business schools want successful alumni because those people get the school's name out and are able to give back to the school.

It makes absolutely no sense to me that someone with a "perfect" set of essays would be more deserving of admittance than someone else who has better GMAT scores and superior work history. I have no doubt that a lot of applicants to top business school did not write their own essays or at least received substantial input from someone else. It also wouldn't surprise me if people tend to strongly embellish things (or even outright lie!) about their accomplishments in their essays becasue they know that nobody is going to do the background research to call them out for dishonesty.
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27 Oct 2006, 17:13
I certainly agree with the notion that candidates spend too much time trying to package themselves rather than deliver true value. I have helped students with admission to virtually every school in the high clusters one can imagine and I have seen time and time again that the earnest application is generally the best.

That said, it is important to remember that admissions officers would probably never say the opposite even if it were true (i.e. we want you to dramatically misrepresent who you are to conform to our vision of an ideal candidate). Further, admissions officers know that how someone tells a story influences our impression of the content of the story. A good story laden with errors suggests that the applicant is not very professional in their work and possibly does not really care about their application to this school. In addition, the greater the supply of ostensibly similar candidates the less likely errors will be overlooked.
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27 Oct 2006, 21:50
Well, if applicants try to embellish their profile in the essays, wont that show out to the adcom guys.. I mean, they have years and years of experience in this stuff.. Cant they find out by brwosing through an application as to whether things in that app are genuine or not..

Maybe, if v've had a solid case of not so good applicants getting admitted to top schools.. then it maybe true that the essays have a greater impact on the adcom than the statistics of GMAT/GPA and qualitative work experience

I guess it is difficult to come to a conclusion as neither adcoms nor admitted students will bring out the the truth of the matter..
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28 Oct 2006, 08:52
I guess it depends what one means by embellish.

If embellish is used to mean presenting someone's skills in the best possible light without misleading the reader this is frankly expected and even encouraged. If by embellish means deceiving the reader or presenting information that is misleading this is clearly discouraged.

In addition to their other characteristcs, business schools are essentially in the manufacturing business- the "buy" raw materials (selected applicants), add value to them over the course of 1-2 year process, and then "sell" them to other purchasers (employers). Thus, schools want students who not only have positive attributes but who also know how to market those attributes.
28 Oct 2006, 08:52
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# The value of essays

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