One of the biggest mistakes that many business school applicants make when starting to write their admissions essays is to overthink and complicate the process. As with any communication, a successful MBA essay needs to be substantive, sincere and structured. A technique that has helped thousands of past clients at The MBA Exchange is to break down the essay into the following three core elements, each with a specific very specific purpose:
1. The Opening
Help the reader feel that he or she knows, likes and respects you. It helps to envision yourself sitting down with an important stranger with whom you want to establish a relationship. Interest and invite him or her to learn about you.
2. The Middle
Reward the reader’s time and attention by providing specific evidence of your breadth, depth and passions. This requires awareness of your past and present, prioritization of your strengths, realization of your vulnerabilities, and visualization of your future.
3. The Ending
Leave the reader wanting to interview you. Without seeming arrogant or evasive, make it evident that there’s even more to the distinctive value proposition that you have presented so far. Help him or her feel that this is a “conversation” that deserves a face-to-face meeting.
Even if you’re not a talented and experienced writer, by organizing your content around this framework, you can produce a story that should win the hearts and minds of even the toughest admissions committee. The acid test comes when you have finished writing what you believe is your best draft. Read it aloud and then ask yourself, “Is this someone who I’d like to have as my MBA classmate?” If you can’t answer with a resounding “Yes,” then go back and give it another try. Enlisting the guidance of a professional admissions consultant can help you get their sooner. But, in any case, producing powerful, authentic essays is a major part of the campaign in which you must be successful.