Since 1996, The MBA Exchange has guided and supported over 5,000 business school candidates from around the world. A major component of our consulting services is helping applicants craft and polish essays that help MBA admissions officers get to know, respect and want to admit the person behind the story.
Once the lead consultant and client identify the most relevant topics, impactful examples and solid structure for a set of essays, a member of our professional editing team reviews the applicant’s narrative draft and suggests ways to maximize differentiation, clarity and impact. Then, after the consultant and editor agree on the approach, they return the essays to the client to be reviewed, finalized and submitted.
Essay editing is a delicate matter since the applicant’s voice, authenticity and integrity must never be compromised. This is both an art and a science, demanding a unique set of strategic and tactical editing skills. Considering the similarities and differences among applicants to top business schools, the editor must also have a solid grasp of a wide range of industries, functions and cultures.
Very few admissions consulting firms offer applicants the added value of a professional essay editor. At The MBA Exchange, we feature a full team of savvy, veteran editors. One of the most talented, dedicated members of this team is our very own Cliff. His thoughtful answers below show what a robust resource we have in him. Since joining The MBA Exchange in 2003, clients and consultants alike have embraced his actionable comments and applauded his stellar suggestions.
1. What previous academic background, professional experience and/or personal background has best prepared you for this work?
“I’m both a writer and a teacher of writing. Because of this, when I look at an essay, I see writing both as noun and verb: what it is, the effort that went into it, what it’s doing, and where it can go from here. My hope is that my background as a teacher and writing coach informs my editorial feedback in a way that allows our clients to better dial in their message with each successive draft.”
2. What is your greatest satisfaction in helping MBA Exchange clients succeed?
“My operative assumption is that our clients belong in these schools, and I find myself continually amazed by their drive, vision and accomplishments as I read their work. It’s an honor to be a part of the process, partly because writing is such an intimate, personal thing to share, but also because I am certain that our clients will go on to do great things.”
3. What three words best describe your mindset and approach to essay editing?
“Respectful, sensitive intelligence.”
4. If you were to give one piece of actionable advice to applicants writing their admissions essays, what would it be? (One sentence)
“In a way, your MBA journey starts as soon as you begin working with your consultant at The MBA Exchange, so start early and allow the time needed to fully engage in the process and get the most from it.”
If you’re an MBA applicant who understands the importance of having great essays, then you’re a prospective client for our wonderful editor Cliff and The MBA Exchange. Let’s talk soon!