After about a year of hard work, dedication and taking hundreds of mock tests, you have finally aced your MBA competitive exam. Congratulations! However, this was just the beginning of your journey of getting selected into a premier B-School. One of the most important aspects of the application process that can make or break your chances of getting selected is how you write your Application Essay.
For many MBA aspirants, writing the application essay is often the toughest part of the selection process. The gravest mistake anyone can make with their essays is procrastinating until the last minute to draft one, which needless to say, often results in a poorly written piece that can hamper the chances of getting an interview call. You need at least a week to 10 days to create a brilliant essay that can get you that interview call you deserve.
Here is a fool proof 10-day plan that will help you write an essay that is sure to impress.
- Research the Schools: Once you have decided what schools and programs you are interested in, take some time and study about their attributes that excite you the most. Make a separate Word doc and list the qualities of each school that makes you want to pursue a particular program from there. In the end, figure out which one suits you and compliments your professional objectives the best. This will give you an insight as to what themes you must focus on in your essays.
- Know your Application: You must smartly use the essay to tell the directors why you’ll be a great student at their school. So, make sure to highlight all the important qualities that you feel aren’t coming out strongly in your resume. For example, you can elaborate on your leadership skills by writing about a time when you successfully led a team and achieved the goals despite the difficulties that cropped up in your way.
- Take the Help of your Friends/Colleagues/Mentors: The people who have known you throughout your life are brilliant sources of information and can help you in drafting a compelling essay. If you’re unable to find the right topic or can’t think of an achievement that you wish to write about, these people can help you find a subject that best describes you as a person.
Now that you have all the material, it’s time to start typing. Spend the next four days drafting your essays and while you’re at it, keep the following points in your mind:
- Don’t Sound Arrogant: It makes sense to show the admissions committee and the directors how exceptionally gifted you are, but you also don’t want to sound like an overconfident egotistical know-it-all. There is a very thin line between describing your achievements and bragging. So, ensure that the tonality of your application doesn’t make you sound arrogant. The most appropriate way of doing this is to write about that you still have a lot to learn.
- Be Specific and Avoid Jargons: Use correct and to-the-point sentences and always stick to the word limit; it’s there for a reason. Use stories from your job to highlight your experience and future career goals. And most importantly, remember that the person reading your essay might not be from your line of work. Therefore, avoid technical jargons and work-related vocabulary at all costs.
Take a Break, Have a Kit Kat
Once you finish writing, put your essays away for a day, go out and do anything that is not related to your application. Taking a day off helps you revise your work and in making necessary corrections as you see it with fresh eyes later.
Polish, Fine Tune, Review and Submit
The Final Review:
- Revaluate: Editing your essay is not just about checking for mistakes. Evaluate each essay and check whether it contains the information that you wish to convey, does the message come across clearly, is it organized in the best possible manner etc. If you feel anything is missing, don’t stop yourself from re-doing it altogether.
- Check the Language: Make your essay as appealing to the eyes as you possibly can. Fine tune the language, enhance the vocabulary, and check the grammar, tonality and word count. It’s imperative to ensure that not a single comma is out of place.
- Get a Second Opinion: A fresh pair of eyes can detect what you might have missed. Therefore, it’s advisable to ask one of your friends or mentors to go through your essays once. Once they give you the green signal, you’re ready to hit submit and start preparing for the next round.