While admissions officers want to know that you are interested in their schools, they are not interested in reading about your love for their school at every single turn. Some candidates mistakenly believe that they need to tie in aggressive and enthusiastic statements about how they will improve their skills at their target schools in each essay, regardless of whether the school asks for it or does not.
Let’s consider this (entirely fictitious) example of an individual who writes about how he started a small business for the Yale SOM essay question, “What do you consider to be your most significant accomplishment? Why?” Consider the following hypothetical conclusion:
“In starting ABC distributors, I learned a great deal about entrepreneurship and I hope to formalize this knowledge at the Yale SOM. Only with Yale’s vast entrepreneurial resources and profound alumni connections will I be able to take my next venture to … Read full post
Many of you are just beginning to tackle your b-school application essays. Writing these is no easy task–expect to spend many long hours drafting and retooling your essay responses to get them just right.
Over the next several weeks, I’m going to take some of the most common b-school application essay questions and give you my advice on what to consider as you craft your response, and what b-schools are looking for in your response.
First question up:
“What have you learned from a mistake?”
If your answer to this question demonstrates maturity, thoughtfulness, and self awareness, then you’ve responded beautifully to this question. And more than that, you’ll have distinguished yourself from other applicants.
Let’s review the history of this question from HBS. At one point, the question was describe an ethical dilemma you’ve faced and discuss how you handled it. This was a provocative question, but over time, … Read full post
Back in the middle ages (the late ’80′s actually), HBS began a multi-year experiment during which the school no longer accepted GMAT scores. The rationale was that the school’s commitment was to admit the best future leaders, not necessarily the best students. One primary goal was to broaden the student body by encouraging applications from those with appealing backgrounds but underwhelming GMAT scores. Although it may have had the desired impact in terms of diversifying the class, it also led to the admission of some students who were in the process of being rejected from what many would consider to be less prestigious programs. A case could be made that during this period, the gap in perceived reputation between HBS and other top programs narrowed.
With the GRE decision, the school is following rather than leading the trend, but is HBS dipping its feet into the very same murky waters? … Read full post