We’ve invited mbaMission to share their Business School Essays Analyses as they’re released for the 2014-2015 application season. Here is their analysis for Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan).
The MIT Sloan School of Management bucks conventionality this admissions season and has added to the word count for its application essays—moving from a maximum of 1,000 words to 1,250. The school’s first essay question remains the same as last year’s, but its second essay prompt presents an interesting challenge in that the admissions committee asks you to do exactly what it does not want you to do in reality: write your own recommendation letter. At least in this case, the school is allowing you to do so in the light of day. Thankfully, perhaps, Sloan has dropped its befuddling optional essay, which had invited applicants to share any additional information in any format. Candidates will be content to see clearer directives in the program’s essay questions. As always, our analysis follows…
Essay 1: The mission of the MIT Sloan School of Management is to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and to generate ideas that advance management practice. Discuss how you will contribute toward advancing the mission based on examples from your past work and activities. (500 words or fewer)
We’ve invited mbaMission to share their Business School Essays Analyses as they’re released for the 2014-2015 application season. Here is their analysis for University of Pennsylvania (Wharton).
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has decreased its number of application essays to just two this year and is giving candidates a whopping 900 words with which to distinguish themselves. We surmise that the influx of application essays can be overwhelming for the school’s overworked admissions officers, who find them somewhat deadening over time. So, by cutting back the program’s application requirements, they are able to stay sharp and still get what they need from you as an applicant. While this change may be helpful on the school’s end, the limitations make your job much harder. Wharton gives you a mostly boilerplate personal statement and a rather Harvard Business School–esque “discuss what you want” style prompt—seemingly not a lot of latitude with which to make an impression, but the key word here is “seemingly.” The smart applicant will make use of Essay 2 in particular to stand out from the pack. Our analysis follows…
This year we require one essay, with a second being optional. For the second optional essay, we recommend that you to use your best judgment and focus your energy on highlighting new information that we are unable to ascertain from other sections of the application.
We’ve invited mbaMission to share their Business School Essays Analyses as they’re released for the 2014-2015 application season. Here is their analysis for Columbia Business School.
For the second year in a row, Columbia Business School (CBS) has kicked off the MBA application season. During an online event with mbaMission, Manhattan Prep and Poets & Quants, CBS’s director of admissions, Christina Shelby, told the audience that the school has added urgency in releasing its questions, because it has to meet the needs of its January-entry (known as J-Term) applicants, whose application deadlines come much sooner (October 8, 2014, versus April 15, 2015). Whatever its rationale for the “early” application release, CBS is basically staying the course with its essay questions, though it has again reduced the allowable character count in its “Twitter-like” goal statement; from 200 characters two years ago, it was cut to 100 last year and now stands at a mere 75. Our analysis follows…
Short Answer Question: What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (75 characters maximum)
We’ve invited mbaMission to share their Business School Essays Analyses as they’re released for the 2014-2015 application season. Here is their analysis for Stanford Graduate School of Business.
The Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) became the second top MBA program to release its essay questions this year, and the school follows a trend in application essays—“less is more.” Stanford has dropped its third essay question this season and stuck with two standbys, which we can summarize as “What matters most to you?” and “Why us?” The GSB’s choice to maintain its “Why us?” question is an interesting one, considering how selective the program is (the Princeton Review ranks it number one for Toughest to Get Into). Maybe one reason the school is so strong is that it still focuses on fit and does not take its desirability for granted (?).
Another big change in the Stanford application this year is that the number of recommendations required has dropped from three to two, leaving the candidate to make the vexing choice between a professional recommender or a peer for that second recommendation. Our guess is that most people will choose the far more straightforward professional recommendation option, because candidates who do so can be more confident that they have made the “right” choice of recommenders.
Essay 1: “What matters most to you and why?” (750 words)
We’ve invited mbaMission to share their Business School Essays Analyses as they’re released for the 2014-2015 application season. Here is their analysis for Dartmouth College (Tuck).
Following what seems to be an emerging trend this season, the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College has decreased the number of required applications essays this year from (an already fairly minimal) three to just two 500-word submissions, one of which is a classic career statement, while the other asks candidates to share and reflect on a significant leadership experience. Having just 1,000 words with which to convey meaningful elements of their profile means that applicants will need to be especially judicious in choosing their messages and particularly efficient in their writing to get the most impact from these two rather circumscribed essays. As always, we recommend a thorough brainstorming session before you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) so that your messages are clear, complete and fully on topic.
Please respond fully but concisely to the following essay questions. There are no right or wrong answers. We encourage applicants to limit the length of their responses to 500 words for each essay. Please double-space your responses.
1. Why is an MBA a critical next step toward your short- and long-term career goals? Why is Tuck the best MBA fit for you and your goals and why are you the best fit for Tuck?
5 Tips for Writing a Concise B-School Admissions Essay (U.S. News Education)
Applicants who avoid flattery and learn to edit themselves can keep sentences tight, experts say.
Does Appearance Count in Grad School? (About.com Graduate School)
Being visible (in a positive way) is critical to being noticed and remembered, which are prerequisites for being offered opportunities.
Looking for some admissions help? Our friends at mbaMission have a great tip when it comes to writing application essays.
Finding Your ˜Best Fit’ Business School (Bloomberg Businessweek)
As prospective students spend the summer evaluating business schools in search of that ever-elusive fit, it’s worth reviewing some general guidelines before embarking on the search.
Did we miss your favorite article from the week? Let us know what you have been reading in the comments below or tweet @ManhattanGMAT