Today is Christmas.
Well it’s not literally Christmas – Christmas was yesterday – but yesterday was Sunday – which means we get today off as the “official” Christmas. Even though everyone did their eggnogging and gift-unwrapping yesterday. Today they’re all at the mall returning those presents and getting what they REALLY want.
And rest assured, EssaySnark did not write this blog post on Christmas.
We wrote in back in September or something, and kept bumping it forward in our little blogger calendar until we found a day that we didn’t have anything else to say.
So guess what? Christmas it is. Or the day after. Or whatever. ‘Cuz you can bet we’re not reading essays and writing blog posts today.
Here’s your stale advice to carry you through the post-holiday hangover. (You are writing essays today, aren’t you?)
When telling a school how fabulous you think it is, it’s tempting to do the old standby, compare and contrast. What we mean here is, don’t say “Columbia is the only program that…” or “Wharton has the best blah blah blah…”
Why should you NOT do this? Three main reasons:
- Chances are, you’re gonna be wrong about whatever it is you’re citing. We see it all the time: A BSer claims in an essay that the school they’re trying to woo is the only one that has XYZ program or initiative or option — but actually, that’s a feature that’s common to many schools. This comes up with the cluster system, for example; many bschools divide students into clusters or cohorts that they spend the whole first year with. Some schools are moving away from this, but it’s still very common. Or action-based learning; this is practically a Ross trademark, but other schools have co-opted it and are now using the same-exact phrase.
- The other problem with this compare/contrast? Things change. If you say “NYU has more female students than any other top program” then you might be correct one year, but the next year, someone else will beat their numbers.
- The most important reason not to do this? It is an empty compliment to the school – it’s telling them something they already know. If you really care about Feature X of the school, then instead of fawning over them about how they’re the only one that has it, you should talk about it in a personal way. What does it mean TO YOU that they offer XYZ thingamabob in an MBA education? How will you use it, why is it relevant to you? To just cite the thingamabob is not helping you; it’s parroting their website. Figure out how to integrate a statement about the importance of said thingamabob into your pitch, and then you’ll have something worth crowing about.*
The schools are pretty darn familiar about what they have — and what their peers have. (Well, sometimes they are… EssaySnark has heard adcom peeps say completely inaccurate things about their peers in info sessions — we won’t say who!). You risk tripping yourself up unnecessarily if you do this compare/contrast thing. It doesn’t help you. Don’t do it.
* *chortle* parrots? crowing? hahaha EssaySnark cracks ourself up