Once again, in the weeks leading into deadlines, we’re here to support you! Even though it’s the holidays and we should be building snowmans and indulging in eggnogs and roasting chestnutses by the fire. But no, we’re here with you, slaving over essays! And one way we’re doing that is through essay reviews on a Saturday, both here for all of you to ponder out in the open, and also privately. Yes we’re working today. If you’re an active client you can submit questions through My SnarkCenter if you’re needing help on your strategy, and we’re also going to try to make a further dent in the submissions queue to keep you moving with progress on your apps.
For now, here’s what we got submitted through our Request a Free Essay Review option recently.
One question on that form says: Here’s my question or request – EssaySnark, can you help?
This BSer wrote:
Thoughtful advice on essay strategy and by that I mean advice on how to handle career goals essays….in my view, it’s a can of worms – how do you chose what your goals are? It’s function of where the school wants to head (wharton: entreprenuership-ish?), intuitive fit based on applicant background, risk management (schools want grads to make $$), and differentiated from other applicants?
I need to figure out the equation for my schools!
Honestly, we read that over and over again and had NO IDEA what the person was saying. (Besides the fact that we have an entire SERVICE devoted to figuring out your career goals, plus a whole BOOK on how to write essays for Wharton which is the school that this person submitted an essay for. Not to mention that we’re closing in on near 100 posts on this blahg about career goals alone.) It did not make us eager to dig into the actual essay they’d sent over, not just because the lament is all off base, but also because the writing just didn’t make any sense. As much as you may think your bschool essay is a work of utter masterpiece… reading it is work. Reading an essay from someone who has trouble articulating a clear request for help … we shudder in anticipation.
But let’s talk about the off-base part.
People. To set the record straight, writing essays is not “figuring out the equation” – most definitely not doing so for your schools.
It’s figuring out yourself.
The best essays are ones that ANSWER THE QUESTION. Which is something ONLY YOU CAN DO – because you’re giving honest answers for yourSELF, that define your future plans and interests in a concise way, and that dig deep into the parts of the past that are relevant to those plans and interests to show how you’re prepared and ready for what you’re saying you want to do.
It’s not about figuring out what you think the school wants you to say. It’s about figuring out who you are and what you want to do with your life – and saying that.
We’ve said it before (many times) but we’ll say it again: The MBA is not the means to the end. Trying to come up with the “right” answer is just trying to game the system. Most adcoms will see straight through that. It’s setting yourself up for floundering and mumbling and all sorts of missteps in your interview, when the very simple question, “What are your goals?” comes up.
This is not how you get in to bschool.
It’s also not how you solicit free help from EssaySnark. This person submitted basically their full entire Wharton app to us asking for review – two essays,
plus a bunch of stuff on recommenders. We’re like, “What is this??” The form says “Request a free essay review, get an answer to a question” – those are both singular nouns, last time we checked. [ETA: Just looked at it again and realized it’s an optional essay explaining choice of recommenders plus something else about job history – it’s just totally not formatted as an essay so it threw us off – so this is three essays total, which is perfectly acceptable for a Wharton app but you should probably be more strategic in sending a request for a freebie. – ES]
If you want our take on whether or not your application strategy is sound, may we suggest a very reasonably priced and quick-turnaround service called the Sanity Check?
And because we have apparently not said this recently: The whole EssaySnark approach is for those who are motivated to do the work on their own; that “teach you to fish” thing. Which does in fact work quite well.
Since we’re on this subject and to state for the record in case there’s still some confusion out there: EssaySnark is not an editor. Even further: We will not tell you what to say in your essays. There are apparently “admissions consultants” who do both of those things but that’s not how we roll since it’s…. um, shoot, fingersnaps, what’s that word again? OH YEAH, UNETHICAL. This is about you doing your own work.
We know, we know, it’s not easy when you haven’t done this essay-writing stuff before… it’s tempting to want to see sample essays and everything (we don’t post sample essays either). We can’t fault you for that. But it’s not what you’re going to get here. If that’s what you’re looking for, then move along, pardner, move along.
Hmmm… Lots of words later in this post and we didn’t manage to review an essay yet. Just another rant. But hopefully some of those links are helpful – at least it gives you a half hour or so of procrastination!! Yes we’re a full-service operation around here.
We have not yet mustered up the courage to actually read what was submitted from this BSer. We might still do so … it depends on how much of a supply of the eggnogs we have available.
An administrative point: While the ‘Snark is snarking this weekend, our team is off enjoying holiday time things as they should be on a holiday time weekend. We do sort of sometimes monitor their inbox on off hours but not really. If you need essay help we’re here; any other questions sent in to them will likely have to wait till Monday.