Continuing our Round 2 Writing Ramp-Up today, we’re going to tell you about another very important aspect to your essays that goes beyond just the content on the page.
This post is assuming you’ve got those basics nailed. This post is about important qualities of messaging and tone in your MBA essays. (Pro Tip: If you’re just starting the process of writing your Round 2 essays, you may want to save this post for later! A simple way to do that is to click the ADD TO FAVORITES button at the bottom. Then you can easily find your Favorite posts on the SnarkCenter menu later, when you need them quickly. It’s one of the features available to you as a blahg member!)
positive, hopeful, future-focused perspective.
What do we mean by that?
Don’t talk about how you don’t have any opportunities at your current job, so you need to go to bschool to do something else. Don’t talk about the experiences that you have NOT had. Don’t emphasize the negatives.
Instead, talk about how you’re seeking out the MBA to do the next big thing because [insert specific reason, e.g., identify what fuels this transition, or reference something that you’re excited about in this new career you want to pursue].
You don’t need to complain about your current job in order to prove that you deserve to be admitted to go do something else. You don’t need to call the adcom’s attention to all the things you’re lacking.
Instead of saying that no other MBA program has blah-blah-blah thing that this school has, focus only on the thing you want to talk about, and explain a) how you know about that thing, using a direct reference to how you learned it, and b) why that thing is so important to you, based on how you’re going to leverage it.
You don’t need to throw shade at any other schools in order to show why you like THIS SCHOOL more.
It’s kind of like when you’re on a first date.
Are you going to sit there and diss all the previous boyfriends or girlfriends you’ve had?
That’s not likely to make your current date want to date you.
When you go into a job interview, are you going to complain about your current manager or talk about how you’re so limited and not able to progress?
That’s not going to impress them about what a superstar you are, or what a team player.
It’s never necessary to talk about negatives in essays.
It’s always more positive to talk about positives.
This is what we mean by “tone” — or at least, one aspect of it.
It’s often a very subtle issue, and it’s rarely one that most people would ever notice on their own if it weren’t pointed out.
But it’s a way to make yourself come across in a more appealing manner — or at minimum, to avoid sounding like a wet blanket, or a suck-up.
If you’re struggling with the first step in writing an essay – figuring out what your specific school is asking and how to approach that particular question – then don’t worry about this now. Start by leveraging the best MBA guides on the planet (yes really – it’s not being arrogant for us to call them that when it’s the truth). If you want to make sure that the ideas you have identified are solid for the questions your school is asking, our Essay Ideas App Accelerator is ideal.
However, some of you impressive young whippersnapper BSers are way ahead of that stage, and you’re asking for us to review those essays. This post is capturing here on the blahg for all of you some advice that we find ourselves saying over and over. (Hint: There are many of these such posts!! Pretty much anything we’ll warn you about in your MBA essay has already been covered here. Use that ‘Snarchive. Do some searching. Study up, by using these resources. Then you’ll be way ahead of the game when it comes time to submit an essay over.)
Once you know what your topic is and you’ve gotten all of it down on the page, then it’s time to step back and examine these issues of tone.
Tone, completeness, flow… These are what create the reader’s experience of you when they go through your essay.
They are easily as important as the actual content.
You may also be interested in:
- Essay Critique: Why Duke? (mentions the issue on tone/positivity presented here)
- Compare & Contrast: Don’t do it.
- Tone Part 2