We’re reblahgging this from a few years ago because it’s timely! and relevant! and hopefully helpful!!
Today’s post is about two totally unrelated things, except that they both came up for us multiple times over the past few weeks in the marathon of essay-reviewing we’ve been doing.
- close-knit community
- diverse student body
- collaborative students
- strong alumni network
- leadership skills
- business acumen
Or you could say close-knit student body and collaborative community and — well, you get the point.
Maybe we should develop an MBA Essay Generator — just enter the name of the school you’re targeting, your short-term goal and long-term goal, and push a button, and out pops the essay!
‘Cuz people, all of yours have been sounding the same. May as well be a fill-in-the-blanks type proposition, like Mad Libs or something. Wants us to sit around the office playing Buzzword Bingo as we read the essays. Hmmmm… wonder if that every happens in the admissions offices at these schools? It’s gotta be tempting.
Hopefully you have some REAL reasons for wanting to get an MBA and your essays include more than just these tired old cliches and boring buzzwords. Granted, “business acumen” is a pet peeve specific to the ‘Snark – it’s unlikely any of your adcom readers will react quite so negatively as we do when they see that — but none of those just ain’t gonna get you noticed for much.
What might get you noticed but for oh all the wrong reasons would be some of these:
Really Bad Typos
Yes we actually saw these recently.
- “It is not time for me to get my MBA.” (presumably they meant “now”?)
- “I defiantly want to go to Wharton.” (you sure about that?)
- “I am quiet confident that Duke is the best place for my MBA.” (well, confidence is always good!)
- “I can better asses a situation like this in the future.” (oooo we saw this in more than one BSer’s drafts)
- “My goal is to shit my career into consulting.” (our personal fave!)
- (new for 2018!) “Launched a mentoring program to improve faulty efficiency” (coming from someone working in education — presumably they meant “faculty”? but maybe not!)
Writing something like THAT will surely get your adcom reader’s attention. You’d even likely elicit a belly-laugh from them.
When you’re in a sleep-deprived caffeine-adled fog of essay-writing delirium, the eye is not to be trusted. Proofreading is a special task that you should honor and treat with care. Do it separately from any editing process. Put everything aside for awhile and then come back to it again when you’re fresh. When we see mistakes like this in an essay, we will tell you that there are writing errors that you need to watch for… but we won’t necessarily correct them. EssaySnark is not an editor. It’s your job to make your puppies perfect.
Not that any of you are ‘fresh’ right about now – not after all the late nights you’ve been pulling!
On the topic of proofreading and polish, here’s a couple of posts that may help you … at least, if you’re not now in active panic-mode as you rush to pull up the versions you’ve already submitted, to make sure you didn’t commit one of these major faux pas.
- Tips for cutting it down to size (overlimit essays)
- Formatting your MBA essays
- How to write a conclusion
- And one more related to the “buzzwords” thing: Words that appear only in essays and resumes
Nobody’s gonna get rejected for a typo in an essay… but it’s not going to endear you to your adcom reader, either. Attention to detail, people. It’s a beautiful thing.
UPDATE! This “buzzword” thing prompted some questions in the comments, which we’ve responded to in a series of follow-up posts, starting here!
Here's what others have said about this:
You definitely got the buzzwords list bang on.
But don’t be so harsh on us BSers. Play any video that the schools put on their websites and these words are all that you’ll hear. Collaborative this, diversity that, blah blah blah. Schools should put in an effort to differentiate their intro videos from the rest if they expect the same from us too. Just a suggestion 🙂
@iceman777, you have a really good point! But it’s also overlooking something quite fundamental – and you’ve made us realize that we haven’t blahgged about this in awhile. We’re going to come back to this with a full post about it soon. Thanks for the reminder!!!!
Haha. Thanks. I look forward to that post.
With the word limit constraint, how are BSers supposed to convey how much we want to go to whichever institution if we dont use the Buzzwords the schools prescribe? I thought we are supposed to… because that shows we have been doing our research about what that school is known for. Please elaborate!
And is it appropriate tell the truth on why you want to go that school? i.e. location? family? or ranking?
@ystephxie, thanks for the question! As we promised iceman777 the other day, we are in fact doing follow-ups on this. The first one is up today! Hope it helps explain the advice we’re setting out here!