We’ve kind of been hitting this theme a lot so far this season and partly that’s because you come to EssaySnark for the goodies you can’t get just anywhere. Nowadays, with the admissions offices being (slightly) more transparent with how they handle their admissions processes, and with more and more admissions consultants out there hawking the basic wares of this industry in terms of standards of putting together a decent application, it’s getting easier to find information that covers how to not royally choke with your apps.
We’ve always taken a more sophisticated approach with our clients, and these angles of authenticity and the seemingly more esoteric topics of personal insight and true impact are where the juiciest bits of app goodness are found.
Today is yet another example of that.
It’s kind of like what happened with GMAT testing: Used to be, if you studied and did well on the test, then you had a good score — good enough to get in with. Then along came the test prep companies who offered all these test-taking hacks, and suddenly, everyone was doing well on the test. Your “good enough” score was no longer that. (It also didn’t help that the GMAT people changed the game by allowing you to cancel your score, which meant that now, everybody cancels until they get the score that they want.) The GMAT averages at all the top schools skyrocketed as a result of this. Same thing with the overall app strategy: Now, everyone and her brother has set up shop as an MBA admissions consultant, and the low-hanging fruit of how to write a decent essay is being picked by all of the applicants. In order to stand out from the crowd of increasing quality in essays, you need to take it up a level (or two) in your execution. What’s considered “average” is now slightly better than it was before. That means, EssaySnark is going to the next level, too, in helping all of our clients maximize their opportunities and make the most of their limited time in front of their admissions readers, by constructing essays that go beyond the basics in multiple different directions.
So here’s a secret, which is totally not a secret, because if you just stop and think about it, you will see how obvious it is.
When reviewing your app, an admissions director at any top school is looking at you through the lens of: Will this person add value to my school?
Basically, will you end up being a student like this?
We’re putting today’s post behind our paywall mostly because we also want to do a little bragging: That Duke MBA who’s featured so prominently in that video is a former BSer! And yes, we were equally impressed with him when we worked with him on his app strategy. We don’t want to “out” a former BSer too publicly (even though he’s “outed” his past association with us a tiny bit on Twitter long ago. Enough time has passed that we feel it’s safe to include it, and it’s such a great example of our main point today.
Are you able to capture in your apps enough evidence of differentiation and go-getter-ness that the adcom sits up and takes notice? Are you able to give examples of where you’ve done things in the past that will make them feel confident you’re going to do things in the future, at their school and in your later career? Do you show them why you care about THEIR school specifically, and how that’s the place where you’ll be able to maximize the magic of your dreams?
Tangible evidence of these things is what’s required in the discussion you present in your essays.
Those are the keys to the kingdom, friend.
That’s how you make yourself unassailably admissible.
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