Actually this tip applies to any essay for any MBA application, but it’s especially important to do this for the Stanford GSB MBA essay about “What matters most and why?” That’s because that’s typically a longer essay (recommended in the 750-word range by the GSB adcom) and because longer essays sometimes take on a life of their own.
What happens is, they start out in one place, with a particular statement about what matters to you in this crazy and mixed-up world… and they….
But it’s not evolution in the context of adaptation to a positive good, like Darwin and how our species is now walking upright. It’s not about being a better fit to the environment, where we’re good at breathing air and we’ll let those fishes continue breathing in water. Oh no, it’s not evolution like that, in favor of life. Instead, as this beast of a draft, this essay-as-organism wanders down the page, it mutates. It shifts. It undergoes this weird slithery transformation. (Some — not naming names — might even call it a regression.)
We’re not sure what kind of dark alchemy you’ve done in your draft, but frequently, by the time we get to the end of it, we’re like, “Whu?”
The ending of your essay bears no resemblance to the beginning.
It’s like one of those hydra monsters, or a Medusa of snakes, each one writhing in its own independent direction.
(Can you tell we’ve been reading too many essays today? The ‘Snark brain is fried. Forgive us our many metaphors.)
Where were we.
The tip for testing your Stanford Essay A is a very easy test for internal consistency.
Read the last paragraph of your essay.
Now go back to the beginning. Read your introduction.
Do they match?
Or did your answer to “What matters most?” wander off into the thicket of confusing ideas somewhere in the middle and get hopelessly lost, never to be heard from again?
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