When we talk about things like “authenticity” and “values” you may think we’re also talking about things like “branding and theme” — and we’re not really.
Authenticity and values are part of who you are (or, ahem, hopefully not you but in some cases, are not) regardless of whether we’re talking MBA applications or friendships. They’re how you show up in the world.
“Branding and theme” are application-specific, and they’re constructed by the choices you make in what you decide to include within the components of the app.
Just like yesterday, where we talked about the focus that we’re seeing in many schools’ admissions strategies as playing out in their application requirements, here we’re talking about how you come through as an applicant to meet those requirements, in ways that will resonate with your admissions reader.
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Different people learn in different ways, so that’s why we keep hitting on these topics from different angles. Some people are linear and want to plow straight ahead, and for those, the Complete Essay Package is ideal. For others, who learn in a more roundabout fashion, we’ll continue to offer these posts on ideals, values, principles, and the power of good messaging. The best apps combine both (and some schools, like Stanford, definitely require both to come together concurrently). It’s very possible to get into a great MBA program on just one of those routes too, depending on how your learning works.