MBA Essay Writing Tip #7: “Your School Is Ideal Because…”

Here's how to actually prove the school you're applying to is "the one" for you without coming right out and saying it.

Your school is ideal because...

Whether it’s true or not, almost every university admissions essay claims that the school in question is “ideal” for the applicant, and vice versa.

Actually PROVING this, however, can be a little more difficult, and giving vague or evasive reasons for an application only shows a lack of preparation on the applicant’s part. Take this dude for example…

Brown will provide an optimal and intense regiment to help me catch the businessman’s way of thinking. I need to develop a systematic analytical skill set on how to motivate others and incorporate future recruits from varied areas such as sales, software design and data collection.”

Talk about a whole lot of NOTHING! This reads like the world’s most painful memo, complete with useless buzzwords and vague goals meant to look more impressive than meaningful. Worse, this coded language means that it’s completely unmemorable, which is bad news for an applicant that wants to stand out from the pack.

Furthermore, why Brown? We never get a sense that this applicant is particularly knowledgeable about this school or how it will help him in the future. He should be telling us about WHAT HE’LL LEARN and WHY IT WILL BE USEFUL to him in the future. After some thorough revisions and some key pieces advice from our team, however, this came around quite nicely…

“Brown’s focus on case studies and marketing will help me think beyond existing models for my forthcoming online platform. Faculty such as Prof. Jeremy Grasso will provide invaluable instruction in conducting market research, managing cash flow and locating venture capital. I also need to develop know-how in raising and managing finances, marketing my platform and managing employees – areas specifically targeted by Brown’s Start-Up seminars.”

Ah yes. We’ve come a long way – let’s see what our writer changed.

First, he got specific, not only stating this school’s area of expertise but also showing us HOW IT WILL HELP HIM. He continued to demonstrate knowledge of the school’s curriculum and faculty and why they’re in the best position to help him achieve success. In this way, our candidate not only stood out from the rest of Brown’s applicants who couldn’t give a detailed reason for their application, but also he let the school know that he had a well developed plan and he maximized his space with a series of skills he intends to develop at Brown and HOW he plans to develop them.

And with that, there’s no room for Brown’s MBA admissions committee to wonder if this guy is a good fit for their program.

So to sum things up:

Stand out from other applicants by showing us that you KNOW why you’re applying to a school: don’t just list courses, show us why they’re right for you.

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