Michelle: Let The Essay Brainstorming Begin! post written by Admissionado Team July 15, 2013 I can’t believe it’s already July. At this point, most schools have released this year’s application deadlines and essay questions. In my last post, I mentioned the new HBS essay (or non-essay), and since that time, several more schools have announced their essay topics. One of the essay lists that I’m really looking forward to seeing is that of Duke Fuqua. Duke has released its deadlines, but hasn’t yet published its essays. I read that last year Duke asked for a list of 25 random things about you. That question is totally unique and seems like it would actually be fun to answer. Immediately after reading about it, I began brainstorming how I would answer. So anyway, I’ve been spending a lot of time self-reflecting, attempting to think of my best stories that will answer each question, but more importantly, will also highlight why I should be accepted. The essays will be a lot of work; there’s no question about that. The good thing, however, is that most of the real work is already behind me. This past weekend, I attended a presentation about MBA admissions, and one of the speakers made that comment. It seems obvious, yet it’s also incredibly insightful. I’ve already put in the work and lived the stories that I’m going to write about; now, I just need to actually write about them. It’s not like I suddenly need to start doing things that show my leadership skills, and how I’m good at working with teams, and times when I’ve been in a challenging situation, and all of those other things that the AdComs ask. I’ve been doing that for the past three years in my career. Now, my task is really just to select the best stories, synthesize the info, and share it in a compelling way. …which is still a TALL order. Off to take my GMAT…again. Will report back on that next time! Michelle’s what we like to call a “non-traditional” applicant. You know, she’s not a banker or a consultant, and she doesn’t want to BE a banker or a consultant. So she’s different. And her goal, which is the goal of ALL non-traditional applicants, is to show how she’s different (in a good way) but not THAT different (as in…not right for business school.) Follow along with her as she tackles this process.