I often find it helpful to put myself in the shoes of the admissions officers when reviewing essays. I probably have a stack of 30 to 40 applications to get through in one night. I’m overworked. I’m tired. And I’m sick and tired of reading about how a person who wants to get an M.B.A. is really trying to sell themselves as the next Mother Theresa. Come on! It’s business school. If you want to be Mother Theresa, seminary or social work school would be a smarter option. I’ve got a tasty adult beverage in one hand, and I have your application in the other.
Here are the questions that we need to answer well. What are you going to do make sure that I remember your application the following morning when I report back to the full committee? How are you going to stand out from the rest of the crowd by presenting a compelling interesting story that gives the reader a vivid window into your life, thinking and experiences? How are you going to flesh out your GPA and test scores so that these folks start thinking of you as a person with something to contribute to the next incoming class, rather than another set of numbers and cookie cutter experiences, such as banking, consulting or working at a start up?
In short, how are you going to show them in an interesting compelling manner who you and what you bring to the table?