Business school admission essay writing: 10 vital tips
Business school admissions offices see thousands of applications a year. And that includes thousands of essays. So how do you set yourself apart – but ensure that you’re also submitting a quality piece of writing that reflects who you are as a student?
Here are some tips that can help you write the best entrance essay – and get noticed!
10 Vital Tips
- Start with more: Part of the process of deciding what to write should include writing – and writing a lot. Create an essay draft that includes a handful of solid points that could answer the question you’ve been given. Support those points as effectively as you can – and then review them.
- End with less: Edit and proof your essay to a smaller, more concise version. Which arguments are the strongest? Which make the best statement about you as a student? Which make the best impression about you as a professional? Narrow your scope by focusing on one or two of your strongest points.
- Keep the introduction clear: Avoid dramatics and sensational introductions to eliminate rambling later in the paper. A solid essay doesn’t need sensationalism to be a good read.
- Don’t flatter yourself: While it is important to highlight your unique characteristics, it is also important to avoid bragging. Keep it simple – share your achievements and goals, without tooting your own horn so loud the reader needs earplugs.
- Don’t flatter the school: Believe it or not, the school probably knows how awesome it is. What it doesn’t know is how you will fit within its culture – and whether you will succeed within the program. Why will you be successful in their program? What are your long term goals at the school? Share that information and avoid telling them what they already know.
- Give yourself time: Don’t wait until a week before you need to have the application packet stamped by the post office. Plan ahead. Start by jotting your ideas down in a cluster or outline as you review which schools to apply for. Then, when you’ve narrowed your scope, you will have notes to refer to for each school. Move on from there – in order to create an effective essay, you must dedicate a substantial amount of time to writing it.
- Edit yourself: Once you’ve completed your first draft, proof and edit it. Then do it again. What can be changed to make it “flow?” Will entrance counselors who know nothing about you get a better picture of who you are from what you’ve written? Is it positive? How can you improve your message?
- Ask for help: Ask peers and current instructors to review your work and edit it. It can be hard to take constructive criticism – but consider their feedback as indicative of how your essay will be perceived by the admissions staff. Accept that there will be changes needed to make your essay stronger.
- Ask questions: If you have questions about the school’s requirements, contact the admissions office. They are there to answer questions.
- Keep a copy and receipt: Once you have sent your essay, along with your application packet, make sure to retain a copy of everything you sent. Track the date and time and ask for a receipt from the post office. Keep all backup copies and receipts in a separate file just in case. At the very least, it may be helpful as a reference piece as you build your portfolio.