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The will to succeed is important, but what's more important is the will to prepare. – Bobby Knight

Lessons on the go

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Thanks giving is over already. This means only one thing, round 2 application deadlines are right around the corner, wishing you all the very best for this season! Hope this article, helps you in someway.

I haven’t posted in almost a month ‘cause I have been fretting too much than actually doing (Ah, doen’t that happen often!?). With the deadlines for round 2 is just around the corner. I began the essays with sheer pressure to not give up on my dreams. The reason I postponed my essays because, the first one I started with – career goal essay got me nowhere beyond 3 sentences. I was frustrated that I couldn’t come up with a career goal essay in a week (original target). So, I left it at that. And that became a month.

But since I began writing, everything else other than career goal essays, things have been moving a bit faster (not as much as I expected, but at least they are rolling). After a month of sitting and reading many “I will teach you how to write great MBA essay” guides, I thought I mastered the skill. So, I wrote my first essay just a few days ago and was utterly confident, it was a killer essay and sent it for a review. Only it came back, with the most dismal remark – it is good, but what is the point. I was too much in to the “stories” , the build ups, I lost sight of the whole point. That’s when I turned back to basics, reading essay guides and realized – Holly SHIT! This is all there -Where the essays could go wrong, what should it contain all of that.

Even if this is coming to you at a later stage, I want to share with you one of the most valuable lessons for writing an essay.

  1. DONOT start with reading guides first. You will probably end up learning nothing because whatever it says is pretty obvious for anybody! I mean common, who would keep writing a story and not attend to the actual question? Who would explain about their career goals and forget to mention why? So, you got nothing to learn, ‘cause you already know it.
  2. Sit down and write your career goal essay. Let’s face it, you go to write it sometime later, so why not now! Trust me, no matter how flashy the other essays are, the admission council is more interested in this than other essays. Besides, once you have the clarity of mind you can thread other essays to support this. This makes sure the adcoms get a very vivid picture of who you are in those couple of minutes (2-3 tops) that they spend on your application.
  3. Write one more essay – like past experience, accomplishments etc. The reason you have to write two essays, is that you will have a pattern. Everybody has a patter – their unique style of writing that often gets repetitive. You have to find yours and be aware of it and try not to bring monotonous feeling to the readers.
  4. Get those guides, take notes – personal notes. While you are at those guides, you will realize your weakness and strengths. This will greatly help your essay writing skills.
  5. Use the forums/friends/relatives/tutors to get expert view. Many admission consultants usually offer free consultations. If you are clear about what you would like to understand more about the admission process, you can make good use of free consultation.
  6. Choosing a consultant. I don’t have one. But I got great help (thanks to social network). Choose one, if you are pressed for time and if you don’t have an experienced hand (relative or friend who has done MBA) who are ready to spend time with your for essays. The review session alone would take 3-4 hours in total for each essays – given the number of reviews it would require!
  7. Most important thing of all: Remember this, you are not going to get your essays right in the first go even if you are a journalist. So, be ready to cut the crap, cut it again and again until you get a clear message across.

Here is the list of free essay blogs/videos that you get online.

  1. Admissionado - Amazing for essay guides for free!
  2. MBA Mission – Keeps you in touch with what’s hot in admission season
  3. Stacy Blackman – Great tips on application interviews and lots more.
  4. GMATClub (videos)  – They are celebrating 10th year and 1million posts with series of webminars related to GMAT and admission from myriad consulting agencies. Great Stuff.
  5. Beat the GMAT (videos) -  another set of amazing videos, some are even specific to Indian/Chinese applicants

Have fun!

3 thoughts on “Lessons on the go

  1. I have just one sentence on career goal. Good to know that I am not alone on this one :P

    Which b-schools are you applying to?

  2. Pingback: Stacy Blackman’s B-School Buzz | Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions

  3. Pingback: Stacy Blackman’s B-School Buzz | The GMAT Club

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