Essays are a crucial part of the application procedure in any university programme, especially MBAs. They give you a chance to show the admission committee what kind of a person you are. In my application for the YLP programme, I had to write three, one for Stage 1 and two for Stage 2. Essay Writing is usually what troubles people the most, since a lot of people don’t have any prior writing experience. I have so far reviewed a lot of essays for applications to MBA and MS programmes and I get many messages asking for tips on essay writing, so I decided to pen down all my essay writing wisdom here. Here are some things you should keep in mind while you are writing your essay
Grammar and Plagiarism: Let’s get the basics clear first, every University you apply is probably using a Plagiarism checker, so please whatever you do just don’t copy your essays from somewhere on the internet or from someone who has secured an entry to the programme you’re applying to. Also make sure you get the grammar correct. Lousy grammar just shows the AdCom that you didn’t take this seriously. To prevent such errors, make sure you pass it through a plagiarism/grammar checker on the internet and also get it reviewed by someone else.
Give it a personal touch: Imagine yourself as a part of the AdCom, would an essay that is just a reflection of facts and figures already present in the resume/application interest you? Or would an essay that tells you an interesting story would be more likely to catch your attention? The latter, right? Take a look at a snippet of the essay I wrote for my application for more clarity on this.
KISS: As cliched as it sound, keep it simple silly. Using too many fancy words and complex sentences won’t get you anywhere. Unless maybe it somehow correlates with your essay and your story, like maybe if you hold the world record for knowing the most number of fancy words, then go ahead and be a sesquipedalian. Also, stick to the word limit. Don’t go overboard and don’t go underboard (Is this even a word?) either. If it says 300 words, then your essay should be in the range of 270–300 words.
Be as convincing as you can be (Original heading Be convincing AF): It’s the best if you are writing an honest essay, an essay that you can justify when asked questions on in your interview. Since I used a quote by Muriel Rukeyser and wrote that I love her work, I made sure that I had at least one of her poems memorized. But even if you are fibbing, make sure you sound hella convincing. MBA applications usually ask for your long term goals and at the point when we’re applying for it, most of us are not really sure on what we want to do with our lives so we have to make it up. But even if you are making it up, it’s good to research a bit and sound like you actually believe in what you are spouting. Here’s another snippet to help you. I may or may not have believed in what I wrote.
That’s it folks! But do remember that what works for one person doesn’t always work for the other. So don’t worry if your essay defies all the above tips. if you believe in it then go for it.