University of Chicago (Booth) Essays 2013-2014| Writing Tips

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1. Short Answer Essays:
Please respond to the following two essay prompts:
a. My favorite part of my work is… (250 words maximum)
It will be worth checking out the admission criteria at Booth while you are sharing what engages you at work and takes you to office each day. Don’t get tempted to write about your accomplishments at work. You might want to freeze one or two skills/traits that you want to highlight and tell a story around that. Read more about Booth’s culture and let the school know how you are a good fit, given your work profile and interests.

b. I started to think differently when… (250 words maximum)

Booth likes applicants with intellectual curiosity and ability to think critically. While keeping this in mind, think about why do you stick to your thoughts and what takes you to change? The school wants to know how you think and what influences your thought process. It would be nice if you can outline the factors that changed your thinking and how that change made a difference to your personality/vision/company…

2. Presentation/Essay: The Chicago experience will take you deeper into issues, force you to challenge assumptions, and broaden your perspective. In a four-slide presentation or an essay of no more than 600 words, broaden our perspective about who you are. Understanding what we currently know about you from the application, what else would you like us to know?

This is the kind of flexibility an applicant needs – one can chose the format, the message, the story/ies and hence the impact.
First thing first – you have to decide if a presentation would work for your message or a written essay. Also consider your strengths – either you an effortless writer or your forte is creativity and engaging presentations. You have already said things in your application, which you do not want to repeat here. You have to think and re-think to find the pieces which you think are interesting enough to appeal the adcom and showcase the aspects of your candidacy which need to be conveyed but have not been captured yet.

UNC Kenan Flagler Essays 2013-2014| Writing Tips

Essay 1: What are the 2 or 3 strengths or characteristics that have driven your career success thus far? What are the other strengths that you would like to leverage in the future?
Don’t get tempted to create a wish list here. Identify three strengths that you have leveraged upon, in your professional life. What is equally important is, that you are able to weave a story highlighting the impact. If you are an action oriented manager, then talk about the magnitude of a particular situation and how your skills had saved a critical client for your company. In the ‘other’ strengths part, limit your selection to one or two strengths and try to accommodate them in your existing flow. Please note that whatever you wish to share, you should be able to support with examples.

Essay 2: Please describe your short and long term goals post-MBA. Explain how: your professional experience has shaped these goals; why this career option appeals to you; and how you arrived at the decision that now is the time and the MBA is the appropriate degree.
Too many questions in a question, right! The school wants you to be specific – what do you want to do immediately post MBA and what is your vision after 12 years? How has your performance at work aided your decision making and how have you grown over the years? The school also wants to understand your underlying reasons for the chosen career path and your motivation for an MBA. Now is the time to talk about Kenan Flagler and its role in helping you meet your goals. Try to be personal and specific by talking about your campus visit, discussions with alumni and students or participation in MBA fairs. You can talk about Dr. B and your interest in marketing, RTP and its relevance to opportunities…and make a compelling case.

Essay 3: What personal qualities or life experiences distinguish you from other applicants? How do these qualities or experiences equip you to contribute to UNC Kenan-Flagler?
Think about this – what makes you an interesting addition to the class of UNC? You have some strength/s and some weakness/es. School should like you for your strengths so much that your weakness/es would no longer matter. What do you care about outside your office hours? What your friends/family appreciate you for? Which life experiences do you think are unique to you? Tie them all in an engaging story so that you are able to showcase your understanding about Kenan Flagler and highlight your participation in the school’s community. Tell the adcom that you have done your research about the school and here you are, applying to the school that ‘fits’ the most – keeping in view your personality, interests, strengths, goals and school’s avenues of engagement.

Wharton Essays 2013-2014| Writing Tips

Essay 1: What do you aspire to achieve, personally and professionally, through the Wharton MBA? (500 words)

A little variation to the usual goal’s essay which makes you do a lot more introspection – such is this year’s Wharton’s goals essay. The school needs to know how Wharton fits in your personal as well as professional aspirations. Ask yourself – what do you want to do and can’t do without going to Wharton? What do you want to become and why is Wharton an indispensible tool in that endeavor? You need to discuss your short term as well as long term goals.

Do as much background work as needed, to understand Wharton’s courses, offerings, faculty, and programs. Connect with students and alumni or visit the campus and attend classes, and see how can you benefit from the premier offerings and realize your grand dreams.

Essay 2: Academic engagement is an important element of the Wharton MBA experience. How do you see yourself contributing to our learning community? (500 words)

You have already talked about your need to go to Wharton, here is the opportunity to share with the school that they can find in you a potentially valuable member.

Identify your key characteristics, map with the clubs/events/opportunities at Wharton, cite examples, show their impact on Wharton community. The school wants to select a positive contributor for its community and this essay is a place to check if your unique skills, attitude and experiences can enrich Wharton’s hugely diverse community.

It is best that you finalize 2-4 qualities and emphasis with examples, your strengths and demonstrated skills.

ISB Essays 2013-2014| Writing Tips

Essay 1: Attitude, skills and knowledge differentiate people. Elaborate with two examples on how you would differentiate yourself from other applicants to the PGP. (300 words max)

Exactly, why should ISB accept you and how will you make the already diverse classroom more unique? This essay is ISB?s way of filtering the interesting and contributing applicants among the routine ones. You may want to list your special skills (like crisis handling, team participation), attitude (focused during adversity, being there for friends during the time of need) and expertise (in depth understanding of stocks market). Now, the job of filtering shifts to you – select few qualities that set you apart. You would like to now decide on the relevant examples which make sense for ISB application and weave a story highlighting your unique personality. Prerequisites for this essay response would be your knowledge about ISB class profile and your ability to introspect and come up with the interesting traits from your own life.

The more you get into micro-details of your experiences, the more interesting your story will get. Avoid thinking within the context of your workplace because that may be too narrow a field. One way is to think about the traits that set you apart in your college batch of 200+ students. Think of recent stories which highlight those traits.

Essay 2: How does the ISB PGP tie-in with your career goals? (300 words max)

A well thought of and crisp career aspiration, good research work about ISB and its offerings and your identification of the right time for your application; and you nail this question.
Though you need to tie your past work experience and skills with your post PGPM target industry and profile, you need to also talk about how realistically ISB will fit into your scheme of things. You may be an innovative technocrat who aims to go the entrepreneurial way, fine, so tell them how the opportunities like ELP and PaEV are indispensable to your vision.

We strongly suggest that you speak with at least a couple of professionals who have treaded the path you envisage for yourself. Ask yourself – why are you passionate about this career aspiration? Probe deeper and deeper till you satisfy yourself with the explanation.

Essay 3: Pick the most significant achievement (professional or personal) you have had and elaborate on the key learning you took away from it. (300 words max)

Which achievement is important, but what is more important is why this achievement. You should select, among your n achievements, the one which has made the greatest impact on you – irrespective of whether it is personal or professional. Make an interesting read by weaving a captivating story around what the achievement was and why do you view it as the most impactful one. Courtesy that phase, accomplishment and impact, how have you learned, matured and achieved your growth.

Try to remain within the most recent couple of years. The older the story, the lesser its significance. Do remember that even this story needs to differentiate yourself from the rest. For every person, childhood and school-time are formative years. In what we have seen, a lot of applicants talk about how they cracked the entrance exams and how they overcame numerous challenges early in life. Yes, these experiences make great stories but not necessarily differentiating ones.

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