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How to Avoid Common B-School Essay-writing Mistakes
By: Gen and Kelly Tanabe

Don't write a resume and call it an essay.

Your essays should be more than glorified resumes. In other words, don't just list your accomplishments. Describe the importance of them and what you have gained from the experiences you write down. Analyze and reflect on their value. Whether you have been a management consultant or a chef, you need to explain how your work experience fits into your path to an MBA and how you hope to apply your experience in the future.

Know why you want to go to b-school.

As you answer the essay questions, you will need to explain why you want to earn an MBA and how you plan to use the degree to advance your career. The more you understand your motivations for earning the degree, the stronger your essays will be. This is something that you need to think about and try to tie into at least one of your essays. You don't need to have every step of your future career worked out because admission officers understand that a business school degree will help you figure this out. But you do need to have some good reasons for wanting an MBA at this point in your life.

Show a continuum from past to present.

Admissions officers are looking for your story in your essay. They want to see the past and present as well as a glimpse of the future. From your past, you should explain what you have studied or learned from your employment to prepare you for a business school education. From the present, you should describe why you want an MBA. For the future, you should give some hint at how you intend to apply your degree to your career plans. These questions do not have to be answered in one essay. In fact, you will probably choose to address each in a separate essay. However, you should make sure that after reading all your essays, you get a sense of each of these three important parts of your life. If you are missing any of these parts, there will be a hole in your story.

Don't forget to tie in your goals with the school.

It's important that you not only explain your career goals but also elaborate on how the business school will help you to achieve these objectives. Admission officers want to see a connection between their school and how it will help you meet your personal and career targets. This helps them to see what you will gain from attending their school.

About the Author

Gen and Kelly Tanabe
Founders of SuperCollege and authors of 13 books on college planning.

Accepted! 50 Successful Business School Admission Essays

By: Gen & Kelly Tanabe
With fierce competition to get into business school, your admission essays are one of the most important factors in whether or not you are accepted. This book helps you craft essays that market your strengths to b-schools while avoiding the most common mistakes.

Learn More