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

Don't ignore individual achievements.

While it's important to show that you can be a team player, it is also important to define your individual accomplishments. Some students only write about their achievements as a part of a team but never address what they contributed as an individual. This is a big mistake. If you are writing about a group accomplishment, don't downplay your role. Make sure to describe how you individually contributed to the success of the group.

Explain what you have learned.

More important than your actual accomplishments and experiences is what you have gained from them. This is the key piece of information that admissions officers want to know. As you're writing your essays, think about what you have learned from the experiences that you share, how you would approach similar circumstances differently and how you have applied your knowledge to other situations and interactions.

Always take advantage of the optional essay.

For a lot of business schools, the last question they ask is whether you have anything else that you'd like the admission officers to know about you. In most cases, you should take advantage of this essay question. You can use it to highlight a strength that you haven't discussed elsewhere, or you can use it to explain a blemish in your academic or professional record. This is the first essay that some admission officers read because they believe that this open-ended question is where you can really describe what is important to you and what makes you unique. There are no guidelines for what you need to write, so you are free to address whatever is meaningful to you. Take advantage of this opportunity to tell anything that you want the business school to know about you.

Final Thoughts ...

Applying to business school is not for the faint of heart. Of all the things you'll need to do, the essay will probably be the most challenging and time consuming. However, by avoiding the mistakes outlined in this guide, you will save yourself a lot of unnecessary aggravation. Ultimately, you'll end up with an essay that helps you get into the b-school of your dreams.

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