With thousands applying every year to business schools, every so often the only thing that can make an applicant stand out, is the application essay. Here are 35 essays that were considered one of the vital best by admssions officer at the natino’s top business schools. They are bold, brief, sincere, or off-the-wall. But they are unique and they worked!
Unlike most graduate programs, business schools prefer that their students have previous work experience. This does not mean that your goose is cooked if you haven’t put in two years on Wall Street. If truth be told, according to the editors of Essays That Worked for Business Schools, B-school admissions officers are growing weary of investment banking. “Given comparable work experience and success,” says one, “I’d much slightly take someone who has run a farm in Iowa than an investment banker.”
Boykin Curry and Brian Kasbar have arranged these application essays by subject matter, and their introductions to each section are as helpful as the essays themselves. When writing about your strengths and weaknesses, they warn, don’t choose weaknesses that are in truth strengths in disguise (e.g., “I work too hard,” “I’m too much of a leader”). “Such ‘weaknesses,'” they say, “can tag a author as insincere and sly.” When it comes to the MBA itself, they advise, “If you’ll provide examples of previous accomplishments and show that you need more business education for continued success, your application will be hard to ignore.” Like most red-blooded Americans, B-school admissions officers admire a bold, entrepreneurial spirit, so when you’re relating your finest accomplishment, say the editors, “try to look for an instance when you solved a tough problem with an unconventional insight.” And one last thing. Don’t fret too much about your writing skills. “We are not in search of future authors or even scholars, necessarily,” say the admissions folks. “We’re in search of future business leaders.” –Jane Steinberg