“It would be naïve to assume that every applicant produces essays from start to finish in total isolation,” says Min.“However, without exception, a candidate’s ownership of and accountability for his or her final essays must never be compromised.” Consultants warn that it is important not to neglect the other elements of your application, which usually include a standardized test, such as the GMAT.Luckily, I managed to get excellent grades, despite my less than stellar time management habits.
The school says the video format enables a more personal courtship than penned prose.
Achieving perfection in a written or video essay is challenging, but achievable, says Alex Min, CEO of The MBA Exchange, an admissions consulting firm.
There is a wealth of such services online, but using them can result in your application being rescinded.
Many schools are using technology to spot fraud, such as Re Vera, a candidate verification service that helps to ensure applicants represent themselves truthfully.
“On the one hand, the Mi M application is not an essay writing contest,” says Kaplan’s Borges.
ack when I was in university, I was pretty lax about managing my time.“The worst story is a story that does not raise a single question for the one reading it.” After reading a good essay, Sulic says that his interest is piqued. It should make me feel like I know the applicant a bit more personally and not just what they have achieved and want to achieve.” He adds that there is no format for a perfect essay: “Each essay is individual, and each honest and personal answer makes a positive impact in a different way.” While questions differ for each school, essays tend to revolve around a candidate’s strengths, learning and career goals, and reasons for choosing that particular school, according to Kaplan’s Borges.“Applicants should be ready to nail [these subjects] in order to build an outstanding application,” he says.“A candidate whose essays take the adcom [admissions committee] on a journey of thoughtful reflection, succinct descriptions and compelling imagery, is likely to earn an interview invitation.” When compiling video essays, he advises candidates to focus on production quality, too.“Look out for lighting and backdrop; audio and video clarity; presence and demeanor,” he says.If I had a mid-term or final coming up, I was notorious for waiting until the week of the exam to crack open my books to read the assigned material.Actual studying occurred during a feverish cram session the day before the test. Again, I would procrastinate until the deadline was looming, and then churn out the essay with a burst of energy at the last minute.But don’t provide reviewers with a laundry list of strengths, learning goals, and features of a school that interest you.“Focus and depth is much more important than breadth.” It pays to use examples, Borges adds.Boban Sulic, senior admissions manager at ESMT Berlin, along with his colleagues, this year reviewed 727 applications for the German business school’s Master’s in Management program.Prospective students answer three essay questions, providing a frank description of themselves, what matters to them, and their career goals.