essay strategy

Personalizing Your Interest in an MBA Program

Time for a quick blog post that comes from what I'm seeing each day, which is really rigid, hard-to-read Why School X sections.  I give the same note to every single client so now I'm giving it to everybody: the simplest and most important thing you can do to improve your Why School X portion of career goals essay is to personalize any and all content.  

What do I mean by "personalize?"  Simple: make anything you write about the school specific to you, your experience, your desires, or what you require from a program.  Never just state absolutes, generalities, or even known truths and facts - always make them personally-held viewpoints.  Examples are the best way to understand this (after the jump): 

Yale SOM's 2015 Essays - Read the Fine Print

Yale SOM's 2015 Essays - Read the Fine Print

Today we are analyzing Yale's 2015 Essays ... sort of. What we are really doing is taking a look at them and using this essay set as a way to remind everyone to read the fine print when it comes to dealing with applications and even schools in general. I'm not blowing the whistle on some grand conspiracy or anything like that, but just illustrating that you can't take everything at face value. This is especially relevant at a time when applicants are killing themselves to try to hit Round 1 deadlines because an admissions officer "told them to," or when candidates make horrible errors in judgement based on the same logic. The truth of the matter is you have to keep your eyes open and use your own common sense when navigating this process.

A Decision Tree for the Ross 2014-15 Essays

A Decision Tree for the Ross 2014-15 Essays

I wanted to try something a bit different today when breaking down the new Ross essays, which is to post the decision tree I am going to be asking my clients to use this year. 

Why would I just share this with the public, you might ask?  In part because the real value of our services with Ross (unlike with some other schools) is going to be in implementation rather than in the setting of strategy - so I don't feel I am cheating my clients at all.  Further, we just don't have that many clients select Ross, to be honest.  This is confusing to me, as Ross is an amazing school and a true value pick ... but that's a column for a different time.  Today, I want to present a really simple way to work through Ross' seemingly wide open essays.  I'll be using one part common sense and one part program knowledge, but both are born out of lots of experience just being someone in this world (by "in this world" I mean working in "higher education" and with "people trying to maximize their lives and abilities").  Let's get into it. 

A Decision Tree for Your Chicago Booth Presentation Essay

A Decision Tree for Your Chicago Booth Presentation Essay

It's very rare that we blog at the height of the deadline season, but something is coming up a lot that a quick post might help people with - and that is what to do with Booth Essay 3 when your presentation isn't coming together like you want. 

With the deadline bearing down, not everyone is able to make things happen exactly the way they want and the compulsion to use a "great essay" (from another school) rather than create a Powerpoint presentation is quite strong.  However, there are many experts on record - including us, in our Booth Strategy Memo that all clients receive - saying that you basically must use a presentation format.  So, what should you do?