Sunday, June 11, 2006

More on Essay Advice

Reading a very good book currently. Could not help but jot down these excellent points for essays:

1) Why do you want to an MBA?
Think about previous experiences:PAST:
How have they prepared you for business shool?
How have they made you come to conclusion that you would like to pursue an MBA?
What skills have you gained that you could bring to this program?

Think about your current state:PRESENT:
Why now ?
Have you reached a point where you need a degree to advance?
What knowledge and skills do you hope to obtain from the degree?

What are your future career goals?
How will you use your MBA for your career goals?
How will you use MBA in the future?

Be specific when you describe what you have gained from your workplace.

Q2) What do you bring to the school?

This question requires introspection, some thoughts about what make or break you,. If you described your work experience elsewhere, highlight your other aspects here. Your work experience and what you gained from it is one of the most important factors in business school. Think about the experiences that you have been involved in, experiences that you have had or some of your accomplishments, and the unique qualities that you can use to distinguish yourself from teh rest of the crowd.

Q3) Leadership Essay
In this essay, think about what you want to convey about your philosophy of leadership, your leadership style. Try to think about leadership at work if possible.

Give examples of how you led
Explain why you made the decisions that you did, especially of they were difficult decisions
Outline your approach to leadership and what skills you try to exhibit when you are a leader
Show how you have been a leader, how do you perform as a leader
Also, describe the results of your leadership - did your project complete successful, did your team work well together, provide tangible outcomes from your work however do not exaggerate your achievements

Q4) Achievements
(Most important achievement in your life etc) - could be personal or work related
Think about what you want to convey through this essay?
If you write about a non work related work experience, be sure to emphasis how that has helped you prepare for business school, either directly or indirectly

Q5) Overcoming obstacle or failure
Share your thoughts so that the bschool understands your motivations and why you are able to overcome a challenge , describe the strength that you gained from this and how you will continue to use this strength
If you made a poor decision, communicate what you learned and how you will apply that in the future

Q6) Team work
Explain the team interactions that you have experienced
How did you keep the team functioning and even pitfalls to avoid

Q7) Extra curricular activities
What do you enjoy, why, and what do you gain from the experience?
Whether you have learned perseverance from running marathons or something else, business schools need to know how you have developed through this activity.

Q8) Optional essay
Use this to write anything else that will add to your personality, a strength or a weakness

Excerpts from ACCEPTED! 50 successful bschool admission essays !! Tanabe & Tanabe

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Blogging Goodness

I cannot but say how good it feels to be a part of the blogging MBA community. There's so much to be done in the whole app process, however long and frustrating the process may seem. You are not alone, Buddy, hang in there! One day, you shall cross the fence and be on the other side of the walled garden (bschool that is). Browsing through some blogs, I found a very good post on one applicant's entire app process and even another one . Thanks everybody for contributing your advice.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Time management , organization et al.

A key thing in the whole MBA application process is being a bit organized about the whole thing. This may vary from person to person, but it doesn't hurt to step back a bit, and sketch out either a rough timeline or a plan for your own approach. Depending on the person that you are, some people keep these things in their head and go on doing those things. Others use excel sheets, daily calendars, and what not. I like to do a bit of both. I tried to do a timeline approach. But with the hectic work and schedule, I am not in favor of that. The reason is that because, this will stress me out if I say that I need to do XYZ by a certain date and then I am not able to do that by the deadline. Rather, I took a look at the whole process and divided the finer granular goals into the following tasks. No matter, which school you apply, you have go through them.

1) Thinking : (and loads of it :-)

-Answer the main questions (a) Who are you? What are goals? What have you done so far? Where do you see yourself going? Why do you need an MBA for that? What are the elements that you are looking for in an MBA?
- Which schools will get you what you want?
- Application strategy after finalizing schools
- Finally, thinking and analyzing for the school essay questions themselves

2) Interaction: (Not to mention, while doing the thinking, you are not alone. :-) )
- Contacting students from bschool, alumni, school forums, your friends, bloggers and talking to them to find their experiences, to get their advice, feedback etc.

3) Reading (Of course, you read tons of material to make your decisions etc)
- Read the school website
- Read the school forums
- Read MBA books and blogs

4)Writing (You cannot escape this for sure!!!! :-)
- Emails, notes, blogs, ESSAYS, and APPLICATION

5) Travel
- Visting school, information sessions, meeting people