- Used Books
- Staff Picks
- Gifts & Gift Cards
- Sell Books
- Stores & Events
- Let's Talk Books
Special Offers see all
More at Powell's
Recently Viewed clear list
This item may be
Check for Availability
Essays That Worked for Business Schools (Revised)by Brian Kasbar
Synopses & Reviews
AN INTERVIEW with an ADMISSIONS OFFICER
Although different schools attach different levels of importance to the application essays, and although each school may be looking for a slightly different type of student, admissions officers have surprisingly similar desires. They want brevity. They want sincerity. They want mature enthusiasm. And a little humor-when it's truly humorous-doesn't hurt.
But as we perused the application questions and tried to compose our own answers, we found ourselves asking a number of questions. How business-like should we be? How much can we joke around? Can we relax and be the readers' chum, or should we treat them like clients? Should we tell them what they want to hear, or should we be totally honest, even at the risk of being boring?
We asked these and other questions to dozens of admissions officers at almost every major business school in the country. The following is a condensed version of those interviews:
What's the difference between application essays for business school and the essays we wrote to get into college?
The main difference is the way the author presents himself. What we ask of a college graduate is much more difficult than what colleges ask of a high school senior. And it should be. We don't want applicants to simply give a self-absorbed description of themselves, like they did for their college application. Rather, we want them to describe the world they see around them, and their place in it. An analogy we like to use around here is that with the essay, a student fashions a lens for us to view the world. From looking at the quality of that lens, we hope to judge the quality of its maker.
When we finish an essay, we expect to have learned something about the applicant and an industry or management or business. If an applicant has worked in a steel plant, for example, it should be interesting to see his understanding of the problems in the indus- try. What kind of management problems has he observed, and how would he change things? You can't expect that type of analysis from undergraduates.
We also expect more maturity for business school. That's partly a function of age-we’re often dealing with people in their late 20’s or 30’s–but it’s also an issue of direction. Undergraduates are coming to school to explore. It's hard to justify giving one of a few MBA spots to someone who is not pretty committed to a business career.
Do you want a description of a person or just his accomplishments?
We want an essay that brings the whole set of numbers into a coherent form. We want inconsistencies explained, and we want to see diverse activities as different facets of a single personality. We'd like to be able to say, Oh, he did that, yeah, that makes sense. That fits with what we have. Both the performer and his track record should be discussed, so that we can know the person underneath all the accomplishments, and also how those activities affected that person.
An applicant could discuss, for example, how his jobs at a computer firm and at a wholesale food distributor will help him make grocery stores more efficient. Or how working in a defense firm led him to see the need for military procurement reforms.
Are there any hackneyed topics that applicants should avoid?
I would be lying if I said we dive enthusiastically into
A number of outstanding application essays submitted to the country's top business schools are accompanied by comments from admissions officers, sample interview questions, and practical advice on how to get into the business school of one's choice. Original.
“Applicants looking for the competitive edge in getting accepted at the business school of their choice may want to peruse this book.” –Security Traders Handbook
Every year, thousands apply for a finite number of places in business schools. With similar grades, backgrounds, and goals, sometimes the only thing that can make an applicant stand out is the application essay. It’s the best chance you have to shine and tip the balance in your favor.
Essays That Worked for Business Schools shows that the best essays are brief, sincere, and personal. Some are off the wall, some are bold, all are unique to their creator. One applicant writes about starting his own airline. Another tells about the corruption in his job as a defense contractor. And a third reflects on his license plate. From the thousands submitted each year, the forty essays in this book were considered some of the best by admissions officers at the nation’s top business schools. As this collection demonstrates, with creativity and effort you can turn almost any topic into an effective, successful essay for your business school application.
What Our Readers Are Saying