Sunday, July 28, 2013

How to Organize Essay Writing for MBA Applications

Planning and scheduling is important when it comes to tackling multiple MBA admissions essay sets. Which essay set should you start with? Which one should you save for last? There are numerous ways to order essay sets, and the ideal choice for most will be to consider the best combination of all methods.

1. Start with a school that has relatively "typical" questions, and finish with a school that has more "unique" questions. 

CMU Tepper or UCLA both ask fairly orthodox questions. Harvard and Stanford do not. It makes sense therefore to begin with the school that asks for more basic elements of your overall story. 

2. Start with essays with generous word counts, and finish with shorter essays.

When you write the first version of your goals essay, it makes sense to write it for a school that has a generous word count for it.  It is far easier to write a goals essay in 1,000 words, then 750 words, then 500 words and finally in 250 words.  The reverse order is much, much harder and ore time consuming to do.

3. Start with a "back-up" school and finish with your dream school.

This makes sense, as your writing will improve, and your stories become more clear and detailed, as you go through the process of writing you essays.

4. Start with a school with the earliest deadline, and move on to schools with later deadlines.

This is FAR from ideal, and is usually only considered by those who are writing their essays TOO CLOSE to the deadline. I don't recommend doing this. However, if this is the situation you have put yourself in then there may be little choice but to follow the deadline schedule.

John Couke