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Watch this video to adopt an approach that enables you to avoid the common mistakes committed by candidates during the MBA Applications process. The pointers shared in this video will help you deliver your best during the MBA Applications process.


The Top 10 Mistakes in Writing MBA Essays

Your MBA application essay is one of the most fundamental parts of the admissions process. The questions and the expectations of the admissions committee can seem incredibly opaque with countless hidden pitfalls in the way. However, while the judgment may seem arcane, through observation it is possible to identify what exactly separates the wheat from the chafe. You have to know what catches the admissions officers’ eyes…and what will also catch their eyes but not in a good way.

Let us take a look at the ten most common mistakes people make in their MBA application essays.

The first mistake is the disconnected way in which information is presented in the essays. Many applicants merely present a deluge of information without an underlying theme. There must be a narrative that connects the background to the inspiration and desire for an MBA, and, in turn, to future career goals.

The second mistake is forgetting what you are supposed to be telling the reader about. That is to say, you! When you write about your experiences, you are not supposed to be telling them the minute details about your circumstances. The clear takeaway that needs to be present for the reader is your thought process, and your personality. They need to understand what the facts presented say about you.

The third and one of the most critical mistakes is presenting unconvincing career goals. What you hope to use the MBA for tells the reader a lot about you. Schools want students who will put their education to good use. They will not be impressed by generic seeming answers that make it seem like the applicant has put little or no thought into their future. The Admissions Committee will not wish to see impractical goals, which are either overly specific or not in sync with the program’s strengths. You have to present yourself as a future alumnus they will want to have.

The fourth and fifth mistakes are closely related. It is a failure to illustrate why exactly you want an MBA and why from that particular school. A weak reason given here makes the applicant look thoughtless. You have to translate the reasoning behind your desire for your degree in a compelling and thoughtful manner.

We have touched upon the next two mistakes briefly already. Many applicants fail to understand exactly what the question asks, for example focusing too much on the details and not enough on the impact when asked about a formative experience. At the same time, applicants often get overwhelmed by a long essay type and fail to address every part of what was asked. You need to understand exactly what each question is asking and answer it in full.

The next three mistakes are more matters of style rather than substance. While content may be king, the essay is a matter of self-expression. Thus, how you write an essay is as important as what is in it.

The eighth mistake is one that we have already spoken about. An essay must have a good narrative flow and information must be presented in a clear and logical way. A life’s worth of experience can often be hard compile in a single, yet, you will have to put the complex web of influence and ambition you put forward into a simple order – one that will be easy for the reader to understand.

Mistakes nine and ten are again related because they are each other’s opposites. The ninth mistake is a bit more common - writing your essay in a mechanical voice. Remember this essay is about telling them, who you are as a person, it is supposed to be personal, it is supposed to be impactful, and not just an expanded version of your resume. You do not want to sound like a robot (not even if you are an engineer). Your essays are supposed to reflect your unique experiences. On the other hand, some applicants overcorrect on this issue and write in a needlessly complex or flowery manner. Writing in this artificial style is just as bad because the essay will then not be a reflection of an individual’s authentic self, and that is what the reader is looking to see. You may not want to sound like a robot but you should not sound like Wordsworth either.

Now, a bonus mistake, one so severe and so obvious it almost seems pointless to bring it up - compromising on ethics. Plagiarizing on essays, falsifying information, faking certification - all of these are serious offenses that will not only get you immediately disqualified but also have serious disciplinary consequences even if they are discovered years after the fact.