An Application Essay is today one of the most important criteria used by business schools in evaluating candidates seeking admission in MBA programs, not only in India but across USA, Canada, UK, Netherlands, Singapore and Australia/ New Zealand.
Although experts may argue that other factors such as the entrance exam score, undergraduate result, work experience, interview and references are equally important, there is a consensus that an application essay stands above all these factors. It is an ideal tool that conveys the career goals of an individual and what he/ she plans to achieve from the MBA program in context of his/ her strengths, capabilities and past experience.
However, just submitting any Application Essay is not sufficient. In order to make any meaningful impact on the readers, an Application Essay needs to be slick, well written and complete. There ought to be a purpose behind the application essay and it should not be just a play of words using flowery language.
An application essay should address the central theme of the topic and answer the questions asked. Quite often applicants either answer the questions partially, or miss the point altogether. They need to make best use of the available information and build a case that highlights the positive aspects of their academic records, work experience, awards and achievements and present the facts in a way that is convincing and differentiates them from other applicants. At the end of the day, the selection committee should be able to understand who the applicant is and what he/ she will accomplish from the MBA program based on which they can make a determination whether the applicant is the right candidate for their MBA program and can make a positive contribution to the program.
Applicants should take care that the syntax, language and grammar used in the essay is correct and meaningful. Innocuous as it might look, this aspect is mostly ignored by applicants and this result in a large number of applications getting rejected by business schools.
ISB Essays, for example, are one of a kind because essay topics in the PGP Program of Management at ISB are pertinent and determine the suitability and fitment of applicants to the MBA program. Applicants are expected to provide answers that portray not only a positive attitude but a blend of logical thinking and reasoning that is based on researched information and relevant facts. Citing examples from contemporary industry trends and practices and relating that to individual performance or abilities is certainly a plus point that works in favor of applicants as it brings out an ideal combination of theoretical knowledge and practical experience.
ISB Essays are no doubt tough but can be cracked with practice and preparation. One needs to be focused and goal oriented when one is preparing for an MBA program and the challenge really is to word this goal orientation and preparedness appropriately in the application essay so that the candidate can make a good impression on the selection committee.
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