Most people have the perception that they can’t write. Because of that, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
But we do and can write – all of us. Though we verbally communicate most of the time, a huge portion of that communication will find their way into written form by necessity.
What is true is that, while a few of us become excellent writers, some good, the majority will just get by. Some fearless individuals need to be chained to keep them away from a pen or a keyboard.
Now that I have put you at ease, button down and start laying down your admission essay. This is not to be taken lightly. Among other things, your future depends on a few well-chosen words to portray your sincerity and enthusiasm for an MBA.
To put yourself in sync with the task, never forget the reason for writing it. It gets you focused and fired up to give it your best shot.
Remember that your essay will give the admission committees the necessary information about you that they could not find in any of the items contained in your application package, i.e., grades, academic promise, endorsements from your professors and other recommenders.
So here it goes:
Write down what drives you, your hopes, dreams and aspirations in life; what would you gain from an MBA?
Identify much of your personal history and sort out events and personal items that will add strength to your essay, i.e., hobbies, projects you’ve completed, work experience, if any, personal and scholastic achievements, events that changed your life, people who have influenced or motivated you, etc.
Write down your academic record and personal accomplishments, your attitudes, values and personal qualities.
Be sure of the graduate program you are going into:
“Know your enemy,” is an age-old military dictum. You can use it well in writing your essay.
Writing an effective essay requires knowing who you are writing it for. So get answer to these questions:
- What graduate program am I interested in?
- Is the school I am applying into strong in this field?
- What is its culture and philosophy; their training programs?
- How can my goals and interests match with what they have?
They will also come in handy should you reach the interview stage.
Draw your personal statement:
This is a general statement of your background, preparations, and goals. This is where your personal data will find a rightful place.
You may not use everything but use as much to give the admission committee a more complete picture of who and what you are as a person and an MBA candidate.
Start writing your essay:
This is the difficult part. You have all the data on your scratch pad and in your head. But your mind is frozen with fear or uncertainty, not knowing how to weave them together to form a story.
If you fall into this rut, don’t’ be hard on yourself. All writers get into it every now and then. Take a walk and toy around with ideas on how to start it. Sometimes the brain is more creative when free and loose to explore unbridled.
When things have cleared a little bit, start writing blocks of ideas containing the information about yourself. Start with the most important parts of your self-assessment.
Just keep on writing as ideas come flowing into your head. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, sentence construction, etc. At this point you are building the framework of a house. The finishing touches will come later.
Edit like crazy:
The least you want to happen is for the admission committees to think that you are slipshod.
Edit your essay like crazy.
If you are not that good in the basics of good writing, have somebody do it for you. You just cannot afford to have it full of awkward sentence constructions, misspellings, and bad grammar.
Don’t rely too much in Word’s Spell Check. It is dumb. You need a thinking and knowing person to polish your essay faultless.
Get a second or third opinion:
Nothing beats a good critiquing from people you know, or don’t even know. It is best that your mistakes are uncovered while your essay is in your hands than in the admission committee’s.
Good speakers do it, so do good writers. There is nothing embarrassing or shameful about it. Consider it a part of your learning.