E2. What was your approach to brainstorming, shaping, and fine tuning your essays?
MBA essay-writing processes seem to correlate to personality. People who are highly organized, linear, logical thinkers outlined their entire application, created tables and matrices, and made sure that all boxes were checked. Creative, non-linear writers just sat down and let the pen go free.
Some people spent a lot of time brainstorming and getting feedback from friends. Others just dove into the essay writing and tried not to overthink it.
There is no right answer for this process. All of these processes were successful. Find the process that works well for you. Then listen to people who had a similar process to learn their secrets for doing it well.
This is also the most important and differentiating process in the entire application.
Start with a list of my best stories, characteristics
Get friends, colleagues to edit
I've done MBA admissions consulting; divide and conquer; brainstorm, pitch yourself some topics, pitch to friends and make them impressed
Outline quickly, then start writing; get it out to reviewers very early on while the essay is still plastic
Talk with your friends about consistent, unique themes in your life; that makes you compelling
Iterate many times; Take many months to work on them patiently
The most critical thing was to aside a lot of time to do the essays; time to write, time to rest, time to get feedback
Outline each essay's main points; Outline the whole application (e.g., matrix, themes)
For the natural writers out there
As a natural writer, took a individualistic and creative approach; a process of iteration and failure
Think about what they are really asking
Every application should be speaking about how you're on a path to a goal, and this particular business school is a crucial part of your path, and your path is to change the world
Think hard about what they are really asking with the essay questions; for failure, they really want to hear about how you overcame failure, your character
Look for overlap in essays
Looked at essays for all 7 applications to find overlap; wrote drafts; rested; got outside help
Looked for overlap in essays; then started with the longest application, pruned from there