Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Night Essay Writing~~~

So it's Friday, and I just finished my Wharton interview two days ago~ I should be going out and doing something fun~ but I am in front of my computer pondering over my Haas essay ideas....didn't I tell you this is a lonnng journey?

Anyway, just want to share a few thoughts on my essay writing process, which, I believe it's a scientific process (that's the scientist in me speaking). Before I start drawing outlines for any essays, I look at the set as a whole and try to jot down hints about what the key qualities the school are looking for in their programs. True, a lot of times these qualities overlap for different schools, but what distinguish different schools are sometimes their emphasis on certain values/believes (Kellogg-teamwork, Haas-innovation, ect). Btw, this should be something you pay particular attention to when researching and selecting schools PRIOR to applying. The next thing I do, is actually going over to all the admission consultants websites and read their essay tips. This is especially useful at the beginning of the application cycle when you don't know where to start. After doing 3 R1 applications, I felt that essays tips became less helpful since sometimes I can predict what consultants tend to say now, but it's still a good exercise to get some different opinions on how to tackle the questions. A couple of sites provide particularly good advice.

Ask Precision Essay
Adam Markus: Graduate Admissions Guru

Then it's the selection of stories. I tend to map out the topics for each essay then start delving into the writing. This helps you put the pieces together and have an overall picture of your candidacy. The actual writing part...well, let's say it ain't easy and requires a lot of time and commitment. But if you got your themes right and overall strategy in-place, good essay is just a matter of time.

hope that helps~

back to topic mapping for Haas!

oh, and here is a fun car analogy of top MBA programs for your amusement.


  1. Hey, I too actually follow the consultant blogs you listed out. IMO, mbaMission and Adam Markus do a better job at essay tips. Adam Markus' blog really helped when I was struggling to figure out the cover letter for MIT Sloan

  2. Good luck with your round 2 applications - it seems you have a good understanding of the process, and given the concept of decreasing marginal cost this round is going to be significantly less painful and time consuming. It is still not easy but once you are past the “soul searching” phase to dig out stories and find your theme you are on the road to success…
    Good luck and keep posting,

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