Thursday, March 17, 2011

MBA Essays & Recommendations

Without going into too much detail, here is what I did to come up with the Essays & the Recommendations.

A) Essays -

In my opinion any essay has two pieces to it. Story & Articulation

Story - 
I had several stories to tell for each of the essays. This is good and bad. Good because you can pick the best story and bad because you may not know which one will have the maximum impact. As I had decided not to take any paid help, I used the Beat The Gmat forums extensively. Whenever I got confused between two stories, I posted a question and got some great inputs from some experts. I really thank Tani Wolf @ Kaplan & Anurag @ Gurome for their fantastic advice.

These forums are a great way to get second opinion on your stories. And of course its free..!!

Articulation -
This is self explanatory. One has to get the reader hooked almost instantly. And the essays have to be written in such a way that a 14 year old is able to understand your story.  No jargons or complex terminology.
Most of the schools hire current students to read the applicant essays and often it goes through multiple reviews.
Imagine an admissions person reading boring essays where you are blowing your own trumpet. The message is simple - You need to excite the reader..

B) Recommendations - 

Most of the times, your recommenders will agree to write a recommendation for you, but they will either not have the time or the content. Not that they dont know about your work, but people at senior positions will hardly remember all the details.

Quick advice -

  • Chose your recommenders carefully. Someone who knows you well professionally. Getting a reco from an immediate manager or peer may make more sense than getting one from a CEO. 
  • Inform them well in advance. I informed my recommenders 2 months prior but still had to follow up several times
  • Give them an overview of what you would like them to include in the recommendation. For eg - specific bullet points on how you overachieved revenues, met targets ahead of time etc. This list will give them enough ammunition to write your reco. 
  • Do not write your recommendations yourself. It will look so similar to your essays and you may get caught.


  1. I love your blog soooooooo much! I will apply this program and am searching info anywhere. You are amazing!!!!!!!!! Hope to read more

  2. Unlike your work experience, reference letters or test score, the statement of purpose is the only part of the applied documentation over which you have full control. It provides you with an opportunity to speak to the admission council directly. You should try to prove them that you stand out from thousands of other applicants. statement of purpose mba

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. From the articulations prospective it really seemed to be very good thing that would of course be initiated by many of the other students, also they are almost approaching to the very good ideas with their experience. mba essay services