Berkeley Haas | Mr. All About Impact
GMAT N/A, GPA 63%
Harvard | Mr. Australian Navy
GMAT 770, GPA 3.74
Harvard | Mr. Forbes U30 & Big Pharma
GMAT 640, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Mr. Brightside
GMAT 760, GPA 3.93
Wharton | Mr. Asset Manager – Research Associate
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Ross | Mr. FP&A
GMAT 730, GPA 3.5
Kenan-Flagler | Mr. 10 Years In Finance
GMAT Not Required / Waived, GPA 2.65
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
NYU Stern | Ms. Civil Servant To Fortune 50
GRE Writing May 31st, GPA Undergrad: 3.0, Graduate: 3.59
Harvard | Ms. Social Enterprise/Healthcare
GRE 324, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Ms. FMCG Enthusiast Seeking Second MBA
GMAT 730, GPA 3.1
Stanford GSB | Mr. Former SEC Athlete
GMAT 620, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Supply Chain Photographer
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
McCombs School of Business | Ms. Registered Nurse Entrepreneur
GMAT 630, GPA 3.59
MIT Sloan | Ms. Designer Turned Founder
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
Kellogg | Ms. Not-For-Profit
GMAT TBD, GPA 4.0
INSEAD | Mr. Big Chill 770
GMAT 770, GPA 3-3.2
Harvard | Mr. Captain Mishra
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Ross | Mr. Dragon Age
GRE 327, GPA 2.19/4.0
Wharton | Ms. Type-A CPG PM
GMAT 750, GPA 3.42
Harvard | Ms. 2+2 Trader
GMAT 770, GPA 3.9
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Young Software Engineer
GRE 330, GPA 3.60
NYU Stern | Mr. Indian Analytics Consultant
GMAT 700, GPA 3.0
Chicago Booth | Ms. Start-Up Entrepreneur
GRE 322, GPA 3.4
Columbia | Mr. RAV4 Chemical Engineer
GMAT 750, GPA 3.62
Wharton | Mr. Big 4 M&A
GMAT 760, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Aerospace Project Manager
GMAT 740, GPA 3.58

Smart Note Taking for Smart MBA Essays

You’re staring at a blank screen with a jumble of MBA essay questions dancing wildly in your head. With so many schools and so many essays, where do you start? How do you make sure that each essay works on its own, while simultaneously complementing the other essays in that same application?

Or maybe you are applying round 2. You’re not ready to start writing essays, but you can’t stop thinking about possible topics – leadership, goals, weaknesses – those thoughts need to be recorded and organized, or you can’t sleep!

We have one tip for you that will help you stay organized, ensure well-structured essays, and allow you to sleep: Take notes.

Begin by jotting down experiences that you’ve had – both in and out of the work force. Don’t worry about fully developed paragraphs, and certainly not about grammar or spelling. Simply focus on mining your experiences for nuggets that you’ll later spin into meaty essays.

Your notes should include:

  • The experience or situation.
  • Your actions.
  • The results or impact on others.
  • Lessons learned.
  • Traits revealed.

In fact, we have created a simple, public Google doc that you can use to organize your notes.

And if instead of having too many ideas swirling in your head, you have none, use these questions to start your creative juices flowing. For each answer, think of specific examples, as well as lessons you’ve learned and ways you’ve grown through each experience.

  • When have you made a significant impact?
  • Have any of your jobs or volunteer experiences been particularly influential?
  • In what ways have you demonstrated leadership or strength of character on and off the job?
  • What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?
  • What inspires you?
  • Who are the influential people in your life? What have they done to inspire you?
  • What are your goals, passions, and hobbies?
  • Do you have any unique skills or achievements?

Think, take notes, and then start piecing together your answers to each specific essay question. With so many examples and experiences in front of you, you should have no trouble mixing and matching your material to fit the various essay questions and to presenting yourself as a compelling candidate.

Linda Abraham, founder of Accepted.com

 

By Linda Abraham, CEO and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the soon-to released book, MBA Admissions for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.  Linda has been helping MBA applicants gain acceptance to top MBA programs since 1994.