Harvard | Mr. Consulting To Emerging Markets Banking
GRE 130, GPA 3.6 equivalent
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Biz Human Rights
GRE 710, GPA 8/10
Darden | Mr. Program Manager
GRE 324, GPA 3.74
Harvard | Mr. Comeback Kid
GMAT 770, GPA 2.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. Greek Taverna
GMAT 730, GPA 7.03/10
Harvard | Ms. Biotech Ops
GMAT 770, GPA 3.53
NYU Stern | Mr. Development
GMAT 690, GPA 2.5
Chicago Booth | Mr. Energy Operations
GRE 330, GPA 3.85
Harvard | Mr. Big 4 To Healthcare Reformer
GRE 338, GPA 4.0 (1st Class Honours - UK - Deans List)
Wharton | Mr. Steelmaker To Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.04/4.0
Chicago Booth | Mr. Overrepresented Indian Engineer
GMAT 740, GPA 8.78/10
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Indian Quant
GMAT 745, GPA 9.6 out of 10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Food & Education Entrepreneur
GMAT 720, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Standard Military
GMAT 700, GPA 3.74
Harvard | Ms. Gay Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. International Oil
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. Lieutenant To Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
Duke Fuqua | Mr. IB Back Office To Front Office/Consulting
GMAT 640, GPA 2.8
Tuck | Mr. Infantry Officer To MBA
GRE 314, GPA 3.4
Rice Business | Mr. Future Energy Consultant
GRE Received a GRE Waiver, GPA 3.3
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Campaigns To Business
GMAT 750, GPA 3.19
MIT Sloan | Mr. Special Forces
GMAT 720, GPA 3.82
Columbia | Mr. Fingers Crossed
GMAT 730, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Ms. Egyptian Heritage
GRE 320, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. Investor & Operator (2+2)
GMAT 720, GPA 3.85
Harvard | Ms. Harvard Hopeful
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mrs. Nebraska
GMAT 740, GPA 3.77

This Part Of Your MBA Application Makes The Biggest Difference

Successful MBA application essay

This Part of Your MBA Application Makes The Biggest Difference

The MBA application has a variety of components—from GPA and GMAT to essays and recommendation letters. But is there a “most important” aspect of your application?

Stacy Blackman, founder of Stacy Blackman Consulting, says that while there isn’t necessarily one component that is more important than another, aspects of your application that can speak to your story tend to make the biggest difference in admissions chances.

“It’s the essays, interviews, and recommendations that ultimately reveal the person beyond the paper,” Blackman writes. “Compelling essays, recommendations, and interviews can provide context for a low GMAT score or GPA. But the reverse is not true. Strong numbers will never make up for weak essays or a disorganized, negative recommendation.”


MBA essays can make a huge impact in your admissions chances because strong essays provide the admissions committee with an opportunity to see who you really are.

“It’s where you write why an MBA makes sense as the next step of your career path,” Blackman writes. “Also, it’s how you differentiate yourself from everyone else who scored in the 700s on their GMAT. The essays are your opportunity to present your strengths and explain your weaknesses. They also go a long way toward convincing the adcomm that you have a lot to offer the program and that you belong in their class.”


Convincing the admissions committee that you belong takes more than simply reiterating the traits of an “ideal applicant.” Experts say giving an authentic view of yourself is what differentiates a compelling essay from an ordinary one.

“I can’t emphasize this enough: do not write what you think admissions committee members want to read,” Erin Wand, a featured contributor at mba.com and vice president of marketing and operations for Personal MBA Coach, writes. “The qualities and experiences that make you unique are your greatest selling points. Each essay should paint a clear picture of who you are, what motivates you, and what you’re passionate about.”

At the end of the day, the MBA essay carries significant weight in your admissions chances because—in many ways—it’s one component of the application that levels the playing field for applicants.

“All candidates receive the same set of questions,” Blackman writes. “The same group of admissions members reviews those answers. This creates a level playing field that can simplify the review process.”

Sources: Stacy Blackman Consulting, mba.com