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Your Application Essays Writing

Business schools ask you to write several essays, which is a pain. But the questions the schools ask provide a lot of guidance, which is a help.

As you assemble your list of schools, take careful note of this year’s application questions. (They don’t change much from year to year, but changes do occur; be sure to apply with the correct year’s application.) Examine each question in detail.

Compare the different schools’ essay questions, so that you minimize redundancy.

When three business schools all ask for your "three significant accomplishments and why you view them as such," the same essay will surely work for all three. If another school asks for your "most significant accomplishment," you’ll have to cut that essay by two-thirds. But know, going in, what the different schools are asking, so that you do as little unnecessary writing as possible.

Plan and outline all of a school’s essays before you write a single one.

Doing so ensures that you don’t harp on the same job or the same theme in every essay. Your goal is a multifaceted yet unified portrait, in which the various elements of your life and career are given appropriate space. Take advantage of the opportunity that multiple essays give you to explore multiple aspects of yourself. For example, that question about "three significant accomplishments" could involve one professional, one community, and one personal achievement. A nice balance.

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