When working in admissions departments at top MBA programs, some of the questions that we were asked each year were whether a candidate should write an optional essay, and what kinds of topics should be addressed in the optional essay space.
In the last few years, as many MBA programs have reduced the number of required essays and essay count, the answers to these questions are less clear-cut.
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In this article he discusses common admissions concerns and advice for how to handle them.
In these situations, we take the time to understand the circumstances and help our clients make the best decision.
You can – and should – take time to address the bigger picture. Being a bad test taker may be your reason for low scores, but if you chose to use your optional essay to explain a GMAT or GRE score, I recommend you set some context for your poor test taking skills/ability and provide some hard evidence. If you experienced a crisis, use this essay to explain, in a succinct and sensitive way, what we should know about it and its effects on you. Successes, awards, special recognition Although Babson, like many schools, has a section in the application in which you can enter awards and honors, you may like to describe in detail the honors and accolades you have received or the successes you have achieved.
The Committee would really like to read your answers, because they had these very questions after reviewing your transcript. For TOEFL/IELTS takers, this essay is a great place for giving examples of why your English skills are far better than your scores (case in point—the essay itself is an example of your English skills).
By Barbara Selmo | August 31, 2012 I have been blogging about how to embark on the MBA application process as a research project.
But a recent conversation I had with a colleague (thanks, James) inspired me to jump right to an aspect of the application that many of you may not be ready for: the optional essay.