Indian MBA applicants competing in the toughest applicant pool need to take extra effort to ensure that they stand out among the crowd. Jon Frank, founder of Precision Essay, has been sharing MBA essay tips for Indian applicants. Here’s the fourth helping in a 5-part series.
Here’s the full series:
MBA Essay Tip #1: Undo the adcom’s preconceptions about India
MBA Essay Tip #2: Don’t be so quick to throw away the tech background.
MBA Essay Tip #3: Focus on SOFT skills. Leadership, not tech.
MBA Essay Tip #4: Be creative. Take Risks.
MBA Essay Tip #5: Don’t kid yourself.
Hello again, friends. It’s me, Jon Frank, bringing you the fourth thing every Indian applicant must do in order to successfully navigate the MBA admissions process. For those of you that have been following this series, you already know about changing the adcom’s misconceptions, standing out from the abundance of applicants with a tech background, and framing that tech background in a different way.
And if you haven’t been following, well, you can read all about those here, here and here.
So now, let’s get to Essay tip number 4: Be creative. Take Risks.
What does that mean?
Well, there are simply too many people who are applying to schools in the US from India. How do you set yourself apart and stand out from the crowd? Don’t make up strange career goals, as we have already explained. Instead, stick with your strengths.
But…that still may not be enough. So, what’s next?
Get creative and take some risks! I know it seems scary to take a risk when there’s something SO important on the line, but it’s the only way.
Your first sentences need to sing. Your conclusions need to SHINE. And everything in the middle needs to crackle. Let me give you an example. Last year, we worked with a woman from China. She started her Booth PPT with, “I am from Sichuan, therefore, I am unusual and spicy.” Ha! Now THAT girl will stick out.
Needless to say, she got in. Why? She took a RISK. She didn’t start her essay off with a quote (boring), or by introducing herself (a major no-no). She stepped out of the box and said something… different. And intriguing. And you have to also. Pick unusual topics, unusual formats, even unusual intros and conclusions. GRAB the reader’s attention and don’t let go.
This is something that is important for all applicants, but even more so for your over-represented and oftentimes homogenous demographic. I mean, think about it – how many applications does the adcom read? Answer: lots. And how many applications from India does the adcome read? Answer: LOTS. After awhile, everything starts to blend together into one blurry mess, and it’s hard for the adcom to differentiate one application from the next. Your essays need to wake them from their slumber with a BANG. You need to grip them from the start and hold them until the end so they keep thinking about you looong after they’ve moved on to other applications.
And to do that, you’ve gotta get creative… and take some risks.
* Only one more tip to go, friends. We’ll see ya back here next week to talk about getting (and keeping it) real.
Next post: MBA Essay Tip #5: Don’t kid yourself.