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Honest MBA Essays: Samples & examples that won’t work – Achamba

Achamba - Super MBAThere’s a reason (five, actually) why you won’t find MBA essay examples on our site. Read it here – MBA Essay samples just don’t work. If you are intending to refer to MBA essays as examples, that’s one thing. Re-using them as templates is going too far. MBA Admission Officers reading your MBA applications have been in the business for far longer than you have.

Achamba, the super MBA, had the same issue when he was planning to apply. He had set his eyes on the best business schools in the world and he knew he should do something that his competitors won’t.

He thought why not take the Eklavya route and treat the Admission Officers as his mentor. So he devoured the Adcom blogs of all the top schools to see whether he can collate the advice into a super powerful set of MBA essay writing tips.

At the end of a 3-month research exercise, he could squeeze out only 2 tips.
1. Be honest
2. Be yourself

Dammit!’ thought Achamba. As all supremely enlightening revelations that have been shared with the world (via celeb gurus ranging from Oprah to Deepak Chopra), the answer he was looking for was within him. So he got down to work and completed writing his business school essays. In the hope that other desi Eklavyas will look up to him as their guru, he’s sharing the MBA essays as samples.

Honest MBA Essays: Samples and Examples by Achamba


MBA Essay Topic 1: Why do you want an MBA? What are your career goals after MBA?

Now you are getting a little too personal. Did I ever ask you what you are going to do with my entire life savings that I’ll pay you as tuition fee?

Sorry, that didn’t come across too well.

I don’t really mind the intrusive questions, but here’s the bigger issue. I have no clue what I want to do. I thought that’s where you guys come into the picture.

All I really want right now is to get away from my current job. I’m desperate enough to pump in 10 years of my future earnings for the escape route.

Yup, there you go, I admitted it. An international MBA is a $100,000 escape route for me.

MBA Essay Topic 2: What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I could say that my strength is X-Ray vision and my weakness is Kryptonite. But I’d be lying.

Or just like all my friends who are applying, I could say my strength is that I’m an charismatic, people-oriented leader and my weakness is that I’m a perfectionist. And I’d still be lying.

Unless you strap me to a lie-detector, I could say tons of things I know you want to hear. So what’s the point?

They never asked me such vague questions during school, junior college or university admissions. I turned out pretty ok by the time they were done with me.

Here I am getting ready to pay through my nose to cover up my weaknesses and make myself more attractive to employers. Please do not destroy my self-esteem with these random questions.

In the spirit of constructive feedback, it might be better for you to look at my resume & GMAT score and take a call. Those are real, tangible things I’ve already done. The rest is just a figment of my (MBA consultant’s) imagination.

MBA Essay Topic 3: What has been your biggest accomplishment in your life? How has that shaped your beliefs and skills in becoming a better manager?

Nothing worth talking, really. Which is why I want an MBA, so I can do something after that. But I understand that won’t impress you. So let me think a little more.

Hmm, yeah ok, I have an answer. My biggest accomplishment so far has been – bladder control. My mother has been the single most important source of inspiration in meeting this milestone.

She’d say, ‘Son, I don’t want to put any undue pressure on you. But this bed-wetting needs to stop. You need to understand that our supply of bedsheets, water and sunshine is limited. And let’s not forget that you are 18 now you dumbass!

Her advice rings in my ears to this day. Or maybe it was the slap I got from my dad that started the ringing. I’m not entirely sure.

Coming to what I’ve learnt from this, hmm, let’s see. I learnt many things, like tapping into long-forgotten memories and using obscure analogies to connect it all to this application.

For instance, without batting an eyelid, I can say this – Just like business, the human body is complex. Mastering various functions takes time and you can’t always outsource stuff. I’ve been a slow bloomer, but eventually I got there. And that’s where your MBA degree will help.

With these honest answers, Achamba gave the Adcoms a peek into his true (and obnoxious) personality. It’s a different fact that the schools where he sent these MBA essays not only rejected him, but they banned him for life from applying to any other program in their university.

On a serious note, plagiarism is a big issue for Admission Committees. And even if your MBA essays aren’t as bad as Achamba’s, if you blindly follow general advice, they may still stand out…for the wrong reasons.

So, by all means, be honest and be yourself. But also be aware of the fact that this is not a friendly chat you are having on Facebook with your chaddi-buddies. It’s a business negotiation between you and the top schools. So present yourself professionally.

You might be planning to work with professional MBA admission consultants in India (expensive!) or abroad (damn expensive!). Or you may be reaching out to colleagues, friends, family members who have gone through the process for help.

Having mentors who can give you objective advice is great. But, don’t let others sway your judgement. The MBA admissions process isn’t perfect. You may question many of the things Admission Committees ask you to do to prove your mettle.

Always keep in mind what’s important for you. Whether you get into the best schools in India or internationally, the admissions process can be the introspective exercise that you never did earlier. Look at it as an opportunity to understand your own motivations and aspirations.

Once you are back in the rat race, you may never have a chance to pause and introspect.

While we are on the topic of honest MBA essays, given the anonymity that blog commenting offers, how would you respond to some of the MBA essay topics? We’d love to get a peek into your mind.

If you found this interesting, read more about the Adventures of Achamba – The Super MBA.

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Sameer Kamat
About Sameer Kamat
Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here's more about me. Follow me on: Instagram | Linkedin | Youtube

8 thoughts on “Honest MBA Essays: Samples & examples that won’t work – Achamba”

  1. Achamba is refreshing, as always!
    The art of writing essays require us to arrive at the right mix of candidness, professionalism and subtlety along with a solid dose of introspection and honesty. Most of the times, it proves to be a tough nut to crack.

  2. Catching up on all the backlog so firstly apologies for the tube-light comment. 🙂

    Really enjoyed reading through the post. Witty and honest as always! Its like the B-schools know that much of the stuff written in essays is pretty much a well crafted white lie but they still prefer it to the crude honesty. Presentation matters so much that it can be quite unfair to a lot of guys new to the game. Loved the points though, they can serve as a good reference to polish the ideas and present the essays.

  3. True, Anujan. I guess for a degree that costs so much money, a simple application evaluation process (even if it is intuitive and logical) might not convince the world about the rigour.

    That pushes bschools go to extreme lengths to prove that their selection process is superior to their competitors’ in the race for good, talented applicants.

  4. Question 1: Why MBA?-
    Achamba’s answer is perfect! I’ll just change some of the words and sentence constructions enough to escape detection by plagiarism software.

    Question 2:
    My strength is loyalty – If you let me in, I’ll get the University logo tattooed on my cheek. Also, my ability to give an impression of being awake when I am asleep during meetings is stellar.
    My weakness: Answering questions related to my weakness, as I am weak at identifying weaknesses.

    Question 3: Biggest achievements-
    I have been able to work with utter morons for last several years without harming myself & others.

  5. Why MBA?
    My current life sucks. So I want to pay you guys a shitload of money to make it suck a little less.

    My Strengths?
    I can binge-watch Netflix for 36 hours straight and then turn into a zombie.

    My Weaknesses?
    I am a master procrastinator but prefer to blame my boring job for not working. I see myself as passion-driven but in reality I am plain lazy. And also my attension span is even less than what I take to ****

    My Biggest Accomplishment?
    Going to ABC college of engineering for a degree in chemical engineering, then landing up the prestigous Infosys anal-yst job, and now if I manage to fool you guys with my hyper-inflated messianic story, then, my dear Lords, that would my biggest accomplishment.


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