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How to write MBA Application Essays using ChatGPT?

How to use ChatGPT for MBA essays

What is ChatGPT?

It is like asking, “what is YouTube?” back in 2005. Let’s just say it is the next big thing that is already here and causing waves. Artificial Intelligence with a mastery in language and access to vast database of information, albeit until the year 2021.

You can save yourself the trouble of Googling and simply ask ChatGPT to explain itself.

Here’s what ChatGPT had to say when asked what ChatGPT is.

“I am ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence language model developed by OpenAI. I have been designed to understand and process natural language input from users and provide relevant responses to their queries.
I can answer a wide range of questions on various topics, from general knowledge to specific areas of expertise. My aim is to assist users in finding the information they need quickly and accurately.”

In the human world, this is now a simple tool for carrying out conversations with the computer. The responses are researched from reliable sources and each time you ask the question, the responses come in regenerated and unique forms.

Tests have proved that ChatGPT is intelligent enough, perhaps more, to clear SAT and even the medical MCAT test quite beautifully. So, ChatGPT is able to create intelligent, well-researched, grammatically sound, and comprehensive content, at the click of a button.

This has a tremendous impact in education. School and college assignments are now being handled by AI with complex time-consuming jobs, like essays, being outsourced to a bot that has the capacity to assimilate information in a New York minute.

In just about five days, after its launch in November 2022, Chat GPT has managed to cross every other online mammoth (Netflix, DropBox, Spotify) in acquiring over a million subscribers. The others took between months to years to reach such following. It has now more than 100 million subscribers and receives over 10 million queries each day.

So, how does it possibly affect MBA applications? The answer is MBA application essays.

We bet you would want to know if ChatGPT can make your application crisis smoother. After all, something that can complete assignments, with unique content, could also technically write your MBA essay for you. So, let’s explore the following.

  • Can ChatGPT generate MBA application essays?
  • How does that affect the quality of the MBA essay?
  • Would it be plagiarism to borrow the bot’s output?

Implications of using CHATGPT to write your MBA Essay

Before you use any automated AI tool to do the work assigned to you, make sure you completely understand the grey zone you’re getting into.

How to NOT use ChatGPT to write your essay

If you simply let it write your essay for you, it could fall squarely in the lap of plagiarism. Currently, many b-schools use plagiarism detection software on application essays.

In our article ‘Plagiarism in MBA applications‘, we have previously detailed how UCLA Anderson rejected 52 applicants for plagiarism in 2011, Penn State’s Smeal rejected 48 applicants in 2012, and let’s say b-schools have been growing its efforts in sieving out the cheaters right at the essay.

But what’s different about ChatGPT generated MBA essay?

Each time you hit enter, ChatGPT will respond with a different content. No two essays will look similar and these old plagiarism checkers will probably mark them as 100% original and never take a second look.

So, although you may get away by passing all plagiarism tests, you will still be in an ethically dark area.

Moreover, in all likelihood, adcoms will be able to detect original vs ChatGPT generated MBA essays using the flavor of writing. There are already online tools that help universities detect content that was generated by ChatGPT and other automated writing software tools.

MBA essays are unique, where applicants can tell their story, highlight their motivations, and share their unique experiences with the admission committee.

MBA essays are a window to each applicant, if you will. That very fact, in itself precludes the use of a third party being able to compose it for you.

The same reason why we, as MBA admission consultants, NEVER write our client’s essays for them. We guide applicants to write their own stories, in their own words, giving our input in the framework and presentation.

Think of an MBA essay as an assignment where the grading is not only based on the impressions of the grader but also the personal content of the writer, making both the writer and grader’s perspectives subjective.

A third party may be able to produce some content which checks out as original under the plagiarism algorithms available, but the words will never ring authentic and true. Hence, it will not be effective to make an impression.

To elaborate, here’s what ChatGPT doled out when presented with a typical MBA essay prompt.

MBA Essay Prompt:
“Why do you want to pursue an MBA at this particular stage in your career?”

ChatGPT’s response:
“I'm sorry, but as an AI language model, I don't have a personal career or desires to pursue an MBA. However, I can provide you with some general reasons why someone may choose to pursue an MBA at a particular stage in their career.”

It goes on to share a laundry list of why anyone would pursue an MBA – including career advancement, entrepreneurial aspirations, career change, increased earning potential, personal and professional development.

Everything the clever robot spoke is correct, including its rather honest declaration of having no desire to pursue an MBA, for being you know, a robot! It seems to be just happy working for no pay and no break, like any intern.

You’ll learn quickly that the answer depends on the prompt.

So you can try altering the MBA essay prompt to ask what an MBA applicant could write in such an essay, and ChatGPT comes up with an essay sample that seems more believable. An excerpt here.

ChatGPT query:
“Write a sample essay that an MBA applicant can use to answer this - "Why do you want to pursue an MBA at this particular stage in your career?"

“An MBA program is a significant investment in one's career and personal development. Pursuing an MBA at this particular stage in my career is a deliberate decision that I have made after careful consideration of my professional goals, personal aspirations, and the current job market dynamics.
Firstly, I have several years of experience in my current industry, and I believe that an MBA program will help me acquire new skills and knowledge that are critical for career growth.
As a professional, I am committed to continuous learning and development, and an MBA program will provide me with the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of business management, strategy, finance, marketing, and leadership. These skills are necessary to excel in senior management positions and to lead high-performing teams.”

If you provide more details about yourself, the response will seem more indepth.

At first glance it may all seem fine. But the rather prominent distinction is in the generic and impersonal nature of the essay. Scratch the surface, and it’ll all fall apart.

Your story can never be told by anyone else.

Let us clarify with the next section.

How to use ChatGPT to write your MBA essay

How can you make use of this tool if not just copying and regurgitating its gathered information?

The most significant advantage, ethically clear of course, is ChatGPT’s ability to convey ideas in well-structured, comprehensive, and effective sentences.

For those MBA applicants who struggle with such skills, this tool can help generate ways to express their ideas. The concept has to belong to the applicants themselves.

ChatGPT, in such cases, can help give clues of effective words and structures to voice those concepts. This is especially useful for applicants whose first language is not English.

While ChatGPT can give you structure, remember, a lot of time the winning essays we’ve seen defy the ‘conventional’ structure.

If it was as easy as filling out a structure, it would turn into an objective type question decades ago.

The ethical dilemma of whether to use or not use ChatGPT to write your MBA essay can be sorted only if you understand that your essay be your story, with your experiences, in your own words. Your use of this tool should be limited to search modes to express those words and nothing more.

In our article ‘How to write powerful MBA essays‘, we have laid out the step by step process to start thinking and constructing your very own, personally drafted MBA essay.

We have a whole bunch of articles nestling under our MBA essay archive, ready for you to look over as well.

We also offer comprehensive MBA application review services.

If the idea of using automated software along with a DIY approach doesn’t sound too exciting, working with a human mentor might be an option to consider. Drop us a line: info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com.

Meanwhile, a few useful links to help you get a perfect MBA essay.

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