Obtaining a degree in business offers students the opportunity to find work in just about any industry and is also incredibly valuable for advancing to upper management positions. A business degree also offers a substantial platform for starting one’s own business and becoming an entrepreneur. The application process a student must undergo to get accepted to business school is a complex project, and there is a variety of resources to help guide the process.
Expected Components of Business School Application
Although admission requirements for each school do tend to vary, there are several standard items required during the application process. A prospective applicant should expect to provide and accomplish the following during the application process:
- Standard application
- Letters of recommendation
- Internships and experience
- Personal essay
Additionally, some schools require other elements during the application process while some schools also require fewer application items. One of the universal elements all schools require is the essay, and in many cases a well-written essay will mean the difference between acceptance and denial into an applicant’s chosen school.
An essay must adhere to standard grammar conventions and answer all of the questions asked by the school as well as offer some insight on the applicant and why he or she would be an excellent choice for admission to the school.
Write Multiple Essays
When applying to a few different business schools, the essays submitted to each institution of higher learning should be written and tailored to the requirements of each school. It’s best to think of a business school essay as a resume submitted during a job search. Each time a resume is sent out it must be changed and written to satisfy the requirements of a particular employer. The same can be said of business school essays.
In addition, each business school creates specific questions that must be answered within the essay that are applicable only for a single year of applications. This means it’s all but mandatory that a prospective student crafts a different essay for each school. For example, when visiting the application information page for the Wharton School of Business, applicants will note that there are two questions posed specifically for potential students of the class of 2016.
Look at Past Essays
One of the best options is to look at past essays from other successful applicants. Although each year the essay requirements will differ, the essential components of a successful business school essay will remain the same. Some universities will post examples of past essays online and there are some reputable sites that may also provide examples.
Looking at the successful essays from a school like Harvard, for example, should offer the best and brightest examples of past essay success. Prospective applicants will learn that one of the primary facets of successful essays isn’t the ability of the applicant to follow directions, but is the way in which an applicant shares his or her personal vision for future business success.
Consult with Professionals
The business school essay is so necessary to the application process that there are groups, organizations, and businesses dedicated to helping students construct the best essay possible. Some groups, like the Forte Foundation, focus upon business advancement while also providing specific resources to assist students with applications to business school.
The best resources for professional assistance will be non-profit and government-sponsored entities that are tasked with providing information about business essays. For example, students may want to look into the resources offered by a group like The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The AACSB offers some helpful articles and news regarding the nation’s business schools.
There are also individuals working in the private sector as consultants who can offer advice on the applications process, and some of these professionals specialize in helping students to write an essay. These resources do cost money, however, so a student needs to consider carefully whether investing in paid professional assistance is financially prudent. A student should look for recommendations made by past clients to choose the best essay consultant.
People with Whom to Speak
Students who want to enter business school will want to start contacting prospective business schools very early in the application process to get familiar with the administrators and school personnel who might be responsible for considering business school applications. By speaking with school recruiters and representatives, a student should be able to get tips straight from the source regarding good business school essay techniques.
Consult Publications, Newspapers, and Newspapers
There are many publications that deal with general applications to college and some of these resources will offer information that is specific to business school and essay writing. These publications may also offer information on other business school topics like taking the GMAT and getting great recommendations.
Go Directly to the Source
Many business schools offer extensive information and advice on the application process and it’s always best to read absolutely everything offered on the subject of business school essays that is provided by a student’s school of choice. In addition, reading the advice given by other schools (even if they’re not on the list for potential applications) should offer some valuable essay tips.
For example, Rutgers offers a wealth of information directly on the school’s website that offers details on subjects like essay writing. Schools will often publish opinions and blogs from school officials, like the deans and assistant deans of the business schools, which will offer insider tips on exactly what the school might be looking for in a business school applicant and his or her essay.
Applicants for business school need to consider the essay as the most essential part of the application process. Once a suitable score has been obtained on the GMAT, the general application has been filled out, and the recommendations have been tracked down, getting down to work on the essay will constitute the bulk of time spent applying for business school.