An applicant’s biggest handicap during an MBA application can sometimes be something as simple as misinterpreting something.
Be it the essay questions or the goals story, it is the only way an admissions committee gets to know an applicant before an actual interview. This means it is also the only thing that can convince the admissions committee to give an applicant a chance for an interview.
Kriti was facing the same problem. She had was misinterpreting the questions and thus giving responses that were good but irrelevant.
In her reasons for an MBA, Kriti sounded very unconvincing in the beginning. Her reasons were just ‘filler reasons’ (that had no real relation to the business school or MBA in particular). Her goals made sense though. Kriti wanted to switch to a Management Consulting function post-MBA.
Her AHA moments (incidents from the past year or two that made her realize an MBA was her next career move), were present and only needed some refining.
However, the filler reasons were a major gap that we needed to fill. A business school needs you to tell them exactly why an MBA is necessary for you. What Kriti needed to do was delve into the details of how things like, diversity, international exposure, and an education in marketing, or finance could help her achieve her short-term goals.
She needed to connect her past and future using the equation:
After going through the management encyclopedia on Interviewninjas, and a detailed ‘Consulting as a career’ guide, Kriti had somewhat of a better understanding of how to approach a goals related essay question.
The first issue with the essay was quite interesting. Kriti had slightly misinterpreted the question and had written a good but irrelevant essay. The twist was that the wrong essay she had written gave us a great answer for a different essay question.
So, after guiding her about what kind of stories to pull for each essay question, and giving feedback on how to avoid generalizations, and use whatever she had learned from networking with her contacts from Tuck, we waited for a second draft.
Although the points were more school-related in the second draft, since she started using her networking knowledge, they still lacked the connection to her future. She was now talking about what Tuck could offer her, but not how that was an asset to her future goals.
This was an easier fix and a couple of versions later we were good to go with the rest of the application.
We wish her all the best for her MBA journey.