Business School Admission Tips:
The Essays

By: Rebekah

Hi again! Essays are one of the most obvious ways to distinguish yourself in the admissions process. Whereas a GPA or GMAT might be very similar to another candidate, your essays allow you to be yourself, give the committee a chance to really get to know you, and to more fully express your interest in a program.

A few “do’s and don’ts”:

  • Do be yourself – be honest about your background, strengths and weaknesses, interest in our program, and your future career aspirations (even if that means you are indicating more than one interest or some indecision about your future plans).
    Do stay within the recommended word limits – the committee expects you to be concise and get to the point. If we have additional questions on your essay answers, we will ask follow up questions by email or initiate an interview to get to know you better.
  • Do use the optional essay if you have concerns about your application that should be identified (Low GMAT score or significant gap in your work history). It’s better to acknowledge a concern than to try and ignore it. But I don’t recommend including information unless it is meaningful to our assessment of your application for graduate business study. For example, learning about your family history is interesting, but doesn’t provide us with meaningful information to assess you. Be sure to keep the focus of your essays on your personal, professional, and academic credentials.
  • Do answer the question(s) asked – make sure you are answering all parts of each essay question with specific detail. While it may be tempting to cut and paste parts of an essay from another school’s application, often the questions asked are different enough that you are not fully addressing what we ask.
  • Do personalize the essays for Simon. If you could substitute the word “Simon” with any other business school when you are describing why you want to attend, then your essays are not specific enough. Show us that you have done your homework on what aspects of our program make it a good fit for your graduate study.
  • Do complete a spell and grammar check on your essays.
  • Don’t include a personal statement or any other materials (such as undergraduate or graduate thesis or project work) beyond what the application requires. Unfortunately, the Admissions committee only will review the required materials, in an effort to maintain fairness across each applicant to our programs.

Up next: tips on selecting references and submitting recommendation letters.

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