While there are always exceptions, if you are like most candidates, you currently are or are planning to apply to multiple MBA programs. After all, given the competitive nature of the MBA application process, putting all of your eggs in one basket is a risky move. But applying to multiple programs also comes with additional work – therefore, it is not surprising that candidates try to leverage material that they have already crafted towards their other applications. Your story is your story and your achievements are your achievements, so it makes sense to draw upon that same foundation across all of your applications. However, when leveraging material, it is important to keep the following tips in mind.
Make sure to tailor the material that is being leveraged to the essay question being asked
When utilizing the same material, there is a tendency for applicants to simply just copy and paste the content from one school’s essay to another school’s essay that may be similar. While the content may very well fit, it’s imperative to ensure that it is being tailored to the exact essay prompt that is being asked. There are often nuances in the way essay prompts are phrased which should be taken into account as well as differences in word limits. Make sure you clearly understand the essay question that is being asked – read the question, re-read it again, and then re-read it yet again. Note that Admissions Committees are well aware of the essay questions of other MBA programs, and can often deduce when a response has simply been copied and pasted because the nuances of their essay have not been addressed.
Make sure to conduct school specific research to demonstrate fit in each application
There is also an inclination for candidates to generally state, at a higher-level, why they are interested in pursuing an MBA instead of digging into the specifics of each school when using the same material across different school applications. This is a mistake – make sure to point to specific classes, clubs, and resources for each school that support why you are seeking an MBA from that particular school and why that school is the right fit. Admissions Committees want evidence that you have done your homework and they want to feel your enthusiasm and understand why their program is the best one for you. Therefore, keep the following rule of thumb in mind: if what you state in your application can be applied to any school, it is too generic.
Make sure to proofread your work
One of the most important things you can do after you have used material in one application for another school’s application is to proofread your work. Too many times, candidates fail to double check their materials, and end up not changing the name of the school. Let us repeat that – candidates fail to double check their materials, and end up not changing the name of the school. Ouch. The last thing you need is for the Admissions Committee to read an essay that states the name of another MBA program.
While leveraging application materials is a common practice, it must be done with care and attention to detail. Click here to learn about how we can help you in your MBA application journey!
About Ivy Groupe:
Ivy Groupe is a boutique MBA admissions consulting company founded by Shaifali Aggarwal, who has been recognized as a top MBA admissions consultant by Business Insider and Poets & Quants. She received her MBA from Harvard Business School and undergraduate degree from Princeton University. Shaifali’s philosophy focuses on authenticity and storytelling to help clients craft compelling and differentiated applications that stand out. With this approach, Shaifali’s clients have gained admission to top-tier MBA programs such as Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Kellogg, MIT, Columbia, Booth, Tuck, and Yale, among others.
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