Readers are the Best Writers!

November 30, 2010

If you're thinking about graduate school...

Now is the time to get a jump on the competition. When you think about your graduate school "Statement of Purpose" (Why, oh why, does this silly statement require passive voice?), think about what you have to offer that other students don't.

I always love to read and edit the latest finance, marketing or economics study the most, but as an accomplished editor, I am often chosen by business school and other graduate school candidates to help edit entrance essays. To be sure, in today's fast-paced, competitive world, your entrance essays must be polished, concise, and demonstrative of your higher-level thinking capabilities, but that's not enough to get you a letter of admittance.

If you want to get in to your chosen business school, you must also show why (notice I didn't say "tell" here, but that's the subject of another blog post...) you are uniquely qualified to attend your chosen school. And the answer isn't, "...because it's where I want to go." If that's the only reason you should get in to your chosen graduate program, then get in line and apply to night school at a local community college.

If you want to get in to a top-tier graduate program, take some time to think about why you're a unique candidate. Is it your personal qualities? Your professional experiences? If this were a job interview, what elements of your background or personality would you want to highlight for the interviewer? And why? To get in to graduate school, you'll need to stand out in a way that is beneficial to the admissions committee in the same way that you'd hope to stand out to a prospective employer. Think about how you might do that...

And then, think about how others have already done that. Google search "best business school essays" and read some of them. Notice any patterns? Great. Now try to make sure your essay doesn't fit into any of those predictable patterns and you're at least one step closer to a unique essay that will set you apart from other candidates.