Our good friends at mbaMission have released their 2012 Essay Analyses for Columbia Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Wharton, Stern School of Business, Yale School of Management, and the Ross School of Business. We’ve compiled these six analyses into one handy 2012 Essay Analysis Resource for you. Enjoy!
Applicants to Columbia Business School (CBS) this year must complete one short-answer question and two essays. Perhaps CBS is returning to the mind-set that less is more by getting rid of the third full essay from last year and adding a 200-character, career goal mini essay instead.
The Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) has tweaked its essay questions and word limits this year, moving from an 1,800 word count across four essays to a 1,600 word count across three. Some quick math will reveal that you have more words per essay now”maybe the admissions committee felt it was not getting the true depth of candidate experiences previously? The most important broad advice we can give you is to be sure that you keep the reader learning. Keep your audience in mind”your admissions reader will be going through hundreds of essays this application season. If he/she gets to your essay three and has to read about the same theme yet again, he/she will be bored or frustrated or both. So as you write, be sure that you are introducing new experiences and dimensions of your profile. This will greatly improve the likelihood that you will be able to hold your reader’s attention throughout.
Harvard Business School (HBS) made a splash this application season by introducing a reduced essay count, and then Wharton keeps its essay count exactly the same but reduces the total word count across all of its essays by 100 words (even though they add 100 words for essay 1). Is that some kind of reaction to HBS’s adjustment? We doubt it, given that this is really just a minor change in the grand scheme of things. This year, applicants to Wharton must write a standard career essay and then choose two other essay topics from among three options thereafter. Our analysis follows
This year, New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business (NYU Stern) has maintained its same total word count from last season and continues to challenge applicants with its notorious Essay 3, but its first two essay questions have changed somewhat in content and wording. Although the first essay prompt again focuses on the candidate’s professional aspirations, more of an emphasis is placed on the applicant’s decision to pursue an MBA at Stern specifically. And this season’s Essay 2 prompt focuses on the candidate’s long-term career view, whereas last season’s prompt focused on the applicant’s anticipated ties to and role in the Stern community. Our analysis of the school’s essay topics for this application season follows
The Yale School of Management (SOM) joins the brigade of MBA programs that are reducing the word count for their application essays this year” likely making things more difficult for candidates who strive to differentiate themselves. Last year, Yale gave candidates 1,600 words with which to impart qualitative information”that number is now just 1,350. This is not a huge difference, but every word counts. To ensure that you make the most of the school’s essay prompts, our analysis follows
The Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan has now released its essay questions for 2012“2013. Although most of the other schools that have published their questions for this application season have changed their essay prompts in some way from last year, Ross apparently has not. In fact, Ross’s essay questions are unchanged in both phrasing and length (i.e., required word count). Our analysis of the school’s essay topics for this application season follows