Stop! Essay time.

I’ve not posted in a little while. I’ve attempted to have a break before application season really kicks off, but in reality I’ve been quite occupied with work-things.

I came out of this semi-relaxed phase with a jolt with the news that several schools have essays out – first Columbia, then Stamford and now Harvard.

I’ve tried to motivate myself to write some ‘dummy’ essays but it feels quite a wasted effort when you’re not writing ‘real’ subjects. Thankfully these have provided some real material to get working on.

Columbia’s essays seem quite ‘standard’ application essays based on what I’ve seen from previous years. No real surprises. I don’t really know too much about Columbia at the moment, but they seem more preoccupied from pointing out at every opportunity “HEY LOOK! WE’RE IN NEW YORK! NYC! YEAH?”. Maybe if every school was a person, they’d be from New Jersey?


I can now hit the bin from 10 yards with these, 100%!

Last week I read the essays that had been released from Stanford. There’s no big changes from last year’s questions. The first question “What matters most?” is incredibly open-ended which should give some flexibility to creative souls and I’m sure provide some entertaining answers. I did find these a little intimidating until I saw Harvard had released theirs…

Harvard have shocked me with their one essay, optional, compared to the fairly generic essays they had for last year (“Describe one thing you did well” etc.);

You’re applying to Harvard Business School.  We can see your resume, school transcripts, extra-curricular activities, awards, post-MBA career goals, test scores and what your recommenders have to say about you.   What else would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy?

There is no word limit for this question.  We think you know what guidance we’re going to give here. Don’t overthink, overcraft and overwrite. Just answer the question in clear language that those of us who don’t know your world can understand

Well I like the emphasis on clear speaking, it clearly pushes the writer to focus on something they’re passionate about. But no word limit? No real subject? That will be a challenge to make it interesting to the reader compared to some of the off-the-wall answers they’re sure to get. It sounds a little like they’re trying to out-simplify Stanford – but surely a big risk they won’t get the detail they need to make an informed decision about applicants?

In other news, I’ll be attending talks from MIT, Harvard and LBS in London during next week – so I’ll be posting what I’ve found from that.

One thought on “Stop! Essay time.

  1. Pingback: Bschool Admissions fever catching up.. | bschool admit

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