I didnâ€™t want to be doing essays and GMAT study at the same time, but things donâ€™t always work out as planned.Â This year, Iâ€™m planning to apply to six different schools.Â This is up from five because I got worried about the competition this year and decided to apply to Michigan as well.Â In order of second round due dates, they are:
- Haas – Dec 2nd
- WhartonÂ – Jan 4th
- UCLA – Jan 5th
- Ross – Jan 5th
- Stanford – Jan 6th
- Harvard – Jan 11th
Below is a snapshot of the spreadsheet Iâ€™ll be using to track my essay completion through December.Â You have to click on it to see any detail.Â Every school likes to be a little different.Â One thing that did surprise me was the word limitation, with some as low as 250 words.
There are 29 essays total with a total of 13,400 words.Â However, some of them are 2 out of 4 or 3 out of 4 and not all essays are required.Â Â If I only do the required ones, it would be 20 essays total and 10,400 words.
A lot of the essays overlap in terms of content I can use.Â Iâ€™ll be writing unique essays for every school, but there are a few key themes that will to every essay application:
- Unique Personal Story â€“ This I already have, I just need to articulate it well and get it under the word limit for each school.Â This is probably the one that applies to the most schools.
- School Research â€“ Every school has a â€œwhy do you want to go hereâ€ question and listing â€œitâ€™s a Top 10 school with a big brand nameâ€ simply wonâ€™t be sufficient.Â I probably donâ€™t have to do actual visits to complete this task, but it will definitely require a bit of digging to learn about the various different programs and concentrations.
- Career Direction & Goal â€“ This is probably what I need to work on the most.Â Right now I probably have 2 or 3 possible and desirable career paths for business school.Â I just need to pick one, research it well, and link it to the school.
- Work Experience Examples â€“ I feel like I have a lot of good work experience examples to choose from; I just donâ€™t know which ones put me in the best light.Â Iâ€™ll probably create a summary of my top 5 or 6 work experiences and pick from that list for my essays.Â I also have to consider balance within each school application, so that for one particular school, I can show breadth and diversity of experiences.
- Leadership Examples â€“ This is similar to Work Experience and while not all schools specify this, I think itâ€™s safe to say that all schools want to see examples of your leadership and learn about the outcomes.Â I definitely have good examples around this topic, but again, itâ€™s about picking the right one to use.