It’s time to write those business school essays! You’ve written a good MBA essay. At least you think so. But you don’t think it’s perfect yet, and you’re looking for constructive feedback to create the most perfectly constructed essay your target school has ever seen. How do you get good MBA essay reviews when your friends and family don’t know anything about business school applications?
Angela Guido’s back with some MBA essay tips to help you receive constructive feedback from anyone, especially your mom. This week, she lays out some rules and guidance to make sure any MBA feedback and MBA essay reviews are actually helpful in getting you into business school.
Make sure you check out this 6-step article for MBA essay tips and more on getting constructive feedback on MBA essays!
Prefer to read? Here’s the transcript:
Hi, mom. Yeah, no good. No, I can't talk right now. It's Monday, so I've got to do this MBA Monday thing, but yeah, thanks for your comments, Mom. OK, appreciate it. OK, bye, mom. Got to go, Mom. Got to go. Bye. Mom. Hello. Hello.
Welcome back to MBA Monday. I'm Angela Guido, the founder of Career Protocol, and today I'm answering a really important question: Should you let your mom read your MBA essay? If your mom is like most moms, hopefully she loves you more than almost anyone else in the world. But the fact of the matter is, your mom doesn't have an unbiased view of who you are. She has her own ideas about what's great about you and what's also not so great about you. She also has her own understanding of English grammar and excellent sentence structure and not to mention probably a lot of preconceived notions about what it takes to get in a business school, even if she doesn't have an MBA herself. So, as you can see, I'm pointing to many of the reasons why you might not want to let your mom read your MBA essay. A bigger question that most people have is “How do I get really useful and constructive feedback on my MBA application essays?”.
Don’t Seek Out MBA Essay Reviews
The absolute worst thing you can do for your MBA essay is show it to someone else. It could be your mom. It could be a friend. It could be an alum of the school. It could even be an admissions consultant who has a very strong and fixed opinion about the correct way to approach an essay, this essay or an application to this MBA program. The bottom line is there is an infinite array of approaches that will work for your school. It doesn't matter what your school is. They all evaluate applications holistically and they're looking to get to know you as a person. They want to hear your natural voice coming across in that essay, and they want you to present yourself the way you want to present yourself, not the way someone else told you is the correct way to do it.
One of the things that happens almost every year with at least a few clients is that they show their essay either accidentally or on purpose to someone else, and it's most frequently a close family member or an alum, who kind of destroys the essay. They might even go so far as to say, ”If you submit this essay, you're not going to get in to this school.”. And I know because I went there. And then they proceed to tell the person everything that's going to make that essay great, offering all kinds MBA essay help. And if you're giving it to your mom, she might even go so far as to line edit it for you. She might change all your grammar and make it perfect. This isn't what the MBA application is about. It's not about having perfect grammar. It's not about having brilliantly written essays, even. It's about communicating who you are. So that has to be done in your own voice and if you make a couple of grammar mistakes or you choose odd turns of phrase, that's part of it, that's part of your voice and it's not a problem. The admissions committee will see past that.
If Someone Does Take a Peek, Remember This….
So, if you want to get really good advice from a friend or family member on your MBA applications, I recommend two things. First of all, send it to them as a PDF so that they cannot edit it, make sure that they resist the temptation to make changes in the document themselves. That will almost always hurt your essay. Then number two, ask them two, and only two, very specific questions about what they observe when they read this essay.
- The first question is, does this really represent who I am and who you know me to be? That's question number one.
- Question number two is, is there any part of this essay that doesn't fully represent me? And if so, how would you suggest I improve it?
That's it. You don't care what they think about your grammar or your word choice or your goals or your reasons why you want to go to this program or even the stories that you've chosen to tell. If you've been following my advice, then you've already put really meaningful examples of your life experience into those essays and your word matters more than anyone else's in this process. To get really good feedback from people, make sure to direct them and ask really specific questions so that if you're not living up to your own potential and your own greatness in the essays, they can help you fix that. But any other opinion they might have, you can listen to it, but it probably isn't going to improve your essays. This is one of the big reasons people choose to work with me and my team because we provide a really objective perspective and we're trying to help you bring out your voice. We're notorious for doing very few line edits because we don't want to shape the essay in any way. That is our way. It needs to be your story. That's the whole point of your MBA essays. That's it for this #MBAMonday. Now go call your mom.