Is Chat GPT better than an MBA admission consultant? AI is surprisingly good at writing MBA admission essays, but they’re also very generic. We used AI to write MBA essays for most of the top business schools, and while the results were surprisingly competent (and better than quite a lot of the essays real people submit!), they’re also far from perfect.
You shouldn’t use AI to write your MBA applications. It’s unethical, you run the risk of being caught for AI-giarism, you’ll miss out on a TON of personal exploration and growth, but above all, you can write a MUCH better essay yourself. Angela Guido is here to tell you exactly how to go about that.
Check out our post on AI MBA Essays to see the results in depth here.
Prefer to read? Here’s the transcript:
Hello, and welcome back to MBA Monday. I’m Angela Guido, your MBA guardian angel, helping you submit your very best application so that you can get into the school of your choice. Today, I'm talking about robots. Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you've probably learned that robots can write MBA essays now. How to make sure that your essays are better than the ones those talented bots can create. So, when OpenAI came out with GPT-3, the entire Career Protocol team and I spent days creating fake MBA essays and laughing our heads off at how amazing the robot essays were. Now, obviously, I don't mean they were truly awesome by our standards, but what's really impressive, if you get in there yourself, is that the robot can construct very compellingly written, grammatically correct, and well-argued cases to respond to just about any MBA essay prompt that's out there. We tried the Columbia essay. We tried the Yale “biggest commitment you've ever made” essay. We even tried Stanford “what matters most”. We fed just a little bit of information to the robot and it created what some admissions consultants might say is a very well-written essay. But when you look closer at what the robot has written, even though they've managed to invent and fabricate details that are potentially even true to the life of a theoretical client or person that had such experiences, they failed to create a really compelling picture of a human being behind the essay for the simple fact that, well, no human being was involved! The essay was written by an AI robot. Now, I know you're not thinking to yourself, maybe I should just lob in an application to Kellogg and let the robot do the writing for me. I know you're not one of those people who's looking for a shortcut of that variety. If you are, stop right now. Because just two weeks after the OpenAI robot came out, a college student invented a piece of software that can bust the robot. It's a tool that rates text based on text perplexity and burstiness, which are two qualities coined by the inventor of GPTZero, the Princeton student who created this bot-busting bot. And what his tool does is it scores text that you load into it based on how likely it is that a robot created it or a human created it.
How Avoid Sounding Like A Robot In MBA Essays
Now, if they don't already have the GPTZero technology at the admissions committee, you can bet that they will by next year. But like I said, I know you're not trying to shortcut the process of writing awesome essays and hopefully it's clear that the robot isn't going to help you do that. But what is sort of terrifying about the quality of essays that the MBA robot can write is the fact that it is so easy for you as an applicant to blend into the crowd and seem like just any other applicant, or in this case, robot, who's applying for a position in your MBA program of choice. By the way, if you want to read some of the essays that this robot created, please check out this link, careerprotocol.com/robot, and you can read the article written by my amazing colleague Brian Birdwell who spent days playing with this robot and creating fake MBA essays so that we could really test out what the robot is capable of. That article also contains some specific ways that you can beat the robot, and a ton of resources on our website that will help you bring out your very best story so that there's no risk that your essay is worse than the robots. But the key things that you need to do as you're constructing your essays are the same as they always been. They're the same as I've been talking about on this channel for years, but let me recapitulate the most important things you need to do to make sure that your essays don't sound like a robot wrote them.
- Number one, you need to discover your experiences deeply. You're not looking to showcase generalities in your MBA essays. You want to dig into the vivid specifics of your experiences so that when you talk about something you've been through, you can show vivid details that only a human being can reveal. Again, there are some examples of how to do this well in the article I referenced in the description below.
- The second thing you need to do is look to find your own unique voice. Don't write a proof demonstrating why you're great enough for this MBA program. Instead, tell your story in your own words. You're striving for language that feels much more like the way you speak than maybe the way you've been taught to write. One of the things that the robot does is it constructs pretty predictable, pretty equal, pretty balanced sentences. This is how Edward Tian was able to bust the GPT robot, by recognizing that the robot's writing is pretty much consistent throughout the whole of a piece, as well as within each sentence. The sentences are all of similar lengths. They are of similar complexity. There's not a lot of variation of word choice or unusual expressions within a sentence, which he calls perplexity, as well as burstiness, which is what he calls variability in sentence structure, order, size, length, scale, etc. The way you talk is not neat and clean. Now, you don't want to have spelling or grammar errors in your essays, but for example, you might use contractions. You might use some really short, pithy sentences. You might even have some sentences that aren't actually sentences at all. You're just trying to paint a picture of your experiences as you go through the exercise of answering the question in the most authentic way possible. Your unique voice is unique to you, and you need to make sure that your essays are written in your voice so that you don't sound like a robot. This, by the way, is a big risk that you take when you work with admissions consultants, because a lot of consultants out there will do a ton of line editing on your essays. They'll red ink the things that you've written, which effectively has the impact of making your essays sound less like you and more like them, whoever they are. Which means that all of their clients, throughout all the years have submitted essays that kind of sounded pretty similar, or in other words, a little bit robotic. So be careful, even if you're getting input from friends, family, or professionals to preserve your authentic voice in the way that you write the essay so that it won't come off as standard and generic likes essays the robots write.
- And finally, don't be afraid to make some bold, unconventional choices in how you approach your answer to the question. A lot of our clients discover that when they really dig deep into their past experiences, values, and the times that they've failed and grown and learned in life. Some of the smallest and most unusual aspects of their experience in life become the most worthy of expansion in the essays. Things like talking about a significant relationship with a spouse as the foundation for an essay or describing one purchasing decision that you made three years ago that you still regret, but the regret of which reveals what's really important to you or that one time that you made a teeny tiny choice that didn't perfectly align with your values and that you spent weeks thinking about and apologizing for and trying to correct because it didn't measure up to your standards of the way you want to behave. Sometimes it's the smallest moments in life that really reveal to us the most of who we are.
So as you're building your answers to these questions, including the big ones, like “What matters most and why?” or “What's the biggest commitment you've ever made?” or “What else do you want us to know?”, even the big, sweeping questions can sometimes be comprised of small moments. So be very insightful and thoughtful about the aspects of your life experience you choose to highlight in your essays, making sure to bring yourself forward in your own unique way. This is, of course, all that we do at Career Protocol. We love to do it. We love to help our clients tell their stories in their specific, unique voices. So if you have any interest in working with the Career Protocol team, please don't forget to sign up for a free MBA strategy call with us. The link is careerprotocol.com/mba and you can learn all about the process of working with us to create your unique, robot-proof MBA essays. That's all for today. Don't let the robots get you down and I will see you next week!
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