MBA News: What Groupon Can Teach You About MBA Applications

What is at the core of Groupon’s success ? A first mover advantage? An innovative business model? Creative use of social media to broadcast its offers? How about … words? In a lengthy profile of Groupon published yesterday in the New York Times Sunday business section, journalist David Streitfeld concludes that Groupon’s “fate hinges on words.” In fact, Groupon is so serious about creating catchy copy that its editorial department is now almost as large as the Chicago Tribune’s. Basically, Groupon seems to understand that its promotion is irrelevant if its customers are not “hooked” by the call to action.

Why are we telling you this? Consider this in the context of thousands of business school applications. If yours does not grab the reader—though you don’t need to write your application as though it were a Groupon ad—you will have very little chance of standing out. You may have a great core story (the equivalent of a tremendous promotion being offered that day), but the admissions commmittee needs to know that, which means you need to convey that through … words.

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