Monday Morning Essay Tip: Multidimensional Brainstorming, Part 1

We always tell candidates, “You cannot turn a bad idea into a good essay.” We insist on taking our clients through a lengthy brainstorming process (which begins with a thorough questionnaire) to discover the stories that make each of them distinct. As you uncover your stories, you should consider them from as many different angles as possible. Doing so will not only help ensure that you understand the various “weapons in your arsenal,” but it will also provide you with maximum flexibility, considering that MBA admissions committees ask questions that vary dramatically from school to school.

For example, an experience coaching a baseball team at an underfunded high school may have multiple dimensions, such as the following:

  • creatively motivating an underachieving team and changing attitudes, despite losses
  • initiating and leading fundraising efforts so that each player could afford proper equipment
  • mentoring a struggling player and seeing an improvement in his or her on-field performance
  • helping a player deal with a family issue off the field
  • recruiting other coaches and then working to improve a team’s on-field performance

These are just a few of the stories that could be gleaned through brainstorming, proving that considering your experiences from various angles is beneficial and will help you discover multiple unique approaches to your admissions essays.

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