Monday Morning Essay Tip: Doing Your Homework

Several top business schools explicitly ask candidates about the steps they have taken to learn about their MBA program. Via such questions, the schools are testing you: they want to know that you have a sincere desire to gain a place in their next entering class, and so they want to know that you have made a concerted and genuine effort to get to know them. So, when answering such questions, you absolutely must demonstrate your profound interest in the school.

Explaining that you have read the school’s Web site is not sufficient, considering that this resource is available to anyone, and frankly, the MBA admissions committee would expect you to do this. Although you could mention your Web research as a starting point if something very particular or unusual caught your attention, you are better off immediately sharing your a priori experiences with the school instead. By discussing the details of your class visits and particularly of your interactions with admissions officers, students, professors and/or alumni, you will “prove” to the admissions committee that you have truly been striving to learn more and understand your fit with the school. In essence, if you are showing the committee that you have extended yourself to learn, you have surpassed a minimum requirement.

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