As a general rule, “etc.” should never appear in the text of your MBA application essays. Consider the following sentences:
1. I helped draft prospectuses, analyze key company data, value companies, etc.
2. I look forward to courses such as “Small Business Management,” “Leading Teams,” “Multiparty Negotiations,” etc.
In the first example, “etc.” replaces information that the reader values. The reader cannot make the leap and understand where the writer’s experiences lead. In the second example, “etc.” trivializes the school’s resources and may even suggest to the admission committee that the applicant is just too lazy (or disinterested!) to do his/her homework.
We are at a loss to think of one instance in which “etc.” could be used appropriately in a business school essay. In short, ensure that your essays do not include this term.