Monday Morning Essay Tip: Stop the Fawning

Although the MBA programs to which you’re applying certainly want to know that you identify with them, this need not be a consistent theme throughout your entire application. So, unless the school explicitly asks for such information, we almost always recommend that candidates only discuss their connection with schools via their personal statements (“What are your short- and long-term goals and how will [our school] enable you to achieve them?”).

For example, in response to Haas’s leadership essay question or Wharton”s question about innovation, you do not need to discuss how the school will help you further develop your leadership skills or how you will continue to be innovative when you are a member of the Class of 2012, even though these are essays about core values that each school embraces. Although we cannot assert this as an absolute, we find that in most cases, such statements come across as insincere or fawning—the very opposite of the desired effect.

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