Optional essay can be categorized into two types:
If your standardized test scores are low or if you have not had coursework in core business subjects (i.e. calculus, microeconomics, statistics, financial accounting), please tell us how you plan to prepare yourself for the quantitative rigor of the MBA curriculum
If you have additional information or feel there are extenuating circumstances which you would like to share with the MBA Admissions Committee (i.e. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, academic performance issues, areas of weakness in MBA application)
Please provide any additional information to the Admissions Committee that will help your candidacy.
Answer a question you wish we’d asked.
Is there any other information that you believe would be helpful to the MBA Admission Committee in evaluating your application?
If you belong to the 1st category, i.e. your GMAT score is less, or you haven’t had quantitative subjects, or you have gaps in work experience, or your immediate supervisor is not a recommender and so on, you need to provide suitable justification. The objective here is to reduce the skepticism of ADCOM as much as possible. You don’t have much choice to consider whether to attempt the optional essay or not.
If you fall in the 2nd category i.e. you don’t have any of the above mentioned problems in your MBA application, then should you attempt the optional essay? What will happen if other applicants submit the optional essay and you don’t? And moreover, after writing about your achievements, success, failures, and so on in other essays, you might think what more is left behind to write in an optional essay?
Most of the applicants in the 2nd category do not attempt the optional essay. And out of those who do so, a majority uses it to give explanations for academic non-performance, poor GMAT, less involvement in extracurricular, below average professional career and so on. This invariably drives the attention of the Admissions committee to weaknesses of the applicant. While such explanations can be genuine, sometimes they come across as excuses for non performance and that really makes the admission officers skeptical. Successful applicants crack the deal despite having weaknesses. So the key is to focus on strengths and not on weaknesses.
Keep in mind that attempting the optional essay demonstrates your seriousness. In a cut-throat globally competitive B-Schools admission process, seriousness of the applicants is one of the most important factors. Moreover, the optional essay is another chance to portray your uniqueness. Painting another dimension of your professional or personal accomplishment and thereby projecting you as a budding global leader must be the sole objective of the optional essay. Highlight an aspect of your leadership that has not been covered in other essays. But be sure to avoid repetition!
We have guided thousands of applicants globally to ace the optional essay. Our editors are MBAs from top-class B-Schools and they know what works and what doesn’t work in the competitive MBA admission process. They will guide you to write a winning optional essay. Contact US right now.
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Fatal mistakes in MBA Essay Writing
Secrets of Effective MBA essay
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