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A few common areas that we get questions about are college suspensions, trouble with the law, or marginal grades or GMAT scores.Fortuna’s co-founder, Matt Symonds, even published a recent article in , called “50 Shades of Admissions Grey”.The crushing numbers of applicants has forced schools to streamline the evaluation process and they simply do not have the staff or time to read 1000 word essays from everyone.
When working in admissions departments at top MBA programs, some of the questions that we were asked each year were whether a candidate should write an optional essay, and what kinds of topics should be addressed in the optional essay space.
In the last few years, as many MBA programs have reduced the number of required essays and essay count, the answers to these questions are less clear-cut.
It’s important to read the information presented for the optional essay at each school since some schools can treat this application component differently.
Do your research and read postings on the schools’ online admissions pages and blogs as these can sometimes provide suggestions for how to handle the question.
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It’s important that you use good judgment in what you write about and ask yourself if this information is worth another ten minutes of time by the person reading your application.
Do you think that this information cannot be garnered from other parts of your presentation?
Judith Silverman Hodara, former Acting Director or MBA Admissions at Wharton shares her own advice around this topic in our new Fortuna video “Latest trends in MBA Admissions” so click here to hear her tips.
We will also provide some guidance here to help you determine how to approach the optional essay.