How Personal Is Too Personal in Your Admissions Essays?

Continuing our new MBA admissions video series, this week we ask how personal someone should get in their admissions essays, and how much personal information is too much. One thing that we always tell our clients — and admissions officers frequently tell their applicants — is that they shouldn’t be afraid to get personal in their essays. Admissions officers don’t want to only read about your accomplishments; they want to get to know the real you, and that means sharing a piece of yourself, even if it means revealing some vulnerability.

As this video shows, you want to reveal some of yourself in your essays — and even show some vulnerability. That helps admissions officers get to know you better despite the tight word count constraints that you have. However, there’s a difference between revealing some vulnerability and sounding like a person who will bring a suitcase full of problems to your target business school.


(You can go to YouTube and watch the video in a larger size.)

So, is there a fine line here that you must not cross? Not really… The difference isn’t all that subtle when you think about it. You want admissions officers to feel what you felt in a given situation, understand your emotions, and come away knowing you a little better. But you don’t want your applications story to get lost in a see of excuses or (for lack of a better word) whining about your failures. If you write an essay and aren’t sure if you’ve crossed this line, this is where another set of eyes can help a lot. (Veritas Prep offers MBA essay editing services to help you with this, although any pair of objective eyes can help here.)

Keep checking this space and the Veritas Prep Channel on YouTube for more insightful videos in the coming weeks. If you would like more help in applying to business school, law school, or medical school, call us at 800-925-7737 and talk to one of our admissions experts!

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