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How to Write Great Admissions Essays: Step 10

How to Write Great Admissions Essays: Step 10


(This is the final installment in a series introducing our readers to our proven 10-step process for writing great admissions essays. Check back soon to see what else we have in store!)

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How to Write Great Admissions Essays: Step 9

How to Write Great Admissions Essays: Step 9

(This is Part 9 of series on the Veritas Prep Blog, introducing our readers to our proven 10-step process for writing great admissions essays. Check back often for more admissions essay tips!)

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How to Write Great Admissions Essays: Step 8

How to Write Great Admissions Essays: Step 8


(This is Part 8 of series on the Veritas Prep Blog, introducing our readers to our proven 10-step process for writing great admissions essays. Check back often for more admissions essay tips!)

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How to Write Great Admissions Essays: Step 7

How to Write Great Admissions Essays: Step 7


(This is Part 7 of series on the Veritas Prep Blog, introducing our readers to our proven 10-step process for writing great admissions essays. Check back often for more admissions essay tips!)

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The Best Way to Write Great Admissions Essays

The Best Way to Write Great Admissions Essays

Continuing our new MBA admissions video series, this week we investigate how some of our admissions experts attack the process to help their applicants write knockout admissions essays. This clip covers two important steps that every applicant should take — one tactical step at the beginning, and one strategic step closer to the end of the process.

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How to Write Great Admissions Essays: Step 6

How to Write Great Admissions Essays: Step 6


(This is part of series on the Veritas Prep Blog, introducing our readers to our proven 10-step process for writing great admissions essays. Check back often for more MBA admissions essay tips!)

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How to Write Great Admissions Essays: Step 5

How to Write Great Admissions Essays: Step 5


(This is part of a new series that we will roll out over the next several weeks, introducing our readers to our proven 10-step process for writing great admissions essays. Check back often for more MBA admissions essay tips!)

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How Personal Is Too Personal in Your Admissions Essays?

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.

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How to Write Great Admissions Essays: Step 4

How to Write Great Admissions Essays: Step 4


(This is part of a new series that we will roll out over the next several weeks, introducing our readers to our proven 10-step process for writing great admissions essays. Check back often for more MBA admissions essay tips!)

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How to Write Great Admissions Essays: Step 3

How to Write Great Admissions Essays: Step 3


(This is part of a new series that we will roll out over the next several weeks, introducing our readers to our proven 10-step process for writing great admissions essays. Check back often for more MBA admissions essay tips!)

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How to Write Great Admissions Essays: Step 2

How to Write Great Admissions Essays: Step 2


(This is part of a new series that we will roll out over the next several weeks, introducing our readers to our proven 10-step process for writing great admissions essays. Check back often for more MBA admissions essay tips!)

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How to Write Great Admissions Essays: Step 1

How to Write Great Admissions Essays: Step 1


(This is part of a new series that we will roll out over the next several weeks, introducing our readers to our proven 10-step process for writing great admissions essays. Check back often for more MBA admissions essay tips!)

Filed in: MBA Essays
Columbia Business School Essays and Deadlines for 2009-2010

Columbia Business School Essays and Deadlines for 2009-2010

As we round out our analysis of the top MBA program’s application essays, here are Columbia Business School’s application essays and deadlines for the September 2010 intake. Everything remains pretty the the same since last year, but we’ve put everything to make sure our readers have everything they need. Our comments follow in italics:

Michigan (Ross) Admissions Essays for 2009-2010

Michigan (Ross) Admissions Essays for 2009-2010

As we round out our analysis of the top business schools’ admissions essays for the coming season, today we look at The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business’ admissions essays. Ross’s essays actually carry over completely unchanged vs. last year, and so our analysis remains pretty much the same.

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Personal Statement Mistakes

Personal Statement Mistakes

With application season around the corner, the law school personal statement is becoming a hot topic around the Veritas Prep offices. With applications projected to rise for the 2009-2010 season and the personal statement increasing in importance, students are desperate to ace this difficult assignment and improve their chances. Unfortunately, the best efforts to do so are often misguided. As the basketball coaching legend John Wooden once said, “Never mistake activity for achievement.”

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Cool MBA Tool: MBA Essay Map - Online Google Doc with Essay Topics from Top US, Asian and European Business Schools

Cool MBA Tool: MBA Essay Map - Online Google Doc with Essay Topics from Top US, Asian and European Business Schools


MBA Essay Map: View all business school essays, side by side, in one succinct view.


The wealth of online information about the business school application process and programs is staggering.
  • I certainly appreciate the opportunity to gather a number of differing viewpoints on essays topics and school culture, for example.
I also know that as b-school applicants navigate through the application process, they do have the potential to get lost in the weeds.

  • As I have seen with many MBA applicants, they get “analysis paralysis”, innudated by almost too much data.
  • Having worked in management consulting, I come from the school of tell me what I need to know, when I need to know it and how I can use it to get the right result.
  • In finance terms, I want to see a balance sheet. Give me a snapshot of where I stand today.
This is why I created the “MBA Essay Map“.
  • The MBA Essay Map rolls up all essay questions from top US, Asian and European MBA programs.
  • It puts them all in one view, side by side, for comparitive purposes.
  • I also included a side by side comparison of word limits and deadlines. This should help an applicant estimate workload and timing so they can address the writing process in the most efficient manner.
The Map also includes specific formatting requirements for each program and any specific reapplicant stipulations.
  • I can not tell you how many times I have seen essays submitted using the wrong format or reapplicants who neglected to follow the rules. This is a huge red flag for the admissions committee.
View the “MBA Essay Map” here:
-Paul Lanzillotti

UCLA Anderson Application Essays and Deadlines for 2009-2010

UCLA Anderson Application Essays and Deadlines for 2009-2010

The UCLA Anderson School of Management has released its admissions essays and deadlines for the coming application season. Here they are, followed by our comments:

Dartmouth (Tuck) Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2009-2010

Dartmouth (Tuck) Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2009-2010

Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business won’t release its full 2009-2010 application until mid-August, but the school has already announced its application deadlines for the coming year, and has also spread the word that its admissions essays will carry over unchanged from last year.

Berkeley (Haas) Admissions Essays for 2009-2010

Berkeley (Haas) Admissions Essays for 2009-2010

Recently we posted the Haas School of Business’ application deadlines for 2009-2010. Haas has since posted its admissions essays for the coming year. Our comments follow in italics:

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Chicago Booth Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2009-2010

Chicago Booth Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2009-2010

The Chicago Booth admissions office recently announced its admissions deadlines and application essays for the coming year. These will help you start planning your Chicago Booth application. Our comments follow in italics:

Yale SOM Application Essays and Deadlines for 2009-2010

Yale SOM Application Essays and Deadlines for 2009-2010

Yale SOM Director of Admissions Bruce DelMonico was kind enough to reach out recently and let us know that Yale has posted it application essays and deadlines for the coming season. It looks like Yale has significantly overhauled its essays for the coming year, going with shorter essays that will require brevity and focus.

Success Story Part 4: "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the essays of our lives..."

Success Story Part 4: "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the essays of our lives..."

(This is the fourth in a series of blog posts in which Julie DeLoyd, a Veritas Prep GMAT alumna-turned-instructor, will tell the story of her experience through the MBA admissions process. Julie will begin her MBA program at Chicago Booth this fall. You can also read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 to learn Julie’s whole story.)

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NYU Stern Application Essays and Deadlines for 2009-2010

NYU Stern Application Essays and Deadlines for 2009-2010

Recently NYU’s Stern School of Business released its application essays for the the 2009-2010 admissions season.

We recently visited NYU Stern and met with the admissions office as part of the second annual AIGAC conference in New York, and we came away impressed with how much the school has innovated with special academic and job-related programs. Take a look at Veritas Prep’s NYU Stern information page to learn more about the school and see if it’s a good fit for you.

Wharton Admissions Essays for 2009-2010

Wharton Admissions Essays for 2009-2010

Several weeks ago Wharton released its application deadlines for the coming admissions season. Now, the school has released its admissions essays for the coming year. If you plan on applying to Wharton, even if you don’t start working on your essays for a couple of months, we recommend that you at least review them now to familiarize yourself with the subject matter you will need to cover in your Wharton application.

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Kellogg Application Essays for 2009-2010

Kellogg Application Essays for 2009-2010

Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management has just released its admissions essays for the coming year. While the school has not yet released its application deadlines, Kellogg applicants can start digging into these essays now.

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MIT Sloan Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2009-2010

MIT Sloan Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2009-2010

The MIT Sloan admissions office has just posted its application deadlines and admissions essays for the coming year. Note that, aside from MIT Sloan’s cover letter, all of the essays are new this year. Our comments follow in italics:

How to Write a Personal Statement

How to Write a Personal Statement

Around here, we spend a lot of time talking about applications and the writing samples that comprise those applications. For MBA candidates, the focus is on essays and how to both answer a school’s question while also injecting your key message points into the response. Essay writing requires a specific approach, which is an intuitive concept for most applicants, given the specific nature of the essay questions and the variety of issues that matter to individual schools. But what of the personal statement? How do you take a blank page and vague instructions and maximize the opportunity before you? Personal statements also require a specific approach, one that can best be understood as a three-step process.

Before examining the three steps to writing a great personal statement, note that there will always be subtle differences in strategy, depending on the program type. For the personal statement on a law school application, the goal is always to maximize the space in whatever way that circumstances dictate. On a medical school AMCAS personal statement, there is always going to be a “stand out from the crowd” element to consider. For many grad school programs, candidates need to make sure they understand the program in question. You can go right down the list and find a caveat for every type of graduate school. That said, once you account for those nuances, you will always come back to the following three steps:

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Stanford GSB Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2009-2010

Stanford GSB Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2009-2010

Last week the Stanford Graduate School of Business released its admissions essay topics and deadlines for the 2009-2010 application season. Notably, as is the case with HBS, Stanford’s Round 1 deadline is now in the first week of October, and the school will now notify Round 1 applicants before the holidays at the end of the year.

HBS Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2009-2010

HBS Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2009-2010

Harvard Business School has released its application deadlines and admissions essays for the 2008-2009 season. Here they are, taken from Harvard’s site. Our comments are in italics:

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Columbia January 2010 Term Admission Essays and Deadlines

Columbia January 2010 Term Admission Essays and Deadlines

Two weeks ago Columbia started accepting applications for the January 2010 intake of its accelerated MBA program. There is just a single deadline — October 7, 2009 — and the school promises a response time of eight weeks after an application goes into review. Below are the Columbia J-Term’s admissions essays, with our comments in italics:

Columbia January Term Admissions Essays

  1. What are your short-term and long-term post-MBA goals? How will Columbia Business School help you achieve these goals? (750 words)
  2. (This is the fairly standard “Why an MBA? / Why this school?” question, but your answer will need to be a little more focused than the answer that an applicant would submit to a typical two-year program. The J-Term is especially designed for young professionals who plan to return to their current employers or otherwise don’t need the benefit of a summer internship to transition to a new career, and Columbia will closely look for evidence that you understand the pros and cons that such an accelerated program offers.)

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HBS 2+2 Program Application Essays and Deadlines Now Available

HBS 2+2 Program Application Essays and Deadlines Now Available

Harvard Business School has posted the admissions essays and deadlines for 2009. Here they are, taken from Harvard’s site. Our comments are in italics:

HBS 2+2 Program Application Deadline
There is just one application round for the HBS 2+2 Program. Applications must be received by July 1, 2009, at 5:00 PM Eastern time. Applicants will be notified of their admissions decisions by September 15, 2009.

Update from the HBS Admissions Office

Update from the HBS Admissions Office

Last week Dee Leopold posted a Round One update on the HBS blog.

Leopold and her team are now in the process of reviewing applicants who have already interviewed for Round One, and they expect to continue doing so up until the school’s Jan. 21 notification deadline. They are also putting some applicants onto the Round One waitlist, and Leopold says that she expects to waitlist around 100 Round One applicants.

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Last-Minute MBA Admissions Essay Tips

Last-Minute MBA Admissions Essay Tips

This week many of our clients are working hard to finish up their Round One business school admissions essays. If you

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UNC (Kenan-Flagler) Essay Topics for 2008-2009

UNC (Kenan-Flagler) Essay Topics for 2008-2009

While we’ve previously blogged about UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business, below is a closer look at the school’s admissions essays for 2008-2009. Our comments are in italics:

Kenan-Flagler Application Essays

  1. What are the 2 or 3 strengths or characteristics that have driven your career success thus far? Do you have other strengths that you would like to leverage in the future? (500 words maximum)
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NYU (Stern) Application Essays for 2008-2009

NYU (Stern) Application Essays for 2008-2009

Earlier we posted NYU Stern’s 2008-2009 application deadlines. The school has since posted its full online application. Here are Stern’s application essays for 2008-2009, with our comments in italics:

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UVA (Darden) Application Essays for 2008-2009

UVA (Darden) Application Essays for 2008-2009

UVA’s Darden School of Business has released its application essays for the 2008-2009 admissions season. Here they are, with our comments in italics:

UVA (Darden) Application Essays

  1. What pivotal choice(s) have you made in your life that have influenced your decision to pursue an MBA? (500 words)
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INSEAD Application Essays and Deadlines 2008-2009

INSEAD Application Essays and Deadlines 2008-2009

INSEAD has released its application for the 2008-2009 season. The following are INSEAD’s deadlines and essays for the coming Sep. 2009 intake, with our italics in comments:

INSEAD Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 1, 2008
Round 2: November 26, 2008
Round 3: February 11, 2009
Round 4: April 1, 2009

UCLA Anderson Application Essays & Deadlines for 2008-2009

UCLA Anderson Application Essays & Deadlines for 2008-2009

UCLA’s Anderson School of Management has released its online application and announced its application deadlines and admissions essays for the 2008-2009 season. Here they are, with our comments in italics:

UCLA Anderson Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 9, 2008
Round 2: January 8, 2009
Round 3: April 2, 2009

Duke (Fuqua) Application Essays and Deadlines for 2008-2009

Duke (Fuqua) Application Essays and Deadlines for 2008-2009

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business has released its admissions essays and application deadlines for 2008-2009. Our comments are in italics:

Duke (Fuqua) Application Deadlines
Early Action: October 15, 2008
Round 1: October 27, 2008
Round 2: January 7, 2009
Round 3: March 16, 2009

Columbia Application Essays for 2008-2009

Columbia Application Essays for 2008-2009

Columbia Business School’s online application is available for the 2008-2009 season. Below are are this year’s Columbia application deadlines and admissions essays (our comments are in italics):

Columbia Business School Application Deadlines
Jan. ’09 Accelerated Program: October 8, 2008
Sep. ’09 Class, Early Decision: October 8, 2008
Sep. ’09 Class, International Applicants: March 4, 2009
Sep. ’09 Class, U.S. Applicants: April 15, 2009

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