Writing an essay is one of the most important parts of the application process for any international program. The essay involves introducing the reader to more than just academic credentials or work experiences. It is our opportunity to really differentiate ourselves from the rest by publicizing something unique that makes the reader understand why accepting that specific program will not only be beneficial for the candidate but also for the institution.
The test goes beyond the GMAT or GRE results, it is one of the few pieces of the application that is in our complete control, so we must take advantage of it and make sure that it has an impeccable message and that this message helps us understand exactly what we want to transmit considering a different receiver (culturally, professionally and personally to us).
Here are some points that we recommend you keep in mind when writing your essay:
- Write Clearly– Be specific and don’t use unnecessary words to try to increase the number of words. Do not try to capture something that is not real, being “creative” in that sense can harm your application. Be honest and try to really convey what that passion is that makes you a unique candidate.
- Structure your essay before writing it– Start with an essay draft and give it shape, write key words that attract attention at the beginning and at the end. Consider what the conclusion of your essay will be before writing it. If it changes as you type, don’t worry, that’s normal. But conclude in a forceful way without leaving doubts of your integrity and desire to become part of this institution.
- Different Schools Have Different Values– Identify what makes the schools you’ve chosen unique and tailor your essay according to those different values. Having the same essay for all the schools you apply to is not a recommended recipe. Take time to do a deep analysis on each of your essays, this investment is worth it. Clearly there are sections of the essay that will be similar, but an experienced admissions director will immediately detect how much effort you put into structuring your essay for their institution.
- Go beyond your work / educational experience– Your essay should also touch on relevant topics such as values, perseverance, and character. Focus on difficult situations and how you got out of them, show personality in your actions. If there are medals, scholarships or various achievements mention them, regardless of whether they are related to the academic or work aspect. The essay talks about you as a person and covers all aspects.
- Mention the reasons for applying to that institution– Be structured and precise in mentioning why this institution is perfect for you. Because you are specifically interested in the school or program. Be honest and try not to sound too flattering about the school or teachers, as this may sound insincere.
- Remember that the reader is different from you: The admissions director is not a technical expert in your profession, so including very specific terms from your experience can make your essay difficult to understand. Try to limit technical terms and focus on putting your achievements explained in simple words to a non-expert audience.
- Watch your spelling– Spelling mistakes or mistakes in the grammatical structure of your essay can give a bad impression. Make sure you have read the essay several times and ask experts for advice once your essay is finished. This is a big step in your life and the essay can be decisive in the final decision so take adequate time before presenting it.