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A Little Self-Promotion Goes a Long Way in MBA Admissions

07/30/2012

Christine Sneva, Johnson’s director of admissions and financial aid, gives insights to crafting an essay that pops


Few know better what makes an MBA application rise to the top than Christine Sneva, director of admissions and financial aid for the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. Sneva shared some of her insights with OnlineMBA blogger Alana Stage in a July 30 article, in which she addresses one of the applicant’s most difficult tasks—writing an essay that pops.

Here are some of Sneva’s tips for MBA applicants:

•When writing about an experience or problem you solved, don’t get bogged down in the background. The example should be a clear one. If you have to provide more than two or three sentences of background, then you’re example probably isn’t a good one.

Be original: “Nowhere else in the application are you really able to express and expand on what you are thinking about doing during and after business school,” Sneva says.

Be clear about goals. The first paragraph should state clearly the industry or career you seek.

Be specific about how an MBA will help you reach your near-term goals. “Talk about ‘in the next five years’” Sneva says. When mentioning more lofty goals, explain how business classes will get you there.

 Read Christine’s tips on the essay, presenting your leadership skills, and more at OnlineMBA.com.

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