How to Fix a Broken Personal Statement

Congratulations! You’ve written the first draft of your personal statement. You’ve managed to distill your life, aspirations, and strengths down to a few hundred words, which is no easy thing! But here’s the bad news: you’re just getting started! But, as Ernest Hemingway famously said, “the first draft is sh**.”

Effective revision is the difference between a mediocre draft and a good one, a good one and a great one, a great one and one that blows the AdCom’s socks off! Don’t drift across the finish; take an assertive, thoughtful, and meticulous approach to revising your essay.

  1. Read your personal statement out loud: Reading your personal statement aloud will help you spot clunky text and uncomfortable wording that you may not notice while reading silently. You also want this to be a personal statement, and if it doesn’t sound like you when you read it, it probably isn’t connected to your personality and strengths as an applicant.
  2. Take a break and return to it later: After drafting your personal statement, take a break and return to it with fresh eyes later. Creating a sense of distance from your draft will help you see it anew. This might assist you in identifying errors that you may have overlooked earlier.
  3. Use a spelling and grammar checker: Most word processing software products include spelling and grammar checkers that can assist you in catching problems. However, keep in mind that these tools are not perfect and should only be used as a supplement to your own proofreading efforts. I also like Grammarly. Remember, though, that no software is perfect, so don’t just blindly follow the advice on grammar, syntax, and wording that they provide. Be thoughtful and proactive about it.
  4. Have someone else go over your personal statement: Obviously, we here at Gurufi.com think we’re the best in the business at helping you turn your personal statement into something great.  But, if you can’t afford it or you want to do it yourself, having a friend, family member, or writing instructor look through your personal statement will help you discover faults that you may have overlooked. As with point #3, listen to all advice that you’re given and think carefully in every instance whether it’s right for you and your application.
  5. Check for consistency: Make sure your personal statement has a consistent tone, style, and layout. Avoid the Frankenstein essay where you try to incorporate too many bits of advice or try to cram too much into it, and so along the way you lose your voice and the essay’s sense of direction.
  6. Make sure your personal statement is straightforward and easy to read. Young writers love trying to dazzle readers by blasting them with every fancy word they know. Don’t do that. Follow Ernest Hemingway’s four rules for writing. The TLDR is: keep it simple. Avoid employing jargon or sophisticated terminology that the reader may find difficult to understand. And certainly NEVER use a word or phrase unless you’re absolutely certain you know what it means.
  7. Use a top-to-bottom, bottom-to-top proofreading method: Start by reading through your essay top to bottom, fixing anything that needs fixing. Then, begin with your final sentence, read it, and revise. Then go to the second-to-last sentence, and repeat. Do this until you’ve gone from the end of the essay to the top. Breaking it up in this way allows you to see avoid getting into the flow of the essay and instead see each sentence on its own.

 

For more help with your personal statement, check us out at Gurufi.com. Our personal statement editors and consultants have decades of experience helping clients get into top Masters and Ph.D. programs in STEM, humanities, fine arts, and social sciences. Our specialty is helping you craft compelling personal statements that move the needle in your admissions process! For questions, shoot us an email at service@gurufi.com. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Should You Go to Grad School?

Graduate school can be deeply fulfilling, put you on a path to a career you love, and allow you to study things that you’re passionate about under the mentorship of people who are genuine experts. But it’s also an intense all-encompassing experience and can be time-consuming, expensive, and professionally and personally disruptive. Far too many people don’t take into account that, in graduate school, your entire life becomes about the thing you’re studying, the university where you live, and the ideas you’re to understand and solve. This shouldn’t be done as a way to delay or avoid making hard choices about your future and you should certainly think about all aspects of the program, experience, mentorship, and professional prospects you’ll face afterward. Here are ten things to think about as your decide whether graduate school is for you.

  1. Your academic and career goals: Think about what you want to accomplish via graduate school and how a graduate degree will help you get there. If you don’t have a clear plan for how graduate school gets you from A to B in your career, then don’t take the plunge.
  2. The program’s reputation: Research the reputation of the graduate schools you’re interested in, including their professors, research opportunities, and job placement rates. This isn’t just about vanity or brand obsession. If you’re thinking about becoming an academic, the reputation of your program matters A TON. Similarly, many non-academic employers strongly prefer graduates of top-tier programs, and if that’s the case, getting a graduate degree from a lesser program may not get you the opportunities and R.O.I. you’re looking for.
  3. Financial considerations: Consider the cost of tuition and other fees, as well as how you intend to finance your graduate studies. I personally don’t think that you should ever pursue a PhD without full funding, but others feel differently. For Masters programs, think about whether the bump in your expected future earnings justifies what can be an immensely expensive undertaking.
  4. Location: Don’t EVER view graduate school as just something that you’ll endure. If you find yourself saying “I could tolerate being in City X for a few years…” then STOP! As a former PhD student and professor, I have seen many smart, driven, and ambitious people leave their programs because of lifestyle considerations. If you don’t think that you would THRIVE in a city and he happy there, don’t apply. Think over the school’s location and whether it fits your lifestyle and personal preferences. Your chances of completing the program, doing well, and continuing to feel excited about your program are all connected to whether you are happy within your city.
  5. Program structure and duration: Learn about the program structure and length, as well as if it offers full-time or part-time choices.
  6. Coursework and research possibilities: Think about the sorts of courses and research opportunities available in the programs you’re interested in, and how they match your interests and aspirations.
  7. Professors and mentorship: Research the faculty in the programs you’re interested in, and evaluate if you’ll have access to mentors and advisers who can help you advance academically and professionally. This relationship between you and your mentor will ultimately define your level of graduate school success. An engaged, demanding, helpful, and caring mentor can put you on a path to success; a distant, demeaning, uninterested, or unsuccessful mentor who doesn’t believe in your ideas or potential will make graduate school nearly impossible to excel within.
  8. Admission criteria: Learn about the admission requirements for the programs you’re interested in, such as transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, and any other application materials.
  9. Time commitment: Consider the time commitment necessary for graduate school, which includes courses, research, and any other responsibilities.
  10. Career prospects: Think about the professional possibilities for graduates of the schools you’re interested in and whether they correspond with your career ambitions. Overall, before going to graduate school, it is critical to conduct extensive study and carefully analyze all of these variables.

For more help with your personal statement, check us out at Gurufi.com. Our personal statement editors and consultants have decades of experience helping clients get into top Masters and Ph.D. programs in STEM, humanities, fine arts, and social sciences. Our specialty is helping you craft compelling personal statements that move the needle in your admissions process! For questions, shoot us an email at service@gurufi.com. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

How to Avoid “Frankenstein Essays”

Within 20 seconds of reading a draft personal statement, I can tell whether the author has a clear sense of what they want to say or whether they’ve spent far too much time asking for advice, deep-diving into forums, or otherwise overthinking it. These “Frankenstein essays” are a misfit mishmash of parts because the author tries to cover every base and make sure they provide something for everyone.

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When a #personalstatement stops being a reflection of *your* voice and life, and instead tries to do too much, it becomes a “Frankenstein essay.

♬ original sound – Gurufi

When it comes to personal statements, you’re much better off writing a few things well than saying a lot of things briefly or poorly. As such, it is important to be judicious about where you seek advice. A strong personal statement represents you and your accomplishments and if focused on your future. It’s clear and simple, and not meandering and complicated.

Yes, when drafting a personal statement, it’s important to have an open mind and be prepared to take constructive criticism. Choosing wisely where to seek guidance for your personal statement will significantly improve the caliber and efficacy of your essay. Consult professionals, academics, peers, internet resources, family members, and friends for help, but also trust your gut and be loyal to who you are. Don’t forget that your personal statement should reflect your unique personality, so don’t be scared to experiment and be original. And, with EVERY piece of advice, make sure that the final decision is yours.

For more help with your personal statement, check us out at Gurufi.com. Our personal statement editors and consultants have decades of experience helping clients get into top Masters and Ph.D. programs in STEM, humanities, fine arts, and social sciences. Our specialty is helping you craft compelling personal statements that move the needle in your admissions process! For questions, shoot us an email at service@gurufi.com. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Is My Personal Statement Too Long?

When it comes to personal statements, less is often more. Though most schools and programs have set word limits, many do not. This uncapped essay creates a temptation to over-write. This is a trap! Keep your essay short and to the point. If your essay is too long, you risk boring or annoying your reader. Worse yet, the main points that you want the reader to take away from your essay will be submerged within a sea of excess verbiage. Here are some tips and insights into how you should think about your personal statement:

For more help with your personal statement, check us out at Gurufi.com. Our personal statement editors and consultants have decades of experience helping clients get into top MBA programs. Our specialty is helping you craft compelling personal statements that move the needle in your admissions process! For questions, shoot us an email at service@gurufi.com. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

A Happy Problem! How Do You Choose Between MBA Offers?

When I checked my email this morning, I remembered why this is my favorite time of year! Two of my favorite clients got into their dream schools, and my back-and-forth emails with a client who just found out that he got into Stanford GSB brought a warm feeling to my heart that just about melted the huge pile of snow outside my house!

During the late fall and early winter, we’re incredibly busy at Gurufi, helping clients get into their dream schools. But now, our clients are starting to hear back from MBA programs, and the good news we get is fantastic and justifies all the late nights working with them to perfect their personal statements and CVs. But now, many of our clients face a happy dilemma: how do you choose between two good schools?

Though technically speaking picking from among schools isn’t part of my job, I often give clients some advice about this question based on years of experience. Here are ten thoughts on how to pick between schools after you’ve been offered admission!

  1. Ask yourself: do I want to live there? One of the biggest mistakes that I’ve seen people make is to view their MBA as something that they should just Not your preferred location? Well… it’s only two years! That is the wrong approach. If you’re happy, you’re more likely to thrive, make connections, and get the most out of the experience. So, take the school’s location and size into account. Think about whether you want to attend a large or small school and if you want to live in a major city or a small town. Ask yourself, “is this somewhere I could live?” Listen to what your gut says.
  1. Once again look into the academics and how well they align with your goals. Check out the instructors and available programs. Check the curriculum to see if it fits your professional objectives, and look into the professors to see if they have any relevant experience or publications. Write down what you think your two years of coursework, connections, and extracurriculars would look like.
  1. Okay, fine… take into account the school’s reputation and ranking. I am a HUGE believer in the ideas that fit matters more than ranking, but ranking and reputation do matter. Rankings should not be the primary consideration, but they can help you determine the standing of the institution and the caliber of its curriculum.
  1. Think about the alumni and current students you’ve met. By this point, you’ve likely talked to lots of current students and alumni. Once you’ve been admitted, use LinkedIn and other resources that the school provides to have more conversations about the school and its strengths. You’ll likely find that students are even more frank with students who’ve been admitted. Similarly, find out about how active alumni are and the kinds of things that they’re up to. After graduation, a robust alumni network may offer useful contacts and assistance.
  1. Price compare. Usually, schools provide financial aid and cost information a few weeks after admission. Sometimes longer. As soon as you have this information, it’s time to get down to brass tacks. How much are you willing to spend? Importantly, you can also use this period to bargain. Contact the Admissions and Financial Aid offices if you’ve gotten a more generous package from another school, and ask them to close the gap. They won’t always be able to do so, but they often can, and it never hurts to ask! At any rate, once you have some solid numbers, a basic ROI assessment that includes everything from long-term trajectory to immediate salary bumps can help you figure out your next move.
  1. Don’t forget to do a deep dive into local expenses! If you’re comparing, for instance, NYU and Ross, remember to account for the fact that Manhattan is a lot pricier than Ann Arbor.
  1. Listen to your gut… but you don’t have to obey it! Churchill said that “intuition is reason in a hurry.” There’s real truth to this. In 99% of cases, people have a gut-level preference for one school. Begin by acknowledging what this is, and then ask why. Are you a little too enamored with rankings? Did the campus dazzle you? Whatever the reason, ask yourself a follow-up question: is the basis of my gut’s decision rational and good? If not, then be willing to deny your intuition and take a more thoughtful approach. If so, then you know what to do!
  1. Consider the culture and ideals of the school. To learn more about the school’s culture and beliefs and determine whether they coincide with your own, visit the school’s website and go to informational sessions. If this hasn’t been made clear to you, ask somebody. Attending a school where your values align with theirs is vital, so don’t overlook it.
  1. Dig into the data. Now is the time to get even fussier about all of the relevant data that business schools keep. What’s their 1-year and 5-year employment data look like? Average salary? Long-term satisfaction rate (or its proxy: alumni giving percentage)? You probably looked at this information during the application process, but now is the time to do it again!
  1. Take into account the school’s inclusion and diversity. A varied and inclusive school may offer a richer educational experience and can also be a positive reflection of the ideals of the institution. And if that touchy-feely stuff doesn’t move you, remember that you’re hoping to thrive within an increasingly global and diverse world, so be sure that you have the background and comfort level to do this!

I hope that you have the happy conundrum of trying to choose between great options! If you’d like to have this problem, then be sure to check us out Gurufi.com!  For seventeen years, we’ve helped thousands of clients craft powerful personal statements and attractive CVs. Check us out at Gurufi.com. Our personal statement editors and consultants have decades of experience helping clients get into top MBA programs. We pride ourselves in guaranteeing the satisfaction of every client. Our specialty is helping you craft compelling personal statements that move the needle in your admissions process! For questions, shoot us an email at service@gurufi.com. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Here are some additional sources for helping you choose between schools:

Sources:

  1. “5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Business School” (https://www.business.com/articles/5-factors-to-consider-when-choosing-a-business-school/)
  2. “7 Tips for Choosing the Right Business School” (https://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/articles/7-tips-for-choosing-the-right-business-school)
  3. “How to Choose the Right Business School” (https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2021/03/22/how-to-choose-the-right-business-school/?sh=1b3d3f3e6e23)
  4. “5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Business School” (https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/338082)
  5. “5 Tips for Choosing the Right Business School” (https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0911/5-tips-for-choosing-the-right-business-school.aspx)
  6. “7 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Business School” (https://www.topmba.com/mba-news/7-factors-consider-when-choosing-business-school)
  7. “4 Tips for Choosing the Right Business School” (https://www.princetonreview.com/business-school-advice/choosing-business-school)

You Can Get Into Your Dream School Despite a Few Blemishes

We all mistakes because we’re all human. In my 16 years of working with clients and helping them get into top business schools, one of the most common things I’ve witnessed is accomplished and smart people who write off their chances at admission into a top school because they had a blemish or two on their CV. Perhaps they got a D- in Anthropology 101 in their freshman year, maybe they had early career struggles… whatever the cause, they use these missteps to psyche themselves out and convince themselves to believe that their applications are doomed to failure. This just isn’t true.

Today, I recorded this brief video to explain in broad strokes how to approach the challenge of an imperfect application. In coming days, I’ll expand on it in detail. There is hope, and if you’re thoughtful about your application, you can confront, contextualize, and overcome imperfections in your application. Of course, if you’re unsure about how, contact us at Gurufi; we’ve got years of experience helping people get into their dream programs! (there’s a reason our clients love us!)

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Don’t let academic or professional setbacks derail your MBA application! Here’w how to address these concerns in your personal statement. #MBA

♬ original sound – Gurufi

For more help with your personal statement, check us out at Gurufi.com. Our personal statement editors and consultants have decades of experience helping clients get into top Masters and Ph.D. programs in STEM, humanities, fine arts, and social sciences. Our specialty is helping you craft compelling personal statements that move the needle in your admissions process! For questions, shoot us an email at service@gurufi.com. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Ten Tips for Nailing Your Interview

I am one of those people who enjoy job and academic interviews. I’m weird that way, I guess. I’ve always viewed them as an opportunity to talk about the things I’m passionate about with someone who’s genuinely interested in hearing about my life and perspective. This mindset is, I think, the best bit of advice I can give anyone who is about to sit for an interview. Don’t view it as an oral exam or a minefield filled with traps. View at an opportunity to tell your story, be yourself (instead of sell yourself), and let your accomplishments speak for themselves.

But as I moved up in life, from being the one who was being asked questions to the one doing the asking, I’ve come to appreciate just how ill-prepared most interviewees are for job or academic interviews. Most of the “tips and tricks” for interviews are basic, but nonetheless absolutely vital to get right. And yes, some fall into the “things you should’ve learned in kindergarten” category, but having interviewed quite a few MBA and graduate school applicants, I can tell you that people get a lot of these things wrong! In that spirit, here are 10 tips for doing well in your MBA interview.

  1. Do your homework about the program you are applying to. Make sure you comprehend the company’s core principles and objectives, as well as the particular course requirements and unique positioning of that MBA program.

  1. Most of the initial questions you’ll be asked are pretty standard, so prepare for those. In an MBA interview, you will likely be asked the following typical questions: Why do you want to get an MBA? What draws you to this specific program? What long-term professional ambitions do you have? How would an MBA assist you in achieving them? Don’t memorize answers for these questions (unless you’re a trained actor, it will come across as canned and stiff), but do know and practice the main ideas you hope to cover in response to these questions.

  1. Care about your presentation and ALL aspects of your communication. Speaking clearly and simply, making eye contact, and acting professionally are all examples of how to do this. Moreover, if you interview in person, be polite and respectful to the secretary or assistant who greets you. You CANNOT underestimate the important role that staff play in an admissions office, and if you blow them off or are rude to them because you don’t think they’re the ones making the decision… well, you have no idea how offices work. A bad word from a secretary or assistant can sink your application. So don’t be a jerk.

  1. Don the proper attire. For MBA interviews, professional dress is required. Wear a tidy, well-kept professional clothing whenever possible. As more and more interviews are taking place virtually, take 10 minutes to clean the space behind you, select some items that you think will show some of your best traits and display them strategically but naturally behind you, and recognize that the part of your home or office that you display is an extension of you.

  1. Show up on time. Give yourself plenty of time to account for any unexpected delays, such as traffic or problems with public transit. I wish I didn’t have to explain this… but I do. Being late is disrespectful, and conveys to your interviewer that you think your time is more important than theirs.

  1. Have a strategically built résumé and bring copies. What does this mean? At Gurufi, we have a CV / résumé specialists who helps you build a compelling CV. The trick for CVs when it comes to interviews, though, is that they are intended to be scanned, and not read meticulously. Most CVs get about 30-45 seconds of attention, max. So, make sure that it’s formatted in a way that’s clear, easily scannable, and highlights your key accomplishments. I like to think of a CV as a way to prompt the interviewer to ask you the questions you want them to ask you about. Conversely, do NOT include anything on your CV that you aren’t ready and excited to talk about. For this reason, I also like to include personal tidbits (“I have gone to 5 World Cups” is my go-to) because your interviewer will ask about it, and it helps to personalize me. At Gurufi, we can help you with this!

  1. Prepare some questions for the interviewer. You know a great way to end your interview with a dud? When they ask you if you have any questions, and you reply, “nope” it makes you come across as incurious and unprepared. ALWAYS have 2-3 questions ready for the end of the interview when they inevitably ask you this.

  1. Be passionate and happy. If interviews are miserable for you, this may be hard. BUT, remember: people like happy people, and they respond positively to passionate people. Display interest and love for the field you have chosen. The interviewer is looking for signs that you are enthusiastic about the chance to pursue an MBA and that you have a distinct professional goal fueled by a sense of excitement for what you do and hope to achieve.

  1. Be specific, tell stories, and give examples. The worst interviews are often when candidates talk in vague platitudes or obliquely reference their skills and accomplishments. Put meat on those bones! Give specific instances to support your qualifications and experiences. This will make your CV come to life and demonstrate to the interviewer how you have used your knowledge and abilities in practical settings.

  1. Be yourself. Yeah, I know… you’ve heard this a thousand times. BUT, if you show up at the interview trying to be anything other than what you are, or to sell a version of your future that diverges from what you actually intend to do because you think that’s what the interviewer wants to hear, it will come across as insincere and stilted. Also, I know that during the application process it’s hard to think this way, but you should view this as a two-way interview. You’re also trying to assess whether the school is a good fit for you. The only way that you can do that is to present your authentic self; if they’re not buying what you’re selling, the school likely wouldn’t have been a good fit for you.

These tips will help you get your MBA application over the goal line. Remember, don’t over-prepare, attempt to memorize answers, or show up with anything other than a sense of optimistic confidence.

For more help with your personal statement, check us out at Gurufi.com. Our personal statement editors and consultants have decades of experience helping clients get into top MBA and EMBA programs. Our specialty is helping you craft compelling personal statements that move the needle in your admissions process! For questions, shoot us an email at service@gurufi.com. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Use the ‘Hemingway Rules’ to Build a Powerful Personal Statement

Writing a powerful personal statement can be a genuine challenge for inexperienced writers. They often pile on unnecessary complexity, use fancier-than-needed words, and try too hard to *dazzle* their reader. Don’t do that. The best writing is simple, clear, and direct. It will also feel more authentic and allow you to connect with your reader on a human level.

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Write a Write a Powerful Statement Using the Hemingway Rules for Writing!230120_Fobi_Be Like Hemingway_4x5_JC_D1

♬ original sound – Gurufi

There are many summations of the Hemingway Rules, but I like this one from the University of Chicago’s International Association of Business Communicators. 1. USE SHORT SENTENCES Short sentences are easier to digest. They make it easier to follow each point of an argument or story. Your job as a writer — or editor — is to make life easy for your audience. Forcing the reader to navigate through a bunch of long, complex sentences is like forcing him/her to hack through the jungle with a machete. Create a nice, tidy path with plenty of short sentences.

2. USE SHORT FIRST PARAGRAPHS

3. USE VIGOROUS ENGLISH Copywriter David Garfinkel describes it like this: “It’s muscular, forceful (writing). Vigorous English comes from passion, focus and intention.” This rule is really a reminder to do your homework and fully understand what you are writing about. It is impossible to write with “passion, focus and intention” without having a real grasp of the subject. In most cases, if you’ve done your homework, you will write with authority and vigor.

4. BE POSITIVE, NOT NEGATIVE Basically, “be positive” means you should say what something is rather than what it isn’t. — Instead of saying something is “inexpensive,” say it is “affordable.” — Instead of describing something as “unclear,” say it is “confusing.” This might seem like a small point, but it’s actually quite important. Being “positive” makes your writing more direct. Whether they realize it or not, readers are turned off by “roundabout writing.”

So, there you have it: eminently practical writing tips from one of the masters — or more accurately, from the Kansas City Star. “Those were the best rules I ever learned for the business of writing,” Hemingway said in 1940. “I’ve never forgotten them. No man with any talent, who feels and writes truly about the thing he is trying to say, can fail to write well if he abides with them.”

For more help with your personal statement, check us out at Gurufi.com. Our personal statement editors and consultants have decades of experience helping clients get into top Masters and Ph.D. programs in STEM, humanities, fine arts, and social sciences. Our specialty is helping you craft compelling personal statements that move the needle in your admissions process! For questions, shoot us an email at service@gurufi.com. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

How to Write a Strong Diversity Statement

I want to spend a few posts talking about Diversity Statements. Most schools require some version of this, and for many applicants it can be quite confusing in terms of what the prompt is asking for or what you should write in response. I’m going to break this up into three parts: (1) Today, we’re going to talk about the basics of how you should approach it, and then (2) tomorrow I’m going to go into some extra depth about how to approach it if you’re an underrepresented minority, and (3) on Friday I’ll go over my thoughts on what can be the most complicated question: how do you respond to a diversity statement if you’re not a part of a group that’s underrepresented in business school?

So, first the basics. Diversity Statements grew out of a desire to change the ethnic, national, cultural, religious, and gender makeups of their classes. Some of this was a response to legal rulings that limited schools’ capacities to explicitly use race or ethnicity in individual admissions, but that did allow schools to use diversity as a factor in admissions out of the belief that more diverse classes improved the dynamism, breadth, and learning experience of educational cohorts.

Sometimes these essays are optional, with the (often false) assumption that only members of underrepresented minority groups would respond to them. (more on this on Friday!) Sometimes, though, they are a mandatory part of an application. If you write a diversity statement -either because it’s required or you elect to- here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. To begin, think about your distinct experiences and how they have shaped your viewpoint. Consider any difficulties or obstacles you have encountered because of your identity, as well as how these encounters have affected your outlook on the world and your method of problem-solving.
  2. Pay attention to your accomplishments and strengths. Be sure to address any difficulties you have encountered as well as your triumphs and qualities. Academic success, leadership positions, and other experiences that show you have what it takes to thrive in business school can be included in this.
  3. Give concrete instances to support your arguments. Use particular instances to support your claims rather than generalizing from your experiences. This will help the reader better comprehend your point of view and make your essay more interesting and personal.
  4. Be true to yourself. Diversity essays, even more than personal statements, suffer from writers who seek to tell the AdCom what they want to hear. Be yourself in your essay since admissions committees are seeking for applicants who are real and authentic. Do not attempt to conform or display oneself in an untrue manner.
  5. Carefully proofread your essay. If it’s going into your application, take it seriously. Give it the same level of fussiness and care that you used for your personal statement! Make sure to properly reread and modify your essay before submitting it to make sure it is well-written and error-free. Strong diversity statements ought to be well-written, unambiguous, and short.

If you’re looking for additional insights on Diversity Statements, I like these three breakdowns published by Cal, Michigan, and Wisconsin:

For more help with your personal statement, check us out at Gurufi.com. Our personal statement editors and consultants have decades of experience helping clients get into top MBA programs. Our specialty is helping you craft compelling personal statements that move the needle in your admissions process! For questions, shoot us an email at service@gurufi.com. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Five Tips for Writing a Great Letter of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation are hugely important parts of your application. Having a third party assess your skill, talent, experience, accomplishments, potential, and maturity provides admissions committees with valuable data. Unfortunately, because this is an “outsources” part of the application, many applicants aren’t sufficiently thoughtful about the process, thus hurting their chances of admission. Here are the five most common mistakes that I’ve seen clients make. For additional thoughts, check out this extended YouTube video we made.

  1. Requesting a letter of recommendation too late. It is critical to allow enough time for the individual writing the letter of recommendation to finish the assignment. A decent rule of thumb is to request a letter at least one month ahead of time. If you wait until the last minute, your letter may not be as effective as it may be. Remember, you’re asking someone for a favor, so do what you can to make it easy for them as possible.

2. Asking the incorrect person. It is critical to ask someone who is familiar with you and can speak to your skills and successes. This might be a lecturer, supervisor, or mentor who has worked with you closely and can offer concrete instances of your abilities and successes. Too often, applicants will seek letters from big names who might not actually know them well. In these instances, you’re going to get a pretty vanilla recommendation that just doesn’t move the needle.

3. Failure to provide adequate information. It is critical to provide the person composing the letter with all relevant information about the opportunity for which you are seeking, including the requirements and deadlines. The writer will be able to personalize the letter to the individual opportunity, making it more effective. If you have it, provide a copy of your Personal Statement and CV. Offer to sit with them for a chat about it as well.

4. Failure to follow up. After asking someone to write a letter of recommendation, it is critical to follow up to verify that the letter is finished and delivered on time. This is especially true if a deadline is approaching.

5. Failure to thank the writer. This is basic human kindness, but it’s also a smart life strategy. People like to feel appreciated, so if someone does you a favor, let them know. They’ll be more likely to go the extra mile for you in the future. It is essential to express gratitude for the time and effort that the person composing the letter has put into the assignment. A simple thank-you message or email might go a long way toward improving your relationship with the writer.

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More free resources:

  1. “How to Request a Letter of Recommendation” (n.d.). The Graduate School. Retrieved from https://www.grad.illinois.edu/career-services/how-request-letter-recommendation
  2. “How to Request a Letter of Recommendation” (n.d.). The University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved from https://www.vpul.upenn.edu/careerservices/students/graduate/request.php
  3. “How to Request a Letter of Recommendation” (n.d.). The University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved from https://career.berkeley.edu/Grad/LOR
  4. “Letters of Recommendation” (n.d.). Stanford University. Retrieved from https://www.stanford.edu/dept/spec_coll/uarch/exhibits/letters/letters.html
  5. “Letters of Recommendation” (n.d.). The University of Michigan. Retrieved fromhttps://careercenter.umich.edu/article/letters-recommendation