Be Enthusiastic in Your Personal Statement!

People like happy people. People respond passionately to passionate people. That’s why you need to make sure that your Personal Statement has some fire in its belly! It can be helpful to show passion in your MBA personal statement, as it can demonstrate to the admissions committee that you are highly motivated and engaged with the subject matter. This can be especially important if you are applying to a competitive program, as it can help you stand out from other applicants. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the personal statement is just one part of the application process and should be viewed in the context of the rest of your application materials, such as your resume, transcripts, and recommendations. It’s also important to be genuine and authentic in your personal statement and to focus on showcasing your strengths and experiences rather than trying to impress the admissions committee with empty flattery or exaggerated enthusiasm. Ultimately, the most important thing is to carefully consider what you want to achieve through an MBA program and to clearly articulate your goals and motivations in your personal statement. If you can do this in a way that is genuine and authentic, and that demonstrates your passion for the subject matter, it can be a valuable asset in the admissions process.

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 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Personal Statement

Personal Statements are an unusual form of writing. We’re so rarely called on to write about ourselves, much less boast about our accomplishments. This is doubly difficult for people without a lot of essay-writing experience. As such, it’s natural that people make some pretty basic -and deadly-mistakes. In my decade of helping people with their personal statements, I’ve come to recognize some common errors that people make. Here are my top ten.

1. Not proofreading: It is critical to check your personal statement for grammatical, spelling, and punctuation issues. An error-ridden personal statement reflects negatively on your attention to detail and ability to speak effectively.

2. Being too generic or vague: Your personal statement should be detailed and highlight your unique experiences and accomplishments. Avoid utilizing broad or ambiguous terminology that adds no value to your application. A good way to bring specificity to your essay is to make sure your essay is built around stories.

3. Lack of focus: A personal statement should be focused and directed. Include irrelevant material and avoid going off on tangents. You have to be tough-minded when it comes to editing out stuff that doesn’t advance your core positioning as a candidate. All the time, I see candidates who just really want to tell about some award, experience, or accomplishment, so they’ll shoehorn it into their personal statement, disrupting the flow and undermining the essay’s theme. Don’t do this. Either find another part of your application where you can highlight this tangential material or leave it out.

4. Being overly wordy or long: Personal statements should be brief and to the point. Include no extraneous material or go into excessive detail about a single incident.

5. Failure to adjust the personal statement to the program: Make certain that your personal statement is tailored to the specific MBA program to which you are applying. This involves addressing how your history and experiences match with the program’s aims and objectives, as well as mentioning the program’s goals and objectives.

6. Failing to establish your program fit: In addition to adapting your personal statement to the specific program, it is critical to illustrate how you are a good match for the program. This involves talking about your professional aspirations and how the MBA program will help you get there.

7. Being overly self-promotional: While it is vital to showcase your achievements and experiences, avoid becoming overly self-promotional. Consider how your previous experiences prepared you for the MBA program and your future job ambitions. The difference between advocating for yourself (which is good) and bragging (which is bad) is subtle, but there’s an easy test you can use to distinguish. If you use a positive descriptor about yourself (I’m smart, I have good work ethic, I believe in inclusivity, etc.) without providing an example, you’re probably veering more toward boasting than advocating. Again, this is why it’s so important to build around stories.

8. Being dishonest: Be truthful in your personal statement. Puffery and dishonesty are easier to detect than many applicants think, so resist the temptation to juice your application with tall tales.

9. Failing to portray your individuality: Your personal statement is an opportunity to demonstrate your personality and distinctive qualities. Do not exaggerate or inflate your experiences or accomplishments. Allow your individuality to show through instead of being overly official or rigid in your writing.

10. Failing to seek input: Before submitting your personal statement, obtain feedback from others, such as a career counselor, mentor, or trustworthy friend or family member. This will assist you in identifying any areas for growth and ensuring that your personal statement is as good as possible. If you’re looking for professional assistance, be sure to check us out here at Gurufi.com!

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.

How to Think About Diversity Statements

Diversity statements are among the most stressful and uncertain parts of your application package, so we’re going to spend a few posts talking about them. In a recent YouTube post, I talked some about my thoughts on the topic.

Start by understanding the purpose of a diversity statement. It is a chance for you to showcase your distinct experiences, identities, and opinions, as well as how they have influenced your academic and personal development. This might assist admissions committees in understanding the value you will contribute to their graduate program and the larger academic community.
In your writing, be sincere and genuine. Admissions committees will be able to discern if you are simply attempting to check a box for diversity or if you are actually committed to diversity and inclusion. Include clear instances of how your experiences and identities have influenced your life and ambitions.
Consider your personal prejudices and how they may have shaped your viewpoint. A diversity statement allows you to demonstrate that you are self-aware and open to learning from those with diverse backgrounds and experiences.
Keep it brief and to the point. A diversity statement should be 500 words or fewer, so concentrate on the most relevant and significant experiences and identities.
Give this essay the same care and attention that you would with all other written parts of your application, like your CV and Personal Statement. Edit and proofread your statement thoroughly. It is critical that you show yourself in the best possible light, so double-check for spelling and punctuation mistakes and have someone else evaluate your statement for input.

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 Talk About Leadership In Your Personal Statement

During a recent episode of my GMATClub / Gurufi MBA Podcast, I spoke with Russ Morgan, at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. When the conversation turned to personal statements, he offered an insight into what they look for in potential leaders that was quite fascinating. In this brief clip, I offer some thoughts on that and how you can use this information to inform your MBA 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 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 Beat Writer’s Block and Write a Powerful Personal Statement

You’ve picked your dream school, taken your GRE, and gotten your letters of recommendation. You sit down to write, and the blinking cursor on the blank page taunts you. You’re frozen. What to write? Who am I? What makes me special? How do I sum up my entire life, my future, and my intellectual and professional mission in 1000 words?!?!? ARGHHHHH!!!! Oh no, you have writer’s block!

In most cases, people get writer’s block because the skip an important phase of the writing process. Instead of beginngin by just letting ideas flow in a non-self-critical way, they obsess over every word, and start to tear down their own ideas before they even get fully formed.

The trick to beating writer’s block is to make the first stage of writing private, low stakes, and focused on just generating content. But it has to be great content, right? Nope. Making it great comes later. What you need to work out first are your ideas in all of their sloppy, half-baked, meandering, wonderful messiness.

You see, one of the unusual things about people is that we have beliefs and ideas that we don’t even know we have. Our motivations are unclear, even to ourselves. That’s where this writing exercise comes in. The exercise I explain in this video will only take 15-20 minutes from start to finish, but it could provide you the tools you need to make a fantastic personal statement. I’ve taught this technique in seminars and in my classrooms for over a decade, and every time, two things are true. (1) Many (sometimes most) students think, “why are we doing this? This is touchy-feely hippy garbage!” And then they do it. Then, (2) they say, “woah, that was SO helpful!”

Watch the video and do the exercise. The most you will lose is 25 minutes that doesn’t help you. But the upside is that, like so many of my former clients and students, this simple technique gives you the bricks to build something awesome.

How to Write a Powerful Conclusion to Your Personal Statement

We often work with clients who spend a lot of energy making sure that their introductions are unique and compelling, but then don’t invest enough attention in their conclusions. This is a mistake and a missed opportunity. After all, your conclusion is the last impression the reader has of you, so you should view it more like a closing argument than just a way to recap the main beats from your essay.

In this video, Brian from Gurufi.com lays out three quick tips for writing a more effective conclusion.

For more help, 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.

Be Yourself! (But How?)

Authenticity is a vital part of any personal statement. Brian, Gurufi’s CEO, recently wrote a post for PrepAdvisor in which he detailed how and why it’s important to be yourself. More importantly, he details what that means on a practical level. Check it out!

For more help with your personal statements, check us out at Gurufi.com. Our editors 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.

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

As part of our ongoing collaboration between GMATClub and Gurufi, Brian interviewed Brandon Kirby, the Director MBA Marketing & Admissions at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. We covered a broad array of topics, including how to start a business career in Europe, the different advantages or disadvantages of MBA programs in Europe and the United States, and how to think about the kind of education and training you’ll need if you intend to pursue an entrepreneurial path. We also spoke at length about the strengths of RSM and learning, working, and learning in the Netherlands. Check it out!

For more help, check us out at Gurufi.com. Our editors 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.

Three Quick Tips for a Great Personal Statement!

Letters of recommendation are a key part of your application, and yet most people do not approach the process with enough planning and strategy. They wrongly assume that, since somebody else is doing it, their job begins and ends with just emailing a boss or former professor and they take it from there. In this quick video from Gurufi’s YouTube channel, we provide three quick tips for how to approach getting a great letter of rec. Check it out!

If you’d like to learn more about getting a great letter of rec, we’ve covered the topic twice before in much greater detail. You can check out these videos here and here!

For more help, check us out at Gurufi.comOur editors 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 FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Behind the Scenes of Grad School Admissions Committee

Graduate school admissions are fundamentally different than college, law school, MBA, or medical school admissions. Their structure, what they look for, and (probably most importantly) who staffs these admissions boards shape them in important ways. In this video, we go through the admissions process, talk about how this should help guide your approach, and provide some specific approaches.

 

For more help, check us out at Gurufi.com. Our editors 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.