I’ve completed my first draft of Wharton’s Essay 1! This is a major milestone. My first MBA essay ever, and definitely more than 15 hours of work taking into account all the time spent in front of the computer thinking, with my fingers poised to type but not moving.
I pretty much did the essay in two discrete portions – first, career progress, and second, career goals and how a Wharton MBA would help me achieve them. Describing my career to date was relatively straightforward, and I struggled only to condense my experiences and avoid rehashing my resume. I think it still needs more work, but at least it’s in a state where I would be comfortable in asking people to offer feedback.
Refining my career goals, on the other hand, was painstakingly difficult and this was where the bulk of my time went. I knew what my short-term goal was, but coming up with a plausible long-term goal that I could tie back to my background, interests, and short term goal given my hazy view of where I want to be in 10 years was a trying experience. I probably burned out a few brain cells in the process. For those of you who haven’t started yet, this is definitely the KEY to the essay and the effort required to articulate your goals should not be underestimated.
Once I had my career goals settled, answering the Why MBA and Why Wharton questions were a breeze. It was simply a matter of identifying what skills and knowledge I lacked, how an MBA could bridge that gap, and including specific details about Wharton that attracted me.
My essay is still rough around the edges, so I’m going to send it out for review and hopefully get some good insights on how I can improve it.
Now on to Essay 2…