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Etiqueta: Grad School

Begin Your Essays with Your Strongest Accomplishments

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Begin Your Essays with Your Strongest Accomplishments by mbaMission

When preparing personal statements that require significant information about career progress, many applicants choose to discuss their accomplishments in chronological order. Although the simplicity of this approach makes it an attractive one, we encourage you to consider an alternative to showcase your more recent and thus potentially stronger accomplishments first. By choosing this alternate approach, you may capture your reader’s imagination more quickly and reduce the risk of being lost amid similar candidates.

Consider the examples of a software analyst who is now a project manager managing a budget and leading a team of 20 programmers, and of an investment banking analyst who is now in his/her third year with a company and has been sent abroad to work directly with a CFO:

The Project Manager:

Chronological: “Joining ABC Technology as a software programmer, I…”

Reverse: “Scrutinizing my plan one last time, I waited to present my team’s $3.7M proposal to our client…”

The Investment Banker:

Chronological: “As an investment banking analyst at Deutsche Bank, I started…”

Reverse: “Arriving in Taipei, I was admittedly nervous to finally meet the CFO of XYZ Co. and lead my firm’s due diligence process…”

In these examples, the candidates immediately present their standout accomplishments and thrust the reader into the excitement of their stories. Although this kind of reverse introduction is not “all purpose,” it can be a feasible option in many circumstances. Still, in choosing this approach, the candidate must also be able to fluidly return to earlier moments in his/her career later in the essay—a task that requires creativity and skill.

Another task that requires skill is determining when to use the active voice. Many writers use the passive voice in their essays, but the best writers know it should be used only rarely, if ever.

The passive voice puts the verb in the “wrong” place in the sentence, thereby removing the “action.” Subjects become acted upon rather than performing actions. Sentences with the passive voice typically include verb phrases such as “was” or “has been” (e.g., “it was determined,” “the project has been completed”).

Consider this example of the passive voice:

“The marathon was run despite my injury.”

In this sentence, the verb (or action) is diminished because the writer says the marathon “was run.” A better way of describing the same activity is to use the active voice, as illustrated in this example:

“I ran the marathon despite my injury.”

Here are two more examples:

Passive: “The contract was awarded to us.”

Active: “We won the contract.”

Passive: “It was decided that I would be in charge of the project.”

Active: “My boss selected me to be in charge of the project.”

Remember—you are the center and subject of your essays. The best way to tell your stories and explain your accomplishments is to make sure that you are the catalyst of the stories you tell. Using the active voice ensures that the admissions committee(s) will see you as an active person who makes things happen. 📝


Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - mbaMission LogombaMission is the leader in MBA admissions consulting with a full-time and comprehensively trained staff of consultants, all with profound communications and MBA experience. mbaMission has helped thousands of candidates fulfill their dream of attending prominent MBA programs around the world. Take your first step toward a more successful MBA application experience with a free 30-minute consultation with one of mbaMission’s senior consultants. Click here to sign up today.

The post Begin Your Essays with Your Strongest Accomplishments appeared first on GRE.

Fuente https://www.manhattanprep.com

Pluralize Nouns and Vary Sentence Length in Your Application Essays

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Pluralize Nouns and Vary Sentence Length in Your Application Essays by mbaMission

One way to conserve words in your application essays and short-answer responses is by pluralizing nouns whenever possible. Singular words often require an article such as “a,” “an,” or “the.” These words can add unnecessarily to your word count, thereby cluttering your page without contributing to your argument or style. Consider the following example:

“A manager with an MBA can ascend the corporate ladder faster than a manager who lacks an MBA.” (18 words)

Now consider this version, in which many of the singular nouns have been pluralized:

“Managers with MBAs can ascend the corporate ladder faster than managers without MBAs.” (13 words)

As you can see, both sentences present the same idea, but one sentence is five words shorter than the other. Given that application essays can include dozens or even hundreds of sentences, pluralizing wherever possible is helpful in meeting word count requirements and decluttering the text.

Although decluttering your application essays is important, ensure that all of your sentences are not the same length. Many business school applicants use medium-length sentences (like this one) in their essays. Few use short sentences (like this one). Likewise, few use long sentences in their application essays, even though long sentences (like this one) can often play a useful role in an essay’s structure and story.

Confused? Consider the following example:

“At XYZ Inc., I was the manager in charge of leading a team of 12 staff members. Included in my team were four engineers, four marketing professionals, and four market analysts. Our goal was to develop a new thingamajig within six months. We worked really hard over the six months and succeeded. The new thingamajig is now on the market and is selling well. As a result of my efforts, I was promoted to vice president.”

All these sentences have approximately the same number of words and the same rhythm/cadence, making the paragraph fairly boring to read. Nothing changes—the structure just repeats itself over and over again, with one medium-length sentence following another medium-length sentence.

Now consider this example:*

“At XYZ Inc., I was the manager in charge of leading a thingamajig development team of 12 staff members, four of whom were engineers, four were marketing professionals, and four were market analysts. We had just six months to launch our new product. The team worked really hard and succeeded, and the new thingamajig is now on the market, where it is selling well. As a result of my efforts, I was promoted to vice president.”

The sentences in this paragraph are varied—the first is quite long, the second is very short, the third is medium-long, and the fourth is medium-short. Sentence variety makes for a much more interesting read, and one very short sentence in the middle of some longer ones can provide precisely the kind of contrast and drama that application essays so often need.

*Please note that this is a simplified example for illustration purposes. If this were an actual essay, we would encourage the applicant to offer greater insight into his/her experience launching the product. 📝


Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - mbaMission LogombaMission is the leader in MBA admissions consulting with a full-time and comprehensively trained staff of consultants, all with profound communications and MBA experience. mbaMission has helped thousands of candidates fulfill their dream of attending prominent MBA programs around the world. Take your first step toward a more successful MBA application experience with a free 30-minute consultation with one of mbaMission’s senior consultants. Click here to sign up today.

The post Pluralize Nouns and Vary Sentence Length in Your Application Essays appeared first on GRE.

Fuente https://www.manhattanprep.com

Interact for GRE, Our New Adaptive & Interactive GRE Prep, is Here!

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Interact for GRE, Our New Adaptive & Interactive GRE Prep, is Here! by Manhattan Prep

We’re extremely excited to announce that Interact for GRE—our on-demand, interactive GRE self-study experience that’s been in the works for years—has officially launched. 🎉

Starting at just $249, Interact for GRE is a revolutionary learning experience made just for you, the busy grad school applicant who needs flexible and comprehensive GRE prep. Using branching video technology, Interact for GRE adapts to your performance by providing you with prompts and delivering customized feedback based on your responses.

With Interact for GRE, you will:

  • learn from top 1% GRE scorers with years of teaching experience
  • be an active participant in the study experience—you won’t just watch instructors lecture you from slides.
  • work with videos that adapt to your strengths and weaknesses so that you spend the right amount of time on each topic.
  • get all the practice problems you could ask for (100,000+) to ensure that the lessons did their job.

Check out Interact for GRE here—you can learn what it’s all about, see what’s included, and even try it out for free. 📝

The post Interact for GRE, Our New Adaptive & Interactive GRE Prep, is Here! appeared first on GRE.

Fuente https://www.manhattanprep.com

Mission Admission: I Must Have Done Something Wrong

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Mission Admission: I Must Have Done Something Wrong by mbaMission

Taking the GRE for your graduate school application? You’re in luck. Each month, we are featuring a series of admission tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner, mbaMission.


You have a high GRE score and a 3.75 GPA. You have made solid career progress and procured glowing recommendations. You have been actively volunteering in your community for years. You worked hard on your application and landed an interview at your target school, where you felt you did well. But you still did not get in. You must have done something terribly wrong in your interview or unwittingly made a mess of your essays, right? Not necessarily.

We recently spoke with the admissions director at a top program who explained that his school does not give feedback to rejected candidates because it is simply a waste of the candidate’s and admissions staff’s time. The admissions director told us that the school would need to nitpick in order to give candidates something to work on and to ensure that they filled the time during these hypothetical feedback sessions. He explained that nine times out of ten, the feedback that they offered to weaker candidates would be patently obvious and that countless strong applicants had done nothing wrong at all. In fact, most candidates create their best applications, but space is simply limited in the class.

Although this may not be comforting if you were rejected, you may just have been the victim of a competitive process during a competitive year. We suggest that you honestly assess your own candidacy and consider staying the course as you continue applying. Spending significant time revamping your applications may be a waste of time and a losing strategy. Patience may prove beneficial in the long term.


Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - mbaMission LogombaMission is the leader in MBA admissions consulting with a full-time and comprehensively trained staff of consultants, all with profound communications and MBA experience. mbaMission has helped thousands of candidates fulfill their dream of attending prominent MBA programs around the world. Take your first step toward a more successful MBA application experience with a free 30-minute consultation with one of mbaMission’s senior consultants. Click here to sign up today.

The post Mission Admission: I Must Have Done Something Wrong appeared first on GRE.

Fuente https://www.manhattanprep.com

While Waiting for Grad School Interview Invitations, Consider What to Expect

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - While Waiting for Grad School Interview Invitations, Consider What to Expect by mbaMission

Taking the GRE for your graduate school application? You’re in luck. Each month, we are featuring a series of admission tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner,  mbaMission.


As grad school interview invitations roll out, do your best to remain calm and let the admissions committees do their work. Although becoming a little apprehensive is natural if you have not yet received an invitation, you will certainly not increase your chances of receiving one by calling the admissions office and asking if the school does indeed have all your files or if a grad school interview decision has been made. In fact, such calls can actually have a negative effect on your candidacy, inadvertently making you seem pushy or even belligerent.

Admissions offices are increasingly transparent and should be taken at their word. If they say they are still releasing decisions, then they are in fact still doing so. If they say that the timing of your grad school interview decision does not signify an order of preference, then it does not. Unless something has changed materially in your candidacy, all you can really do—as painful as it may be—is wait patiently and try not to think about the decision or second-guess your status.

As the application season reaches its final rounds, we thought it would be appropriate to discuss some challenging grad school interview situations you might encounter. Most grad school interviews are straightforward opportunities for an interviewer to learn more about a candidate’s personal and professional backgrounds, goals, reasons for selecting a specific school, and leadership/team experiences. Yet interviews can vary dramatically from school to school, and sometimes they include a few peculiarities. So, what constitutes a “tough” grad school interview, and how can you best navigate one?

Stoic interviewer: Some interviewers can be unemotional, refusing to give you any indication as to whether you are making a positive impression or not. And amid the intense pressure of a grad school interview, you may perceive this lack of clear positive response as a sign of actual disapproval. The key to managing such a situation is to tune out the interviewer’s lack of emotion. Focus on your answers and do your best to not be distracted by anything about the interviewer, ignoring everything except the questions he/she is posing. “Reading” the interviewer in real time can be challenging, so you should instead concentrate on showcasing your strengths.

Philosophical questions: Most candidates are ready to discuss their experiences and accomplishments, but many are not prepared to discuss their values and philosophy on life. Harvard Business School, in particular, likes to understand applicants’ motivations and will ask questions like “What is your motivation to succeed?,” “What drives you?,” and “What gives you purpose in life?” The key to answering these sorts of questions is pretty simple: expect and prepare for them in advance (after all, you are being warned right now). However, you should not assume that all the questions you will receive during your grad school interview will be experiential.

Persistent questioning: Sometimes a tough interviewer will continuously delve deeper into a subject, such as by repeatedly asking “Can you be more specific about [the topic under discussion]?” after posing an initial question. These kinds of unusual pressure tactics can be disconcerting, but the key is to simply stay on topic. No matter how persistent he/she is, the interviewer is always essentially asking you about a subject that you know quite well—you! So again, by avoiding the distraction of the tactic and sticking to your agenda, you should be fine. 📝


Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - mbaMission LogombaMission is the leader in MBA admissions consulting with a full-time and comprehensively trained staff of consultants, all with profound communications and MBA experience. mbaMission has helped thousands of candidates fulfill their dream of attending prominent MBA programs around the world. Take your first step toward a more successful MBA application experience with a free 30-minute consultation with one of mbaMission’s senior consultants. Click here to sign up today.

The post While Waiting for Grad School Interview Invitations, Consider What to Expect appeared first on GRE.

Fuente https://www.manhattanprep.com