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March 10, 2009

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Whoever first said that you should worry only about the things you can control was nothelping to ease the concerns of the student writing his or her applicationessay. By that criterion, the student-writer should be very worried indeed.

Thescariest aspect of the admissions essay is that you have total control over it.With EssayEdge's help, however, you will learn to see the essay-writing processnot as a daunting obstacle but as a stimulating opportunity. When you send outyour application, you will--in theory--have nothing left to worry about, knowingthat you have capitalized on all the means available to you.

Business school students face a uniquely difficult challenge, because mostprograms require a series of essays rather than a single, comprehensive personalstatement. This fact alone should indicate the importance that business schoolsplace on your written responses. Part of the reason for this extra requiredwriting is that business schools also place a stronger emphasis on practicalexperience. Academic ability may still be the number-one factor, but it's notenough to get you into a school, just as it's not enough to guarantee yoursuccess in the business world. Business schools pay close attention to personalqualities, including your leadership, communication skills, initiative, vision,and many more. Grades and scores do not explain this side of you, and neitherdoes a resume.

Thus your admission will depend largely on your ability to convey yourexperiences and goals in written form. Self-assessment is a significant part ofthis process, as is a careful review of both your life and what you have doneprofessionally. Many successful professionals have simply never had toarticulate their accomplishments before and now for the first time mustcommunicate this information in a very clear, concise, powerful manner that isaccessible to anyone, even without knowledge of their field. Being able toconvey both the substance and significance of one's work life is crucial for allapplicants.

The lessons provided by EssayEdge for Vault will familiarize you with the most common questions onbusiness school applications and explain some possible strategies for handlingthem. However, there is no single way to approach any of these questions, asthey are often open-ended and leave a great deal of room for creativity. Infact, browsing a section for a question you don't have can still be useful,because you might discover a strategy that you can apply to an entirelydifferent question

Our goal is to focus on actual essays rather than make abstract suggestions,because you can learn more from illustrative examples than from principles thatmay not apply to your case. The insights we gain from analyzing these sampleessays should inform rather than dictate the approach you choose to take.

Thenumber-one mistake that writers make is to stick to formulas and, therefore, endup blending in with everyone else. The purpose of this guide is not to teachformulas but rather to give the necessary direction for you to create anoriginal and effective essay.

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