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Jones Graduate School of Business Essay Analysis 2016-17

Posted on December 02, 2016
Jones essay analysis

The school that we’re going to be looking at is the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University.
 
Being in Texas, we see a lot of Indians applying to this school. We’ve also got students who’ve got scholarships in the past. So if you’re applying to Rice, let’s go ahead and take a look at the essays they have.
 

 
They have essentially two essays. The first essay is a standard goals essay.
 

Essay 1:

 
Describe your short-term and long-term goals, and how the MBA will help you to achieve those goals. Include in your discussion: Why is now the appropriate time to pursue an MBA and why are you interested in obtaining a Rice MBA? (750 words)
 
This has 750 words, that’s a lot of real estate for you. Make sure you don’t mess it up by writing a lot of things. It’s very important that we structure it properly so that the question gets answered.
 
Here is how I would put the structure:
 
In 250 words describe what you’ve done so far.
 
See, it’s very important that you talk about your life accomplishments, but don’t make it into a replica of your resume. It should be a short career progression—this is what I learnt and this is where I’m at this juncture in life.
 
You need to stop the first 250 words at a point where it says that it says at this point this guy has done so much, what else do you think he can do?
 
The next 250 words is where you need to invest in talking about at this juncture in your life, why is it personally and professionally the most apt time for you to pursue an MBA? What is it that you want to do?
 
Sometimes it could also be a moment of epiphany. Like, “I started my career, things were working fine but at this point I realized I have this aha effect. I just said, ‘Wow! This is what I want to pursue next.’”
 
And the moment you looked at what you wanted to pursue next, you also realized that there were certain challenges that you had to overcome. What are those challenges? What are the things that you need to equip yourself with, to do well in this career path?
 
A lot to write, but do it within 250 words.
 
The third paragraph is, now that you know what you need to equip yourself with, how specifically would Jones Graduate School of Business, help you achieve that?
 
I’ve said this multiple times, steer clear of platitudes. Don’t give reasons such as world class university and excellent infrastructure. Be very specific. That’s the key.
 
 

Essay 2:

 

Choose between the three options:
 
A. “Describe a defining moment or event that changed your life.” (300 words)
 
B. Tweet: “If you had to tweet something to the world for the first time about yourself, what would you tweet?” (140 characters)
 
C. Video: “Introduce yourself to your classmates in a 90 second video.”

 
You’re probably thinking which among the three you should select. Here’s the deal: the B-school is not going to base your admission on the choice. So it’s not like Tweet is less effort so it’s considered any less than say a video which perhaps takes more effort.
 
What I would suggest is that look at the kind of person you are. What would best showcase who you are?
 
For example, if you’re a person who feels that you’ve got the personality, probably put yourself on a video.
 
If you feel you’re witty or you’re like an ad copywriter who can write this very smart tweet about himself, then you probably want to pick that.
 
Or if you feel you’re more prosaic in your methods and you think there is a great event that could showcase to the AdCom who you really are, then you probably want to pick the first one.
 
First try to figure out who you are and then try to pick the medium.
 
 
Now very briefly on each one of these.
 

“Describe a defining moment or event that changed your life.” (300 words)

 
It has to be a defining moment, but here is the mistake that most people do. They will spend the entire 300 words talking about the defining moment.
 
Instead talk about the defining moment and also tell why it defined you. Don’t leave it to the reader’s imagination.
 
It is very important that you actually go ahead and explain the impact of that event on your life and how it’s changed you. How you are now a different person than who you were before the event.
 
 

Tweet: “If you had to tweet something to the world for the first time about yourself, what would you tweet?” (140 characters)

 
If you have to introduce yourself through a tweet, it has to be witty, it has to be remarkable. It’s not a simple sentence. If you’re going to think in terms of a sentence—I’m an engineer who’s worked for four years at so and so company—you’ve lost the plot.
 
It has to be extremely witty. Be cautious if you’re not a copywriter, if you’re not the kind of person who tweets a lot, this might be a challenge for you.
 
 

Video: “Introduce yourself to your classmates in a 90 second video.”

 
Keep the video simple, for example this one we’re shooting on a camera phone.
 
You just need to make sure that the lighting is fine, ensure that the voice is clear.
 
If you want to get in front of the camera, if you want to introduce yourself, what would you say? Again, don’t speak about what is already there on the resume. Say something new, something interesting.
 
Make those 90 seconds memorable.
 
 

Optional Essay

 

You may use this essay to discuss anything else that you would like the Admissions Committee to know about you, or to provide information or clarification on any aspect of your application. (Maximum 750 words)

 
As always, you have an optional essay. For 750 words, you might be tempted to write a lot more, but here is my advice, don’t write anything that doesn’t make sense because the optional essay is meant for something that is glaring, that they could not figure out from the rest of your essays.
 
It could be something like a break from work, poor undergrad scores or something that’s really consequential.
Think of it this way: you’ve completed the interview, you’ve left the room. Then suddenly you remember something, you come back to the interview room, you knock the door and you say, “Excuse me, I just wanted to say one thing about myself that will help me understand my candidature”.
 
Now think about it. Would you come back and say, “Hey, by the way, I also won this competition at work”?
 
It doesn’t really make sense. It has to be something that’s impactful. Say, “There’s one thing I wanted to let you know, there’s a gap of 6 months in my employment. That is the time I took a sabbatical because I wanted to explore a startup idea”
 
So that’s all about the essays.
 
Please go ahead and apply to Jones Graduate School of Business.
 
 
If you need any help from CrackVerbal and you feel we can help you craft a winning application, we’ll be more than glad to help.
 
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