Posts Tagged 'apply'

You Can’t Buy Your Way Into Business School

Have you ever wished you could simply purchase completed MBA group projects to turn in, or hire someone to take tests for you?  A recent SF Gate article states you can now lighten you MBA application workload by purchasing previous applicants’ admission essays.  As helpful as that may sound, I can promise that pursuing that strategy when applying to business school will bring you problems.

Wordprom was founded by two MBA’s (one from Standford and one from Berkeley), and the company provides MBA with previous applicants’ admissions essays.  The service allows interested parties to search for essays based on specific criteria, such as the applicant’s school, gender, graduation year, and even the admissions round the application and essay were submitted.  An essay costs about $50, and a portion of the sales is returned to the author.

I’ll admit, paying someone to essentially write a draft version of my admissions essay sounds great on paper.  But there are three important reasons why using this service is a terrible idea:

1. The essay doesn’t tell your story.  If you purchase a Wordprom essay and use its ideas and structures in your own essay, you’re not telling your personal story in your voice.  One of the essays’ purposes is to give the admissions counselor an idea of who you are, through the personal story you share.  To me, it’s as if you simply bought an MBA Essay Mad Lib and filled in the responses.  It’s not you telling your story; it’s just a paper sharing some details about your life.

2. Buying an essay may mean you aren’t ready for business school.  One of the expectations MBA programs have of their students is that they can effectively communicate.  This means they can share complex ideas with professors and classmates in both written and spoken formats.  If someone wasn’t confident enough in their abilities to write an effective application essay, it’s unlikely that confidence would appear after being accepted into a program.

3. Schools consider it cheating.  Case in point: UCLA’s Anderson School of Management rejected 52 MBA applicants last year after discovering plagiarism in their essays.  The school ran the essays through Turnitin.com which raised the flags with the applications.  Since the essays available for purchase from Wordprom are papers previous applicants had written, it’s no surprise they were uncovered by UCLA.  Applicants should assume schools will always do their due diligence, and that includes screening essays for any possible signs of plagiarism.

Here’s the bottom line: take pride in your background, experiences, and abilities when applying to business school.  Use the essays to showcase your writing abilities and paint a more complete picture of who you are.  Admissions counselors are looking to see whether applicants will be a good fit in the MBA program and whether they will contribute to the graduate school experience.  Don’t sell yourself short and fill-in a cookie-cutter essay.  Find your voice, share your unique perspective, and put your best foot forward when starting out on your MBA journey.

Have you used Wordprom or a similar service when applying to business school?  What are your feelings about buying portions of an MBA application?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below, or tweet me @OrangeCountyMBA.  I’d love to hear what you think!

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