Luke Parrott, Director of Graduate Admissions

Writing graduate school application essays can certainly feel like a daunting task, but these essays give the admissions committee a chance to get to know the person behind the GPA and resume. Though we encourage you to put time and effort into your essays, know that honesty and simplicity are the strongest weapons in your arsenal.

Tell us your story. Members of the admissions committee are reading your essays to understand your motivations for pursuing a graduate program. Think of your application materials as disparate plot points and leverage your essays to sew those points together into a cohesive narrative. Why now? Why Daniels? How have you grown from your previous experiences? How does this program align with your chosen path?

Be honest and personal. Help us get to know you a bit better. Working in tandem with the admissions interview, the essays provide a chance to tell us about the passions and interests we can’t infer from an academic history or lines on a resume. Tell us how your individual character will show up in the classroom, support your classmates and impact the Daniels community and beyond.

Don’t leave it up to the imagination. Remember that the members of the admissions committee have no telepathic powers (that I know of). If you have gaps in your candidacy, it is best to address them candidly. Acknowledging these issues is a sign of emotional intelligence in and of itself, but providing context for the past, taking ownership and providing evidence of growth can assure the committee that you are in a place to be successful in the present.

Be mindful. Remember that each member of the admissions committee dedicates individual time to reading hundreds of essays. Respect their time, your fellow applicants and the spirit of fairness by honoring the word limit and ensuring you have addressed the required prompts. Brevity is the soul of wit and the bread and butter of business writing, so demonstrate your ability to express key concepts efficiently and succinctly.

Know your strengths. Maybe you’re a phenomenal writer. Maybe you’re not. Maybe spelling is your kryptonite. We understand! A successful business operates on the strength of teams, not individuals, so go to that friend, relative or colleague who has a knack for grammar and storytelling. Ask them to proofread and provide feedback on your essays prior to submission. Do your best to ensure that your essays are error-free, convey a unified message and make sense.

Above all, remember that your essays are just one facet of the whole, so don’t let them be an obstacle. Know that the admissions committee is dedicated to evaluating your application with thoughtful goodwill and careful discernment. We are rooting for you, not against you! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for guidance. We’re here to help.

Discover More About Programs at Daniels

Regardless of where you are in your career, we offer programs that will grow your expertise and skills. Our full-time and part-time MBAs, specialized master’s programs, graduate certificates, PhD and executive education courses are all designed to help you excel in the workplace.
Learn More >