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Tuesday, November 26, 2013
B-School Essay is No Place for Jargon
I want to start this post by promising to tread lightly on my soap box on this one. But please, business school candidates, consider my plea.
I do not have an MBA and have never entertained the idea of business school. I don't work in the "corporate" realm. This places me in the shoes of many, many admissions officers-even those reading your business school personal statement.
What this means is that I don't know what the phrases "supply-chain-management", "complex distribution channels", or "procurement" mean. Yes, I know the definitions of those words, but the phrases themselves land gently at my feet as I read them, and I'm really too apathetic to pick them up. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone. If you don't care what I think, at least consider your reader.
It isn't that it's bad to "think outside the box", or leverage assets, or implement "best practices". It's that all of these phrases are bubble wrap. Their only function is to fill up space in the box and prevent your reader from seeing what's really inside the package.
I understand that many business schools ask about your real world experience. They also ask about your goals. I think it is possible to describe both without using corporate terminology. There's a place for "core competency" and "price points" (I guess), but what does either really say about you, your skills or your ambitions?
Sometimes I think b-school types just can't suffer the glittery sparkle of creative writing. Ok. You're taciturn. You loathe talking about yourself. You prize brevity above all else. Fine. Just don't let these qualities strip your essay of all vibrancy and life.
And please, please, don't substitute substance with jargon.
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