Monday, May 31, 2004
Q: Is it all right to mention your personal achievements, something intangible and something very personal as opposed to more businesslike, in "3 most substantial achievements essay"? -"Da Raver LA" via comments
A: First let me say that I am no expert on admissions, so my answer is based upon my interpretation of Montauk's book as well as my own (limited) experience. My advice is worth what you pay for it. To answer your question, I think it is perfectly acceptable to relate something personal and non-work related in your essays for HBS. Although the HBS application seems to focus on business and work aspects of your life much more so than other schools (like Stanford or Kellogg, to name two), I don't think there is anything wrong with getting personal. Keep in mind, though, that whatever you bring up must fit into your overall strategy and must add something to your candidacy. As in chess, where every move should be part of a coherent strategy, you have to avoid introducing extraneous or contradictory information into your application. From that perspective, then, the key criteria for a given story is not whether it is professional or personal, but whether it makes sense within your overall application strategy.
Anyone out there with a different view?