Search Results for: strengths and weaknesses essay
October 3, 2017
Tuesday Tips: INSEAD Fall 2018 MBA Essay Tips
INSEAD, “the business school of the world,” is a dynamic, diverse and highly international MBA option. INSEAD is looking for ability to contribute, academic motivation, leadership potential and international motivation. Along with the basic MBA … →
Posted inApplication Tips, INSEAD Advice|Taggedadvice, application tips, applications, career goals, Essay Questions, Essay Tips, Fall 2018 MBA Essay Tips, INSEAD, INSEAD MBA, MBA application
September 28, 2017
INSEAD Fall 2018 MBA Essay Questions
INSEAD has posted the following job and motivation essays within the Fall 2018 MBA application. Job Essays As the applications instructions state: The job questions are not essays. Hence, the number of words is not so … →
Posted inSchool News|Taggedbest European business schools, European business schools, European MBA programs, Fall 2018 MBA essays, INSEAD
September 26, 2017
Tuesday Tips: Emory Goizueta Business School Fall 2018 Essay Tips
The Emory MBA program in Atlanta offers a variety of programs, including a one-year MBA, a business analytics program and the traditional two-year MBA. The program is designed to give students practical, hands-on experience to … →
Posted inApplication Tips, Emory Goizueta Advice|Taggedapplication tips, career goals essay, Emory, Emory MBA, Emory University, Essay Tips, Fall 2018 MBA Essay Tips, Goizueta Business School
September 1, 2017
How to Address Weaknesses, Strengths as MBA Applicant
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s ‘Strictly Business’ MBA blog on U.S. News Faced with increasingly stiff competition for a spot at the top business schools, MBA applicants must possess more than stellar test scores and a pedigreed … →
Posted inApplication Tips|Taggedadvice for recommenders, letter of recommendation, MBA essay advice, optional MBA essay, strengths and weaknesses, US News Strictly Business, weakness essay
July 14, 2017
Why Your MBA Short List Should Include Dream, Target and (Maybe) Safety Schools
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com One of the most important decisions you’ll make during the MBA application process—big surprise—is which schools you’re going to apply to in the first place. … →
Posted inApplication Tips|Taggeddream business school, fit, reach school, safety school, School Selection, US News Strictly Business
July 4, 2017
Tuesday Tips: The Wharton School Fall 2018 MBA Essay Tips
The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania has kept this set of essays simple. Specific advice on essays from a student reminds applicants that “the Admissions Committee is looking to understand more about you and … →
Posted inApplication Tips, UPenn Wharton Advice|Taggedadvice, application advice, application tips, applications, career goals, Essay Questions, Essay Tips, Fall 2018 MBA Essay Tips, MBA application, MBA Essays, MBA program, the Wharton School, UPenn Wharton, UPenn Wharton School, Wharton, Wharton School
“What are your weaknesses?”
Most MBA applicants find this to be the most difficult question to answer.
As professionals and entrepreneurs, we are trained to put our best foot forward in order to sell our businesses and ourselves. We think and rehearse how to best present our strengths, while hardly spending any time considering our weaknesses. Understandably, addressing this question during one’s MBA application essay or interview usually proves to be quite a challenge.
Asked to identify his weaknesses, a typical MBA applicant will ask him or herself two questions:
1) What should I avoid mentioning?
Everyone worries about giving an answer that will reveal a fatal flaw to the admissions committee and hurt one’s chances at being admitted to an MBA program. Thus, a frequent mistake is to answer this question using a fake weakness – saying something like, “I am too smart,” or, “I work too effectively,” does not really answer the question and will just irritate your audience. Presenting yourself as unrealistically perfect will also diminish the genuine strengths you have, and create doubt in the accomplishments you have discussed throughout the essays or the interview, as it makes you appear incapable of an honest self-assessment.
Another similar no-no is to blame somebody else for your weakness. Do not attribute a weakness solely to your work environment, personal circumstances, or ethnicity – this comes across as a reckless generalization and will not add any value to your case. It will also only shift the conversation into a negative tone and counter the strong, optimistic vibe that you want to be associated with.
2) What exactly are they looking for?
Admissions committees are looking for applicants who will greatly benefit from attending their school’s MBA program, and who can contribute to the experience of other MBA participants. Using this as a guide, the weakness question should be used to demonstrate character traits of self-awareness, ability to learn from failures, and open-mindedness to effectively use feedback and criticism.
An applicant should identify specific skills and knowledge gaps that he or she will need to work on in order to reach her post MBA goals – ideally, specifics of the target MBA program in terms of courses, culture, or community should be matched to these potential growth areas.
Executing this answer properly will put forth an honest reflection that shows genuine interest in a school’s MBA program and convinces the admissions committee that the applicant has really researched the school’s offering. Effectively demonstrating your potential to gain from, and contribute to, an MBA program through your personal story will help convince the admission committee of your fit with their school. Filling in details of how you have addressed your identified weakness or how you are in the process of doing so will also help show how proactive you are, and how you will greatly benefit from this particular MBA program.
A final tip: whenever you are asked about strengths and weaknesses in one question, whether in an essay or an interview, you must allocate time and space as evenly as possible between talking about the two. Most applicants spend 2/3 or more of the space they are given for strengths leaving little room to develop the weakness portion of the answer. This type of answer will look like it was just glossed over, and that the question was not answered adequately – it will also not allow you to make a proper case as to why you will benefit from the program.
A good answer to the “weakness” question strengthens your case to be admitted to your target MBA program even as you identify a real weakness. Skillfully weaving stories of your personal experiences, self-reflection, and vision through discussion of this weakness will make your profile unique and compelling to the admissions committee.
Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! As always, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+and Twitter.
Written by Edison Cu, a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for INSEAD.