Here’s an almost-direct quote from an essay I read recently:
In matching finance and risk management skills with advanced teachings in consulting and supply chain processes will prove a thriving, well positioned combination of skills to expand my tool set.
First of all, this makes no sense. The grammar is flawed, leaving the reader confounded by the end of the sentence. Second, it is so full of clichés that is loses meaning. What is a “thriving, well positioned combination of skills to expand my tool set”?
Remember, admissions advisers read hundreds of applications. We are looking for interesting people with unique experiences or at least unique thoughts about those experiences. As far as I’m concerned, clichés are a waste of valuable space on your application. What have I learned about a candidate who tells me they want to pursue an MBA because they hope to broaden their horizons and expand their tool set? If you're going to use one, do it right—marketing expert Seth Godin recently wrote about the use of clichés on his blog:
The effective way to use a cliché is to point to it and then do precisely the opposite. Juxtapose the cliché with the unexpected truth of what you have to offer.
In general, I want to learn that a candidate plans to use his/her UST MBA for a concrete goal: to start a non-profit organization that builds schools in Africa, or that the candidate would like a UST MBA to learn more about marketing management so they can seek promotions within their organization.
Take it from me, poor use of clichés indicates an inability to think outside the box and is not a value-add to your application; consider a paradigm shift to reverbiagize your essay with and gain some synergies to drill down past the low hanging fruit, keeping your application at the top-of-mind and on the bleeding edge.