Take it From Me…Drama!

There’s nothing quite like a good opera or musical theater production to provide me an occasional emotional catharsis. From the songs of a madman who drowns in a pond to the belting of the misunderstood green witch from the west, I enjoy drama at its finest. The stage is an appropriate place for drama. Your workplace is not, and your essays for a top-quality MBA program are definitely not.

The essays required for your UST MBA application provide you a great opportunity to illustrate your professional savvy, your character, and some of the unique attributes you bring to the business world. To my chagrin, I recently read an essay that did not illustrate these things; it was fit for the stage.

Setting: The cube farm

Plot: Through the very thin cubicle wall, Salesperson A overhears Salesperson B talking to one of Salesperson A’s clients. Salesperson A confronts Salesperson B about “stealing” her client. (Climactic music here please). Salesperson B panics at having been caught in the lie, and Salesperson A feels vindicated (triumphant music here).

As I mentioned, I love a good drama – on the stage. But what I learned about this applicant in this essay is that she handles conflict aggressively without good results, and she relishes drama. As I screen candidates and decide who to accept, I look for people of great character who will make ideal teammates, not those who provide plot ideas for the next big hit on Broadway.

Take it from me, leave the drama on the stage. Eradicate it from your life and most certainly from your MBA essays, and you’ll provide a much more compelling application.