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"The personal statement is important as a way
of gauging motivation and enthusiasm". Head Of Admissions,
Hamid Jahankhani, University of East London.





Business/ MBA admission - Critique

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The first essay has a compelling theme: that you have consistently sought to overcome challenges that might have prevented you from pursuing greater knowledge and more substantial achievements. The admission committee will be impressed by your continual pursuit of more challenging work as it shows your initiative and desire for intellectual stimulation.

In my editing, I corrected grammatical and diction weaknesses, such as awkward sentence structures, repetition, and poor word choice. However, I did not confine my edits to the sentence level; instead, I focused on improving the cohesiveness of the essay's theme. Your first sentence lacked the detail necessary for it to have relevance to the rest of your essay. However, after doing a Google search on Lester Wunderman, I found sufficient information to flesh out this idea. As a result, the essay now has a much-improved organisation and a consistent theme that runs throughout the essay, tying the introduction and the conclusion together.

You talk continually of seeking challenge, but you also talk of overcoming setbacks. I combined these two ideas into a coherent theme by emphasising not only your determination, but also your desire to take thoughtful risks.

Your essay also had problems with weak sentence structures and lack of effective topic sentences. I focused on replacing any passive voice sentences with active language and eliminating wordiness and vague language in favour of concise, direct wording. I also rearranged information, moving sentences to new paragraphs if necessary to improve flow.

Here is a paragraph-by-paragraph analysis of my editing:

Paragraph 1
Your first sentence does not contain enough information to leave the reader satisfied. You state, "David Ogilvy got me interested in advertising, but it was Lester Wunderman who got me interested in business." Yet, you take it for granted that everyone is familiar with these persons, and you fail to provide sufficient information to make this statement relevant to the rest of the essay. Your next sentence completely changes the subject: "An academic record can state a lot about a person's character." Do you see how you lack an effective transition here?

To correct these serious errors, I did a google search to find more information about Wunderman. Since most of your essay attempts to prove your determination and ability to overcome setbacks, an excellent opening would establish a parallel between your struggle and that of your business idol. I moved the academic information to the end of the essay; it doesn't fit anywhere else but makes for a good conclusion.

Paragraph 2
You say that you were unable to complete your physical education requirements and, as a result, became "emotionally distraught." However, you do not provide sufficient detail here. Anytime you mention a psychological problem, especially one necessitating a trip to the psychiatrist, you need to provide solid background information. Here, however, you fail to do this, leaving the reader to assume that you broke down over a relatively minor issue.

This is not the impression you want to convey: I reworded this language to focus on the positive. After all, you say that you received excellent grades. You should focus on your ability to overcome rather than on your self-perceived failures. Take a look at the revised version to see how active-voiced, positive language can greatly improve an applicant's case.

Paragraph 3
"From school I moved onto working in Norwich Union Insurance" - You need a more compelling topic sentence that doesn't simply state fact. Through subtle alterations, the revised sentence provides you with a purpose for this move: "After graduation, I decided to gain exposure to the insurance field, taking a position at Norwich Union Insurance."
In personal statements, it is crucial to explain why you did something, in order to present yourself as a purposeful candidate.

"I never enjoyed this job as it was very repetitive and mind numbing" - Again, try to spin this in a positive light. The wording here is excessively negative. After all, you chose this job-you don't want this information to reflect badly upon you.

Paragraph 4
This paragraph also needed a few word additions in order to better show your focus and determination. The sentence structure was a bit too straightforward; I spiced up the essay by providing a greater variety of sentence structures.

The original essay also lacked a conclusion; I provided one that references your overall theme as well as your introduction in order to provide closure.

If you wish to improve further, you should talk more about why you chose to go into business. In addition to the challenges it posed, what specific subject matter interested you? Is there one business field in particular that you plan to pursue?

Overall, this essay begins with a compelling introduction and ends with a confident conclusion. The additional information I provided gives your essay greater focus and accurately displays your maturity and desire for intellectual challenge. Your transitions are much improved and your language is much more eloquent. This essay radiates enthusiasm, intellectual curiosity, thoughtfulness and a determined personality; by revealing these traits, your personal statement is sure to make a wonderful impression on the admissions committee.

Essay 2
This essay contained some excellent information about your career goals, as well as the strengths of Manchester's particular program. There were some language weaknesses however, including poor word choice, awkward sentence structures and vague language. For example, what is the "relationship between real and virtual worlds"? This sentence is confusing and lacks sufficient information to convey clarity.

Through my editing, I constructed dynamic, concrete wording and smooth sentence structures.

Here is an analysis of my editing:

Paragraph 1
Your first sentence - "As to the future, in five years time…" - is a bit awkward and not sufficiently dynamic. The revised version-"When I envision my life five years from now, I imagine two possible scenarios" - is clearer and more concise, providing a more eloquent setup for you to explain your goals.

Paragraph 2
You have too many vague phrases here, such as "broad understanding". I went through the entire paragraph, fleshing out your sentences to improve clarity and flow. I divided the essay into three paragraphs instead of two, because I had to clarify many of your ideas by expanding upon the supplied information.

If you wish to improve further, you can talk about types of companies you want to work for; "one of the world's greatest companies" is too vague. What would be your capacity? Consulting? Financial analysis? By making your career goals even more specific, you can further convince the admissions committee of your focus and determination.

This essay has been greatly improved in every area-wording, structure and theme. I altered your introduction to draw in the reader and I corrected your conclusion so that you provide a sense of closure. This essay is much more specific than the original and will most certainly impress the admissions committee with its concise, confident presentation of your goals and reasons for choosing Manchester.