At mbaMission, we always encourage candidates to show their experiences rather than tell their conclusions to the reader. For example, a candidate may mistakenly choose to tell the reader, “I performed exceptionally well in my job and was promoted.” In this case, the reader is left wondering, “What exactly did he/she do so well to earn that promotion?” The reader needs to understand the whole story for the conclusion to be “proven.”
We find that candidates occasionally think they are providing the whole story when they are in fact offering only a single data point:
Example 1: “ For me, as an avid paraglider, extreme sports are not just a hobby but a way of life. ”
In this case, the conclusion—that the candidate “lives” for extreme sports—is not substantiated. One data point is not enough to “prove” this conclusion.
Example 2: “ For me, as an avid paraglider and budding heli-skier, extreme sports are not just a hobby but a way of life .”
With the addition of the mention of a second activity, the applicant’s case becomes more compelling.
Example 3: “ For me, as an avid paraglider, budding heli-skier, and experienced cliff diver, extreme sports are not just a hobby but a way of life .”
This series of three examples makes the candidate’s passion for extreme sports undeniable.
Of course, we have used a simplified example here and would suggest that a candidate put his/her experience into action and show the passion via experience—“ Leaping from a ten-meter cliff, I …”—depending on the context of the essay.
This article first appeared here Support Conclusions with Examples in Your MBA Application Essays by mbaMission