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Seven tips on how to ace the MBA application video essay

October 8, 2012, Posted In MBA Admissions

There is a growing trend among business schools requiring applicants to submit a video essay. Video essays are a great way to show your individuality and creativity and stand out among thousands of other applicants. So what should you do if you have the option to submit a video essay with your application?

Here are seven helpful tips before you hit that record button:

  • Reference examples. There are many examples of successful business school video essays up on YouTube. These are a good reference and starting point. Keep in mind that admissions officers are looking for originality. Don’t simply copy what’s there.
  • Make sure you follow the program’s guidelines. Some schools only accept flash drives or DVDs for video submissions. Other schools will allow you to submit your video via a file hosting website. If you don’t follow the stated guidelines you may be asked to resubmit your essay.
  • Write a script. It is important to write a script and review it in order to ensure you are conveying the main ideas. Think about how you are different and why the business school is the right fit and make sure you emphasize this.
  • Rehearse, but don’t appear scripted. The last thing an admissions officer wants to see is a rote self interview – it seems fake and unprofessional.
  • Keep it simple. Admissions officers aren’t looking for flashy visuals or sound effects. They want to see that you are an effective communicator. The best way to achieve this is to answer the question as clearly and concisely as you can.
  • Avoid distracting visual or audio elements. You want admissions officers to have their attention on you – not the television or your barking dog in the background.
  • Be creative. The versatility of video allows for you to show admissions officers your personality. Video is also a great way for you to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the program. Avoid attempts at humor that might backfire.

Most importantly, have fun and be yourself! Creating a video essay can help you take a break from all of the writing and allow you to express yourself in a way not possible on paper.