Guest post by Stacy Blackman Consulting.
One of the most feared business school essay questions is, “Talk about your weaknesses.” This can appear to be a trick question: you have to write an honest answer, however you are afraid to talk about too much. You have just utilized a lot of time trying to prove that you are great and now you have to discuss your weakness. My advice is to be as honest as possible. By doing this, you are actually demonstrating a strength: self-awareness. Self-awareness is critical to growth and in being admitted to the MBA program of your choice.
Talking about your weakness is an opportunity to show who you are and allow the admissions team to get to know the real you. This also shows some vulnerability. In this situation, you don’t need to write as if you were a star champion and you can show your humanity. One weakness essay I reviewed impacted me because the candidate discussed his struggle with public speaking. His essay referred back to a speech impediment he had when he was younger. He discussed his growth, which included operations and practice. Now his speaking is perfect, but his confidence level is not where he wants it to be. He had identified improving his public speaking skills as a priority and is continually working toward achieving his goal.
This true introspection allows the admissions team to get to know you. Frankly, if you were absolutely perfect and already had everything you needed, would you really be attending an MBA program? Discussing weakness with maturity is the most important ingredient to turning a weakness into a strength.
For more robust guidance on your MBA application essays, check out the Stacy Blackman Consulting Essay Guide Series – school specific guides with essay tips, sample essays, information on what your target schools value and more. Visit http://www.stacyblackman.com/essay-guides/ to learn more.
Founded in 2001, Stacy Blackman Consulting has helped thousands of MBA applicants gain admission to the most selective business schools in the world. The Stacy Blackman team, comprised of MBA graduates, former admissions officers and expert writers, editors and marketers, helps clients develop and implement a winning marketing strategy. Stacy Blackman clients have a significantly increased probability of admission to top schools and are frequent recipients of merit scholarships. The company is regularly featured in publications such as BusinessWeek, the Wall Street Journal and the Economist. Visit the Stacy Blackman blog for daily news updates and admissions tips, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.