A dean of MBA admissions says you should ask everyone who proofreads your essay the same question

Isser GalloglyIsser GalloglyYou don’t need an expert to read it, says Isser Gallogly, pictured.

The key to writing a business school essay that will get you noticed requires you asking one question: Does this sound like me?

“The general principle about what stands out are people who are really speaking from the heart,” Isser Gallogly, associate dean of MBA Admissions at New York University’s Stern School of Business, told Business Insider.

“I’ve been in the business for 15 years. I’ve probably looked at 50 to 60,000 applications in that time,” Gallogly said. “The essays that stand out are the ones where you can hear the person’s voice, where you can feel the person’s passion.”

To ensure that you accurately present that voice, read your essay to someone close to you. “Just ask them the simple question: Does this sound like me? Is this my voice? Is this authentic to who I am?” Gallogly said.

“There’s a reason you want to go to business school,” he said. “We need to hear that excitement from you.”

Of course, that alone isn’t enough to secure an interview, especially if you missed the point of the essay prompt. Most importantly, ensure you stay on message for the question asked.

“I always say ‘AQA:’ Answer the question asked,” Isser said. “Respond to the prompts, do it completely. “That said, make sure you get across who you are in this essay.”

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