Business School Sample Essay

Essay 2

University of Michigan: Denied

   I believe that I possess several qualities which make me uniquely qualified to contribute to the Michigan community. My educational background, which combines the natural sciences with accounting, affords me an uncommon perspective on business issues. I recognize that many CPAs apply to and attend business school each year. My education as a natural science major and my operational experience at Abbott distinguishes my experience as a CPA from nearly all others. I found that this experience differentiated me from my colleagues during my tenure at both Abbott and at KPMG. I could not disassociate myself from the financial impact of our decisions at Abbott while other team members seemed to have little regard for the cost of our actions. Similarly, I have had a difficult time at KPMG confining myself to the client's financial results without looking beyond the statements to understand the forces driving the business. My background in the complementary areas of operations and accounting gives me a special perspective which I will pass to my fellow students.

   Another aspect of my background which will prove valuable to other Michigan students is the experience I gained working in a business team at Abbott Laboratories. The Abbott business team gave me a solid understanding of the dynamics that are presented when a group of individuals form a team. My experience working within the confines of a team environment to effectively leverage each member's abilities will serve me very well in Michigan's team-based culture. My abilities to bring groups together when other priorities are demanding attention from team members will make the teams on which I participate more effective. I will be able to lead these teams through the problems that are inherent to groups working together in pursuit of our final objective. I will provide strong leadership for the other members of my teams by leveraging the background I have in a team environment to the advantage of my fellow students.

   Although I realize that my time at Michigan will be very busy, I intend to continue to pursue the interests I have developed during the past few years. I have always been very athletic and have developed a great interest in running and rollerblading since college. I look forward to continuing on the trails and paths around Ann Arbor. I have also continued my interest in music that was developed through my high school band program. Attending symphony and musical productions has been very satisfying to me during the past several years. I hope to find others who will not only share my interests, but will in turn introduce me to new activities. Sharing my interests in these areas and reciprocating by participating in activities which are of interest to other students will further enrich the Michigan experience through exposure to new forms of recreation.


This essay does too much telling and not enough showing. The writer often wastes words through unnecessary sentences such as "I believe that I possess several qualities which make me uniquely qualified to contribute to the Michigan community" — an opening line which essentially paraphrases the essay question rather than beginning to address it. The writer's descriptions of his or her potential contributions to Michigan are largely vague and redundant. The reader is told of the applicant's "special perspective" and capacity for "strong leadership," but is left needing far more concrete evidence that the writer possesses these qualities.

The writer's transitions, furthermore, from paragraph to paragraph are rather forced and awkward-for instance, "Another aspect of my background which will prove valuable to other Michigan students is...." Keep in mind that an essay should be, above all else, readable.