Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Writing Tip #2: Tell a story

Hello friends! I am back with another writing tip that I frequently give when reviewing essays.

Writing Top #2: Tell a story

So, we all know that word limits for applications are pretty low. Sometimes they even feel impossibly low. Unfortunately, what that world limit restriction often leads to is that essays become a disparate collection of sentences, without proper connections, transitions, or places to "stop and breathe". Thus, I think that as each of you write your essays you should be very careful to not try to cram too much into a small number of words. A story that is well told and has slightly less "information" in it is much more impactful than one with tons of facts but no flow.

A trick I used to see how much flow my essays had was this: after I was done writing an essay I would put it away for a day or two. Then, I would take it out and immediately try to read the essay out loud either to myself or to others (no reading it silently first, that is cheating!). There would inevitably be spots where it was awkward and "out of rhythm". I would mark these spots, recognizing that those were the places that either had bad or non-existent transitions, and then focus my efforts for the next revision on building those transitions. Then it was onto the next draft, and lather, rinse, repeat!

Hope this helps!

Disclaimer: the thoughts and ideas represented in this blog are my own and do not represent that of any specific business school or Admissions Committee or office.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kicking off the 2010-2011 Essay Editing season!

Hi all - hope you have been doing well. My apologies for the lack of recent essay tips. We had some personal family stuff come up and I've been "away from the computer" dealing with it. But, I'm now back in action and better than ever!
So what does that mean? It means more writing tips coming soon. It also means that I'm officially kicking off the 2010-2011 MBA Application Essay Editing season! I had such a great great time last year meeting applicants and helping with their journeys to Business School and am excited to do it again!

I've included below the ad I have been posting around about the services I offer. For questions, more information and/or pricing please feel free to either email (jagarwal@mba2009.hbs.edu) or call (617-794-5949) me.

Finally, As an incentive to get started early I am offering a 10% discount to applicants who start essay review services with me before September 1st, 2010 and mention this blog post. Looking forward to another great year!

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Are you applying to college or MBA programs and struggling to get those essays just right? I'm here to help you make sure that your essays are clear, concise, and all about showing YOU off in the best light possible!

How I can help your college or MBA admissions process:
- Simple Essay Review: I will look at your essay, correct any grammar mistakes and write up a summary of strengths and areas of improvement.
- Extensive Essay Review: Includes the above. I will also extensively edit the essay document itself, increase the detail of the summary document and suggest how the essay should balance with the rest of your application.
- School Package: Includes a review of all essays for a particular school (with the choice of either simple or extensive reviews) and a summary of the strengths and weaknesses of the application as a whole.

My credentials:
- I graduated with my MBA from Harvard Business School in June of 2009. During the application process, I was accepted at 6 schools.
- In 2003 I got my undergraduate degree from MIT. During my time there I wrote numerous speeches and proposals.
- In between, I also applied and was admitted to numerous medical schools (I decided a life of medicine was not for me and didn't matriculate).
- My job as a Management Consultant at a Top 3 firm revolves around communicating information quickly, concisely and effectively!

Please contact me either via email (jagarwal@mba2009.hbs.edu) or phone (617-794-5949). Looking forward to helping!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Writing Tip #1: Be specific about what you want to do

Hi everyone! Hope you are doing well. Through the last application season I was fortunate enough to review a number of essays and help some great applicants with their journeys to business school. Thank you!

Through that work, I came across a number of essay writing "issues" that were common among applicants. I thought it might be helpful to share these along with my tips for remedying them as people start to gear up for the new season. please let me know if you have any questions!

Writing Tip #1: Be specific about what you want to do

As you all know, many schools ask to hear about what you want to do with your career. Even when questions were as clear as "What are your short-term and long-term career goals," I reviewed many essays where even after I was done reading I had no idea what the writer wanted to actually do with his/her career. Often times applicants would lay out the qualities of the organization they are looking for (i.e. "I want to work somewhere with a strong culture of fun," or "I want to work somewhere where I will be challenged by my peers"), but I had no way of knowing whether they wanted to do that in an organization that already exists or if they wanted to start their own company. I had no way of knowing what field (i.e. retail, investment banking, etc.) excited them the most. I had no way of knowing what sort of function (i.e. strategy, marketing, etc.) they would want to do within that company. I had no way of knowing what they really wanted. Remember that the purpose of all the essays are to give AdComs an idea of who you are; with an essay like this, they should ideally be able to imagine what you would desire professionally if they met you in a "career counseling" situation. This is your chance to show them what you are passionate about, don't waste that chance!

Disclaimer: the thoughts and ideas represented in this blog are my own and do not represent that of any specific business school or Admissions Committee or office.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Limited capacity available for essay reviews for later Round 2 schools!

Hi all,

I'm sure you are in the crunch phase of applications - I so fondly remember printing out my applications one last time, spell checking every word and finally clicking SUBMIT!! It's so refreshing to know that you have done all you can do and now it is in someone else's hands. Congrats to everyone as you each go through this!

I also wanted to announce there I do have some limited capacity for essay review spots available for later Round 2 school applications (e.g. HBS, MIT/Sloan, NYU Stern, Kellogg, etc.).

Please feel free to call (617 794 5949) or email (jagarwal@mba2009.hbs.edu) to discuss and/or for pricing! Thanks and I look forward to helping :)

At some point I will write up a new post of tips and tricks that I've put together from this essay service. And finally, a HUGE THANKS to all my clients thus far! I'm loving helping you all with your essays and I thank you for helping me start a little fledgling side business doing what I love best - mentoring others :)

Happy new year everyone! (below is the view we had this year for NYE - how awesome??)

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Final Countdown - Still accepting Round 2 reviews!

Hi all,

Hope you are doing well and having a great holidays with your family! I wanted to first say THANK YOU to everyone that has contacted me for essay edits through this blog, I've really enjoyed working with you all!

Also, I wanted to let everyone know that I am still accepting clients to review Round 2 applications. Because it is so close to the deadline, I am adding a rush fee of an extra 25%, but still will be able to get them done on time!

I only have spots for a few clients left in Round 2 so please let me know soon if you are interested.

And THANKS AGAIN for everyone that has contacted me already!!

Jyoti :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

AGirlsMBA now doing Essay Editing!

Hi everyone!

Obviously it's been years since I wrote on this blog, but I thought I'd update with an exciting new adventure I'm starting up :)

After reviewing tons of college application essays through the years and then even more MBA application essays over the last 2 years I've decided to start a little side business reviewing essays! Who knows where this could do in the next few years, but I loved my MBA journey so much and love helping other people through theirs, so I think this is the perfect endeavor for me!

Below I've posted the ad I've been placing around. Please contact me either phone or email if you'd like some help with your essay(s)!

-------------------------------------
Are you applying to college or MBA programs and struggling to get those essays just right? I'm here to help you make sure that your essays are clear, concise, and all about showing YOU off in the best light possible!

How I can help your college or MBA admissions process:
- Simple Essay Review: I will look at your essay, correct any grammar mistakes and write up a summary of strengths and areas of improvement.
- Extensive Essay Review: Includes the above. I will also extensively edit the essay document itself, increase the detail of the summary document and suggest how the essay should balance with the rest of your application.
- Integrative Essay Review: This package can be designed to meet the needs of the applicant and where he/she is in the application process. Features can include phone consultation, in-person consultation, reviews of multiple essays to ensure a balanced application, follow-up reviews, etc.

My credentials:
- This past June I got my MBA from Harvard Business School. During the application process, I was accepted at 6 schools.
- In 2003 I got my undergraduate degree from MIT. During my time there I wrote numerous speeches and proposals.
- In between, I also applied and was admitted to numerous medical schools (I decided a life of medicine was not for me and didn't matriculate).
- I have been editing essays and resumes for friends and family for the last 5 years.
- My job as a Management Consultant at a Top 3 firm revolves around communicating information quickly, concisely and effectively!

Please contact me either via email (jagarwal@mba2009.hbs.edu) or phone (617-794-5949). Looking forward to helping!

Notes:
- 500 word maximum per essay for above rates. Prices available on request for longer essays.
- Turnaround time is 48 hours for Simple Essay Review and 72 hours for Integrative Essay Review.

------------------------------

And, just for kicks - a few pictures from Graduation:

My Co-President and I giving our speech!


My family and I on Class Day


My Co-Pres and I leading our class into Harvard Yard on Graduation Day (and yes I wore flip flops to the morning exercises)


Getting our degrees conferred (we were officially the rowdiest group there)


Standing at the HBS Graduation ceremony as Dean Light recognized the Student Association

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The most "HBS day" ever

Hi all,

Back for another one of my totally random and too infrequent posts ... I wanted to write this Monday night but the crunch of papers, finals, and, well, sleep has kept me from writing until now. I finished my 4 (yes FOUR) classes on Monday with a huge smile on my face and feeling like I had the most "HBS day" ever! In each of the 4 classes we had a rocking visitor, and it's these sorts of connections (either through profs, or by being the case protagonist, or an alum, or whatever) that I feel are really unique to HBS.

1) Managing International Trade and Investment - this is a class about learning how to operate a firm in a global economy. Because of everything that is going on, our professor did an awesome job at revamping the last few days of the term to discuss the current crisis. On Monday we had Shumeet Banerji, the CEO of Booz & Co., come talk to and with us about how the crisis is affecting international trade!

2) Investment Management - this class is exactly what it sounds like - learning about how Hedge Funds, Mutual funds, Money Managers, Institutions, etc. invest. On Monday we were learning about Vanguard, the crazy awesome fund that has the lowest fees of anyone out there and almost $1 trillion under management. And who do we get to come to class? The CEO of Vanguard, Jack Brennan (he is stepping down after 12 years, but I'm not sure effective when). This guy is arguably the manager of the biggest fund in the world and he's so down to earth, excited to talk with us and hear our points of view.

3) Private Equity Finance - another class where you can probably guess what it is about. Basically we learn everything from beginning to end about PE deals - sourcing, structure, value addition, exit, etc. On Monday we were studying W.L. Ross & Co. and the decision of whether to sell his fund or not. For those of you who don't know, W.L. Ross is known as the guy that basically turned around the entire steel industry in the US. In class we don't have somebody from his firm, but Mr. W.L. Ross himself. Are you kidding me? Jaw dropping.

4) Authentic Leadership Development - this is a very unique, introspective class where you spend the term exploring who you really are, what experiences have defined you and how you can use your authentic self to be the best leader you can be. On Monday we were studying DaVita, one of the most impactful dialysis companies in the world. And who do we have in class? Of course the CEO Kent Thiry. Kent is quite a character, with so much energy and passion for what he does.

It was just so awe inspiring to have 4 classes with 4 business leaders taking the time out of their crazy schedules to come talk to us. It just continues to humble me and amaze me that I get to experience this, I honestly feel so fortunate everyday. I sometimes wonder if they did it all as a ploy to get people more appreciative before finals ;)

Other than that life is good! A few random points:
1) I can't believe I only have 1 semester left! Remember when we were all just applying? So sad!
2) For winter break I will be going to New Zealand with the outdoors club. It's going to be SO awesome! Sea kayaking, heli biking, bungee jumping (maybe), sea kayaking and camping on the beach ... yes, yes and yes
3) It is almost time for the Class of 2011 to be admitted. Seriously? Wow. My Co-Pres and I just wrote a letter to go into all the welcome packets and we get to address at Admit weekend, super fun but so sad that it is all so close!
4) There is an HBS special on CNBC on September 17th, which I'm stoked to watch. They taped our Orientation speech, which may make it, but I'm more stoked to see my section-mate Spence who they chose to be one of the students they shadowed.
5) Hope you all have a great and safe and happy holiday season! I know I'm ready for a break!