The MBA Application Process, Part 8: The Other “Essays”—Optional, Video, and Creative

Writing memorable MBA essays has always been challenging enough, but over the years, business schools have introduced new challenges in the form of alternative “essays” in their applications. For example, some programs prompt candidates to make a video in which they introduce themselves to their classmates; others ask applicants to submit a set of photos that reflect who they are. And schools’ “optional” essay question typically leaves candidates struggling to understand what is truly optional. Leveraging each of these “essay” types to strengthen your candidacy takes a different kind of thought and strategy. 

In Part 8 of our nine-part series on the MBA application process, we will examine these nontraditional essays and share strategies for responding to each kind. We will also clarify when submitting an “optional” essay makes sense and when skipping this added component would be better for your MBA candidacy.