A famous food writer once famously declared “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.”
Everyone has their ticks and their favorites when it comes to food. Spice tolerance? Choice of protein? A cuisine you gravitate towards? Some preferences are more surface-level; others can reveal more deep-seated traits.
That isn’t to say that you should pen your essay around why cilantro is the bane of your existence, but it certainly won’t hurt to show a side of you that your resume doesn’t. Better if you can connect it to why it’s unique, compelling and (bonus points), a value-add to the class.
The Fuqua ’25 Random Facts’ essay is a great vehicle for it. In one of my facts, I wrote: “I organize my shirts in my closet by color gradation. My study groups at Fuqua can be assured I will bring a similarly obsessive mastery of Post-It usage to organize case reviews.”
You, too, can embed these breadcrumbs, whether through supplementary essays, the additional information, or recommendations memos. It can be as trivial as what I wrote, or a little more substantive (i.e. form the thesis of your essay).
As an admissions reader, I encountered my fair share of applicants who either (1) made sweeping declarations of how they wanted to change the world -- without backing it up or (2) painted themselves too much like candidates who they think their target school would like to enroll.
A prevalent theme among these candidates? The authenticity trap. Their essays didn’t have enough substance to back up their claims. Some sounded too cookie-cutter and insincere. It’s almost as if they were too afraid to tell us about the things that they really stood for.
I once fell into the trap myself as an MBA applicant. A good consultant helped get me out of it, and I cherished the time I spent with him to work through my ‘brand.’ He helped guide me towards my true North Star.
Admissions committees want to know it, too, as do I. That’s why I became a consultant.
Interested in working together on your MBA application? Click here for my Leland coaching profile.