Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Eleven down, one to go  

Well I tore myself away from the TV and the iPod long enough to get a day's work done and have also managed to put together a pretty solid draft of Stanford essay 2 (their why mba etc one). So there's now just S1 left to tackle (I've got an intro and skeleton for it but nothing else) and revisions to S2 once I've left it to 'mature' for a few days.

Stanford essays don't have a word limit, and S2 is currently about 35% longer than it's Wharton and Kellogg equivalents. The extra words are in the 'Why MBA?' section, where I've added in some of the material I had to drop from Wharton / Kellogg, and 'Why Stanford?' where I've been more detailed than with the other two schools. This is partly as a result of necessity (Stanford doesn't have Majors, so I've had to be more specific about courses) but also a product of just having more space available. They say that most people need three to seven pages. I've used just under five (12pt, double spaced) so I don't thik it'll scare anyone lengthwise.

Much as I've struggled with the word/space limits for Wharton and Kellogg (and cursed them at times) they do impose a discipline. I've had to really interrogate every word and be sure it's inclusion could be justified. If something didn't make a valuable contribution, it was out. If it made a valubale but non-essential contribution, it was out too in some cases (that's the stuff that I've put back in for Stanford). Imposing that same sort of discipline without a word limit is going to take a bit more effort. S2 has benefited from all the preparatory work done for W and K, but I really need to try and keep control of myself for S1.


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