Whether to Write the Optional Essay

Application essays are ideal opportunities to showcase your creativity and to make an impression, but is the optional essay really necessary?

Your initial reaction might be no: You may be too busy given the demands of your day job or life in general. However, you might want to reconsider. Our application offers three options: 1) to introduce yourself to the Boston College community; 2) to talk about how you plan to prepare for the quantitative rigor of the BC MBA, MSF, or MSA curriculum; and 3) to explain an aspect of your candidacy in more detail.

When to complete the optional essay:

You want to offer a broader picture of yourself as a candidate.
The optional essay offers you a blank canvas. Take advantage of the opportunity to present yourself as a unique candidate. We look at candidates as a whole when considering them for admission to our graduate management programs. Submitting an optional essay may help balance out your application by highlighting strengths or personal characteristics that might not be clear from your resume or scores alone.

You have something on your application that would benefit from context.
Just remember to be clear, concise, and honest. No essay should read like a list of excuses. Take responsibility for anything less than stellar, and focus on areas of strength.

When to skip it:

Your application is strong without it.
Between your resume, transcripts, test scores, and mandatory essay, you’ve covered every aspect of your candidacy that would be relevant to the admissions committee. Take a deep breath, and hit submit!

You may not have the time or energy to devote to it.
We take seriously all aspects of your application. Prior to submitting your application, your materials should still be proofread and be an example of your best work. If you don’t have time to make sure the optional essay is letter-perfect, it’s best to not complete it at all.

Now that you know a little more about the optional essay and when to write it, you’re ready to begin the application, if you haven’t already. Good luck!