Use this section to include any additional information...?

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Hi All,

The same question is asked by almost every school (examples below). Can anyone give me advice on what to do with this section? Most of what I want to say I have already worked into my essays or resume...but I still get the feeling this is like in an interview when you are asked, "now, do you have any questions for me?" and you should ALWAYS have a response...

Do I use this like a chance to basically write my own letter of recommendation? Or do I explain why my transcript starts out with two Fs in the first semester? Or nothing?

Booth:
If there is any important information that is relevant for your candidacy that you were unable to address elsewhere in the application, please share that information here.

Harvard:
Use this section to include any additional information that you believe is important for the MBA Admissions Board to have in evaluating your application, but that you were unable to include because of the constraints of the online application.

Columbia:
Is there any further information that you wish to provide the Admissions Committee? Please use this space to provide an explanation of any areas of concern in your academic record or your personal history.

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by myEssayReview » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:48 pm
If you are sure you have practically said everything you want to say about your candidacy in your essays and resume and using additional information section will be only a repetition, then you may skip this section.

But you have just mentioned that your transcript starts out with two Fs in the first semester. So why not explain that in this section?

I personally feel that applicants should utilize this opportunity to shine a spotlight on an experience or side of your personality that has not been revealed in the other parts of their application. For example, you may use it to showcase your international experience/ cultural adaptability,or to elaborate /re-emphasize the most significant aspects of your unique personality in detail which were explained only briefly in your essays because of word constraints.Also, if you have significant extracurricular accomplishments(sports, music, writing, painting etc.) or a community welfare activity that you initiated or led,but could not get a chance to discuss that in your essays , you should go ahead and share that stories.Lastly, you can use this space to explain any unexplained gaps in your job, low gpa or low GMAT score etc.

This year most schools have reduced number of required essays and have further reduced word limits. For example, Booth has dropped 'leadership style' essay this year and has replaced it with two short 200 words essays about 'biggest challenge' and 'something that transformed your thinking'. Harvard has also reduced essays and brought down word limits from 600 words to 400 words , so why not use this section to provide some more relevant information about yourself.

I hope it helped.

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by youngjames » Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:13 am
The key to a successful application is dimension. you want to show that there are multiple facets to your candidacy and in this way, you are unique, original, and add value to the program. there are several important dimensions that all adcoms will look for (intellect, career progress / focus, ECs, etc.). if there is a dimension among these that you feel needs to be further strengthened, this is where you add it. so, for example, if you don't feel as though your particular view on leadership has been communicated, then here is where you put it. same can be said for intellect (e.g., "here's why i got an F my freshman year") bear in mind, though, that all good essays should be more show than tell. meaning: back it up with evidence and fact, rather than use the space for more time spent on your own personal opinions and editorializing.

hope that helps,
-james young
www.TheFirstRead.com
A new approach to MBA Admissions consulting

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by rhunter » Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:35 am
Thank you for the feedback! I greatly appreciate the help I have received on this forum!

I would like to build on this by asking for your opinion on a topic I am playing with for this section - my upbringing.

I am from a very small rural town in the southeast, population 1700, with an extremely low ranked public education system, in the only county in Florida where the minority is Caucasian (39%). My graduating high school class had 31 people (480 total in k-12). I was raised by skydivers who decided to start building their own house right before I was born and opened their own small accounting practice when I was 4 years old. This means my childhood was an odd combination of helping with house construction, playing on small airports and in the open woods, and helping file IRS returns during tax season. I then went on to get an MS in engineering and build rocket engines in Los Angeles, and I now work for a Google-backed biofuels startup as well as running my own growing company (the last sentence is elsewhere in the application, though).

Personally, I feel the small town bit is little unique for someone applying to a top ranked business school, and it doesn't really come through anywhere else in the application. I like to think this background would be seen as lending to my having a unique perspective on businesses and organizations, but does it sound too, I don't know, podunk or hickish? And would someone in admissions care, or is it irrelevant?

-Hunter

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by myEssayReview » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:32 am
I feel your unique and interesting background should have been mentioned at the beginning of your Goals essay in order to make a connection between your past ( your background, past experience , present ( your skill set, your need to do an MBA) and future ( your future goals). Also, it could have been discussed at length in 'background' essay. I feel you could narrate your 'influential personal experiences' during that period for your essay # 2 for Columbia.

However, without looking at your essays or resume and without having discussed your profile , it is difficult for me to suggest which details of your background could be used for additional information section.

I hope it helped.

Good luck.