Strengths and weaknesses of an essay

They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point.

This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.

Virtually all great people have had these qualities. According to this article by the New York Times , a growth mindset helps promote innovation. That being said, it is no surprise that elite MBA programs explicitly look for evidence of this in their applicants. Some schools are even explicitly looking for a growth mindset by asking you to reflect on your weaknesses or discuss a failure.

In addition, describe a situation where you failed. How did these experiences impact your relationships with others? Comment on what you learned. INSEAD knows that you must reflect on failure to continue growing, and outright demands this skill from their candidates. Ross is another good example. They ask candidates to answer one of two prompts from three sets.

Extract of sample "Personal Strength and Weaknesses of a Person"

One of the prompts reads:. Learning from a past failure would be a good choice from this prompt. Remember, you are not trying to tell the adcom that you are perfect. Instead, you are trying to tell them how you use imperfection to your advantage to lead you to success. The admissions committee for your top MBA program is looking for future leaders who seek to make a difference in their field.

They want candidates who have experience making difficult, real-life decisions. People with experience are people who have made mistakes. Instead, it means that they seek candidates who have learned from their mistakes and failures.

My Personal Strengths and Weaknesses Essay

This is great for MBA admissions essays. This means you can talk about a negative event in a positive light when you show the adcom what you learned from the experience. In doing so, I encountered difficulties that I could not solve alone — yet, I refused to ask for help, missing a deadline. By the time I did ask the Project Leader for help, I had not finished the task.

How to Write a Paper on Strengths & Weaknesses

This mistake was crucial. I learned that I have to ask for help when I encounter difficulties I cannot solve, especially when timing is vital. Luckily, learning from my initial mistake did not damage my relationship with the Project Leader; I had enough time to change this bad impression and received a full-time offer.

However, this failure could have cost me a huge career opportunity. Vanessa uses this mistake to clearly show how she grew out of this situation. She thus successfully demonstrated a growth mindset by explaining how she learned firsthand about the importance of asking for help.

By demonstrating that you learn from your mistakes, see the need to improve on your weaknesses, and know that you still have a lot to learn, you can show the admissions board that you are the type of reflected leader that belongs at their school. Everyone has failed at one time or another. The range of experiences you could talk about in this regard is wide and varied.

What are your Strengths and Weaknesses - answer clearly and confidently.

Failures may be reflected by a failed business venture, a missed target for a client, or a class you failed in college. All of these are professional experiences from which one can learn straightforward lessons that contribute to your growth as a professional. Take a look at this example from our client Guilherme. I could have taken everything we had developed and pursued my entrepreneurial dream. However, that was not the kind of leader I wanted to be — someone who puts his selfish ambitions before the needs of his team.

Doing what felt fair to all involved was more important, whatever the cost. Today, I am happy about my decision. I lost the business but I gained the trust and confidence of my team. I saw entrepreneurship from another perspective and truly considered the difficult decisions business leaders face. Although he describes a professional failure, he also describes the success he won from it: how he grew as a leader. However, these are not the only kind of failures that you could write about in your MBA essay.

Some misadventures may be more subtle. You may have experienced letting down a colleague by not dedicating time to giving them the extra help they asked for. You may want to explain a failed presentation at work that made you look bad in front of your boss or team. However, the repertoire of failures and weaknesses is even broader. Personal failures are just as valid as professional ones — especially because our experts at Ellin Lolis Consulting find that it is important to have a good mix of personal and professional stories in your MBA essays.

Personal weaknesses may range from disappointing a good friend to a tendency for tardiness. Last year, our client Conrado told Columbia Business School of a personal failure while leading his sailing team in a regional competition. If given a second chance, what would you do differently? In his answer, Conrado explains that his team consisted of him and his five teammates, all expert sailors.

If so, it is a probably a good topic. If not, why does your interviewer need to know about it? Is a weakness fixable? If you are writing about a weakness that cannot be improved upon through your program at school X, why does your interviewer need to know about it?

8 Common Writing Weaknesses (How to Spot & Fix Them)

Some advisors will tell you to select a strength and present it as a weakness. Such as: I work too much. I just work and work and work.

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First of all, using a strength and presenting it as a weakness is deceiving. Second, it misses the point of the question. You should select a weakness that you have been actively working to overcome.

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  • Weakness #1: You’re boring your readers to tears.

For example: I have had trouble in the past with planning and prioritization. However, Im now taking steps to correct this.


I just started using a pocket planner. Talk about a true weakness and show what you are doing to overcome it. Need more hints? Please check my " brainstorming weakness" links.