MBA Application Advice from a Drug Dealer

OK. Bryan Cranston is not a drug dealer. He is an American actor who played the most compelling criminal boss on a TV program (Walter White in Breaking Bad) since James Gandolfini in The Sopranos. But watching this video, I recognized immediately the value of his advice for actors, because I often find myself expressing something similar to my clients, especially when they fall into the death spiral of trying to second-guess admissions committees.

Cranston says, “You’re not going there to get a job, you’re going there to present what you do.”

I would change that to, “You’re not writing essays to tell an adcom what you think they want to hear, you’re writing essays to present who you are.”

And while I do think you have more variables under your control in the application process than an actor does in their auditions, the focus on expressing yourself as best as you can and then forgetting about it is exactly right.

“There’s power in that. There’s confidence in that,” Cranston says. I agree completely not just in the sentiment, but in its efficacy, because year after year my most successful clients demonstrate that power and confidence throughout the application process.