While your GMAT and GPA score, along with most other parts of the application, tells the adcom about your aptitude, your MBA essay or personal statement helps the admission officers gain insights into your attitude and emotional side. It helps them understand and know you better. Thus, an MBA essay or personal statement is a vital part of your application. In fact, historically this is how important an MBA essay has been for getting admission into three major B-schools
|B-School||Weightage of MBA Essay|
|Harvard Business School||12.50%|
|Wharton School of Business||12.20%|
Common MBA Essays Usually Asked by Top B-Schools
While MBA essay questions could vary and there is no strict format, most top schools typically ask these common MBA questions or variations of these.
- Goal Statement: The purpose of this question is to understand your goals and how admission into this school aligns with your goals. It also helps them identify if you’re the right fit and bring diversity into the group.
- Introspection Essays: In this, the b-school tries to identify your characteristics and personal qualities and how you can contribute to the school. These usually ask you to reflect upon a particular situation at work and how you handled it.
- Achievements Essay: In this, you’re asked questions that reflect upon your achievements and how you rose above the challenges.
Writing the Best MBA Personal Statement
Trying to figure out how to write a compelling MBA personal statement that will help you hit the sweet spot? Given that the document is the gateway to your future, the stakes are high. It’s thus important to get it right so that your application doesn’t land in the reject pile. The task may appear daunting but is doable. The key is to let go of the pressure, and approach the piece of writing with great care such that it reflects your uniqueness, capabilities, and strengths.
So, without any further ado, let’s delve into the nitty-gritty of crafting a winning personal statement that can bring you closer to your dream school by impressing the admissions committee.
- Do your Research
Applying to an MBA program is an intricate process. The first step is to conduct research on the business school and the MBA course you are aspiring for. Every institution is different, with distinctive features, specific missions, values, and goals.
Scrutinize the website to gain insights, understand the school’s culture, reach out to the faculty, learn about the opportunities being offered (entrepreneurship training, summer job options, experimental learning, etc.), events that are organized, and more. Also, check out online forums, social media groups and spend quality time getting acquainted with current students and alumni. You can also check this list of top MBA schools and how to get into them.
- Kellog School of Management
- Stanford GSB
- London Business School
- Wharton School of Business
- MIT Sloan
- Columbia Business School
- Haas School of Business
By investing time in getting to know the school, you can tailor your personal statement to express the motivation and inspiration behind your application and why you consider yourself a good fit. Making a good connection can maximize your chances of acceptance into one of the programs.
- Get Personal
With hundreds in the rat race, your personal statement must be engaging that helps you stand out. There is no denying that grades matter and play a pivotal role in enhancing the odds of acceptance. However, there are other aspects that are vitally important to warrant an interview invite. Remember, the elite B-schools want passionate, dynamic, and enthusiastic candidates that can add to the diversity.
Don’t generalize. The personal statement introduces you to the admissions committee; hence it should be special, relevant with original value such that it captures attention. Your words should define you by highlighting your business acumen, genuine value, and personality. Focus on what you can potentially contribute to the school as an individual. Instead of listing only achievements, share specific anecdotes and interesting stories with details to illustrate your best traits, vulnerabilities, humour, and experiences. It won’t be interpreted as bragging but give depth to your character.
- Display your Passion
Schools are always looking out for passionate candidates with a drive to succeed. Make sure your MBA personal statement unleashes your passion and exhibits how it can serve the community at the school. Passion gives power to the personal statement. It can create a great first impression to help the admission team gauge your potential and understand your aspiration better. They should get a sense of your business goals, unique perspective, and ability to think on your feet. Let them know you have a clear direction and purpose- whether to pursue entrepreneurship, run a sustainable business, or build a startup or work in a suitable company. To really arouse interest and get your statement noticed, explain how the MBA program is the best option to help accomplish your future goals.
- Reflect your Leadership Qualities
It’s no big secret that business schools value leaders and look for candidates who can inspire and take action for a better future. Your MBA statement should provide insights into your competencies, motivations, and experiences that portray you as a proactive person capable of taking charge of sticky situations. However, it’s not enough to declare you are qualified, possess good leadership skills, and will be an asset. Sell yourself with confidence and creativity. It’s imperative to back up your claims with real-life examples to illustrate the points made so that they understand what you will bring to the table.
- Share Professional and Achievements
Most MBA programs have a preference for candidates with some work experience. Since you are planning on pursuing the business course, you probably have college internships, professional skills, and a few personal achievements under your belt. Draw attention to these accomplishments by narrating them in detail. Besides discussing successes, be upfront about the mistakes, challenges, and struggles you have encountered and overcame. Admission officers appreciate honesty and are on the lookout for future leaders with the ability to resolve problems and take decisive action.
- Pay Impeccable Attention to Details
Let’s face it; a great personal statement can clinch an MBA interview. Therefore take your time crafting it. Avoid rambling. Be direct, specific, and personal in your writing style. Focus on subject matter that is noteworthy and impressionable. Make sure to revise, edit, and proofread thoroughly until you are convinced it’s the best you can come up with. Also, there shouldn’t be any punctuation, spelling, grammatical errors, or typos. Once satisfied, ask a colleague, close friend, or admissions pro to go through it for content and format. Does the statement interpret your goals? Are there any important issues missing? A fresh set of eyes can often detect discrepancies that you can’t.
The prime objective of the MBA personal statement is to demonstrate your skills, vision, along with your drive to succeed. The admission officers should understand who you are and why they should consider your candidacy for the coveted spot in their program. They should be intrigued and want to meet you to know what sets you apart from the herd. So, what are you waiting for? Take a deep look inside you, organize your thoughts carefully and get to work! And yes, don’t forget to let your true self shine by embracing genuineness and authenticity.