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MBA candidate recording video essay.

Nailing Your MBA Admissions Video Essay

The MBA admissions process is an intricate one. Over the years, top business schools have innovated their application process to seek diverse, competent, and dynamic candidates. One of the more recent and impactful changes has been the incorporation of the MBA video essay. If you’re considering an MBA program, chances are you’ll encounter this component. Let’s deep-dive into understanding and acing this aspect.

Introduction to Video Essays in MBA Admissions

Do Schools Ask for Video Essays?

Video essays have become increasingly popular amongst elite business schools. They offer an opportunity to assess a candidate’s communication skills, poise, and authenticity, which written essays might not convey entirely. From a candidate’s perspective, it’s a chance to make a lasting visual impression.

Are Video Essays Required for All Programs or Just Certain Ones?

Not all MBA programs require a video essay; however, the trend is growing. Schools like Kellogg, Yale, and Rotman have integrated this component to have a holistic understanding of their applicants. It’s essential to thoroughly check each school’s application guidelines to understand their specific requirements.

Essentials for Creating an Outstanding Video Essay

Tips for Creating a Successful Video Essay

Crafting an impactful MBA video essay goes beyond just speaking in front of a camera. Here are a few MBA video essay tips to guide you:

  • Authenticity: Be genuine. Adcoms can spot rehearsed and inauthentic submissions.
  • Communication: Clearly articulate your thoughts. It’s less about what you say and more about how you say it.
  • Background & Attire: Choose a neutral, uncluttered background. Dress professionally, as if you were attending an actual interview.

How Long Should a Video Essay Be?

The length of MBA video essays varies across schools. On average, you might be given 1-2 minutes to answer a prompt. Stick to the guidelines, and remember, being concise can be powerful.

Can I Use My Phone to Record My Video Essay or Do I Need Professional Equipment?

You don’t need a professional setup. Most modern smartphones have excellent cameras suitable for this purpose. Ensure good lighting, stable recording (use tripods if necessary), and clear audio.

Structuring and Delivering the Video Essay

How Do You Make a Video Essay for School?

From brainstorming content to final edits, approach your MBA video essay like a project:

  • Preparation: Understand the prompt and plan your answer.
  • Rehearse: Practice makes perfect. However, avoid memorizing and focus on being natural.
  • Recording: Find a quiet place, ensure good lighting, and do a few test runs.
  • Editing: Simple editing software can help enhance video quality and ensure it meets the length criteria.

How to Structure the Video for Essay?

A well-structured essay has a clear beginning, middle, and end. Start by introducing yourself and providing context, delve into the body of your response, and conclude with a compelling closing statement.

Structuring your video essay is crucial. A well-structured essay isn’t just a ramble; it’s a concise presentation of thoughts that demonstrates your ability to organize your ideas logically and present them compellingly. Let’s delve deeper into creating a structure that leaves an impression.

1. Introduction: Set the Context

Begin with a brief introduction. This doesn’t mean just stating your name and the subject of your essay, but rather offering a sneak peek into what you’ll discuss. An excellent introduction piques interest right from the start.

Example: If your topic is about leadership, start with a short anecdote or a quotation that resonates with you. “Growing up, I always remembered a saying my coach told me – ‘True leaders don’t create followers; they create more leaders.’ Today, I want to discuss a leadership experience that taught me this in the corporate world.”

2. The Main Content: A Logical Flow

This is the heart of your video essay. The main content should seamlessly move from one point to the next. To ensure a logical flow:

  • Divide Your Content: Segment your content into clear points or segments. Each point should lead naturally to the next.
  • Use Signposts: These are transitional statements that guide your audience through your essay, ensuring they can follow your argument or story easily.

Example: After discussing a personal leadership experience in a project, you can transition to its impact by saying, “Having navigated the team through this challenge, what truly stood out was the aftermath.”

3. Conclusion: End on a High Note

Your conclusion should wrap up your main points while also leaving your audience with something to ponder. A strong conclusion doesn’t just reiterate points but offers a broader perspective or a call to action.

Example: “Reflecting on my leadership journey, I recognize that leadership isn’t about having authority, but about fostering growth, both in oneself and in others. As future leaders, I urge all of us to think – how can we inspire growth in every interaction?”

Remember, storytelling is potent. A storyline that offers a blend of personal experiences, insights, and a strong conclusion makes your video essay engaging and memorable. Ensure your content flows seamlessly, and always end with a message that resonates, inspiring your audience long after the video ends.


With MBA admissions becoming more competitive, preparing comprehensively can set you apart. Remember, the video essay is an opportunity to showcase not only your professional attributes but also your personality. For more insights into MBA interviews and how to ace them, explore our detailed guide.

Remember, while the MBA video essay might seem challenging, it’s a unique platform to bring your application to life. Invest time in it, be yourself, and it can become a differentiator in your MBA journey.


For over 15+ years as an Entrepreneur, and India’s Top Educationist, Jatin has led a range of initiatives in the Education Industry. In this role, he has created many successful educational services and products geared towards generating success for professionals aspiring to join IVY League and global Top Tier Universities for MBA Programs, Masters Programs, and undergraduate courses. He is the Founder and CEO of PythaGURUS Education, and has been recognized as a thought leader in the Higher education sector. Economic Times, Hindustan Times, Times of India, India Today, Business Today, Tribune, and many other national newspapers have recognized his work, and have given him numerous opportunities to be a regular columnist. He has also served as a panelist for NDTV, and other national news channels.

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