MBA Application Essay
All applications will ask you to present yourself in writing via a group of essays often referred to as the "personal statement.." The number, length and subject of essays varies tremendously from school to school, but all schools share the same objectives. They want your essays to give a portrait of who you are, what motivates you, and what your personal and professional goals might be.
In addition, your essays will provide a sense of how well you communicate. Do you have a way with words? Do you get to the point? Do you communicate with confidence? Finally, your essays will reflect strongly how seriously you take your application, and by extension, your MBA project. Let's look at each point one at a time.
- Proofread your essays carefully.
- Make sure you have fully answered the essay questions.
- Be genuine in your essays -- tell us about the real you.
- Follow the essay instructions, including word limits and font size.
- Have someone who knows you very well and someone who is much less familiar with you read the essay questions and your answers. Then have them provide you with candid feedback.
Business school students face a uniquely difficult challenge, because most programs require a series of essays rather than a single, comprehensive personal statement. This fact alone should indicate the importance that business schools place on your written responses. Part of the reason for this extra required writing is that business schools also place a stronger emphasis on practical experience. Academic ability may still be the number-one factor, but it's not enough to get you into a school, just as it's not enough to guarantee your success in the business world. Business schools pay close attention to personal qualities, including your leadership, communication skills, initiative, vision, and many more. Grades and scores do not explain this side of you, and neither does a resume.
Thus your admission will depend largely on your ability to convey your experiences and goals in written form. Self-assessment is a significant part of this process, as is a careful review of both your life and what you have done professionally. Many successful professionals have simply never had to articulate their accomplishments before and now for the first time must communicate this information in a very clear, concise, powerful manner that is accessible to anyone, even without knowledge of their field. Being able to convey both the substance and significance of one's work life is crucial for all applicants.
If you remember nothing else about this article, remember this: Be Interesting. Be Concise.