MBA Essay

mba essayAmong the items students need to submit as part of the application is the MBA Essay. Admission into MBA programs is challenging, highly competitive, and requires potential students to display not only academic excellence but also their personal experiences, skills, and abilities.  The application process for MBA programs is straightforward yet requires strategic planning, precision, and a steadfast approach to ensure each student adequately meets application requirements.  The MBA application process is designed for schools to select the best possible candidates for MBA programs while offering potential students the ability to promote and display their personal, academic, and professional accomplishments and information. The MBA Essay is the applicant’s chance to demonstrate concise, original thinking, business aptitude, and ability to communicate in the written word.

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Who Reads The MBA Essay?

Admissions teams receive and review all applications, including the MBA essay. The admissions process is challenging for applicants and surprisingly for admission’s staff as well.  Admissions staff are responsible for selecting a well rounded, diverse group of students from differing backgrounds, with varied experiences, and a range of educational programs.  Admissions teams must select students who have training in the most common business-related fields, like finance, consulting, non-profit, and also from fields unrelated to business, like medicine and law, to bring diversity to the group.  The result is an improved educational experience.  Generally, most admissions teams select 60-65% of students from finance/consulting programs due to the high volume of applicants and then select students from other backgrounds including investment banking, management consulting, nonprofit, and  technical backgrounds.

The application process for top MBA programs consists of several steps focused on allowing students to display their skills and experiences and for admissions teams to select the best students for the school. Students who distinguish themselves by completing and meeting application deadlines, submitting a flawless resume or curriculum vitae, performing well on and submitting scores from GMAT and other tests, gaining work experience through internships, meeting deadlines for transcript submissions, and, most importantly, complete an original, unique essay often increase their odds at acceptance.  A well-written MBA essay provides students an added boost over other candidates and frequently compensates for low GPA and GMAT scores.

MBA Essay Topics And Writing the Essay

Writing the application essay is a way for students to display their skills, personal attributes, and experiences.  Students must strategically develop and precisely address their essay response as well as carefully proofread and refine the essay to ensure they submit their personal best.  Most admissions teams are looking for compelling, natural essays based on common and not so common essay questions like:

  • What matters most to you and why?
  • What are your career goals and how can this program help you meet them?
  • Tell us about an experience where you generated support from or made a lasting impression on a team.
  • What are your three most substantial accomplishments and why do you view them as such?
  • Have you ever learned from a mistake?

Many programs are adding new components to MBA essay questions to force prospective students to respond to questions well beyond traditional, “comfort zone” subjects in an attempt to evoke originality and skill.

Begin brainstorming ideas to respond to the MBA essay question. Devise an organized outline.  When writing the body of the essay, be certain to respond to the question directly while adhering to word count limits.  Proofread drafts for grammar, and use a spell checker.  Enlist others, from peers to professors and even family members, to offer constructive criticism, and be willing to listen to their suggestions.  Finally, rewrite, revise, and rework the essay until your final draft meets your personal standard of excellence.

Things to Avoid in the MBA Essay

Prospective students often attempt to answer essay questions in a manner they assume admission teams would prefer.  Doing so neglects individuality and often decreases the chances of acceptance.  Keep your final draft repetition free, simple, direct, impressive, and concise.  Be certain to avoid redundancy, avoid using content from college websites, and be sure to take a considerable amount of time writing and revising before submitting the essay.

Resources for Writing the MBA Essay

Prospective MBA students can find a number of resources designed to assist in the MBA application essay process.  Many websites, books, and educational journals offer students information regarding writing the best essay they can.  Sample MBA essays are also available through many online organizations for students to review and gain a better understanding of how to respond to essay topics.  Students can also find a helpful information at the prospective school’s website. Professional essay writers exist to help students who struggle with application essay writing though most programs discourage applicants from using these services.  Students often find their best resources for writing an excellent MBA essay is within themselves, peers, and professors.

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