Tips for writing a good MBA essay:essaylabb.com

Home

 

essaylabb@gmail.com

Skype: resumelabb

Full Time MBA Essays Executive MBA Essays Part Time MBA Essays SoP/Personal Statement Recommendation/LoR
MBA Essay Tips Charges Process SoP Tips
Tips for writing good MBA Essays

EMBA Essays

Part Time MBA Essays

Full Time MBA Essays

Recommendations

Essay Writing Tips

Having short listed b-schools, gone through their application forms and researched on the admissions requisites of these schools, you should have by now recognized the significance of essays in the application - they are the most important part of the application package. It is these essays who represent you and advocate for you to the adcom. Through various essay questions asked by the schools, they are trying to learn about your personal, academic, professional and social reasons for choosing the particular program at their institution as well as to why you should be included in their program.

Learn more about writing good and effective MBA essays...

Goals Essay Tips

Diversity Essay Tips

Leadership Essay Tips

Accomplishments Essay Tips

Failure/Setback/Mistake Essay Tips

Ethical Dilemma Essay Tips

International Experience/Cultural Diversity/Cultural Shock Essay Tips

Optional Essay Tips

Reapplicant Essay Tips

Scholarship Essay Tips

First things first. Read the questions carefully, understand the institution's selection criteria and prepare your answers accordingly. Once you have jotted down your thoughts in a rough form or as bullet points that can be expanded during our discussion or prepared a good draft, it is time to reach us at EssayLABB!

SoP/Personal Statement

SoP Writing Tips

Goals Essay Tips

The goals essay is an integral part of business school applications. Most schools in some form have a goals essay as part of their application. While majority of schools might have a direct question on your short or longer term schools, others might seek an answer through questions like Why MBA or Why you are applying to the particular school. The focus of the goal essays might range from your post MBA plans to a 5 year short term goal to a 10 year long term intention. The goals essay predominantly requires details of your professional choices and objectives. Like every other essay, here too, the most important aspect is to answer the question credibly, convincingly and completely.

Every goals essay has two main parts - 1) the aim itself 2) the way to achieve it. Hence supporting the realization of the goal with relevant details is as important as the specifics of the goal itself. Aiming to establish a township in Mars is fine as long as you have the roadmap to accomplish it. The school is an important part of the goals essay. While some schools might explicitly ask for the role of the school in achieving your goal or your interest in the school, others might have questions as simple and short as "what are your career goals". Asked directly or not, when the main reason for applying to the school is to take you closer to your goal, how can the school not be mentioned in a goals essay.

Write your goals clearly... Include as much detail as possible about your goal. Though it is comprehensible that the program and other factors during the course of the coming years could influence your career decisions, it is required to provide specific details as regards to function, industry, geography and the kind of role you would want to take up. The goal can be a continuation of your career and might advance in the same field. May be you intend to pursue your career in a new sphere; state your reasons for the choice and how you intend to achieve it. Be it career enhancement or career transition, state it clearly and credibly. 

Try to cover the motivation part: How did you arrive at this goal? What is the motivation behind it? What in the past led you to this decision? What incident or personalities influenced you to make this choice? What are your reasons for following this choice? Include as much details and specifics as possible. Answer them credibly and convincingly.

State reasons for your choice of university/school credibly... Program: Why MBA and not something else? How will this MBA help you achieve your goals. How is this MBA an extension of your past and a connection to the future? What is the significance of this program in your career/life?

University/College: Why are you applying to this college? What features of this program have attracted your application? The institution knows enough and more about itself than you can tell them, so why this question. This is is to enable them to understand your genuine interest in them. Extensive research of the institution through internet and interactions with alumni/current students/faculty would give you all the required information; though difficult, it is not impossible. Try to find about the program structure, specific subjects that could benefit you, details of distinguished faculty and others who are currently or previously been engaged in research or publications on field of your interest, the college's contribution in your chosen area, student activities and clubs with which you share interest and advantages of the geography of the college.

A tall goal does not make a great essay, but a clear roadmap combined with specifics can make one.

Diversity Essay Tips

The diversity essay is yet another integral part of business school applications. Every school gives you a glance of their previous class profiles to help you understand their class composition. That doesn't mean that they are looking at replicating it every year or doing things very differently either. The most interesting aspect of a MBA class is the diversity - be it in terms of your profession, nationality, industry, interests, achievements, principles, motivation, choices - that's what business schools look for. The MBA is a two way process - as you intend to learn from your peers do these peers look forward to learning from you; so what you bring to the class is important too. That is what these requirements mean - Personal Qualities and Contributions at Stanford, Engaged Community Citizenship at Harvard, Dynamic, Diverse and Smart Community at MIT Sloan, Strong Interpersonal and Team Skills at Ross, Potential and Desire to make a difference at IMD, Personal Character at Kellogg, Diversity at Tuck, Ready to Get Involved at Darden, Personal Qualities at Haas, Ability to Contribute to INSEAD Experience at INSEAD, Strengths, Weaknesses at Cornell, Enrich the Classroom Experience at UCLA.

State how you contribute to this diversity and how your presence can add value to the forthcoming class. May be it is the trekking experience or the secret that you are a great cook or your belief in Rand's objectivism. Whatever makes you different and can truly describe you are qualifiers. You don't have to scaled the Everest to be different - by "hard work" that you mean working 35 hours straight also counts. Telling them you are special is all that matters. If you think otherwise, then probably you should rework your strategy for the MBA application.

The essays are about you... This is the most important part of the application. Though the central character of all of the essays is you, this is that essay where you explicitly mention those reasons that set you up apart from other applicants and make you the ideal student for their forthcoming class. Contemplate on those key traits that differentiate you from your peers, those strengths that have helped you emerge more successful and those characteristics that has made you the obvious choice (in the past). Interactions with people who know you - your family, your friends, your colleagues at clubs, staff at your school - could help you uncover and identify areas which you might tend to overlook or take for granted. Every additional activity - be it volunteering in community activities or representation of your organization in a sports meet or participation in an arts festival - all can make an impact. Try to include scholastic achievements - general proficiency awards, trophies from tournaments, prizes from debating clubs etc. Mention key positions of responsibilities held - school captain, president of Toastmasters, coordinator of social gatherings - and bring in those specific contributions you made to each of these organizations through these roles.

Yes, it is a lot and most of the schools only give you a 500 (or less) word space to incorporate all the above sections. Make a list of all of these and then identify key points that can help you win the admission. Again, the idea is to write an application that gives the selection committee a good reason to shortlist you. A good set of essays reflects the personality traits, talents and interests that are not apparent in your resume or application. A good set of essays highlights and re-enforces the most important strengths of your application while also answering the specific questions.

Leadership Essay Tips

Leadership is the most sought after trait in a MBA application - it is one of the required criteria for admission by most business schools including Harvard "a habit of leadership", Stanford "demonstrated leadership potential", INSEAD "leadership potential" Ross "leadership, initiative, and impact", Kellogg "leadership ability", HEC Paris "leadership potential" Darden "ready to make an impact", LBS "leadership potential" and MIT Sloan "the ability to lead and inspire others".

The demonstration of leadership in personal, professional, academic and or social aspects of your lives is very vital to the MBA application. The b-schools are keen on understanding your leadership abilities and look for instances that are a reflection of these qualities in your life. Schools define leadership in many ways - entrepreneurship, innovation, strategic thinking, people management, principles, vision, creation of opportunities, project management and integrity, among others. Understand the schools' requirement and definition, identify yours and try to align them for an effective application.

Definition of leadership...Tell them what leadership means to you. It could be the portrayal of any of the above traits or even something very different from them. This will help the adcom understand what leadership means to you and how the event or situation you would describe would substantiate your claim. Whatever be your definition, be clear about it.

For situation based questions, give the details of the event relevant to the theme, in this case - leadership. For every leadership based situation question, there are three parts - the event about you, your part in the event and the success of your leadership. Focus on your leadership style and how your leadership effected the situation. Quantifying the results and by focusing on the turn around you brought about would make the essay credible, convincing and interesting.

Accomplishments Essay Tips

When business schools ask about the most significant accomplishment(s) of your life, what they want to know more is why you consider it so? Another way of putting the questions would be what success means to you. While most applicants are comfortable writing the failure essay, many find it difficult to strongly etch the accomplishments one.

The first step would be the selection of the story. As stated in other places too, choose a story that's in line with the rest of the application, that doesn't contradict any other part of the application and that presents your candidature strongly. Identify 2-3 stories that fit the above criteria, evaluate each story against these parameters and choose the one that best portrays you.

Delve on the reasons that make it your most important accomplishment. Would you stand by it during the interview too? Are there any other essay or any element in any other part of the application that might contradict your claim? Focus on what you achieved and how you achieved. Elaborate on your approach and what makes it dear to you. State implications of the event from all aspects - personal, professional and social. If you were setting a precedence, don't overlook it. If you had to fight for it, describe it. If the path was not easy, mention it. If the results surpassed expectations, state it. No one else will blow your trumpets for you.

Failure/Setback/Mistake Essay Tips

Most business schools have a failure essay and this essay is to understand your learning from the failure and not the failure itself. A good failure essay would have the least portion dedicate to the description of the failure, major part focused on the learning from the failure and a short part explaining the application of this learning to achieve successful results.

Beware of selecting a failure that jeopardizes your chances of getting through - like where the failure has a significant negative impact, the instance contradicts any of your other essays or where the learning is trivial or where the learning has not been put into application yet. Focus on the post-failure part - your identification of the failure,  your approach on learning about it, how you analyzed the situation, how did you try to tackle it, what you learned from the experience and how the learning has helped in the future.

Ethical Dilemma Essay Tips

A good question, but I agree, a difficult one. How do you choose a story that doesn't jeopardize your candidature? Will the story contradict the principles and ethics stated in other essays? Does the story weaken a strength mentioned in the application? You might struggle with the selection of the situation for a while, but it might be worth the while.

The essay is clearly about a situation where the choice was not obvious. You had two or more, preferably two to avoid further complications, options to pick from. The choice might have the strength to affect your future life personally, professionally or socially. A choice might be an easier one but it might question your ethics or principles. The choices might weigh equally in terms of implications. In all kinds of scenarios, what the adcom wants to know is how you faced it. How you analyzed the choices, how you weighed them and how you arrived at the choice is the core of the essay. You will have to justify your choice and probably how it proved to be the best for you. You might have to cover the things that you gave up by making the choice. What made the choice difficult is the theme of the essay. 

International Experience/Cultural Diversity/Cultural Shock Essay Tips

Most European and a few other business schools value cultural diversity highly and are particular about their students having international exposure especially by having lived in a foreign country. This is obvious from the admission criteria stated - International Outlook by INSEAD, Culturally Aware by LBS, International Exposure by HEC Paris, Global Perspective by USC Marshall, and Internationalization by HKUST.

Ethnic and cultural diversity contributes significantly to the diversity dynamics of an MBA class. The schools look forward to this facet to augment the global outlook of the class and enable students a global perspective of the business world through mutual sharing of experiences. These essays are focused at understanding your global experience and outlook. The ideal experience would be one learned/gained in a foreign  country. If you do not have one, identify the setting where you experienced cultural difference that helped you learn something about yourself or about the new setting itself. It could be an instance where you acquired new knowledge on a culture, when your misconceptions were corrected or when you were in awe of the learning.

Optional Essay Tips

The optional essay is not a required essay and is only an optional essay. Have good reasons to attempt one. If you need to explain a "extenuating circumstance" as wanted by the school, then probably you need to. Trying to explain a negative aspect of your profile like a low score or a gap in employment, unless asked for, is unnecessary. No explanation is good enough to cheer up a failure.

Reapplicant Essay Tips

Most schools have high regard for their re-applicants. So, make use of the opportunity. The most important part of the re-applicant essay obviously is the difference in your profile vis--vis last year/application. All advancements, be it the additional responsibilities you handle despite a promotion, a volunteering work you are part of, a language course you have enrolled in, the dance class you have signed up, the clarity in goals you have - all are good for a reapplication.

Before you embark on the reapplication try to identify the reasons that did not get you across last time. If you have been called for an interview or if you had been wait-listed, they indicate that your profile and your application was impressive but probably not impressive enough to be considered among competition.  Pat yourself on the back and explore those details that can make your application stronger this year. If you did not make it to the interview, then probably reassess your application and find errors or weaknesses in your application. Hope you have already been through the exercise and have compensated for or improved those in the 12-months time.

Scholarship Essay Tips

There are two basic approaches to tackling a scholarship essay - the need based approach and the merit based approach. Either way, make your application strong by citing the relevant data. Cover all aspects that make you the exceptional candidate to be awarded the benefit. Compile all accomplishments - professional, personal, academic and social - to illustrate how you have been able to use the tiniest opportunities and benefits in the past to emerge successful, in the past. Tell them how small encouragements have helped you reach high. Tell them clearly and convincingly that you are the special and deserving candidate with the best RoI.

2001-2020 essaylabb.com