The vast majority of the graduate business programs ask the applicants to add a minimum of one MBA essay as part of their application and selection process. These essays are used together by other components by the admissions committee to establish who’s fit and who isn’t to join their school of business. Just like all the other components of the admission schedule, a well-written and quality-structured MBA essay can really boost your chances of being selected out of hundreds of other applicants.
How to Choose an MBA Essay Topic
In the majority of cases, you will be given a topic or a set of questions that you need to answer in your essays. But there is a chance that you will be asked to come with the topic as well or choose from a list of pre-defined topics. Choosing the topic, even though it may be viewed as a disadvantage, is actually a great opportunity to highlight your qualities and really put your personal stamp on what you’re writing. Anything from an essay to demonstrate your leadership or one that clearly shows how easy it is for you to overcome obstacles are great opportunities to boost your chances. In some situations you will be asked to submit more than on essay and there are some schools that also allow you to submit one optional essay. Here’s another opportunity you can take to write more about yourself and clearly contour your skills in the optional essay.
No matter what topic you choose to go on with, make sure that you come up with real and convincing stories to support the selected topic or that answer a certain question in the essay. Your MBA essay should feature you as the central piece and should be focused on bringing out those qualities that make you a worthy applicant.
Common Topics for Your MBA Essay
The majority of business schools will come with a pre-defined slit of topics you should write on. Even though the topics are usually formulated differently from school to school, the core of those topics can be formulated in the following list that should help you a great deal prepare for any kind of MBA essay.
- What is the reason you have to attend this specific business school?
- What are the goals you set for your career?
- What are your long-term and short-term goals?
- How well will you do with our degree?
- How will such a degree help you in achieving your goals?
- Why is an MBA important for you?
- What matters most to you and why?
- What do you consider are your weaknesses and strengths?
- What is your biggest achievement so far?
- Do you have any big regret?
- How did you fail in the past experiences?
- How do you deal with adversity?
- What are the challenges that you have overcome?
- Who do you admire and why?
- Who are you?
- What will your contribution be to this program?
- Why do you think you have leadership potential?
- How do you account for the weaknesses in your academic record?
Always Answer the Questions
AS an MBA applicant, one of the biggest mistakes you can do is not answering the given question. For example, if you are asked about failures, you should discuss about mistakes made and the lessons you have extracted from those experiences, not about success or achievements. Another good example is when you are asked about professional goals to always stick to the professional ones and not skip to personal goals.
Always sticking to the topic and being as direct as possible is the key to success in an MBA essay. Remember to keep it focused on you, after all the whole point of this essay is introducing you to the board and you should remain the main character of your essay.
Of course it’s more than recommended to talk about idols, persons that have inspired you and so on but all these mentions should back-up your story and not be the main focus.
Writing Tips to Take into Consideration
Just like with any other form of essay, in an MBA essay you should always follow the instructions you were given. Make sure to answer to all the questions and keep the essay concise and focused. Pay attention to word counts as well, if they want a 500-word piece you shouldn’t deliver a 400 or 600 word essay since being able to follow the instructions given is a good indication of how will you deal with other challenges in the MBA program.
It goes without saying that the essay has to be grammatically correct and with a readability score that makes it accessible to a wide audience. Make sure your essay is free of errors and use a proper font – no Comic Sans MS!
Always make sure you have enough time to write your MBA essay and never do it in a rush. Remember, this is probably the most important essay you’ll ever write so take your time.
Other Essay Writing Tips
- Take some time and do some self-reflection before you start. Set your accomplishments, goals, weaknesses and strengths.
- Do proper research on the school you are applying to so that you understand their culture, approach and overall view of things.
- Work on an outline before you start the actual writing – it will help you organize the ideas properly
- Make the essay original and personal with personal stories and anecdotes
- Don’t overdo it with academics. After all it isn’t a grad paper, it’s like a sales pitch to introduce you
- Be as detailed as possible, support your statements and use relevant examples
- Be honest, even though you want to impress, keep it real
- Don’t shy away from being creative, for example if you are asked about where do you picture yourself in a five-year period, you can exemplify the situation with a diary entry from the respective day, written from that perspective.
- Make sure to keep your essay interesting, since the board can read hundreds of such essays, you need to get them hooked with something. Stand out from the crowd!
These are some tips that should help you compose a really appealing and efficient MBA essay. Always remember the first rule of writing an essay for an MBA: always answer the questions and remain on topic. After you’re done, ask the most objective persons you know to proofread it and give you their feedback.