Since MBA programs are some of the most competitive educational institutions in the world, applying is no walk in the park.
MBA programs ask you to write essays so that they can gain an understanding of who you are in ways that cannot be gleaned from your transcripts, test scores, resume, or letters of recommendation. Your essays are your emissaries and represent you directly whereas other aspects of the application package, while important, only represent you indirectly. Because the MBA application process is highly competitive, the quality of applicants is going to be substantially higher than you may remember from your college applications. This is why it's especially important that your essays are as strong as they can be.
Understand who reads your essays
Your personal statements serve a vital purpose within the context of your overall applications. Specifically, they're your chance to speak directly to the admissions officers who typically work collaboratively as part of an admissions committee. The committee will likely be comprised of professors within the program, administrators, and it is becoming increasingly common for schools to include current students on the committee.
The goal of this committee is to craft a well-balanced, diverse, and accomplished incoming class. MBA programs take particular pride in the statistics and accomplishments of their incoming class, and this is why they are interested in your essays. Things like business experience and accomplishments are weighed heavily, and it can be difficult to highlight these things anywhere besides an essay. For these reasons, your essays are of particular importance to the admissions committee.
Make your essays focused and specific
When deciding on the content of your essays, think in terms of experiences that placed you at a crossroads. Choose anecdotes from your personal and professional background where you can demonstrate self-reflection and the ability to change your mindset and methods according to the lessons you have learned. You need to show that you have strong critical thinking skills and unique aspects of your background so that you can contribute to classroom discussions in a way that no other applicant can.
At the same time, you also need to demonstrate to the admissions committee that you understand where your growth areas are and why you need an MBA education to progress in your career. One of the most common mistakes that we see in MBA application essays is writing all of the essays as if the applicant has no real weaknesses. Applicants tend to do this not out of arrogance but out of the desire to show that they are a strong applicant. However, MBA programs want to select applicants who will take advantage of everything the program has to offer, so make specific connections between the program and your goals.
Make your essays work together
Most MBA programs ask for more than one essay, and prompts tend to be very specific in the kind of experience or situation that should be included in the essay. Therefore, as you brainstorm your essays, look at the overall picture. What are you trying to convey to the admissions officers about your background and potential? Although each essay should be unique with minimal overlap, they should also work together like chapters in a book. What is the overarching theme? Do your essays provide a comprehensive picture to the admissions officers?
By asking for more than one essay, MBA admissions committees are letting you know that they want to gain a three-dimensional understanding of who you are. Because of this, let them see you managing diverse situations and succeeding even in the face of obstacles. Throughout the essays, reflect the characteristics that will give the admissions officers confidence in your ability to succeed in their program and lead in the business world.
Remember the interview
Finally, keep the interview in mind as you create your essays. During the interview, you will likely be asked to elaborate on what you wrote about and reflect on those experiences at an even deeper level than you did in the essay. Also, keep your notes about potential anecdotes that you brainstormed but ultimately decided not to include in your essays. You'll be able to readily draw upon those experiences during the interview to add more breadth to your background and better show your readiness for MBA studies.
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The world is full of great potential – it’s up to the individual to harness it. Ever since I was a child, my parents encouraged me to make the most out of every opportunity. Throughout my college studies and working experience, I have sought to view the world with a unique approach that would allow me to creatively evaluate the world around me. My interest in developing innovative ideas and making them a reality is what drove me to the business field in the first place. Since then, I have had many experiences in diverse job positions – each which showed me more about the world and how to potentially make it better. I am applying to the MBA program in Business Administration at McGraw University because it will provide me a world-class education that will enable me to become a successful business professional.
My motto for each moment is carpe diem – seize the day. During my undergraduate studies, I sought to always go above and beyond in both my studies and extracurricular activities. While maintaining a 3.79 GPA, I was also president of both the Green Conscious Group and the Young Innovators Team. These experiences were not only excellent opportunities to develop my leadership abilities, but also provided me with the opportunity to learn from a diverse array of individuals from different walks of life. I learned a great deal about advances in medicine, technology, and social movements simply from listening to members and heading discussions that led to student action. My undergraduate experience not only prepared me with the technical skills needed to advance in my business career, but a unique viewpoint through which to understand the current needs of the world.
My professional experiences have also greatly enriched my understanding of business and the world. During my internship at Baylor Bank, I was in charge of heading strategy development for a new campaign the bank was starting. Through working together with several different departments and individuals, I developed a multidisciplinary platform through which virtually all bank users could be reached. This project showed me that integrating multiple points of view is crucial to successful execution of business planning.
The MBA program at McGraw University is well-known for its unique approach to developing the business leaders of tomorrow. It encourages multidisciplinary exploration, which is very unique in a graduate business program. However, just like the founders of McGraw, I believe that it is imperative to understand these various concepts in order to make better business decisions. I look forward to the various academic and professional challenges that await me during my tenure in the MBA program, which will help me develop relevant skills that will make me highly competitive in the job market. Additionally, McGraw’s highly successful mentorship program will make it easy for me to transition from work back to an academic environment. I greatly look forward to being a member of the entering class at McGraw University for their prestigious MBA in Business Administration, which will prepare me with the skills and knowledge I need to continue my vision of innovation and management.
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