MBA Essay Tips: Admissions Essays You’ll Likely Encounter When Applying to Business School
An essay for admission to business school is a chance to demonstrate your unique qualities that are required for a career in business, by describing those experiences and events, mentioning those people who influenced your decision to grow professionally in the relevant field. This is where you really need to hone your skills.
The key to success is to focus in each essay on a few examples illustrating a particular thought, thus moving away from superficial narrative. Remember: detail, accurate description and specific examples will make your essay interesting and characteristic. Generalizations and platitudes that may be present in the essay of any of the applicants will certainly tire the inspectors from the selection committee. Using this, you will simply dissolve in the gray mass of monotony.
Why write an essay?
Admissions committees review many applications in each round of the admissions process. Unfortunately, not many places can be filled in a single MBA class, so the vast majority of applicants who apply will be rejected. This is especially true of the leading MBA programs, which receive thousands of applicants each year. This explains why an MBA essay is important.
Many of the business school applicants are qualified MBA candidates—they have the grades, test scores, and work experience needed to enter and succeed in an MBA program. Admissions committees need something beyond GPA or test scores to distinguish between applicants and determine who is eligible for the program and who is not. This is where the MBA essay comes into play. Your MBA essay will tell the admissions committee who you are and help set you apart from other applicants.
Not every business school requires an MBA essay for admission. In some schools, writing is optional or not required at all. If the business school does not request an essay, then you do not need to write one. If a business school says an essay is optional, you MUST write one. Do not miss the opportunity to stand out from other applicants.
MBA Essay Scope
Some business schools have strict essay requirements for MBA admission. For example, they may ask applicants to write a one-page essay, a two-page essay, or a 1,000-word essay. If your essay has the desired number of words, it is very important to stick to it. If you must write a one page essay, do not submit a two page essay or a half page essay. Follow instructions.
If there is no set word count or page count, you will have a little more flexibility when it comes to length, but you should still limit the length of your essay. Short essays are usually better than long ones. Try to write a short five paragraph essay. If you can’t say everything you want to say in a short essay, you should at least stay below three pages. Remember, admissions committees read thousands of essays – they have no time to read memoirs. A short essay demonstrates that you can express your thoughts clearly and concisely.
When you are given a word limit for an essay, you should respect it – slight variations are possible, but try to stick to it as much as possible. Some colleges may mention that ±5-10% tolerance is acceptable. However, we still suggest, do not exceed it. And on the other hand, don’t use it either. The reviewer may feel that you have nothing to talk about.
Writing an essay MBA should be a gradual and progressive process. It helps if you are able to give yourself enough time to refine the outline and topic of the essay. So it’s always a good idea to start an investigator on a plan.
Give yourself enough time for introspection. Write down your ideas as and when they come. Being in the right mood and choosing the time when creativity, focus, and concentration are at their peak will help you get the most out of it. Brainstorming in certain areas of your profile can help you uncover facts you didn’t think of before.
Avoid incorrect language that does not develop the narrative. Avoid industrial and technical jargon.
Define a strategy
Before you start writing an essay, read the requirements of the selection committee for candidates and determine how you meet them. Pay attention to the evaluation criteria adopted in the selected MBA program. Explore the business school’s website, talk to students and alumni, visit online forums, read brochures, read references from various websites, and jot down a rough list of relevant criteria. Once you have figured out how important each criterion is during the application process, determine how much they match your qualities. This will be the main idea that you should convey in essays MBA. Think about how you will distribute ideas throughout the essay and how much emphasis you will make on them. Check out the MBA essay example online, but don’t copy them
Basic Formatting Tips
There are some basic formatting tips that you should follow when writing every MBA essay. For example, it is important to set the margins so that there is free space around the text. It is generally recommended to leave margins of one inch on each side, top and bottom. It is also important to use an easily readable font. Obviously, a silly font like Comic Sans should be avoided. Fonts like Times New Roman or Georgia are usually easy to read, but some letters have funny tails and unnecessary embellishments. A no-frills font like Arial or Calibri is usually the best option.
Formatting a five paragraph essay
Many essays—whether applied essays or not—use the five-paragraph format. This means that the content of the essay is divided into five separate paragraphs:
- One introductory paragraph
- Three main paragraphs
- One final paragraph
Each paragraph should contain three to seven sentences. If possible, try to keep the paragraphs the same size. For example, you don’t want to start with a three-sentence introductory paragraph and then follow with an eight-sentence paragraph, a two-sentence paragraph, and then a four-sentence paragraph. It is also important to use clear transitional words that help the reader move from sentence to sentence and from paragraph to paragraph. Cohesion is the key to success if you want to write a strong and clear essay.
The introductory paragraph should begin with a hook – something that grabs the reader’s interest. Think about the books you love to read. How do they start? What grabbed you on the first page? Your essay is not fiction, but the same principle applies here. Your introductory paragraph should also contain some sort of thesis statement so that the topic of your essay is clear.
The main paragraphs should contain details, facts and evidence supporting the topic or thesis presented in the first paragraph. These paragraphs are important because they form the core of your essay for business school. Do not save on information, but be reasonable – consider every sentence and even every word. If you write something that doesn’t fit with the main topic or point of your essay, throw it out.
The final paragraph of your MBA essay should simply be the conclusion. Finish what you say and repeat the main points. Do not present new evidence or points in this section.
Pay special attention to business aspects
You must have done excellent research and technical developments. Description of your achievements in this area will provide you with additional points for analytical qualities. But do you need them?
If your GMAT/GPA score meets or exceeds the average scores set for the MBA program, then the school already has a good idea of your analytical skills.
Essay size is limited. Use white space to emphasize other qualities that the admissions committee is looking for:
- Leadership skills
- Communication skills
- Teamwork skills
- Planning skills
- Project management skills
- Persuasion skills
- Presentation skills
- Customer service skills
Other skills and knowledge will not play any role. You can easily find samples of MBA essays on the Internet.
How did you deal with technological difficulties with the help of IT? Even if you only need business skills 10% of the time, give them and related accomplishments at least 50% of your MBA admission essay.
Printing and sending an essay by email
If you are printing out your essay and submitting it as part of a paper application, you should print your essay on plain white paper. Don’t use colored paper, paper with designs, etc. You should also avoid using colored ink, glitter, or any other embellishment meant to make your essay stand out.
If you are submitting an essay via email, please follow all instructions. If the business school requested it via email with other application components, you must do so. Do not email your essay separately unless you receive this directive – it could end up in someone’s mailbox. Finally, make sure you are using the correct file format.
TOP 5 Mistakes When Writing an MBA Essay
- Uninteresting, gray presentation of information:
For an essay, you should not look for an example of an MBA essay on the Internet or in a library. It is enough to analyze your life, find vivid examples and stories from it, talk about them beautifully, mention your doubts, feelings, thoughts. If the situation was difficult, describe how the solution was found. To do this, you need to analyze your experience, listen to your heart, and turn to your own memory.
Emphasize your peculiarity, note that the dream of getting an MBA education is not groundless, but is a logical continuation of existing experience. However, one should not only describe interesting stories and situations without characterizing one’s own thought and emotional process, without conducting introspection. Such an essay will be superficial and uninteresting.
- Use of slang expressions:
The essay should be written in an interesting, vibrant language, conveying the colors of everything that is written. However, it would be a gross mistake to use slang expressions. Avoid such words, even if you use them in life. They will not emphasize your individuality or individuality, but only harm. No slang expressions, even industry ones, are allowed.
Use professionalism only if absolutely necessary. However, be careful with them. Before writing these words in text, consider whether they clarify or confuse the person who is reading it.
- Unsubstantiated loud statements:
You should not write big statements in an essay. Any statement must be substantiated, illustrated with examples from life and professional experience.
For example, a candidate writes that he should study under the MBA program. You can’t leave it like this. He must explain: how did he understand this? How did he know it was necessary? Why does he feel the need for it? That is, it is worth writing more details.
- Writing style:
In the process of writing, it is important to remember that you are an adult, not a child. Therefore, do not complain, do not whine, do not tolerate negativity. Point out your weaknesses, but present them as strengths. If you had a negative experience, tell us what it taught you. If the GPA is low, take responsibility for it. And move on.
Typos are the most common essay mistake. It’s amazing that they can be fixed just by checking what is written. But only a few do it.
After writing the essay, reread it again. Correct errors, typos, inaccuracies, correctly punctuate. If in doubt, reread it aloud, it may help resolve doubts. Only then submit your work.
Remember that typos, mistakes, careless essay design have a negative connotation. They are able to cast a shadow even on the most interesting, the brightest essay and raise doubts about your candidacy in the selection committee. Respect yourself and those who will read your essay.
The moral here is not that you cannot reuse an essay, but that you need to take the time and check the smallest details. There are many ways to get lost when applying to business school, but the admissions committee recommends being honest, accurate, and clear. By following the above tips, you can reduce the scale of the disaster.