It's better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. - Herman Melville. The following words can be interpreted in many ways with different variations. However, the meaning remains the same. Originality signifies success and growth, uniqueness and development.
Can we use this when talking about application essays? Yes, yes, and a big YES. The existence of admission essays has been frightening graduating students for years. An application essay is nothing but a representation of your talents, abilities, and goals. Nothing that you don’t already have is required. All you need to complete an essay for an MBA admission, is a laptop, some ideas, and a little bit of guidance.
Welcome to Business
When it comes to business applications, the sole base and meaning of an admission essay remain the same. However, there are certain areas that require a distinct emphasis, as well as, a detailed elaboration.
Admission offices go through thousands of different applications each year, yet only a few make it to the accepted list. Why is that?
Well let’s start with understanding what Business Schools want. Let’s put aside your transcripts or recommendation letters, and talk strictly personality and character.
What makes a good businessman?
- Willing to take certain risks
- Initiative and Ambitious
- These are just a few of the main qualities required when going into the business field.
There is one more extremely crucial quality missing in that list - an ability to sell yourself. Every businessman must know how to present himself. How to demonstrate his skills and show his value. And your application essay is going to showcase that.
When considering business universities, you need to think of them as buyers rather than normal institutions and your admission as a resume, a sales pitch. However, this regards only to high competitive schools.
What is an MBA Application Essay
So what is an MBA application essay? There is no exact format that is generally required. However, its motivation remains the same. You should tell the university as much information about yourself as possible, including your goals, dreams, qualities and achievements, while compiling it in a unique and interesting presentation.
In order to avoid creating an autobiography, you must select an individual style for it and come up with a compelling approach. Just like any other type of university, admission boards in business schools go through an incredible mass of applications. You MUST surprise them or at least sound different than the rest. Otherwise, there is no way in. For those with perfect transcripts, writing a poor quality paper, will simply take away from your potential and even 4.0 will not come to the rescue.
In every application essay of any kind or approach the following items should be present.
- GOALS: Every student must set for himself realistic goals. Both short term and long term goals present your plans for the future and that you have a clear picture of achieving them.
- ACHIEVEMENTS: Sometimes it's quite hard to demonstrate your achievements without being too braggy. It this case, there is no such notion as bragging. You need to clearly state what you have achieved in a selected field in order to showcase your abilities.
- CHALLENGES: It’s welcomed to show the challenges you have faced while working or studying business. College boards prefer honest students who are not afraid to show substantial weakness, as long as, they have a way of overcoming it.
- QUALITIES: Qualities is something that should be spread throughout the entirety of others aspects of the paper. You need to present evidence of why you are a good leader, why you have good team communications, and so on.
- MOTIVATIONS: Your motivation is what drives you towards success. It is personal and goes back beyond financial or career setting. It usually comes from your time when you realized you want to do business and what motivates you every day to be better. This will demonstrate that no matter what kind of obstacle you stumble upon and despite failures, you will be able to get back up and continue your work. This might be one of the most important aspects of your paper.
The art to creating a quality admission paper lies in addressing the following aspects equality and in no case neglecting them. If you were creating a resume and you had to put the following information there, consider the order and the amount.
Admission Essay Topics
When writing your personal essay for MBA admission, there is a certain research that needs to be performed beforehand.
Firstly, you need to go through all the requirements of the university to understand what they want to see in your application essay. Secondly, go through their website. Look at their events, posts, news, so on. You need to understand the spirit of the institution, as well as their values. Knowing their values will give you leverage when it comes to disclosing your own.
Finally, there are hundreds of different essay topics for MBA admission that you can go through. Also, you can look at sample essay for MBA admission to have a clear understanding of what is usually required. You, as a reader, will be able to separate quality pieces from poor ones instantly. You will notice right away what all weak essays have in common: lack of motivation, a lot of “I want” and not enough “I can” or “I am”. Keep that in mind.
Don’t neglect reading an essay for MBA free samples as they will provide with sufficient ideas to generate your own. Here are some topics you could potentially use when writing your MBA essay:
- Significant Event: Select an important event that has impacted you and contributed to your career choice. Revolve your abilities, motivations and choices around it.
- Single Belief: We all have that one belief that we try to incorporate in our life. A belief that guides you. If you believe that this teaching relates to your career choice, you can spin your story around it.
- Challenge: If you have encountered a challenge that has changed your life or your perception of things, use it to guide your story. Ability to overcome challenges shows real character strength, which is highly respected in the business.
- Dream: Take a dream and add a plan of reaching it, and it becomes a goal. Dreams and goals are quite similar; both create a drive in your body to become better. Describe your dream and show how business school can help you achieve it. Show through your paper that you have what it takes to reach it.
Establishing A Structure
Just like there is no exact format for MBA admission paper, there isn’t a specific structure either. Application essays tend to lean away from academic writings, but the basics remain the same.
You have to start with a captivating first line sentence (insert link for how to write the first line). The first line must be a hard hitter, grabbing the audience’s attention. Usually, if you have selected one of the topics above, then the sentence must relate to it.
After your first line, you have to introduce the topic, the base around which you are going to set your life story around. It’s very important that there are smooth transitions from every single part of the paper. Nothing should feel out of place or extra. In your introduction, you must guide your readers towards your main point introduced in your body.
Everything we have discussed prior to this regarding business aspects, qualities, and so on will go here. This is your space to demonstrate your skills, selling yourself to the audience, as to why you should be accepted to the university.
Don’t focus too much on a single aspect of your life. Your goal is to show that in a case of a troublesome situation you are going to have enough abilities to react and resolve it. Never exaggerate any of your achievements, these things are easy to notice or check, and it will destroy your credibility once and for all. Better, choose right words to vividly describe your accomplishments.
Follow the link to learn more about How To Create A Winning Outline
This is your last chance to convince the admission board in your strength if they are not convinced yet. Just like your first line, the conclusion must be a hard hitter. Shortly summarize only THE MOST important aspects that you have covered and finish by stating why YOU should be accepted.
Essay Writing for MBA Tips
In application writing, all helpful tips could be useful. Here are some most important ones that will benefit your paper’s quality and increase your chances of getting in.
Drafting: It’s totally fine to have your first draft reach beyond the accepted limit of 700 words (depends on the institution). It means that there is sufficient information that you have to narrow down. This is where you are going to set priorities, what you believe is more important for them to hear. This is where you will realize the power of compelling word choice. If you don’t burn through at least five different drafts, then you are not trying.
Proofreading: When your paper is done or at least on its way to being done, it’s time to get some feedback. Select an adult or someone who owns a larger life and professional experience that you do. Hand them your paper without giving any information on it, and ask them a question if they would hire you. Try to avoid family members as they could be potentially biased towards you. If the answer yes, then you are on the right track. If the answer is no, ask them what would they like to see more in the given candidate. Perform this action multiple times in order to get the most useful feedback.
Word Choice: As your start running into your word limit barrier, you will start valuing each word you use. When it comes to business, there are several of powerful words and leave an impact on the reader. Trying to use as many business terms as possible. Not only it will demonstrate your intelligence on the subject, but feel more relatable for the admission board.
Essay Writing Advice From Our Professional Team
If you’re already applying to get an MBA degree, then you’ve had a lot of experience writing application essays. As you delve into your prewriting stage, put together a list of all the things that might not already appear on your resume. List languages that you speak, extracurricular activities, hobbies, and anything else that you think the admissions officers might find interesting about you. Once you’ve got this list, my advice to you is to highlight something from it that matters the most to you. In my experience with application essays, applicants are afraid to sound less than perfect or make mistakes during writing. Well, as I always say to my students: perfect is the enemy of the good. Draft your essay without editing it and then begin to edit after a few days. It is important to leave the essay alone, as you will not see your mistakes right after you write it.
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