A Holistic Approach Towards Writing MBA Applications Essays

This short video introduces you to a general, robust approach towards writing your MBA Applications essays. Follow the approach closely as it will help you deliver sound MBA Applications.

A Holistic Approach Towards Writing MBA Applications Essays

The essay portion of your MBA application is one of the most important segments of it. It is the point where you, hopefully, go from being just a collection of data points to a real person in the admission committee’s eyes. Thus, the thing that will have a holistic effect on their perception of you must be prepared in a holistic manner. That is to say, your approach must be systemic, structured, and cover everything; the admission committee will want to know about you.

First of all, you need to have a brainstorming session to understand your key selling points as a candidate for admissions. You must come up with twenty highlights about yourself, preferably those that can be backed up with concrete examples. Some good examples of the type of qualities you should bear in mind are professional achievements, training and mentoring skills, and leadership capabilities. Your set of essays will be a portrait of your best self and these twenty qualities will be your paint.

Your second step will be storyboarding. Storyboarding is when a filmmaker uses still images to put together a story, before filming. Similarly, you have to take your highlights, your motivations, your personality, your background and put it all together to form a visionary story.

Once you are done storyboarding, you will have a good understanding of how you want to present yourself. Here, you begin actually writing your essays. You will begin by writing your Core Essays, basic versions of your essays that can be tweaked as per the requirements of the schools you will be applying to. To begin with, let us take a look at the best way to approach the Statement of Purpose (SOP) Essay. The SOP is typically the largest of the essays that asks for the most comprehensive view of the applicant. Apart from basic educational and professional backgrounds, a standard question will want to know why you want to pursue an MBA at this time from a particular school, what your career goals are, and how you will merge the education from this degree with your background to achieve it.

To avoid SOPs that ramble or those that feel truncated (or, worst of all, those that go on forever but say nothing of value) it is best to approach the SOP with a solid structure in mind - Understanding what you need to share and how much of the essay it can take up. A suggested structure is as follows:

As peer learning is a big part of the idea behind MBA, many schools will specifically ask you how you will contribute to the overall experience of their school. Ideally, you will need to think of three reasons why the program will be better for having you in it. For example, if you have experience in a specialized field, you can say that your fellow students would benefit from your unique knowledge in that field.

This essay should also be approached with a solid structural breakdown in mind. A suggested structure is one that follows:
Many schools will ask you to share a particular personal or professional anecdote to get a measure of both your personality and your capabilities. In this type of essay, you will be required to give them, a basic understanding of the situation that transpired, how you got involved, what you did, what the outcome was, and what you learnt from the experience. As always, here is the structure you should follow:

Now, you have your Core Essays. You can use these as basic templates for the requirements that each school will specifically ask for. Move information back and forth as required and adjust according to the word limit. Once you are done, it is always a good idea to leave your essays alone for a few days and then come back to them with fresh eyes, as there is always something that can be improved. Further, it is always good to ask for a second opinion from someone you trust, however, does not worry about outside opinions too much. This article may have been filled with structures, but these are only guidelines, as there is never only one right way to write essays. In reality, the entire practice is a very subjective one.

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