Contribution essays are among the most popular ones in the applications process. This short video will help you in drafting an effective contribution essay. The pointers shared in this video will enable you to consolidate your thoughts in a structured manner and produce a well-written MBA Applications essay.
How to Write a Contributions Essay in MBA Applications
The MBA is often described as a “peer learning programs”. This means that it is not only expected that the students will learn from their teachers but also from each other. As such the admissions committee will be seeking candidates who can contribute as much to the program as they will take from it. To strengthen your candidature, you will need to convince the Admissions Committee that your unique skill-set and personality traits will help enrich the educational experience of your fellow students.
The first quality you should work to illustrate is an academic bent of mind. This trait will contribute to the MBA experience by increasing the competition within the program. A student with a strong academic mind will also perform better on the academic assignments and give better analysis on the case structure. He or she can share insights with fellows, thus becoming an asset to the collective intellect of their batch. To convince the committee that you possess such an academic bent you need to demonstrate that you possess virtues like strong analytical and quantitative skills, subject matter expertise, and cross-functional knowledge.
Another trait that will make you valuable to the program is professional maturity - reflected by traits that include but are not limited to, your years of professional experience, industry, and domain of employment etc. This trait suggests that you will be able to contribute to your fellow students’ experience by sharing with them practical knowledge borne out of a range of professional experiences.
Third on the list are your co-curricular experiences. Ideally, you will be able to demonstrate a diverse, multi-cultural range of experiences outside the workplace or if at all possible, list out a range of versatile non-work experiences like community service, sports, cultural activities, participation in the arts etc. Experiences like these enable the candidate to gel with their classmates and contribute to class projects, as well as student activities.
The most important trait you can display, in the eyes of the admissions committee at least, is the potential for leadership. This trait can be illustrated primarily through leadership experiences you have accrued thus far, both professionally and otherwise. Beyond this, the committee will be looking to judge your capacity as a leader and your ability to bring about a positive change. What they want to see is clarity of goals, a capacity for leveraging experiences and a willingness to affect positive change. You have to show them that you have an idea for effecting change, if not a plan. Once you have laid out why you think of yourself as a candidate with leadership potential, connect that to what contributions you could make within the program. For example, taking up leadership positions within student clubs and using these leadership skills to improve upon them. You can also suggest that you will improve the performance of your team in academic assignments.
Aside from these four, there is a miscellany of other virtues you present to improve your candidature. For example, communication and presentation skills, which can help you, contribute to class discussions, team projects. and presentations. Related to this is your proficiency in teamwork. Good team skills make for a candidate who shall contribute well to the collaborative learning environment. A bit different, but another solid virtue to present, is the ability to overcome adversity. This reassures the committee that come what may they can count on you to become a successful alumnus.
Now that we have explored the content expected in this essay, let us take a look at a recommended structure to employ while constructing it. You can, if you want to, begin with a powerful opening statement to serve as an introduction; then move on to the first reason you wish to use to illustrate your quality as a candidate. Wherever possible try to provide concrete examples to back your claims up and then do the same for your second and third reasons. All points connected to a reason should be mentioned in the same paragraph, so as to create a sort of “bucket” to place all relevant information together. Finally, conclude with a powerful ending, suggesting that as a student you will be a valuable addition to the program and to student life.
Let us recap this structure and take a look at how much of the essay you should devote to each point.