Challenge essay is probably the most popular among the situational essays asked in the MBA Application process. This short video will help you in creating an effective draft of the Challenge essay. The guidelines put forth 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 the Challenge Essay in MBA Applications
You can tell a lot about someone by how they handle a challenge. You can certainly tell a lot about their skill set, as well. This is why your MBA application process will also include an essay on dealing with challenges. You will be asked to describe in three hundred to six hundred words, one challenge you have faced in your life, professional or otherwise and how you overcame the same. There are a wide variety of skills and personality traits that the admission committee hopes to see in your account of the challenge you face. Some examples to consider giving in the essay are subject matter experience, project management, training and mentoring skills etc. In particular, it will pay to focus on people skills such as coordinating and liaising.
There are several important things to bear in mind while writing the essay. First of all the example of a challenge you give here will be seen as a reflection of the challenges you have faced in your professional career
, and thus the level of professional responsibility you have dealt with. So, you must pick an impressive example. Remember this is not about the story itself, but more so about your role in it. You have to ensure that you provide the reader with clear and solid takeaways about yourself, meaning that the story must give them insight into you as a person.
Now that we have taken a look at the type of content expected in this essay, let us examine what type of structure should be employed while writing it for maximum efficiency.
The essay can begin with a strong opening, though, this is optional and dependant on the complexity of the story you have to tell. After the opening, you should start by giving a clear background of the entire situation. Here, it will be good to include what the stakes and possible repercussions were to fail to overcome the challenge. Once you have made the background details clear, explain how exactly you came to be or were involved in the situation. Here, you can display values like an eagerness to take on challenges and leadership
initiatives. Following this, you need to explain what you did, the outcome of your decision, and what you learnt from this experience. Thereon, just as it is with any other essay, finish off with a powerful ending.
Now, let us recap this structure and take a look at just how much attention should be paid to each segment.
- Strong opening (optional) - 10%
- Clear background - 10%
- Explanation of involvement in the particular situation - 20%
- Explanation of the action undertaken and the outcome of the same - 35%
- Explanation of what you learnt and follow up of the same with a powerful ending - 20%
Aside from the important points mentioned above, there are some broad tips that would be good to keep in mind while you are writing the essay. First of all, do not use essay templates, old essays, or any other plagiarized material. This method is inefficient and, above all, highly unethical.
There is no singular “right” way to write an essay. Naivety present in your original style will only help your essay stand out. It is okay to take a second opinion on your work but do not get too bogged down by the opinions of others. Throughout the essay, make sure to maintain a positive and inspired tone and above all focus on delivering the proper takeaways.