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How do I Write an MBA Admission Essay?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2016
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Applicants to a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) program are usually required to write an essay as part of the application process. The MBA admission essay is, in a sense, a written interview, a chance for the applicant to provide the admissions committee with more information and detail. It is critical that the essay be interesting and compelling, showing committee members why the applicant would be a valuable addition to the program. While using editing and paperwriting services is not ethical, it is perfectly acceptable to ask friends and relatives for feedback on an MBA admission essay, unless the school specifically indicates it wants essays from applicants who have not received any assistance.

When writing an MBA admission essay, people should start with the essay prompt, and brainstorm ideas around it. A prompt like “What makes you a good candidate for our institution?” could be answered with a litany of academic history and professional experience, but it wouldn't be very compelling. Researching the institution might provide the applicant with insight that could make the essay more dynamic and interesting. Candidates could focus on the diversity or strengths they might bring to the program.

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The MBA admission essay should include interesting personal details, presented in an active way, with the writer showing, instead of telling, why these details are important. At the same time, it should be concise, without rambling or unfocused paragraphs. If the applicant wants to tell a personal story, it should be concluded quickly and tied in with the subject of the essay as clearly and cleanly as possible. Applicants should also avoid jargon and excessive namedropping; work experience and personal connections are evident from the candidate's other application materials, with the essay being a place for the candidate to provide personal information.

In the process of constructing an MBA admission essay, people should think about what they want to do with their MBA after graduation. Schools are more interested in candidates who have a clear mission and goals, and may be especially interested if someone is doing something unusual or in the public interest. Students who intend to work for charities, for example, could show how having an MBA will help them be more effective and useful in a charitable organization.

Reading applications essays can get extremely boring. Candidates who manage to make their essays stand out in some way will be remembered by the admissions committee. While people should avoid contrived essays, sometimes adding a note of humor or peculiarity to an MBA admission essay will make it more memorable, and increase the applicant's chances of being asked for an interview. Some candidates structure their essays in a way that leaves the admissions committee wanting to know more, as an incentive to get the committee to interview them.

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