Preparing strong essays for MBA admissions

Posted by: Diana Zaharia
on June 11th, 2012 No Comments

As autumn is approaching fast, this is the time of year that business school admissions decisions are being made. The competition is tough, as recent statistics show that only two out of 10 applicants get admitted for an MBA program. So what weighs more in your application?

Most universities reveal that a student with lesser credentials but with a more persuasive essay will be most probably chosen over an overachiever with a bland application essay. Starting from the premises that your MBA application essay is probably the determining factor in securing for an MBA degree, how do you prepare for it?

Preparing the content you want to include in your MBA application essay requires first of all  a comprehensive, reflective approach. You need to differentiate yourself and first persuade  the  admissions officer that you are worthy of admission and moreover, that you are not an ordinary candidate.

Here are a few tips on presenting yourself and your experiences as advantageously as possible.

  • Reflect on your topic. Take time to think carefully about all the stories and accomplishments from either your professional experience, formal outside activities, college clubs, hobbies and interests. A comprehensive, reflective approach should enable you to arrive at the essay topics that are most impressive and in line with your overall positioning.
  • Build up your full, well-rounded profile. When writing them, make sure that all your essays work together to present a consistent and compelling picture of who you are, what you’ve done, and what you bring to the table; The adcom is looking for students who are interesting and likely to make a contribution to the school both in and out of the classroom. Your stories should cover both your full career and involvements outside of work.
  • Tell a story. The best MBA essays tell a story about the applicant. To make something memorable, you have to make it first meaningful. Tell the story that is rich with meaning and alive with imagery, referring to the impact the past events had on you. One example is that of a student who was accepted to Harvard, Princeton, Dartmouth, and Stanford. She called her essay “Hiking to Understanding and told the story of one hike, but at the same time, giving a complete idea of the authors values, interests, and philosophy. “The essay presents run-of-the-mill subject matter in an out-of-the-ordinary way”.


Good luck with writing! It may take time, so don’t worry if you need to spend even a few days to craft the best essays and make them memorable.

How do you prepare your essays?

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