Essays are a really important part of the MBA application process, but we know they can also feel daunting. As part of the application process for our Evening MBA and Weekend Executive MBA programs, we ask our applicants to submit two essays (250 to 500 words) describing you, your experience and your career goals. Wondering how to craft a compelling MBA admissions essay as you prepare your application? Put your best foot forward with these tips:
- Create a structure. Have a clear opening, body, and conclusion. Use the 3-part approach to develop a coherent and easy-to-follow format. The body should be about 60% of the content, with 20% reserved for the opening and conclusion, respectively. Use the conclusion to support your overall points.
- Be mindful of length. It’s best to be clear and concise. Review the suggested word limits for each essay prompt and consider the average length. Just because a limit is suggested doesn’t mean you must write that much!
- Set a time limit. Many candidates get stuck on essay questions. Essays are just one component of your overall application profile. For that reason, set yourself a reasonable amount of time (30 minutes or so) to write your essay. While more time may improve an essay, it doesn’t guarantee it.
- Ask a colleague or friend for their impression. You have more knowledge about your skills, strengths, experience, and career goals than anyone else. Because of this, you may unknowingly assume the reader knows something they don’t. By sharing your response with someone else, you can be sure that the shortcuts you’ve taken in your brain transfer well to the essay. Your friend, colleague, or supervisor also has great insight about your work performance, potential, and personality that can help it shine in your responses!
- Demonstrate your character and personality. These essays provide an opportunity to help our admissions committee learn more about your background and help us to better understand how your experiences and opportunities have prepared you for this next step. We want to know how an MBA will add to your personal and professional development and how you will make an impact in the classroom. Don’t hesitate to share more about your volunteer experiences, accomplishments at work, or general interests!