As you finish your MBA program applications, you will run into some very difficult essay questions. To be successful in your essays, you will need to go through a lot of self-discovery. Most candidates are going to have to answer the “why MBA” question often. It is interesting how difficult this question can be. Candidates who have focused goals and defined reasons for wanting to apply still often find it difficult to answer this question.
Showing that you will benefit from the experience offered by your target business school is very important to your success in the admissions process. Even if you are not specifically asked the question, you should understand that your story needs to illustrate that the MBA program can help you achieve your personal and career goals.
Every year, I work with applicants reapplying who ask for feedback on applications they submitted in earlier years. Here are some examples from recent feedback sessions that illustrate the example above:
Grade Point Average (GPA) – 3.92
GMAT – 670
Experience – 2 years’ management consulting
Goal – Chief Technology Officer of an international company
Feedback—not clear why you are pursuing business school. It appears like your aspirations are more technical than managerial.
GPA – 3.2
GMAT – 700
Experience – 5 years’ venture capital investing
Goal – continuing career in the venture capital industry
Feedback—not clear why you want to pursue business school. Seems that you are gaining important experience at your firm. What can business school provide?
The reason these examples are being used is to show that it is very important to make clear to the admissions committee that business school can help you reach your aspirations in a very specific way. Understand what you will gain from their MBA program and explain that clearly to them. Do not be dispirited by the examples used earlier in this article. Each one of these candidates ended up being accepted into the business school of their choice. They did not change their basic essays, just the way they explained them. Your explanation should exemplify an understanding of what business school can provide, and the benefits of the particularly MBA program.
For more robust guidance on your MBA application essays, check out the Stacy Blackman Consulting Essay Guide Series – school specific guides with essay tips, sample essays, information on what your target schools value and more. Visit http://www.stacyblackman.com/essay-guides/ to learn more.