How to write good MBA essays
An essential part of the application process, a well-written essay shows who you are, how you think and why you are a good candidate for that university.
Writing well is a challenge. Especially when we have to limit the number of characters or words in our narrative. But the practice can lead to a better, more concise, and to the point essay without removing your personality, of course.
The essay, personal statement or motivation letter is the moment you introduce yourself to the educational institution to which you are applying. It’s a key essay because that’s where you show yourself to your reviewers. But, since it’s hard to talk about yourself in an honest, creative and impactful way – essays require personal reflection, making them an invitation to self-awareness. In it you will explain where you came from, who you are, why you want to study at that university, what sets it apart for you, what it you have to offer, and how what you will learn there can change your personal and professional journey.
Some universities ask you to write your essay in a free style. Others ask for it describe objective questions or short texts. Despite the variety of formats, what institutions seek is to know you better. Therefore, your ability to communicate becomes an essential tool.
So before you start writing, imagine that you are being interviewed by someone who wants to know you well and, in a nutshell, wants to understand why you are such an excellent candidate for that educational institution. In general lines:
Take instructions very seriously
If the university asks you to limit yourself to a certain number of words or to include specific content in your text, follow the instructions. Prepare an outline of what you will write based on what is required. Rules do not preclude creativity and good communication. Both happen naturally in the fluency of well-organized content.
Engage the reader from the start
Remember that you will tell a story in which you are the main character. So think about your background before writing. This is an excellent excellent opportunity to exercise self-awareness. Tell your story without using cliches or phrases. Do not repeat what other people have said, present your path. Be honest in the story, tell who it is and where it came from in a unique and original way. Tease the interest of your reader.
Talk about the impacts and changes your experiences generate
Write about your academic and professional experiences without repeating your resume. Talk about the impacts they have had on your life, what differences they have had, and what changes they have had on you. How did you grow up with them, what did you enjoy from those experiences? What were the learnings? Don’t be afraid to reveal a more fragile aspect, especially if it represents a challenge you have already won or are willing to win.
Use examples that make sense and are tangible
You’re not superwoman or superman, so tell me things you really do or did. Do not enlarge the stories or expand the scope of your skills too much. Again, be honest, because if you are called for an interview, you will need to support what you said before.
Carefully study the program you are applying for
In your report you will have to explain why you want to study at that institution. Therefore, read the contents of the program carefully. Find out who the teachers are, what is the teaching methodology and what is the differential of that university. What does it offer students beyond the classroom? Do not copy phrases from the site, relate this content to your current and future trajectory. Show how and why this opportunity will make a real difference in your life.
What will be your contribution?
Contributing is synonymous with collaborating, participating, assisting. Universities want to know what you have to offer the program, your future colleagues and the area of study you want to specialize in. They also want to know how they will apply the knowledge gained during the course and who will benefit from it. After all, a person with good academic and professional background can impact many people.
Ask someone to be your critical reader
Don’t be shy about asking at least two people who are able to read critically and impartially to evaluate your essay. Even better if they have experience reading essays of other candidates, and thus have a larger pool to compare you with. Analyze what they say to you, and from there, improve word choice and the fluidity of your narrative. Write your essay with time to do one or more readings and redo as needed. In general, essay preparation takes many hours. Remember, you are telling your story. So be open to criticism and correct whatever you need to do it to the best of your ability.