MBA Application Essays

Writing a Strong MBA Application Essay

Dr. Don Martin, Ph.D, former dean of admissions of University of Chicago Booth School of Business calls the application essays the heart of any MBA application. It's a chance for applicants to communicate how their experiences have helped prepare them for this next step, what their eventual goals are, and how business school will help them achieve those goals. As Dr. Martin notes, other than an interview, an essay is the only way to speak directly to the admission committee.

Your essay needs to communicate three main points: your past experiences, your present interest in an MBA and your future career goals. That said, your past experiences, for example, can not read like a list. Most MBA students have had some time in the workforce before entering the MBA program. Whether your work experience includes full-time jobs or part-time and summer work for those applying straight from achieving an undergraduate degree, your essay must demonstrate what you have learned from your jobs.

There are other parts of the application that will ask for a straight list of previous jobs. The essay allows the applicant to convey how past experiences have prompted the desire to achieve an MBA degree or shaped future career goals. If work experience includes management positions, be sure to comminicate the leadership required and how you handled that responsibility.

When discussing present interest in an MBA program, be sure to discuss specifics of the program that appeal to you. If there are certain classes or professors that interest you, or the school has an emphasis on a particular area or style of study that is appealing, these details should be conveyed in the essay. In terms of future goals, try to explain how these goals were formed and how an MBA would help achieve them.

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