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How to write an MBA personal statement

Your business school application must stand out – here are some valuable tips for writing a successful MBA personal statement.

 
CONTENTS 
  • What is an MBA personal statement?
  • How to write
  • What to write
  • Structure
  • Style
 

What is an MBA personal statement?

When applying for an MBA programme, you get to submit a personal statement that tells your story. This is an opportunity to portray why you deserve a place on the course.

Admissions tutors are looking for your unique experiences and how you'll bring innovation to the classroom. They want to know what motivates you, where you find inspiration, how you’re well-rounded and what makes you special.

 

How to write an MBA personal statement

Your MBA personal statement is tailored to a particular business school's course, as with other postgraduate applications. When putting it together, you need to be specific about why you want to study that course at that school.

Before you start writing, thoroughly research the course and find out all you need to do to apply.

If you can, arrange to speak with one of the course tutors or a current student to discuss what makes a good application. You could also look through examples of successful applications from previous students to get an idea of what makes a good statement.

When you know exactly what’s required of you, make a list of:
  • Your relevant work experiences and academic achievements
  • Aspects of the course that you’re particularly interested in
  • Anything else the business school wants you to include

 

What to write in an MBA personal statement

Build out your plan by expanding your list.

Think in depth about things like:
  • What are your long-term career goals?
  • What are your relevant achievements?
  • Why have you chosen this business school?
  • How will it help with your plans?
  • Have you learned anything from the school’s academics or students?
  • Are there any opportunities (such as internships) that you’d utilise well?

If the business school provides a list of desirable candidate criteria, you can use each point as a heading and write notes about how you meet the requirements for each one.

As real-life business environments face obstacles every day, it can be good to demonstrate your ability to overcome setbacks. Sometimes, what you’ve learned from a challenging situation can show more about your character and skills than from a smooth-sailing successful project.

 

Structure

Next, put together all your notes into a plan and decide what to write where.

Generally, you want to include:
  • A gripping introduction that says why you want to do the MBA
  • Interesting middle paragraphs about your interests, achievements and experiences
  • A concluding paragraph that summarises why you’re the best person for the course

 

Style

When writing out your statement, make sure to explain each point and provide evidence where appropriate. Try to keep it relevant, current and specific to the school you’re applying to.

Unless the school has set a word limit, aim for around one side of A4 paper. Be concise and make every word count – admissions tutors want to know that you can communicate effectively. They also want to see that you take care of your work.

Thoroughly check your statement by:
  • Reading it out loud to ensure it makes sense
  • Using grammar and spellchecking tools
  • Reading it backwards to spot any typos
  • Asking someone else to read it through and give feedback

For more advice on how to write a personal statement, take a look at our general postgraduate personal statements guide.

 

READ MORE
How to write a postgraduate personal statement
Mistakes to avoid on your postgraduate application
5 questions to ask at a postgraduate interview

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