Tips for MBA Statement of Purpose/Personal Statement (MBA SOP Tips)
MBA admissions committees look for all rounded personalities, who are not only good leaders but also good team players and managers. A strong personal statement portraying all these skills requires novelty and gravity. The quality of your ideas and the clarity in which you express them will help demonstrate your abilities to write and be influential. Your personal statement is your best chance to convince admissions officers that you have all the desired qualities they are looking for. That means you are unique, not like one of the herd. When you start to write your MBA personal statement, make sure that the expressions, the whole story, the metaphors, the analysis, and the style are your own.
Reflecting on yourself: This is what the admissions staff will be looking for. You need to analyze yourself, mull over who you are, recount your achievements and then put them together in your revealing statement. You need to describe every part of the essay in context to your real life experiences and career aspirations. It needs lot of details and perceptions, to have an emotional impact on the reader.
A good personal essay needs to have all these following components.
Your professional experience : Do not present a simple laundry list of your roles and responsibilities. Summarise your job, include the nature of work, major responsibilities, and, where relevant, employees under your supervision, size of budget, clients/ products and results achieved.
Your professional achievements. (Tips for pitching your achievements)
Career aspirations/goals (Tips for writing short-term and long-term goals)
How the MBA is going to support your career aspirations? (Tips for Why MBA?)
Your extra-curricular activities and achievemens.
How you could contribute to the MBA experience of your classmates? (Tips for writing on your possible contribution to the MBA class)
You need to take care of the following elements to ensure an effective MBA SOP.
Your application story - The story you frame is a kind of your inward look and a real self discovery. The admissions people want you to tell your story that sounds realistic. Most candidates write things that they think the admissions committee wants to hear, and not the things that they are necessarily passionate about or interested. It is advisable that you discuss some of your proudest accomplishments, your passions and your reasons to take this step. Be honest with yourself through the course of action. A question that comes up very often is, ‘How do I make myself stand out from other candidates?’ and one of the best and easiest ways is to really be yourself because each of you have your own unique story.
A proven track record of career success – The admissions people want to see what kind of contributions you have made to the organizations that you had been a part of, what advantages you had taken of your opportunities, and your growth graph. They are mainly concerned with the quality of your work experiences and not quantity. Therefore, open your personal statement with a brief description of your professional work experience. In short discuss your roles, responsibilities and key skills/abilities. Include numbers such as your team size, budget and results from your leadership experiences.
Outstanding academic potential – The admissions committees look for diversity in terms of academic experiences. Your undergraduate performance, the courses undertaken and essentially your GMAT scores are some significant features that the admissions committee focuses on. If you had been an average scorer throughout, then spotlight some unique attributes from your academic standpoint to cover up the pitfalls.
Bright professional promise - They want to know your plans so that when you come to school you’re ready to contribute, take part in student activities, take part in the recruiting process and just in general be successful because business school is a very busy place and you don’t have time to really figure it out once you get there.
Professional and personal characteristics – The MBA admissions committee doesn’t really expect you to excel in all the areas, but they look for some vital professional and personal skills in you. Your skills could be represented in your work experience or extracurricular activities such as sports, music or community services during your undergrads, and they hope that you must have excelled in some of the areas already.
Leadership skills– The admission people are really not interested to know how many people you had managed, but how effectively you had managed them. Think about you personally and your leadership styles and some of the things that you feel really proud of and really represent that in the application. Your readers are going to look for evidence of your leadership potential. You can also discuss leadership experiences from your personal life and extra-curricular activities such as leading your local community or fund-raising team.
The ability to communicate effectively – The way you articulate your story effectively gives the readers an impression of how good your communication skills are. The admissions committee looks for candidates having good written and verbal skills, who can maintain pace with their sophisticated programs.
Interpersonal skills- This is something that makes candidates stand out from one another. The admissions people will search for this skill in your essays and also will want to see how you interact just one-on-one with another person during the interview.
Genuine interest in the school and the program- You know in what you are good at and what you need to develop. You need to make some good decisions about what exactly goes in an MBA application versus other places in your life. Justify of why you have decided to choose the program and why particularly at this point of time. Do a thorogh research on the school. Use school's website and contact current students and professors and alumni. Everyone will provide you information from different prospectives. This will reflect your genuine interest in the MBA program you are applying for.
Your possible contribution to the MBA program- In an MBA program the diverse experience of the cohort is one of the most important sources of knowledge and skill development. Every student is expected to contribute uniquely to the program. Therefore, you need to discuss in detail how you can contribute to the MBA experience of your classmates through classroom discussions, case analysis and projects. Further, do not limit yourself to academic contributions; discuss your possible contribution in extra-curricular activities such as sports, community services and entertainment.
Now you understand what all you need in your SOP. Next reflect on yourself and develop a plan for SOP. Here follows a detailed discussion on how to develop your MBA SOP.
Producing a plan: Plan about who you are. You need to consider your uniqueness, your experiences, your significant accomplishments, the people you have met, your motivational sources and your skills. Chalk out your future short term and long term goals and do prepare an appealing reason of why you have considered this field and that too at this point of time. In short, give enough reasons to the reader to pick you from the crowd. It may be easy for you to understand, as the things have happened to you, but you need to frame the entire scene to the reader which needs a meaningful description of what had happened.
Organizing your plan: Go through you essay again and think of anything you have forgotten. Is there anything you don’t want to include? Is there something that seems to link everything to it, such as an experience or a problem? Try to establish links to clutch the plan together. Diverge the structure of your sentences to make the script more appealing. Try adding some compound, complex, or interrogative sentences.
Writing your background statement: Follow the plan, and keep your pitch positive throughout. Do not be tempted to write what you think the reader wants to hear. Instead, write a truthful and accurate account, ensuring that you justify any points you make. This is more convincing than just writing a list of skills you think you have. The vital tip for writing a personal narrative essay is to make the words dynamic, vivid, electrifying, lively, emotional, and clear-cut.
Error Checking: Check for spelling and grammar errors, and to make sure the statement flows. If you have word limits, check that you are within these. Ensure that the statement gives off a confident and enthusiastic vibe, and avoids any obvious clichés. Ask friends and family to read through the statement too. They may be able to suggest changes or spot mistakes that would go unnoticed otherwise. The concluding paragraph needs to bind up and state the point of your story, whether it was a lesson, an idea, or just a learning experience for you.
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