6 Tips for Writing Best MBA Admission Essay

05 Mar 2021 9 min read

What is an MBA admission essay?

An essay is an integral part of a business school application. This is one of the three components that influence the decision to enroll or decline.

Important MBA application evaluation factor
Important MBA application evaluation factor

It allows you to demonstrate your individuality, way of thinking, and other qualities. The universities set the topics of admission essays annually. Usually, they are:

  • a story about yourself – your achievements and failures;
  • the reasons why you decided to enter the MBA; 
  • the reasons why you chose this particular program;
  • your plans for the future and the intended ways to achieve your goals. 

For different universities, you may need to write from 2 to 5 essays of 200-1500 words each. The creative work should disclose the given topic, answer the questions raised and reflect the author’s opinion on the problem. In a free prose form, the applicant should reflect his vision of a particular situation and offer its resolution. You have to write an essay in free, light individual author’s style. Try to show all your advantages: creativity, the presence of your opinion, and the ability to defend it. You can write an essay in free form as there are no special requirements for the structure of the text. However, like any easy-to-read text, it should have an introduction, the main part, and a conclusion.

Common mistakes in MBA admissions essay

The process of entering business school is stressful. Anxiety limits a person’s mindfulness and thought process. While writing an essay, applicants usually make 4 mistakes that hinder further career development:

  1. Present the information in a superficial, dry, and uninteresting way;
  2. Include slang phrases and colloquial expressions;
  3. Make baseless or false statements;
  4. Express negative thoughts or complaints.

Random typos play a crucial role in the essay. Before sending the text for review, you should read it carefully. Do you doubt the correct spelling of a word? Replace it with a synonym or rephrase the sentence. Think about what you are writing. Support your conclusions with reliable facts.

Students are preparing application essays
Students are preparing application essays

6 Tips on writing an MBA admission essay 

1. Be natural

Protect the natural way – this is the golden rule of writing an admission essay. Unveil your potential, as well as write an essay yourself. Even if others give you advice on how to improve it, do not lose your personality.

2. Make a career development plan

During the admission process, it is essential to send the correct information about your candidacy. The business school application essay is your chance to ensure that certain moments are captured. It is necessary to express your career goals and how you intend to achieve them. Many programs offer to write a separate essay on the question of your plans. A great way is to describe an ordinary day in your life that you imagine will happen in five years. To do this, you need to know the path that you will go through. Besides, you need to understand the duties that you will perform and the place where you will work. Saying that you are going to be a consultant is not enough. You should explain how your experience, together with what the business school program offers, can help you achieve your goals. 

Review the list of courses offered by the school. It will help you understand which of them can help you. Remember to mention the names in the essay. Make no mistake about this. Revealing your career goals in a meaningful and detailed way can play a role in whether you get enrolled or not. Career development services usually evaluate business school applications. They track evidence of your ability to work after graduation. Schools study essays to determine if they can help students achieve their goals.

3. Explain why you choose this particular business school

Together with your career goals, you should demonstrate your knowledge of the school. Moreover, you have to show how you will fit into its culture. Linking your personal qualities to the cultural environment of the school can prove you are a good choice. Another way is to visit the campus and mention what you encountered there and why it affected you. It is necessary to show that you understand what kind of life you will have in this particular business school.

4. Prove that you can rule the world

Leadership plays a significant role in terms of the business school community. It is an integral part of your application for admission. But this concept is difficult to define. Think of it as the dominant term for the 50 characteristics or so. It applies to both a decent work ethic and the ability to motivate team members. Once you start looking at leadership from this perspective, you can explore the list of characteristics you come up with. Next, you will be able to choose five of them that form your strengths. After that, you will be able to state them in your admission essay. Repeating the buzzwords about leadership is not a good move. If you want to demonstrate that you know how to supervise others’ activities, you should describe an example from your life. 

5. Flaunt your personality

Reducing the level of your closeness is a necessity. Show your unique characteristics and your personality. It is essential to demonstrate your differences from the competitors. You can always think of five things that set you apart. Reflecting on your personality in the essay will also help the admission committee understand what role you can play in the school.

6. Show effective communication

An essay is the best way for schools to determine whether you have communication skills, a trait that any leader should strive to improve all the time. You should demonstrate that you are proficient in the writing basics. Furthermore, you need to individualize your essay according to the school you are applying to. Never write a paper so that it can fit another program. You should demonstrate why you want to get into this particular school for this program.

Your message should be that this school is a place where you can acquire the necessary tools to fulfill your dreams. Besides, highlight that you will return the favor by contributing to the community in your unique way.

Additional recommendations for an original essay

For your essay to interest the admissions committee, we recommend reading additional recommendations:

  • use appropriate and subtle humor, avoid obscure jokes;
  • choose catchy speech images, beware of using cliches;
  • start the text with a suitable quote or good example from life, do not use general phrases;
  • edit the text if necessary, do not be lazy to reread the essay several times;
  • stick to your style, do not make mistakes when writing.

Write only about recent events in your career or life. There is no need to bore the commission with stories of success and popularity in high school. Identify your most outstanding feature, present it to the reader in an original way. Combine curious stories from life experiences with introspection and professional reasoning.

And most importantly! Do not forget to point out the desire to get an education in the MBA. 

Students with a laptop are busy with essay writing for MBA admission
Students with a laptop are busy with essay writing for MBA admission

Cautions for writing an admissions essay

Often, the career path forces you to take certain risks and presents serious difficulties. You have to deal with them quickly and confidently. If there were such moments in the career of the applicant, then they should always be mentioned. Another thing is that there should not be too many examples with obvious risks. Otherwise, the committee will think the applicant often acts rashly and adventurously. In business, it is better to avoid risks rather than seek them out.

Real-life examples do not always benefit the applicant. There are situations that the admissions committee should not know about at all. It is allowed to add a little humor to the example. You can use a couple of jokes, but tactful, not ambiguous, censored. Bright details and quotes are also welcome. All this helps to move away from unnecessary boilerplate phrases. Besides, you have to be careful about your nationality and religion. People can interpret this information ambiguously. It is better to exclude it from the narrative.

What is strictly prohibited?

There are several things that you should avoid while writing an MBA application essay. We prepared the list of them:

  • Do not write about your school years. Whatever happened to the applicant during this period, the admissions committee does not care. The exception can only be extraordinary achievements. For example, if the applicant already knew several foreign languages in the sixth grade. This desire for an additional learning process is always welcome;
  • In the essay, there is no place for an off-topic presentation. It will not help to reveal the pros and cons of the applicant for admission to the MBA. It will also be superfluous to saturate the narrative with terms. The details of the work should create an overall picture and not burden the reader;
  • It is forbidden to exceed the number of words allowed by the requirements of the admission committee. It will demonstrate that the applicant is not able to structure his thoughts concisely and clearly;
  • Any mistakes in the spelling will lead to a negative attitude of the commission to the applicant’s candidacy. Therefore, you should always check the essay several times for punctuation, spelling, and grammar. Also, the semantics of the presentation should not suffer;
  • You cannot send an essay to one business school using the name of another. It will immediately put an end to the chances of admission;
  • Too much generalization is not welcome. It will indicate the poor vocabulary of the applicant.


The MBA admission essay helps the committee members see you as a unique person. It allows you to stand out from others. You should make every effort to make the essay reflect your characteristics. Follow the admission essay tips listed in this and our other articles. Become a student of the MBA program now!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How to start an application essay?

Each candidate should decide what he would like to tell the admissions committee about himself. Analyze your strengths and weaknesses, your interests and values. 

2. Is there a limit on the number of words?

Yes. You have to write your essay in compliance with the volume. If you exceed the limit, the commission may decide that you are not able to follow the general rules. The golden rule of MBA essay writing is to strictly adhere to the specified volume, not allowing it to exceed by +/- 10%.

3. Can I use one sample for all business schools?

No. The essay for each program and school must be unique. Business schools look for students whose goals and interests coincide with the values of a particular MBA program. In the admission essay, you should explain why you should be accepted.