MBA essay tips that will make your application stand out in 2021

An MBA admission process is one of the most competitive there is, and nailing the essay is an important step.

By U2B Staff 

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MBA admission officers and committees take GMAT scores and GPAs very seriously, but sometimes candidates forget that these officers are eager to know who they are reading about and why this person belongs in the programme they are enrolling for.

Enrolling into an MBA programme has always been a tough process, however, given the economic landscape that has resulted from COVID-19, the admission process has become even more competitive than it already is. A captivating MBA essay is a crucial part of the application process and gives candidates a chance to convey what they bring to the table in a nuanced way that will make them stand out. 

Essentially the goal is to give the committee members a brief, written sketch of yourself by painting a picture in their heads with words. It’s an opportunity that gives students the freedom to position their ideas openly and creatively. By doing this, your efforts and initiative will highlight to committee members an improvement-oriented mindset, signs that you will succeed in an operations role and that you are capable of being a persuasive and influential leader. 


These elements and more showcase skills that are transferable and they will be able to reference your efforts as evidence that will support the fact that you will ultimately graduate to successfully acquire placement, becoming a shining representation of the university. Here are some important pointers to take into account when writing an MBA essay for 2021:

Read the MBA essay question carefully

Understanding and answering questions correctly indicates that you are teachable and that you pay close attention to details. Before you start writing, spend a good amount of time breaking the sentences of the question down to ensure you fully understand what you are drafting an answer to. 

A good approach would be to write your direct responses down in bullet form and then craft the narrative, saving time and frustration in the process. It is also a good idea to research common questions by top universities and train yourself and practice executing your methods in a timely fashion. 

Be particular, clear, and relevant, alongside providing important details

Wordiness, particularly in the introduction, will not be helpful in any way and may create a negative impact. Various colleges applaud students whose writing is concise and clear, rather than long and tedious.

Give a clear idea of your past endeavors and future goals

A good MBA essay usually rests on the story you describe, and it should always highlight what you have accomplished, what you are working on accomplishing currently, and what you plan on accomplishing in the future. 

Admission officers often are on the lookout to determine levels of determination, vision, decision-making, independence, ambition, innovativeness, confidence, enthusiasm, etc. Short-term, moderate, and long-term professional aims indicate these and more. Most importantly, you should be able to create a connection between your goals and how an MBA will fast-track your progress. 

Elaborate on the doors an MBA would open for you

It is commonly known that MBAs open doors when it comes to business administration, however, managerial roles also require exercising responsibilities such as motivating employees, leading innovation, and keeping track of performance, all of which are taught with an MBA. 

There are several fields that consider an MBA to make candidates more attractive, and regardless of your long-term goals, it will be beneficial to make the connection and highlight your enthusiasm for reaping the rewards an MBA has to offer. 

Do your research

Before applying to a university, it is generally a good practice to do your research and make sure you are selling yourself as someone who can add value to their mission and vision. 

For example, Harvard Business School states they are looking for candidates with “a habit of leadership, analytical aptitude and appetite, and engaged community leadership.” In this case, you would prioritise illustrating similar skills in your essay. 


Pay close attention to grammar and style

The way words are used often shows character. An MBA essay is the perfect opportunity to show your levels of depth, knowledge, and awareness, using words as a tool. You do not need an education in writing to craft a good essay, however, there are basic fundamentals of storytelling that can make your story stand out.

Let correct grammar and language structure be your guide, first and foremost, and consider your first draft as just a draft and not the final result. Take your to finetune, and make sure you do not stray away from your point. 

Find a reliable proofreader to provide feedback on your MBA essay

Call upon a trusted friend, colleague, or family member who has writing experience to proofread your work. Ask for their help in ensuring it is coherent, and that all the critical points have been addressed without ambiguities. 

When you are close to completion is when it will become very easy to miss essential elements that need to be clarified or addressed. A generous editor will provide comments that encourage reflection and strengthen your writing ensuring that the reader, in this case the admission committee, will understand what you bring to the table.