Many of the applicants who apply to business school are qualified MBA candidates—they have the grades, the test scores, and the work experience needed to contribute to and succeed in an MBA program.
Admissions committees need something beyond a GPA or test scores to differentiate applicants and determine who is a good fit for the program and who is not. Your MBA essay tells the admissions committee who you are and helps to set you apart from other applicants.
Repeating themes that you think that the school will want to read means that you are not being authentic to your true self and your own story.
This is the reason that schools even have essay questions to begin with; if they wanted to admit based on GMAT, GPA and resume alone, they could certainly do that but the classes would suffer from lack of individualism and true character.
You can take these essays as a valuable opportunity to make a deeper connection with an admissions committee member who most likely will be reading anywhere from 25-30 such files each day during the busy application season. What are the things that get you out of bed in the morning, or the things that you would do for free because you care about them so much?
Before you start writing, we firmly believe in the importance of self-reflection and understanding your own motivation for applying to business school. We recommend white boarding all of the topics and messages that you think may fit into this category so that you can see them all in one place.
Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School puts it on very friendly terms, for example, asking you to imagine being in an airport with an admissions officer and using this opportunity to make a memorable impression.
Think of these questions as the opportunity to provide color and context to the application, bringing to life the lines on your resume or adding depth to comments made from your recommenders.
The prompt allows room for reflection about how you became the person you are now, and where you see yourself growing with your next exciting challenges.
The term MBA essay is often used interchangeably with MBA application essay or MBA admissions essay.