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How to Prepare an Effective Personal Statement for MBA

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Regardless of the university that you would like to earn your MBA from, your personal statement should be able to merit attention and present you as a suitable candidate for the program.  A personal statement is the same as an admission essay, although most universities prefer to call it a personal statement to strengthen the need for the applicant to state his or her purpose for earning an MBA.  Since acceptance to graduate school is a highly competitive and selective process, your personal statement should be a cut above the rest.  Here are a few tips to help you write a top-notch application essay for MBA.

Do your homework

Some applicants are so eager to submit their applications that they want to start writing their personal statements right away.  Although the motive seems good, this is not a good decision, especially if you have very little background of the university and its MBA program.  You will have to spend more hours rewriting the whole thing once you get new information and ideas, unless you want the Admission Board to think that you have disorganized thoughts.  Learn about the university’s history and culture, particularly focusing on the values and principles that it upholds.  Find out what makes their MBA program different from that of other universities.  Later on, as you prepare an outline for your personal statement, make sure that you stick to what the university considers important, and let your essay show how your personal goals match the ideals of the university.  

Use sample personal statements wisely

Although you need not be a literary genius to write a good personal statement, accomplishing the task can be tricky.  This is why searching for sample application essays and reading several of them is important.  To make efficient use of your time, limit your search to personal statements specifically for MBA.  If you could find samples from successful applicants to the university that you want to get accepted in, that is even better.  These would give you a general idea of how the Admission Board likes the essays to be structured and organized.  Identify patterns.  What are the common features found in the sample application essays?  Personal statements that work are those that show how clear the goals are and how consistent the applicant’s activities are with his or her intention to pursue a degree.  Avoid rehashing a sample personal statement no matter how good you think it is.  Aside from being guilty of plagiarism, you are also depriving yourself of the chance to make your personal statement original and personal, which are how it is supposed to be.

Stick to your outline

Effective personal statements are clear and concise.  Although writing a personal statement is partly storytelling, resist the urge to ramble on and on about your accomplishments.  Write only of personal experiences which significantly affected your decision to pursue an MBA.  Try not to be redundant.  Highlight strong points which your GPA and school records do not show, such as a fund-raising activity which you have organized or a leadership conference that you went to.  Let your transcript speak for itself.

Check your motives before writing your personal statement so as not to appear uncertain and irrational.  Your personal statement should capture attention and hold it long enough for the reader to get to know you as a person, so exercise good judgment on how much creativity is appropriate.
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