MBA Essay Tips

When we began writing our research guide, the motivation was to have an alternative to MBA tours where business school’s PR stunts are compensated with an objective analysis that includes latest trends in the job market, base salary and bonus fluctuations, and strengths of each business school. Although the response has been overwhelming, while we began guiding applicants through all-in-one Essay Review, Resume Editing and Profile Evaluation service, a point of contact became all too important to ignore. Applicants found the networking with Alumni post MBA Tours to be valuable sessions to get an insider perspective about the program. Some remained within the shell of the marketing gimmick while most opened up and offered interesting insights and even discouraged some applicants from applying.

Applicants learn the fundamentals of writing a persuasive essay when we brainstorm the most relevant stories, edit and captures the most impactful achievements in the resume, and share techniques of storytelling through Winning MBA Essay Guide. The brainstorming, as part of capturing the most relevant life experience, involves writing narratives on your motivations, leadership skills, and life lesson. This exercise, although exhaustive would give applicants the start to bring experience to life through persuasive phrases. But not all narratives start in the right direction

First Draft

The first draft of an essay is messy with the applicant’s consciousness poured into the answer without structure, relevance, and sometimes missing the intent of the question. The flawed output could be discarded as a rambling of an applicant desperately seeking admissions. But through the process of pouring one’s heart out, the applicant touches upon points that missed the initial brainstorming sessions or captures a moment of vulnerability that breaks the ‘foolproof’ impression that one gets from the resume.

Applicants seldom are part of transformational times. The Early 2000 and post-2008 applicants experienced the uncertainty and shift in the attitude of the market. However, for the past two years, we have seen a definitive change in the attitude of our clients. It might be generational or perhaps an idealistic call to take part in a transforming world.

Narratives where you were part of the history or contributed towards pioneering a new policy, change in culture, or technology is application gold.

Not many have the experience or the insight to measure their contribution at a functional, organizational, and societal level. Not many works in such industries.

In this example, the applicant, who is working for the Oil and Gas industry has a rare perspective on where the world is heading. The narrative starts with the declining oil reserve in the North Sea and switches quickly to the reluctance of the industry leaders to make the transition to the inevitable.
Sometimes the cause could lead the applicants to a journey that was never anticipated.

Climate change, declining compliance with vaccination, the negative influence of social media on democracy, prescription drug addiction, air pollution, access to drinking water, the threat of war, and market forces that weaken government institutions are all problems that affect all of us.
Applicants who take on such a problem has the advantage of narrative recall. In this example, the applicant’ journey from a Philanthropy Consultant to IMPACT investor is chartered with an experience in 2017. The problem facing coastal dwellers is the backdrop for this narrative.

Yale SOM MBA Essay prompt: Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. (500 words)

Commitment could be in the form of reaffirming a personal value or a professional mission. In this case, the applicant’s vision to build a fund for the 200 million underprivileged communities inhabiting coastal areas is fueling the desire to learn about IMPACT investing.

This is one of the most unusual questions we have seen in MBA Application. The first obvious question that comes to an applicant's mind - should I include a personal or a professional experience for this essay?

Essay prompt: Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. (500 words)

Personal Commitment can vary from the relationship with a partner to pursuing a skill – music, stand-up, acting or pro-sports. If you have a substantial list of achievements to show, include a personal commitment to your skill, provided the recommendation letters, transcripts, and resume will help the admission team understand your career path. The trajectory and peak in your career should be obvious. If there is a hint of confusion on whether your pre-MBA journey is enough to achieve your post-MBA goals, use the essay to capture your professional experience.

Let us look at the MBA Application elements for Yale SOM. For 2019-20, the application includes a Video Essay, two recommendation letters, and one essay. The Video Essay is designed to test your ability to think on the feet. The recommendation letter validates what you have written and brings a perspective from your team lead or your supervisor.

Navigate F1GMAT

F1GMAT Services (MBA Applicants) 

F1GMAT's Books

MBA Salary(Latest Salary Data)
MBA Admission Interview Tips



MBA Application Essays

MBA Recommendation Letter

GMAT Tutorials

GMAT Question Bank

Top MBA Programs

Get F1GMAT's Newsletters (Best in the Industry)
Included in the Newsletter:

  • Ranking Analysis
  • Post-MBA Salary Trends
  • Post-MBA Job Function & Industry Analysis
  • Post-MBA City Review
  • MBA Application Essay Tips
  • School Specific Essay Tips
  • GMAT Preparation Tips
  • MBA Admission Interview Tips
  • School Specific Interview Tips
  • Funding Guidance and
  • Special Consultation Service (only for Subscribers)

Subscribe to F1GMAT's Newsletter