SDA Bocconi MBA Essay Tips

SDA Bocconi MBA Essay 2013SDA Bocconi School of Management application has 13 essay questions, excluding the Financial Independence question, which asks the applicants to describe how they are going to support themselves.

Let us look at the 13 Essay Questions and see some of the best practices.

Essay 1: Write down, in order of importance, all possible past or present community or cultural responsibilities.

As the essay suggests, the first responsibility that you are going to mention in the essay should be of the most importance. It should be relevant to MBA Application (highlight your leadership, communication and maturity) and should be something that you had spent considerable time.

The Bocconi team wants to know how you are going to contribute in the class with the experience in your local community.

Essay 2: What interests and occupations do you pursue in your free time?

Milan is known for Banking & Finance, Publishing & Media, Fashion & Design, Conferences & Exhibitions, Non-Profit, and Art.  Also, Bocconi has several students clubs in Wine Tasting, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Golf, Luxury Arts, Management Consulting, Ski and Sailing. You don’t necessarily have to spend time in one of the fields mentioned above. But if the interests and occupations that you have spent on your free time can be linked with the MBA clubs or Milan’s strengths, then the AdCom will know that you can easily adapt to the new environment.

Essay 3: What do you think you gained from your university studies? Conversely, what important things do you think your studies lacked?

This is not the essay to badmouth your university. Reflect on how your undergraduate degree has helped you develop new skills and understanding of technology, science, people and management.

Even if you have received an undergraduate degree from an Ivey League school, there would be some aspects of the education that might have been missed your expectations. Maybe, you didn’t get enough time on an extracurricular or the subject matter covered in your area of interest was not comprehensive. Be objective when you criticize the university studies.

Essay 4:  Explain the most significant goals you think you have achieved so far and the reasons for their importance in your personal growth?

This essay requires reflection and understanding of the qualities that SDA Bocconi value.   Growth indicators in your past are a reflection of future growth. Although not always the case in life, Business Schools believes that if you have shown an excellent career growth till now, then your chance of growth after MBA is also high. Therefore, start with how you were able to utilize the undergraduate degree to get into a sector or job function of your choice. What skills did you develop while working? Highlight leadership skills, crisis management and communication in a multicultural team.  Demonstrate how it has helped you grow as a person.

Essay 5:  Describe your strong points, personal and professional, explaining why you see them as such?

This is your typical strength essay.  Although it is tough to differentiate personal and professional strengths, for personal strengths, highlight persistence, positive attitude, planning and leadership. For professional strengths, highlight team building, communication in a multinational/multicultural team and conflict resolution. Read MBA Strengths essay to get more ideas.

Essay 6:  Describe your weak points, personal and professional, explaining why you see them as such?

Don’t make the mistake of showing strengths as weakness. List all your weaknesses and find out the ones that you have consciously worked on. The weaknesses that you have worked on both personally and professionally should be mentioned in this essay. Read Weakness Essay to learn more.

Essay 7: What are the reasons that lead you to apply to the MBA program at this point in your life?

Motivation for an MBA is critical for Admissions.If you are not motivated, the grades will go down, you will not be engaged with the class and post-MBA goals will not be achieved. This would not only be disastrous for your career but it will also affect the brand value for the Business Schools. Therefore, clearly mentioning why you want to pursue MBA at this point of your career is important to demonstrate motivation.

Essay 8: What do you hope to get from the MBA program?

For this essay, you should be clear about your short-term goals. Visit the MBA program structure page to understand what you can learn.  The learning experience at SDA Bocconi should support you in reaching the goals.

Essay 9: What other possibilities have you seriously considered, apart from the MBA program, for reaching your goals of personal and professional growth?

This is an important essay. You should summarize the plan that you have developed in reaching your short-term goals. While doing so, mention how SDA Bocconi MBA can accelerate your ability to reach some of the short-term goals.

Essay 10: Have you applied to other business schools in Italy or elsewhere? If yes, which ones? Why?

This can be a tricky essay if it is not addressed properly. The AdCom should not feel that SDA Bocconi is a backup option. They know that you will have 1 or 2 top 10 MBA programs like Harvard, Stanford, Wharton or Columbia. Feel free to mention that. Preferably, SDA Bocconi should be your third school.  While mentioning the reasons for selecting the top schools, highlight the strengths that doesn’t conflict with SDA Bocconi. For example, Bocconi MBA is known for Luxury Management, Finance and Marketing. Don’t mention that the schools selected above Bocconi are also because of their expertise in the same area.

Essay 11: Where do you wish to pursue your profession after receiving the MBA diploma? Why?

This is not a trick question. Reflect on your short-term goals and list the economies that can help you achieve them in the shortest of time. Based on that, select Italy or other countries as your post-MBA job location. Download the brochure to understand the post-MBA recruitment trends.  There is no point in mentioning countries where the school has very little network. The goals should be realistic and achievable through SDA Bocconi.

Essay 12: What are your short-term professional goals (within the next four years)?

The answer to this critical question will show your motivation. List your short-term goals in terms of learning objective, post-MBA job function, post-MBA Job industry and post-MBA job location. Download the Full-time MBA Brochure and get an understanding of the post-MBA trends.  Demonstrate how the courses and learning environment at SDA Bocconi will help you achieve your short-term goals.

Essay 13: What are your long-term professional goals?

Although it is impossible to map out long-term(10-15 years)  professional goals accurately, connect your short-term goals with your long-term goals. If leading the marketing department (CMO) in a luxury brand is your long-term goal and you current job responsibilities are as a technology consultant, the short-term goal should be a career switch from IT to Luxury as an industry and a switch from consulting to Marketing as a function.

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