I am often asked to chime in as to what would be the best way to craft a personal statement for an MBA admissions application. What you’re probably asking is “what should I write that will get me accepted?” There is not a magic formula for an admissions personal essay, but I will try and give you a little insight to what most admissions committees would like to read when reviewing application files.
The personal statement allows the admissions committee to have a better picture of what the GPA and GMAT will not say. The GMAT and GPA are a quantitative look at the applicant and are a great predictor of success in the classroom. MBA programs have GMAT and GPA averages that they post for all to read so pre-MBAers can self-select if they can produce the scores that are needed for success in the program. The essay that is written does allow for students to offer further qualitative information about their test scores and grades. For example, if there is a question about your GPA and why it dropped during your academic career, letting the committee know why it dropped and giving some sort of narrative of what was going on in your life at the time would be helpful.
Take the time in your personal statement to explain to the admissions committee why their school is the right one for you. Giving more information about their program shows that you have done your research and would tell a reviewer that you are very interested in taking the next steps. Rankings, graduation rates, noteworthy faculty and their scholarship are all good snippets to include in your personal statement. If you are applying to multiple schools it may be tempting to create a generic personal statement and change the names of the players involved. I would recommend against doing this as there could be a case where you forget to change a key word or term and that oversight to could wreck your application.
Finally - please, please, please take the time to edit and check for misspellings and grammatical errors. Missing these before submitting can derail an application. Once you click submit it will be gone so please show the committee that you have great attention to detail and proofread your essay. The personal statement is your opportunity to showcase your writing skills and allows you the freedom to be creative. The other above items could be very enlightening and informative so please do not let bad punctuation slow you down.
The right essay can separate you from the pack of others that apply. Making sure you paint the right picture could be the difference between your admissions application moving to the next round or going back to the bottom of the heap.