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8 of the Best Books to Help With Your MBA Application Essay

mba essay books mba application process

The application process for business school is a long and daunting one, and at times it may feel a little overwhelming. One of the elements that can really stump MBA hopefuls is the business school application essay, but don’t fret, there are a number of resources out there to help.

We’ve rounded up some of the best business books to help you write a killer essay for your MBA application. Let’s take a look.

50 MBA Essays That Worked, Volume 3 by Admissionado

Welcome to the third volume in a series that publishes successful MBA application essays.

This book will show you snapshots of successful applicants and demonstrate how their stories fly off the page and present airtight arguments for why they deserve the coveted spot on a top MBA program.

Admissionado’s book demonstrates that winning essays never start out perfectly – they take work AND patience.

There are 50 sample essays from applicants who’ve earned places on coveted MBA programs at Wharton, Stanford, HBS etc. Admissionado also offers insights on each essay’s effectiveness, followed by a diagnosis from MBA strategy experts.

50+ Successful Wharton Business School Essays by Bredesen Lewis

The business school application process continues to get more competitive, with top schools like Wharton, Harvard and Stanford seeing a steady increase in applications for limited spots every year.

This book aims to help you grip the admissions committee’s attention, put your best foot forward, and land a coveted spot at Wharton.

Read the stories and essays of Wharton students, with experiences ranging from strategy consulting to acrobatics, demonstrating what it takes to communicate your uniqueness and what you are passionate about.

Perfect Phrases for Business School Acceptance (Perfect Phrases Series) by Paul Bodine

Paul Bodine’s book says it offers you the right phrase for the right situation.

Your personal statement and interview enable you to tell your story and distinguish yourself from fellow MBA applicants, showcasing what you could bring to the school.

Perfect Phrases for Business School Acceptance gives you the phrases, statements, and approaches to help you write a compelling essay, succeed at the interview, and stand out from your competition.

Graduate Admissions Essays, Fourth Edition: Write Your Way into the Graduate School of Your Choice by Donald Asher

Graduate Admissions Essays takes influence from thousands of interviews with successful grad students and graduate admissions officers to deconstruct and demystify the ever-changing, seemingly more impersonal MBA application process.

The book features 50 samples essays with detailed strategies that have been successful for some of the most sought-after, competitive graduate programs in the US, as well as sample letters of recommendation, essays for residencies and fellowships, and postgrad applications.

101 Business School (MBA) Essays That Made a Difference by Dr Nancy L. Nolan

A candidate’s essay can help them stand out in the increasingly competitive MBA applicant pool. Dr Nolan’s book presents 101 business school essays that enabled their authors to gain admission to their chosen MBA program.

There are more than 40 different topics, including the candidates' goals, personal background, professional experience, notable accomplishments, and motivation to obtain an MBA. The book also showcases successful responses to being waitlisted and explanations of disappointing GPA or GMAT scores.

The book shows how candidates presented themselves in a creative manner, and also offers an insight into the caliber of writing expected at top business school.

The MBA Admissions Essay: 18 Pages of Powerful Techniques for Winning Admission to the MBA Program of Your Choice by Dave Bolick

The admissions essay is one of the most challenging components of the MBA application process.

The MBA Admissions Essay is an informative 18-page guide to help business school applicants get started on their essays quickly with strategies to generate content to maximize your chances of admission.

You’ll find easy-to-apply techniques for answering major essay question types, a concise guide to MBA essay writing, and tips on how to create more powerful essays. It also includes easy, fill-in-the-blank-style exercises to help you develop your essay drafts quickly.

MBA Admissions Strategy: From Profile Building to Essay Writing  by Avi Gordon

MBA Admissions Strategy promises to offer readers candid ‘what I wish they’d told me’ insights about what really works in MBA admissions, and a step-by-step guide of how to do it.

The third edition of the book has new material covering MBA interview success, in addition to traditional admissions essays.

It shows applicants:

  • What MBA admissions committees value and how they work
  • What to say in a b-school application, and how to say it well
  • How to answer tricky essay and interview questions

Business School Essays that Made a Difference, 3rd Edition by The Princeton Review

This book contains 61 essays as well as interviews with admissions pros and students who've been through the process and made it to business school.

Business School Essays That Made a Difference includes essays submitted to:

  • Babson College, Olin Graduate School of Business
  • Dartmouth, Tuck School of Business
  • Emory University, Gozueta Business School
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management
  • Rutgers–The State University of New Jersey, Rutgers Business School
  • Tulane University, A. B. Freeman School of Business
  • University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business
  • University of Iowa, Henry B. Tippie School of Management
  • University of Montana Business School
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Kenan-Flagler Business School
  • University of Rochester, William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration
  • University of Texas, McCombs School of Business
Niamh Ollerton, Deputy Head of Content at QS
Written by Niamh Ollerton

Niamh is Deputy Head of Content at QS (TopMBA.com; topuniversities.com), creating and editing content for an international student audience. Having gained her journalism qualification at the Press Association, London and since written for different international publications, she's now enjoying telling the stories of students, alumni, faculty, entrepreneurs and organizations from across the globe.  

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