How to Write A Successful MBA Application Essay During COVID-19 |

How to Write A Successful MBA Application Essay During COVID-19

By Linda M

Updated December 10, 2020 Updated December 10, 2020

If you’re thinking of doing an MBA, you’ll know that a great application essay is key to wow the admissions board and ensure you secure yourself a spot at your favorite schools. It’s your job to tell b-school recruiters why you’re a good fit for the program, and what makes you stand out in the competitive candidate pool.

Unfortunately, due to restrictions on in-person events, this year many schools have been forced to close their doors and cancel open-days – a blow to many candidates who were hoping to attend these and get a true feel for what the institution is about.

As Round 2 deadlines quickly approach, you may be wondering how to write the best essay possible given the challenges brought forward by the coronavirus pandemic – and we don’t blame you.

TopMBA compiled four tips to help you get your point across concisely in your admission essay and impress top b-school recruiters.

Show resilience

2020 has undoubtedly shown the importance of resilience. With businesses struggling to make ends meet and industries seeing a sharp decline in revenue, the pandemic has highlighted just how important being able to navigate and lead through crises truly is.

For your essay, think about relevant real-life examples of when you’ve demonstrated adaptability and courage. These could be a company downsizing, difficulties in starting a business or even an investment gone wrong – the important thing is that you show how you persevered and took action to resolve an issue that could have harmed your career, as well as the careers of other people around you.

Demonstrate that you can thrive in the digital era

Over the course of the past eight months, the business and education sectors have had to quickly adapt to working remotely. Between Zoom meetings, holographic teaching and virtual conferences, knowing how to navigate technological solutions has never been more important.

While not all MBA programs require a flair for IT, rest assured that recruiters will be looking for the leaders of the future, candidates who are capable of thriving in the digital era. Make sure your essay reflects this.

Let purposeful growth take the lead

B-schools will often specify what they’re looking out for in the application process, and growth tends to be one of the topics that emerges the most in essay prompts.

When thinking about your career, try not to sugarcoat any mistakes you’ve made or challenges you’ve faced – these are the experiences that have made you who you are today, which is exactly what recruiters want to know.

When thinking about growth, make sure to ask yourself: how have I grown, exactly? How has this growth helped me find a professional and personal purpose? How does this growth demonstrate that I can thrive in at this specific school?

Once you have a clearer idea of how you’ve progressed in your career, you’ll be able to talk about yourself in a more honest and compelling way.

It’s all about the school – and you better get specific

At the end of the day, no matter how impressive your career has been, recruiters will want to know that you’d be a great fit at their school. And who can blame them – once you’re in, you’ll represent the institution wherever you go, both as a student and as part of the business school’s alumni network.

When talking about why you want to land a spot on a specific program, make sure that you have a clear idea of the school’s identity and culture. It might help to research how faculty and staff have handled the coronavirus pandemic. Have they implemented new technologies to allow students to make the most of their MBA experience remotely? Have they played an important part in the development of solutions to the crisis?

This will help you narrow down exactly what makes the institutions you’re hoping to attend so special, and the core values they’ll be looking for in candidates, particularly after this disruptive year.

This article was originally published in December 2020 .

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Written by

Linda is Content Writer at TopMBA, creating content about students, courses, universities and businesses. She recently graduated in Journalism & Creative Writing with Politics and International Relations, and now enjoys writing for a student audience. 


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