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5 tips for writing your MBA Statement of Purpose

Sean Campbell
Last Updated: 17 July 2021 • 4 min read

Studying an MBA is a wise move, and one that we’d highly recommend if you’re looking to pursue a career in business. We’ve covered the main benefits of the MBA here, and we’ve also detailed before how it’s one of the top highest paying Master’s Degrees.  

In fact, it’s one of the degrees which makes the most millionaires, a fact proven by the number of Fortune 500 CEOs with an MBA

But let’s focus specifically on the MBA Statement of Purpose . Knowing how to write your statement of purpose for your MBA convincingly and effectively will have a huge bearing on your chances of being offered a place on a course. 

That’s why we spend a lot of time writing handy articles for you to nail this part of your application process! 

In an earlier article we gave you general advice on writing your SOP, and in another we detailed some common mistakes people make when writing their Statement of Purpose, as well as some advice on the ideal structure. 

But in this article, we’re going to focus on some short, simple and effective tips for making your SOP as impactful as possible. 

5 tips for writing your MBA Statement of Purpose

1. Focus on “Why”

2. Show, don’t tell

3. Write for a human

4. Use a clear structure

5. Be honest

1. Explain your “Why” and be specific

Who you are and what you’ve done is important, but the key ingredient to persuading the person reading your MBA Statement of Purpose is ‘Why’. 

So, explain why you want to do this MBA at that university. What are your career goals and how will this course help you get there? Is there any specific reason for choosing that particular university? Have they published any papers you’ve read, or is there something special about their business department that appeals to you? 

You should also take this opportunity to talk briefly about any formative or influential experiences that led to your interest in the MBA, and why these make you a great fit.

By addressing all of these questions, you’ll have gone far in convincing the admissions team why you’re someone they must say yes to. 

2. Show, don’t tell

This is simple— support everything you say. So while detailing all of the reasons why an admissions team should select you, make sure that you demonstrate how they’re true. 

Simply telling someone that you’re committed, organised, experienced or hardworking has little to no impact. But brief, clear examples of moments where you’ve demonstrated these qualities will make a much more lasting impression. 

3. Write for humans

Remember that admissions teams spend long hours reading through hundreds and hundreds of Statements of Purpose. So, make it easy for them! Accurate grammar is crucial, so make sure to proofread your work a few times. 

But even more important than using proper grammar is using simple, human language. While you might be tempted to “wow” the reader with your command of the English language, now is not the time or place to be too fancy. 

So keep it formal in tone, keep your sentences concise, and use clear, easy to read language. 

4. Use a clear structure

Beyond the words you use, it’s crucial to present them in the right way. Even the best writing can be undone by poor structure. 

First, stick to the advised word count. This can differ from one university to the next so make sure and check their guidelines. But normally, the MBA Statement of Purpose will be around 1,000 words. 

Then, make sure to separate your work into paragraphs, each of which should have a new focus. This allows the reader to easily read your work and find the information they’re looking for. 

Not everyone structures their Statement of Purpose in exactly the same way, but here is a simple way to break down your writing:

  • A brief intro on you and why you’re applying
  • Detail on your academic background and experience
  • Expansion on your academic and career goals
  • A brief conclusion to sum up your main points 

 

5. Be honest & address any obvious issues

Always be honest about your achievements, your experience, and why you’re a good fit as a candidate. After all, it only takes a quick check with your referees to see if you’ve been truthful! 

However, if there is something that you feel might hold your application back — perhaps lower grades than you’d hoped for, work experience discrepancies or employment gaps, you can address them in your MBA SOP! Now’s your chance to own these issues. Use them to highlight how they shaped you or how they’ve motivated you to develop further.

Nobody is perfect after all. And anyway, admissions teams aren’t necessarily looking for perfection, they’re looking for potential, for self awareness, and for a great fit. In effect, this is yet another way of focusing on your “why”! 

So you’re thinking of studying for an MBA? Amazing! You’ll want to check out our article on 8 universities with great MBA courses!

And when you’re ready to look for even more great MBA options, get started with Edvoy!

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