MBA admission is a holistic process in which several components other than your GMAT scores and GPAs are taken into consideration. The admission committees want to know why you want to pursue the programme you are applying to specifically. MBA essays are the best way to showcase your worth to the admission committee. A well-written MBA essay provides a clear picture of who you are, what your career aspirations are, and why you have applied for a particular program. While the topics for the essay varies from b-school to b-school, given below are the five types of commonly asked MBA essay topics. 

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  1. Career Goals

This is one of the most commonly prescribed MBA essay topics. It is important for b-schools to know about your career goals, as this will help them understand how relevant their program is to your short-term and long-term goals. The career goals essay is your chance to explain why you chose a specific program and why the school should choose you as a student. 

For example, a career goals essay question provided to applicants by the Darden School of Business is as follows: “What is your short-term goal after MBA and why?”

  1.  Video Essay 

Though the concept of video MBA essays is relatively new, this has become an integral part of the application process for many b-schools. The video essays help the admission committees gauge your interpersonal skills. Besides, this will give them a chance to evaluate how authentic your story is and thus offer a glimpse into your personality. While some schools ask you to talk about specific aspects of your life, your career aspirations, or some experience, others may ask you to speak about something related to the course. For example, MIT Sloan School for Management requires you to make a 60-second video introducing yourself to your classmates, while Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management asks you to elaborate on an answer to the question ‘What path are you interested in pursuing and how will you get there?’

  1. Leadership and Achievement

Such essay prompts aim to get a better understanding of your achievements and your leadership qualities. In this competitive world, most b-schools prefer individuals who have shown promise of excellence in academics as well as extracurricular activities. This essay is your chance to impress the admissions committee by sharing a persuasive anecdote from your past to highlight your future potential. 

For example, here is an essay question from HEC PARIS: “Leadership and ethics are intertwined in the business world. Explain a situation in which you have dealt with these issues and how they have influenced you”.

  1. Self-reflection 

A wide range of questions falls under this type of essay. While some essays ask you about your weaknesses, failures, achievements, etc., others may ask you to explain what matters to you the most and why. However, the admissions committee not only wants to know what your weaknesses are but also wants to understand what you are doing to improve your skill in those areas. 

For example, consider this essay question from YALE School of Management: “Tell us about the biggest commitment you’ve ever made.”

  1. Contribution

Student initiatives are an integral part of a business school’s culture. The contribution essays help the admission committees to assess what you can contribute to your peers and the school. 

For example, here is a relevant essay question from ISB: “There will be 900 students in the class of 2021. Why should you be one of them?” 

Now that you know what the commonly asked MBA essay types are, the next step is to start the preparation. We hope the above information helps you during the preparations. Good luck. 


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