A True Leader: What Are B-School s Looking For In MBA Essays?. General Admissions.  

A True Leader: What Are B-School s Looking For In MBA Essays?

Some MBA leadership essay examples are: “MIT Sloan seeks students whose personal characteristics demonstrate that they will make the most of the incredible opportunities at MIT, both academic and non-academic. 

We are on a quest to find those whose presence will enhance the experience of other students. We seek thoughtful leaders with exceptional intellectual abilities and the drive and determination to put their stamp on the world. We welcome people who are independent, authentic, and fearlessly creative — true doers. We want people who can redefine solutions to conventional problems, and strive to preempt unconventional dilemmas with cutting-edge ideas. We demand integrity and respect passion. “ (MIT Sloan MBA Essay)

Describe a leadership experience and how you made a positive and lasting impact.” (Berkeley Haas MBA Essay)

Tuck’s mission is to educate wise leaders to better the world of business. Wisdom encompasses the essential aptitudes of confident humility, about what one does and does not know; empathy, towards the diverse ideas and experiences of others; and judgment, about when and how to take risks for the better.” (Tuck MBA Essay)

By looking closer to what business schools look for in MBA candidates, we have developed the list of most expected skills that can shape them as true leaders:

  1. Impact – the feature, which is best to demonstrate through MBA candidate’s background (achievements and experiences, lessons learnt) and her/his post-MBA goals. Whereas the results of a previous professional activity would be better to include into CV, the story of how the lessons learnt influenced the candidate’s attitudes, development and mindset and how future career goals will change his/her personality and society in a whole should be presented in application essay. Prove that you have already impacted an organization or community and are going to bring more impact after MBA studies.
  2. Inspiration – the characteristics needed to prove that an MBA candidate is a team leader. A good showcase will be the examples of motivating colleagues or mates to go extra mile and do what they haven’t expected or wanted to. Bringing your own idea into a real concept and activity will also be a good case, because the ability to inspire will not work for others, if it does not work for yourself!
  3. Empathy – the ingredient, which cannot be showcased without a teamJ The questions b-schools’ AdComs ask themselves about true leaders are:
  • How does an MBA candidate relate to diversity of ideas/attitudes/behaviors?
  • Is he/she willing to listen to others and take into account their thoughts?
  • Has an MBA candidate proved his/her inspiration to share the experience and knowledge with others?

Though having all 3 leadership skills, mentioned above, is a very strong argument to show AdComs that you are a good leader, there are also many cases, which are different from those described. This does not mean that you are a weak candidate! This means you have OTHER story, and it is undoubtedly worth telling.


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Author: Victoria Dudka, MBA Strategy Consultants Team Lead

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