4 Personal Statement Writing Tips to Get You into a Business School

If you want to get into a good business school, you’ll experience the brutal world of competition long before opening your first startup. Take a look at the acceptance rates statistics from top MBA programs and you’ll see that the chance of even making it into the school isn’t that high. A strong personal statement might be the thing that tips the scales for your application. I strongly recommend that you write as if your acceptance hinges on it. And these tips should help you.

Top 4 Personal Statement Writing Tips for a Business School

1. Research the School in Great Detail

There isn’t such thing as too much research when you are aiming to impress an admission committee. You need to know everything about the school, its values, priorities, and history. In many cases, the schools have rather different requirements for personal statements. Be sure to study the application guidelines and the school’s website in general when looking for information on ‘things that will work’.

For example, check out what Harvard MBA requirements are for the class of 2019. But ‘official sources’ aren’t enough as you should also look for essay examples and analysis of such, which are rarely provided by the school itself. However, you can find them on other sources, like this and this for Harvard Business School.

I’m a firm believer that a business owner has to learn from everyone around them so they can improve and grow in different ways. Therefore, one of my personal top personal statement writing tips is to research best examples from various leading schools and use them for inspiration.

2. Write a Unique Personal Statement for Every Application

As far as personal statement writing tips go, this is the most basic but important one, because writing a template paper might ruin your chances by default. Admissions officers are actually trained to spot things like that. So be sure to write a unique personal statement that accounts for the prompts even with the help of a professional personal statement writing service you can find online.

You should also incorporate some element related to the school so the officers can see why exactly you think that this school is the best for you. Do this for every application, even the ones you don’t put much hope into.

3. Only Put Relevant Information In

A personal statement for a business school isn’t a confessional booth where you should tell your life story in detail. This is your chance to show your professionalism and ability to identify and prioritize relevant information. Apply these principles when choosing what to write about.

Only mention experiences and motivations relevant for this particular specialty and school. Or be creative and give your other experiences the right spin. For example, your volunteering in a local animal shelter because you love cuddling kittens has no bearing on an MBA application’s success. However, your volunteering there to develop a business plan for a non-profit that helps animals will make a better impression.

4. Make It Personal

I find that this one of the personal statement writing tips is often disregarded or misunderstood. What I mean here is that you should not only list your personal experiences and motivations. But you also need to make a paper that will reflect you as a person.

This includes developing a personal writing style as well as listing your inspiration sources and early influencers. Try to make a statement that will not only explain your value to the program as a prospective entrepreneur but as a human being with grand ambitions and explain how being an entrepreneur will help realize them.

It’s very important to write about the things that truly matter for you, not just what you think the admission committee wants to hear. This will give your paper more depth and authenticity, which is exactly what makes for a great personal statement.


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    August 25, 2018

    What an excellent piece for those getting ready to work on their statements. Well done Daniela. Though I wouldn’t want to be going through all of this again!

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      August 26, 2018

      I was thinking the same, Alexis. So many sites spend so much time focusing on what the kids get wrong at this stage but then fail to offer any tips to counteract those fails!

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    August 28, 2018

    This is some great advice for all ages. Many jobs, I note, require something similar to a personal statement these days. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop the older you get!

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      August 29, 2018

      Yes, this can be applied to getting a job as you say Seb. I have come across this in application forms many times now.

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    August 31, 2018

    A much-needed piece Daniela. You would think by now that this was pretty basic stuff but, from our experience, the type of statements being sent to many a college is utterly shocking!

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    Daniela Bucatele

    September 1, 2018

    I’m so glad this article agrees with you all. Thanks for the responses.


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