Table of Contents
- What is an MBA Statement of Purpose?
- Why should I put in so much effort?
- What are MBA colleges looking for in an SOP?
- What do colleges look for in an SOP?
- How to write an MBA Statement of Purpose?
- MBA Statement of Purpose sample
- Writing tools & tips
- Final word
What is an MBA Statement of Purpose?
The MBA Statement of Purpose (SOP) is an essay of 600-800 words summarizing your intent behind applying to a particular university. It is the backbone of your application, supporting the story behind your test scores, academics, work experience, and your future goals.
Its main aim is to show the admissions committee at your dream university-
- Why do you want to do an MBA?
- Why do you believe you’re ready for it?
- How the course fits into your career trajectory?
- What you will bring to the table as a student?
Why should I put in so much effort?
The MBA Statement of Purpose is the most important part of your university application. Yes, your GMAT scores, academic records, and resume are important as well. They introduce you to the MBA admissions committee. But your Statement of Purpose will be the last piece in the jigsaw puzzle of your application.
It will not only talk about your academic and professional accomplishments but also highlight your personality. You can share your thought process behind all your life choices, showcase your communication skills, and even highlight your goals here, neatly tying up your entire life, career, and future into a few hundred words.
What are MBA colleges looking for in an SOP?
The MBA Statement of Purpose is a bit different than other SOPs that students write.
Since most MBA programs have a condition of accepting students with work experience, applicants usually have 2 more years of their career lives to talk about.
This means you will have to-
- Choose the right accomplishments to mention
- Be mature with your words, and
- Have well-thought and clear future plans
Though these 3 points will dictate the tone of your Statement of Purpose, you first need to decide what to talk about.
What do colleges look for in an SOP?
Admissions committees of different colleges ask students to talk about different aspects of their careers.
While Harvard might ask you to give a general statement, Stanford might ask you to talk about how it fits into your MBA plans.
So basically, it could be any combination of the points mentioned below-
- What is your motivation behind applying?
- Your interest in the course and the university
- How you can contribute to the college?
- What makes you the perfect candidate (your USP)?
In the end, you have to write your SOP with one goal in mind – to define your purpose for applying to that university. The more you stick to this goal, the more crisp your SOP will be.
How to write an MBA Statement of Purpose?
Now that we have covered what the message of your SOP should be, it’s time to find out how you should communicate that message.
This involves following the story curve of your career –
Introduce yourself. Answer the questions who, where, and when in the grandest way possible.
#2. Break the routine; state your call!
Mention the incident that ignited your decision to pursue an MBA.
#3. State your intent
Share what you want from the MBA program at that university and why. The answer to these questions should be compelling, so make sure you do thorough research about the course and clearly understand your future career before starting.
#4. Throw in the challenges
As you move towards the goal you are most passionate about, you’re sure to have faced hurdles.
#5. Mention them
But also mention your mini victories – how you got through these difficult times and how they’ve made you grow as a person.
#6. Moment of truth
Everyone comes across a point in life where they made a decision that changed their life. Share yours – what made you take that final leap?
String together all your dreams, challenges, and grounding moments in one place – the university. Express how your life is prepared you for it and why it’s so important to you.
Once you’re done outlining your story, also make sure you’ve covered these points along the curve-
- Have a grand opening
- Talk about your future plans
- Share your academic interests
- Stress on your previous experience
- Mention a few co-curricular activities
- Talk about the university
You can read about each of these points with examples in this blog.
MBA Statement of Purpose sample
Born in a humble, liberal, and educated family, I was home to virtues such as ‘diligence,’ ‘pursuit of knowledge,’ and ‘an empathetic outlook towards the world.’ Even today, as I stand in a leadership position steering businesses toward success, my decisions are impacted by these values every step of the way.
To be honest, studying Business wasn’t a lifelong dream that I harbored. Having been molded in a strongly competitive and meritocratic environment in school, I developed an inclination toward academics. On account of this, I was drawn to the stream of Science, harboring the belief that it was the right vocation for a course of a successful life. My naïve self was oblivious to the simple notion that success is an outcome of unceasingly doing what you love and doing it well. As a result, my undergrad journey in Biomedical Engineering was not without bouts of self-doubt and frustration. However, while I struggled to cope in the initial semesters, I trudged on and applied a little more year after year. In hindsight, I am glad I got to grapple with dejection so early on in my life. It has made me infinitely resilient today.
Interestingly, it was also during these years that my love for writing emerged. While the majority of my batch-mates took to becoming coders and engineering technicians, I suffered from the oddest of ambitions: a yen to explore. Consequently, in my first job out of college, I undertook Editorial training in Academic Sciences. This helped me hone my writing skills as well as get better at what is perhaps the most sought-after quality: that articulation.
It was later in 2014, working as a Digital Content Manager in Eridanus, a multinational agency, that I was tasked with leading and mentoring a team of 8 professionals. It was here that I got a chance to understand the functioning of the Digital business. This also helped me learn the fundamentals of Digital Marketing- from search and social to content and display advertising. I also helped the partnered brands achieve their business objectives by way of creating effective marketing campaigns.
In the subsequent years, I rose through the ranks by diligently providing qualitative output and coming up with relevant solutions. Today, I assume the role of a Creative Director in one of the UK’s top Digital Marketing firms, heading a team of three Managers and several Executives. As a Creative leader, I strongly persevere in helping my partnered clients in achieving their marketing & business objectives. I aided them by devising multi-platform communication strategies on the Web, Search, and Social Media in order to generate strong conversions. A testimony to my continued perseverance has been winning ‘Gold’ in Content Leadership and Drivers of Digital awards for internationally eminent brands, such as the This That Award in the previous year.
I have primarily assumed the role of a Creative professional in several organizations. However, at this point in my career, I feel the need to gain systematic knowledge about the workings of a business. Understanding this in a global context will allow me to mature from a niche “specialist” to a well-rounded Generalist.
It has been my longest-standing ambition to become an Entrepreneur of a venture with an international standing. In that light, Your University’s MBA program offers the ideal launchpad to gain a holistic knowledge of Management studies. It would allow me to master critical verticals such as the Accounting Tools, Logistics and Supply-Chain, and Corporate Finance necessary to lead a successful business. I am particularly interested in learning all about the statistical and programming tools used in the Business Analytics domain. This will help me make a generalized sense of data and gain valuable insights to help weed out inefficiencies that directly impact the business revenue. While I have worked in Digital Marketing agencies, I wish to learn and understand how various Marketing efforts directly impact revenue. Learning how growth in a business setup can be directly attributed to marketing plans is particularly interesting.
All in all, I fervently believe that this program will help me gain a holistic understanding of the functioning of an organization and mold me into a global, well-rounded business professional. I believe that with my background and 7 years of professional work experience, I will be able to add to the pool of multifarious talents and the unique mix in the class at the Something School of Business, Your University.
Writing tools & tips
Your statement of purpose is what sets you apart from all the other candidates that apply for the same spot as you do.
So make sure that you write a powerful and convincing Statement of Purpose.
Here are a few tools & tips to help you along:
While you can use tools like Grammarly while drafting your MBA Statement of Purpose, there’s one tool that can help you much more.
The SOP Analyzer is an AI-based tool that will do all these things for you-
- Check for plagiarism
- Root out grammatical errors
- Tell you which points you might’ve missed out on, and
- Help you improve the language of your SOP!
You can use try it out here using a 7-day FREE trial and nail your Statement of Purpose quicker than you’d ever imagined!
There are a few hard and fast rules we writers follow when we want to keep a reader engaged. A few of them are these-
- Be efficient with your words
Just because the 26 letters in the alphabet have given you over million words doesn’t mean you have to use them all.
Write like a Science student – get to the point and move on.
(Notice how I could have moved on to the next point without elaborating on this one).
- Mix it up
The story structure I have shared above is not necessarily supposed to be in that order. In fact, you can start with the ‘Moment of truth’ as the introduction for all I care.
- Don’t brag
That’s what your Letters of Recommendation are for.
- Say no to grammatical, syntactical, and spelling errors
- And finally, get a second opinion
Always share your drafts with your friends, colleagues, and mentors and have them share their opinion.
You will not only find fresh perspectives helpful, but these people might even remind you of incidents you had forgotten and ask you to add them to your essay.
If there’s one thing I haven’t emphasized enough so far, it’s that you NEED to talk about the MBA course in depth.
You cannot just copy-paste and send the same SOP to all your shortlisted universities.
So be thorough with your research and honest with your words.
And in case you get stuck or need any kind of help, drop a comment or reach out to us!
We’d be very happy to help.
All the best!
Liked this blog? Then read Best ways to write your strengths and weaknesses in a resume!
Question 1: Is a Statement of Purpose necessary to pursue an MBA?
Answer: As a matter of fact, yes! The Statement of Purpose is a necessary document that you should have while applying for an MBA in a university abroad.
Question 2: Is MBA SOP different from the rest of the SOPs?
Answer: Yes, the MBA SOP is slightly different from the other SOPs. Because most MBA programs have a condition of accepting students with work experience, the SOP usually talks about their career lives.
Question 3: What are the three types of SOP formats?
Answer: Step-by-step, hierarchical steps, and flowcharts are the three different types of SOPs. Depending on their complexity, some business processes are more suited to specific kinds than others.