Developing a Successful MBA Story
It helps to have a simple story in mind as you develop your application.
Your "MBA story" is how you tell the admissions committee who you are and why you want to go to business school now. Your story connects your background to your reasons for wanting an MBA to achieve your ultimate career goals.
Before you start, think about these three important aspects that will form the components of your MBA story:
- What are your key personality traits – No one knows you better than you do, but now is a good time to become even more self-aware. Ask close friends, family members and colleagues about what they think your strengths and weaknesses are and what would make you a good candidate for business school. It’s also a good time to take a few personality or strengths tests, like the MBTI or StrengthsFinder, to get a clearer sense of your personality.
- What is your background – The best way to think about what you have done and what has shaped you is to think about important activities and memories from your past. Draw memorable stories from your childhood, college, professional experience and community involvement.
- Why you want to get an MBA now (reasons) – Have a clear understanding of why you want to get an MBA. Different applicants will have varied reasons for going to business school, such as to build skills in specific business functions (e.g. marketing, operations), gain leadership and management skills and/or increase earning potential. Whatever your motivations are for applying to business school, make them specific.
- What you want to do (career goal) – Have a clear idea of which resources provided by business schools will help you – courses, clubs, hands-on projects, etc. In other words, make sure you have a clear understanding of how getting an MBA will help you accomplish your career goals.
The MBA story you want to weave through the application is:
“I am a (insert key personality trait) leader with a background in (insert something from your background). I want to get an MBA now because it will (provide specific resources) that will help me to (insert reasons) as I strive to achieve my career goal of (insert career goal).”
Even if you never state them as directly as you do in the above framework, it helps to have this simple story in mind as you develop your application. Now get started on your amazing and unique MBA story!