Statement of Purpose for MBA

Alternate Headline

MBA 2021: Writing Your Best Statement of Purpose (SOP) for Admissions

Every MBA aspirant has to jump through several hoops before they finally reach their goal and enter the hallowed halls of the institutes that they were dreaming about. The procedure for the process is as follows. 

The most common procedure for getting into most of the international universities is:

  • GMAT Exam

  • Profile Examination

  • Statement of Purpose for MBA

  • Interview

The GMAT Exam acts as the gatekeeper for MBA Admissions and helps segment the candidates for the colleges. Based on the GMAT Score, the candidate's profile will be examined which would help the Business School narrow down the candidate list and shortlist the candidates who meet the requirements of the Business School. 

Following the shortlist, the second part of the procedure is conducted with a Statement of Purpose for MBA, which is then followed by the final Interview round. The Statement of Purpose for MBA is a document that Business Schools ask for to learn more about the candidate. It also acts as a platform for Interview Questions in the final round. 

While the Statement of Purpose for MBA is not mandatory everywhere, it is mostly of importance amongst international colleges. In Indian colleges, only a few (NMIMS Mumbai, for example) ask for a Statement of Purpose with the majority focusing on group discussions and interviews to select the best candidates. 

On the other hand, the international colleges, prefer to have the statement of purpose before the interview so that they get an idea of what kind of a person they are interviewing.

In this article, we will be talking about the Statement of Purpose for MBA.

What is the Statement of Purpose for MBA?

The Statement of Purpose for MBA is simply a document where the candidate is expected to justify their desire to join the Business School that they are applying to.

Most Statements of Purposes for MBA has two basic components:

  • Justification for MBA

  • Justification of College

The candidate is expected to communicate convincingly about their suitability and desire to join the MBA Program in that particular college. The Statement of Purpose for MBA also includes the candidate's career aspirations and how an MBA from that particular college would help achieve their aspiration. 

This level of thinking requires quite a bit of introspection and clarity on their career path going forward. For these reasons, the Statement of Purpose for MBA represents a good chance for the colleges to assess the candidates on their clarity of thought, aspirations, and written communication ability. 

The Statement of Purpose for MBA is basically their window into the kind of person that the candidate is. If they believe that the candidate would be a good fit for their college, it is likely that they would at least be called for the interview. The interview round will also help confirm the admission panel's opinion about the candidate's fitment among other things. 

This is one of the reasons that candidates are asked to be as honest as possible in their Statement of Purpose for MBA so that the admission panel can get a decent idea of the candidate's personality.

Important Segments to Cover 

Introduction 

Introduction as always should be an overview of what the SOP is going to be, including snippets about the candidate. While you need not have to get into detail about yourself and your aspirations, make sure it is a good start to your essay. While each SOP depends on the university guidelines, a common rule of thumb is to follow a word count of 1000-1500 words. 

Background & Qualifications 

This segment covers details about your general background and academic qualifications. Since it is MBA that are applying for, make sure you cover qualifications and merits that are relevant to business and managerial roles. 

Professional experience 

This section transitions into your area of experience and professional qualification. It helps adding onto your work history, and plays a part in enriching your statement of purpose. Here, you have to cover details pertaining to,

  • Merits and awards 

  • Real life projects 

  • Internships and certification courses 

  • Communication and other soft skills 

  • Any relevant voluntary work 

Goals 

This section will have you explain your vision and goals for the future-what is it that you are looking for is the question you should write about here. Support your statements with relevant details about the university and degree of choice. 

Extracurricular interests 

As the name suggests, you will have to talk about your extracurricular interests in this section. This section gives you the opportunity to shine light on all the extra interests you have pursued and in general adds onto your personality. 

 

The ‘Why’ 

While you will flesh out your personality, it is equally important to write about why you are interested in pursing this specific MBA degree, and how the university of your choice will help you reach your goals. 

How to Write a Statement of Purpose for MBA

There is no particular step-by-step guide on how to write a Statement of Purpose for an MBA. A major reason behind this is that the statement of purpose for an MBA is a deeply personal document for the candidate. 

Therefore, it is difficult for anyone to develop a generalized technique that would allow the candidate to write a Statement of Purpose for MBA. Saying this, there are a few tips that could help the candidate write the Statement of Purpose for MBA much more easily.

  • Introspect before you start writing your Statement of Purpose for MBA. It is generally considered to be good practice for the candidate to think about their reasons for pursuing an MBA before they start writing the Statement of Purpose for MBA.

  • The candidate should write down everything about their life from childhood to the present in their own words. This could help them understand their own motivations and desires better as it would force them to focus on each event and could help them find a thread that would connect all the events. This can be then be condensed into the Statement of Purpose for MBA.

  • It is not necessary for the Statement of Purpose for MBA to contain only technical and managerial qualities that the candidate possesses. Giving the admission panel a more holistic view of what exactly the candidate is like and whether they would fit in with the culture of the college.

  • Most Statement of Purposes for MBA does not have any particular word limit or length limit. This is done because the admission panel would appreciate the candidate justifying and explaining their decisions as much as possible without any restriction. This means that they do not need to skip any point that they consider to be less important but could reveal something fundamental about the candidate.

  • The candidate ought to weave a story in the Statement of Purpose for MBA rather than simply giving an account of their accomplishments and experiences. This will make the Statement of Purpose much more readable and engaging for the admission panel who are then more likely to call the candidate for the next round.

 

  • It would be to the benefit of the candidate if they create a separate Statement of Purpose for MBA for every college that they are targeting. Any member of the admission panel who finds the Statement of Purpose to be too general or worse, not connected to their college would reject the application out of hand. 

Therefore, while the bulk of the document would remain constant as it would be about the candidate, the portion of the Statement of Purpose about the career aspiration has to be modified for every application.

 

  • Proofread the Statement of Purpose as many times as possible. With a document as extensive as the Statement of Purpose, it is likely that the candidate would have made some error or the other. 

Therefore, reading the Statement of Purpose for MBA as many times as possible would only improve it with each reading. At the same time, it can lead to newer ideas for the candidate and improve the Statement of Purpose in that manner.

  • While taking inspiration from some samples of Statements of Purpose is fine, any plagiarism is likely to remove you from the equation completely. This is not to say that the candidate has to be completely original in their thought process and format but it should not be lifted directly from a different source. Thus, it is important to check the plagiarism before the application is sent to avoid any untoward incidents.

  • Be completely honest in the Statement of Purpose for MBA. The admission panel receives hundreds if not thousands of applications every year. Thus, their ability to see through bluffs and untruths is extremely high. 

Even if the admission panel overlooks a fabrication in the Statement of Purpose for MBA, it will most likely be caught in the Interview which would result in the candidate definitely missing out on the college.

These steps can give the candidate some guidelines as to how to prepare a good Statement of Purpose for an MBA. It is important to remember that while the candidate can seek help from different sources and advice from friends and experts, the Statement of Purpose should remain their own. The flair of the candidate, which comes from authenticity, should be visible in the Statement of Purpose and should be confirmed in the Interview.

Conclusion

While there are several documents required for the MBA Admission, there are few more demanding than the Statement of Purpose. It requires the candidate to be brutally honest with themselves which is something that most people tend to avoid. The Statement of Purpose for MBA can be enlightening not just for the admission panel but also for the candidate. 

As mentioned above, people are usually not completely honest with themselves. In these circumstances, the Statement of Purpose can open the minds of the candidates about themselves which can prove to be a blessing in disguise for the candidate irrespective of the result in the application.

The Statement of Purpose for MBA is the first impression that the admission panel have of the candidate and these impressions are rather hard to change. Therefore, it is always better to create a good first impression by presenting an impressive yet authentic Statement of Purpose for the MBA Admission Panel to read.

Statement of Purpose: FAQs 

Q1: What is SOP?

Statement of Purpose (SOP) is sometimes referred to as your personal statement. Graduate schools, particularly those that are outside India sometimes require a statement of purpose as a mandatory part of their admission process. You have to make sure to go through the admission documents required clearly to understand if a statement of purpose is required. 

Q2: Do you need to sign a statement of purpose? 

No, a signature at the end is not required, as the statement of purpose is more an essay that you write. 

Q3: How important is SOP? 

Statement of purpose plays an important role in the admission process, if it is a mandatory component. Your SOP will act as a portal for the university to look beyond your scorecards and other such details. Hence for that reason, it is highly recommended for you to give due diligence to your statement of purpose. 

Q4: How long does it take to write the statement of purpose? 

While the answer for this depends on the specific candidate and their abilities, a common measure would be about 5 hours, provided you have all the details you want researched right in your hand. On a side note, make sure you give yourself enough time to nail this down, and not cram it to the last minute. 

Q5: Can I use the same SOP in multiple places? 

You can use the gist, and outline of your SOP in multiple places, provided there are no guidelines against it specified by any of the universities of your choice. However, make sure each of your SOPs are relevant to the degree you are applying for, and carry customized elements.