• Applying to Uni
  • Apprenticeships
  • Health & Relationships
  • Money & Finance

Personal Statements

  • Postgraduate
  • U.S Universities

University Interviews

  • Vocational Qualifications
  • Accommodation
  • ​​​​​​​Budgeting, Money & Finance
  • ​​​​​​​Health & Relationships
  • ​​​​​​​Jobs & Careers
  • ​​​​​​​Socialising

Studying Abroad

  • ​​​​​​​Studying & Revision
  • ​​​​​​​Technology
  • ​​​​​​​University & College Admissions

Guide to GCSE Results Day

Finding a job after school or college

Retaking GCSEs

In this section

Choosing GCSE Subjects

Post-GCSE Options

GCSE Work Experience

GCSE Revision Tips

Why take an Apprenticeship?

Applying for an Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships Interviews

Apprenticeship Wage

Engineering Apprenticeships

What is an Apprenticeship?

Choosing an Apprenticeship

Real Life Apprentices

Degree Apprenticeships

Higher Apprenticeships

A Level Results Day 2024

AS Levels 2024

Clearing Guide 2024

Applying to University

SQA Results Day Guide 2024

BTEC Results Day Guide

Vocational Qualifications Guide

Sixth Form or College

International Baccalaureate

Post 18 options

Finding a Job

Should I take a Gap Year?

Travel Planning

Volunteering

Gap Year Guide

Gap Year Blogs

Applying to Oxbridge

Applying to US Universities

Choosing a Degree

Choosing a University or College

Personal Statement Editing and Review Service

Guide to Freshers' Week

Student Guides

Student Cooking

Student Blogs

Top Rated Personal Statements

  • Personal Statement Examples

Writing Your Personal Statement

Postgraduate Personal Statements

International Student Personal Statements

Gap Year Personal Statements

Personal Statement Length Checker

Personal Statement Examples By University

Personal Statement Changes 2025

Personal Statement Template

Job Interviews

Types of Postgraduate Course

Writing a Postgraduate Personal Statement

Postgraduate Funding

Postgraduate Study

Internships

  • Choosing A College

Ivy League Universities

Common App Essay Examples

  • Universal College Application Guide

How To Write A College Admissions Essay

  • College Rankings
  • Admissions Tests

Fees & Funding

  • Scholarships
  • Budgeting For College

Online Degree

Platinum Express Editing and Review Service

Gold Editing and Review Service

Silver Express Editing and Review Service

UCAS Personal Statement Editing and Review Service

Oxbridge Personal Statement Editing and Review Service

Postgraduate Personal Statement Editing and Review Service

You are here

  • Choosing A Major
  • Ivy League Universities Guide
  • USA College Fees
  • Common App Guide
  • How To Write A College Essay
  • College Essay Examples
  • Online Degrees
  • Applying For College Graduation
  • Application Guide
  • Should I Go To Business School?
  • Choosing A Business School
  • Business School Rankings 2021
  • Writing A Personal Statement
  • Medical School
  • Applying to UK universities

Business School Personal Statement Examples

Browse our collection of Business School personal statement examples to inspire you to write your own unique statement.

My father was born in Tehran, Iran. He and his side of the family migrated to America as political refugees. My grandfather worked for the government at the time of the revolution, and when the political situation in the country changed, my father was added to a list of dissidents. My father understood what this meant for the safety of his family, so he made provisions to leave. He, my mother, and my grandparents first went to Britain to live with my mother’s cousin before moving to Chicago in the late eighties. After starting and failing multiple businesses, they started the Mohar Corporation in 1994. Read more >>

Everyone wants to be inspired by their leaders. History provides us with multiple examples of leaders who—for better (i.e., Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs) or for worse (Adolph Hitler)—inspired people to action and promoted change on such a major scale that the globe was forever changed. Although sources of inspiration are diverse, leadership remains a central factor in the extent to which individuals, especially on teams, are inspired to success or driven to failure. I believe that management—effective management—and leadership go hand in hand. Good managers know how to lead people and inspire change. Read more >>

James Broughton said, “The only limits are, as always, those of vision”. Truer words have never been spoken, for I believe that vision is the foundation upon which the impossible is built. Leadman University School of Business’ mission is centered on vision because, like me, the leadership of the institution believes that with a strong vision, students can go out and achieve the impossible. After all, everything is impossible until it has been done. Leadman has been producing visionary leaders for decades, and attending Leadman University School of Business is an integral part of the vision I have for myself and my future. Read more >>

My father was born in Holguin, Cuba. He and his side of the family migrated to America as political refugees. My grandfather worked for Castro at the time of the revolution, and when Castro became communist, he vowed to kill all his associates, necessitating my family’s departure. After starting and failing multiple businesses in the early 60s, they started the Esperanza Corporation in 1994. Over the last 10 years, I have helped grow this family business from a startup to a global company specializing in management. I have held many positions within the company, from sales manager to director, and I am looking to further my education in the hopes that I will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to not only take my business acumen to the next level but to positively impact the world at large. Read more >>

Crummer

  • Meet Dean Anil Menon, Ph.D.
  • Compare Programs
  • Executive MBA
  • Early-Advantage MBA
  • Executive Doctorate
  • Accelerated Management Program
  • Graduate Certificates
  • Advanced Entrepreneurship
  • Center for Leadership Development
  • Management & Executive Education
  • Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership

How to Write a Top MBA Personal Statement (With Examples)

how to write an mba personal statement with examples

Working on your MBA application? You aren’t alone. In 2021, over 200,000 students graduated with an MBA degree making it the number one choice for graduate students for the 10th year in a row. And there’s good reason for this. According to the National Center for Education Statistics , post-MBA, grads can earn significantly more at work—experts estimate an additional $20,000 each year depending on the industry. 

During the application process, you’ll want to stand out. A well-crafted personal statement will help distinguish you from other applicants. It serves as a powerful tool to showcase your unique experiences, skills, and aspirations to admissions committees. To make a lasting impression, tailor your personal statement to each MBA program you’re applying to, highlighting how your background aligns with their values and goals. For additional support, keep reading for some MBA personal statement examples and guidance. 

Understanding the Foundations – Word Count, Templates, and Pricing

When you start your personal statement, keep the word count in mind. Make sure to write your statement succinctly. Templates can give crucial structure to a first draft and make sure you hit necessary points. Finally: is it worth it to hire a professional proofreader? We break down the pros and cons. 

Word Count Considerations

A well-written personal statement is often the deciding factor in the business school admissions process. Conveying your thoughts concisely is a crucial skill in the business world, and future peers will be grateful for your brevity.

One strategy is to start with a longer draft and edit it down when revising. Remove unnecessary details and tighten wordy language. Focus on improving the quality of your content over meeting the maximum word count. 

Templates as a Starting Point

Templates can help to organize your thoughts. Use them to provide structure and give your writing direction. By planning ahead, you can decide how much space you want to dedicate to each element—this can also help you meet the word count.

Remember: popular templates are popular for a reason, and following them too strictly can make your statement feel rigid and unoriginal. To avoid that pitfall, personalization is key. Your individual experiences, goals, and perspectives are all unique. What would a Master’s in Business Administration mean to you? Don’t be afraid to customize any template to fit your voice. 

Professional Proofreading

Graduate schools know what a well-written personal statement looks like—and so do professional proofreaders. Experts can help catch small grammatical errors and improve clarity in your writing. It can be challenging to review personal writing from an objective standpoint. A good proofreader will streamline your writing and ensure overall coherence, improving your odds with your preferred school of business. 

Unfortunately, this can be expensive. Pricing for these services can easily cost hundreds of dollars. If hiring one isn’t in the budget, here are some alternatives: 

  • Find writing groups online or in person. Not only will you receive feedback, you’ll get a better idea of what other personal statements look like. Be prepared to help edit other statements.
  • Reach out to peers and mentors. Turn to people who know your voice and can tell when your writing is authentic. Make sure they aren’t afraid to give negative feedback.
  • Utilize free online resources. Writing tools like Grammarly or Hemingway help check grammar and sentence structure. They won’t help with essay format and aren’t infallible; double-check any changes they might suggest.
  • Read your statement out loud. This can help make sure your statement has a good rhythm and flows naturally.
  • Take breaks. Be your own set of fresh eyes. When you’re in the thick of writing, you might glaze over easy-to-spot details while you’re thinking of the big picture. Allow yourself to recharge and clear your head before you get back to it. 

proofreading mba personal statement

Tailoring Your Personal Statement to Top MBA Programs

Make sure to personalize your essays to specific MBA programs . Include details about specific classes and faculty, unique opportunities, and the strengths that make this program stand out. 

Then, tie yourself into the narrative. What role would you fill as a graduate student or an alumnus? Consider your own strengths and where they align with this specific program. What career goals could this opportunity help you achieve? 

Remember to mention your soft skills and other details that may not show up elsewhere on your application. Finally, shine a spotlight on your unique contributions in past roles. 

Write a Captivating Introduction

A beautiful personal statement will be overlooked unless the introduction captivates the audience. You can begin with compelling anecdotes, personal stories, or influential quotes. Tie this introduction into your reason for pursuing an MBA. Make the reader care before launching into your achievements. Then, clearly state why you’re pursuing an MBA. Example: “From the dynamic intersections of global markets to the intricate strategies driving corporate success, the realm of business has always beckoned to me as a realm of boundless opportunity and perpetual evolution..” 

Discuss Academic and Professional Background

Now it’s time to discuss what you’re bringing to the table. It’s okay to brag! Think about any key achievements or acquired skills that are transferable to an MBA program. What motivated you to apply? Example : “As a project manager at XYZ Corp, I navigated intricate challenges, demonstrating resilience and strategic thinking – skills I am eager to refine in a top-tier MBA program.” 

Answer the Questions: Why an MBA? Why Now? 

What does an MBA mean for your career goals ? Break down your short and long-term goals to answer this essay question. How do the skills you gain from earning an MBA connect to your plan? Research the program you’re applying for and use examples from the curriculum. Example : “My immediate goal is to transition from project management to strategic consulting, and Crummer’s MBA program’s focus on experiential learning and global business strategy perfectly complements my aspirations.” 

Emphasize Soft Skills

Think about moments you demonstrated personal growth or teamwork. Are there any moments you stepped up to lead a project or team? Your past experiences will influence your habits in a graduate school setting. Example :  “Leading a cross-functional team on a high-stakes project not only honed my leadership skills but also taught me the importance of collaborative problem-solving, a cornerstone of Crummer’s MBA program. “

Spotlight Unique Contributions

What sets you apart from other applicants? Moreover, what impact will your unique perspective bring to the MBA cohort? Explain how your background will enrich the learning environment. Detail personal qualities and experiences that showcase your value. 

how to make an mba personal statement engaging

Key Elements for a Powerful Personal Statement

Take a holistic approach to strike the right chord in your personal statement. Give admissions committees a more concrete impression of you. Weave in your qualifications, experiences, and aspirations. Don’t just mention your professional achievements—detail all of your positive qualities. 

Showcase Work Experience 

Be strategic when discussing your real-world work experience. If you can, including measurable results is a great way to show your professional impact. Earnings numbers, statistics, and other metrics will show off your professional experiences. 

Articulate Career Goals and Aspirations

When discussing career goals for an MBA application, detail your short and long-term objectives clearly. Ambiguity can weaken your statement’s impact. Whether you’re joining a family business, starting your own business, or looking to go abroad for international business you should discuss how you see yourself navigating the business world. Connect these career aspirations to the MBA program. 

Incorporate Extracurricular and Real-World Experiences

Touch on any extracurricular experiences like internships or entrepreneurship. Explain how these real-world experiences impacted your analytical skills, business acumen, and decision-making. If you’re an entrepreneur, touch on your journey or discuss the vision for your next startup. 

You can also talk about moments where you demonstrated leadership and communication skills. Teamwork is critical to business leaders. Reflect on your leadership experience—the successes you’ve won and the lessons you learned. 

writing an mba personal statement internships

Maintain Authenticity

Write authentically. Admissions officers want genuine stories. Give readers a reason to empathize with you. Overly formal and generic language can depersonalize your statement and keep readers at arm’s length. 

Also, use conversational language. If something sounds clunky or unnatural, it probably also reads that way. Plus, the way you speak naturally showcases your personality. While you should always use proper grammar, don’t suck the life out of your statement in the name of sounding more “academic.” Use this opportunity to demonstrate your communication skills. 

Navigating Common Challenges

Crafting your personal statements can be challenging! Let’s answer some FAQs. 

How Do I Balance the Personal and Professional Aspects?

Be intentional about what you choose to mention from your personal life. Use elements that either contrast or emphasize your professional experience. How does your background influence your business philosophy? Make sure to keep a professional tone and align your statement with the admissions committee’s expectations and be prepared for any questions the interviewer could ask.

How Do I Handle Sensitive Topics?

If you’re writing about a sensitive topic, do so thoughtfully. You don’t know what type of people will be reading your statement, so be considerate and intentional about any details you choose to share. 

However, your application essay should be a reflection of you. Sensitive subjects often play a major role in personal growth and development. Discuss what you learned from this challenging experience and how it influenced you. 

How Do I Make My Writing Stand Out? 

We’ve touched on all of the story elements you need—now trim the fat. Avoid common clichés and generic statements. Common phrases will dilute the unique perspectives in your personal statement. Make sure the language aligns with you. Avoid language that could apply to everyone when possible. 

Other MBA Application Process Essentials – GMAT Score, GPA, and Statement of Purpose

The MBA application process is multifaceted and holistic. Alongside your statement, admissions committees also consider your GMAT scores and GPA. GMAT scores are used to gauge applicants’ aptitude for business studies, while GPA showcases your readiness for MBA rigor. If you have a lower score in either category, address these challenges by highlighting your other strengths, relevant experience, and resiliency. Remember: committees consider the entire application, not just scores. 

The other factor in the application process is your Statement of Purpose or SOP. This will complement your personal statement. Make sure your SOP articulates your academic and career goals without echoing your other application essay. Avoid redundancy. Focus on the future: link the MBA program to your long-term plan. Take a forward-looking perspective and demonstrate how the MBA will work as a natural progression in your life. 

Your personal statement should be as unique as you are. Start with a compelling narrative and a plan. Proofread your essay, and don’t be afraid to seek help from peers or professionals. Explain how your personal and professional life gives you the necessary skills to thrive at your desired program and be specific about what you want to do there. This is your chance to differentiate yourself from other applicants—take advantage!

Crummer is the #1 ranked MBA program in Florida. You can learn more about what we offer and when you’re ready, start working on your application . 

Related Articles

When to get an mba: a guide to deciding the right time for you.

If you are trying to decide when to get an MBA, this article explores the various options to help you make the best decision to advance your career.

How Long Does it Take to Get an MBA in 2024?

Curious about how long it takes to earn an MBA? Discover the typical time frame and factors that can affect the duration of your MBA journey.

Breaking the Mold: Starting a Successful Business Without a Business Degree

Thinking of starting your own venture but don't know if you need a Business Degree? Let us show you how you can make it happen regardless.

sample personal statement for graduate school in business

The Magoosh logo.

Personal Statement Examples for Graduate School: Good, Bad, & Everything In Between

A student smiling while holding a pen

Your personal statement should demonstrate that you have thought deeply about why you are making the decision to go to grad school and that you are an excellent fit for your target school. Sounds a little challenging? Don’t worry, these personal statement examples will break down the strategy of writing a strong graduate school application.

Comparing Graduate School Personal Statement Examples

Below I will share types of personal statement examples: one with a strong writing approach and one that lacks clarity and may cause confusion for an admissions committee reader. Then I will describe the strengths and weaknesses of each example.

Introduction Paragraph Examples:

Ex. 1-Strong) The ocean is as fundamental to our lives as any other ecological habitat, so why don’t we have systems in place to treat it that way? Growing up in Monterey, California I was first introduced to marine biology through my advanced placement biology class. While in community college I helped form a student-led monthly beach clean-up team. This rewarding experience led me to pursue an undergraduate degree in Biology with an emphasis in ocean preservation. My passion for developing innovative and culturally informed approaches to marine preservation on a global scale have led me to pursue a doctorate in the field of marine biology. My desired research focus will explore solutions to the impacts of micro plastics in our ocean.

Ex. 2-Weak) Yea sure, the ocean is in a devastated condition, but what are we going to do about it? Well, with my degree in bio I plan to get a PhD in marine biology to help figure out how to address micro plastics in our ocean. I know so much already, and I just know that with a PhD I will be able to contribute on a greater scale. I know the PhD is a lot of work, but I am pretty sure I will be able to complete the program and have a great time doing so. I have always wanted to live in Santa Barbara, and that is definitely a part of my decision to apply to your program.

Diving Deeper Into Personal Statement Introductions

So, let’s discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the example introductions above!

  • Throughout the paragraph the applicant demonstrates that they have been involved with marine biology since high school, this is important because it demonstrates their commitment to the field early on in the essay
  • The applicant mentions a desire to live in Santa Barbara, while it may be true, it is not a strong enough reason to pursue a PhD and signals to the admissions committee that you may be pursuing the program for the wrong reasons. Keep details like this out of your personal statement and focus on reasons for applying that are academically motivated.

Conclusion Paragraph Examples:

Ex. 1-Strong) As a first generation college student, and an English language learner, my journey to receive my bachelors of science in marine biology has been tough. Along the way I have developed leadership skills, research and lab experience, as well as a refined passion for the work that marine biologists are able to do when informed by the local community members. I desire to continue my studies with an emphasis on ocean preservation research through the innovative and unique PhD program offered at UC Santa Barbara. It would be an honor to work with Dr. Jonas Mendoza and Dr. Raquel Pacheco, two professors whose work aligns with my research interests and who have been welcoming and encouraging through our email correspondence. While my research goals are ambitious, I am confident that your program offers the resources and mentorship required for a unified effort to resolve the impact that microplastics have on not only human life, but all marine animals and ecosystems.

Ex2. -Weak) I think it’s a miracle that I even completed my B.S degree! That’s how I know that with the funding and laid back atmosphere at UC Santa Barbara I can definitely complete the PhD. I’m not so interested in the teaching part, or the amount of course work I would be required to take, but I just know that once I get out there and get into the water, it will all be worth it. My research experience is competitive and top-notch, I am a great person to work with and easily make friends. I am hopeful to hear back and excited for the next steps! Thanks for reading this far.

Exploring Personal Statement Conclusions

  • The applicant concludes by mentioning the importance of a “unified effort” for their research goals. This goes a long way to demonstrate that they understand how important collaborative effort is. This helps make an applicant more attractive in the eyes of an admissions committee that must also consider the work ethic of all applicants.
  • The applicant describes their research experience as “competitive and top-notch”, even if you have the most impressive curriculum vitae focus on instead listing what you have done, with who and what they outcomes were and let the admissions committee decide how they interpret it.

So, what makes a good personal statement?

Your personal statement will be one of many that an admissions committee will read to assess who its strongest applicants are. you have to remember that the committee members do not get to meet you before they read your application materials. you cannot risk leaving out crucial information. oftentimes, students struggle to talk about themselves, they see it as “bragging” or “showing off”. it is important that you overcome your discomfort and realize that the personal statement is essentially the first impression you will make on the committee. make the most of the opportunity to introduce yourself and make sure to address the following:.

  • Why now? Admissions committees have been through graduate school. They know better than anyone that graduate school is not a choice one makes simply because “you don’t know what else to do”. Demonstrate that you are prepared for the commitment and the work by specifying why you have decided that graduate school is the best option for you at this time and that your current and past experiences align with your intentions if admitted into the program.

A good personal statement will address all of these questions and be mindful about appropriate boundaries with each. Ultimately, it will demonstrate to the committee that you are prepared for the program, that you are likely to succeed if admitted, and that you are passionate about and committed to pursuing a career in which the training and the degree that you will receive is imperative to your future goals.

The importance of a clear narrative:

A clear narrative will allow for the admissions committee to extract the necessary information about you without any hassle. Remember that you are one applicant amongst many, when writing your personal statement do not assume that your reader will know the importance of any information or the necessary context if you do not provide these details for them. Consider these tips when writing:

  • Do not overestimate the importance of proofreading! Read your essays out loud and record the audio while doing it. Does it flow? Does it answer every question provided in the prompt (if provided one)? I recommend finding at least one person who is in graduate school and preferably within your field to read your essay.

Summary and Major Takeaways

The personal statement is usually just 1-2 pages. With a document this short and with so much importance towards your chances of admission, every word matters! Consider these takeaways and do your research at every stage of the writing process.

Do this before you get to writing. Gather information from this blog post, the program’s official website, any correspondence between you and professors or graduate students at each program you will be applying to, and develop a document that lists every experience and detail you wish to include. Use this as a reference as you write so that you are certain you are hitting every point.

Do not skip this step! Seek out support from current graduate students or a writing service for some feedback. Double check for any language that is too casual, or can be off putting or concerning to anyone who will review your application.

Remember that admissions committees are made up of real people who read an unbelievable amount of applications. Do your best to stand out, really think about what sets you apart and what skills you have developed throughout your life that are relevant to the program you are pursuing. After you have your first draft, focus on language and phrases that are both professional and captivating to your reader. Sprinkle in some flare! For more examples, visit our blog to see more personal statement examples that got their writers into graduate programs!

Magoosh Expert

View all posts

More from Magoosh

A student sitting outside and looking into the distance while holding a notebook and pen

Leave a Comment

Please leave any questions or suggestions in the comments, we try our best to respond within a few days! Your email address will not be published.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Testimonials

Free Resources

PrepScholar GRE Prep

Gre prep online guides and tips, how to write a stand-out personal statement for grad school.

sample personal statement for graduate school in business

If you’re applying to graduate school, you’ll likely need to write a personal statement. But what exactly is a graduate school personal statement? And what should you write about to give yourself your best shot at admission?

In this guide, we teach you how to write a personal statement for grad school, step by step. But first, let’s go over how the personal statement differs from the statement of purpose as well as what schools look for in a great graduate school essay.

What Is a Graduate School Personal Statement?

A graduate school personal statement is an admission essay that typically focuses on your personal reasons for wanting to enter a grad program and particular field of study. Essentially, you must tell the story of who you are and how you developed your current research interests.

So is a personal statement for graduate school the same thing as a statement of purpose? Well, not always (though it can be). Here are the general distinctions between the two essay types:

  • Statement of purpose:  A formal essay that summarizes your academic and professional background, research interests, and career goals. In this essay, you’ll usually explain your reasons for applying to grad school and why you believe the program is a good fit for you (as well as why you’re a good fit for it!).
  • Personal statement: A less formal essay that focuses on your passion and motivation for wanting to enter your chosen field and program. This statement is typically more flexible than the statement of purpose, with a bigger emphasis on storytelling. Schools often encourage applicants to discuss (relevant) challenges in their lives and how they’ve overcome them.

Both the graduate school personal statement and statement of purpose are usually anywhere from one to three double-spaced pages long, depending on the program you’re applying to.

Below is a chart comparing the personal statement and statement of purpose:

Usually, the personal statement and statement of purpose are considered two different graduate school essay types.

But this isn’t always the case. While some schools consider the personal statement and statement of purpose two distinct essays, others use the names interchangeably.

For example, Michigan State University’s College of Engineering  considers them two distinct essays, while The Ohio State University uses “personal statement” to describe what is essentially a statement of purpose.

Many schools require just one essay  (and it’ll usually be the statement of purpose, as it’s the more academic one). But some, such as the University of Michigan , ask for both a personal statement and statement of purpose, while others, such as  Notre Dame’s Creative Writing MFA program , want an essay that combines the features of both!

Ultimately, the type of graduate school essay you  submit will depend entirely on where you’re applying.

body_accepted_stamp

What Do Schools Look For in a Personal Statement?

Many grad schools require a personal statement in order to learn more about you, your interests, your struggles, and your motivations for wanting to enter a field of study. Through this essay, schools can get to know you on a deeper, more intimate level and learn about you in ways they can’t through transcripts and letters of recommendation alone.

But what specifically do universities look for in a great personal statement for graduate school? Here are some of the most important elements to include in your essay.

A Compelling Story

First off, your personal statement must tell a story. After all, this essay is basically your autobiography: it introduces who you are, your interests and motivations, and why you’ve decided to apply to grad school.

Unlike the statement of purpose, the personal statement should focus mostly on your personal history, from your failures to your triumphs. All experiences should tie back to your field or research area, emphasizing what you’ve learned and what this means in terms of your potential as a grad student.

Since you’re talking about yourself, be conversational in your storytelling: use an authentic voice, open up about your experiences, and maybe even throw in a joke or two. Though you’re still writing an essay for school, it’s generally OK to be a little more informal here than you would in a statement of purpose.

That said, there are a couple of things you absolutely shouldn’t do in your personal statement.

  • Open your essay with a quotation. Professors have heard the quotation before and don’t need (or want) to hear it again. Plus, quotations often take up too much space in an already short essay!
  • Use clichés. Think of unique ways to tell your story and grab readers’ attention. Schools want to see you can be creative yet honest about yourself, so avoid clichés like the plague (see what I did there?).
  • Get too creative. Your goal is to look like a serious, committed applicant—not a wacky risk taker—so write clearly and avoid any unnecessary distractions such as images, colors, and unprofessional fonts.

Most importantly, remember that your graduate school personal statement should focus on your successes. Try to use strong, encouraging words and put positive twists on difficult experiences whenever possible. It’s OK to mention your setbacks, too—just as long as you’re discussing how you ultimately overcame (or plan to overcome) them.

Inspirations for Your Research Interests

Schools don’t only want to see clearly defined research interests but also  why you have these particular interests.   While the statement of purpose elaborates on your professional goals, the personal statement explains what personally motivated you to explore your interests.

For example, in my personal statement for a Japanese Studies MA program, I wrote about my hot-and-cold relationship with the Japanese language and how a literature class and a stint abroad ultimately inspired me to keep learning.

Don’t make the mistake of going way back to the beginning to start your essay. Many applicants open their statements with something along the lines of “I fell in love with psychology when I was ten years old” or “It all started when I was in high school.” But these broad statements lack the creativity and zest needed to secure an acceptance, so avoid them at all costs.

body_can_cant

Your Motivation for Applying to Grad School

Your statement of purpose should explain why grad school is a practical next step in your professional life—but your personal statement should focus on what personally motivates you to take this step.

Generally, schools want answers to the following questions:

  • Why is grad school an appropriate step for you now?
  • How will a graduate degree help you achieve your goals?
  • Why didn’t you apply to grad school earlier (if you took time off after undergrad)?
  • Were there any struggles or problems you faced that prevented you from applying to grad school before?

Be honest about why you’re applying, both to grad school and the program in particular. In my graduate school essay, I discussed how my passion for Japanese literature and desire to translate it inspired me to seek advanced language training at the graduate level.

Strong Writing Skills

A great personal statement shows that you can write cogently and coherently. After all, strong writing skills are imperative for success as a grad student!

So in addition to telling a good story, make sure you use correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. Use paragraphs to break up your thoughts, too. Because the personal statement is slightly less formal than the statement of purpose, feel free to play around a little with paragraph form and length.

Also, remember that  good writing doesn’t necessarily equal big words.  You’re writing about yourself, so use words that come naturally to you. Don’t grab a thesaurus and start throwing in a bunch of high-level vocabulary wherever you can; this will make your essay sound less authentic, not to mention stiff.

On the other hand, don’t get too colloquial. You’ll lose respect if you start inserting conversational words such as “gonna” and “gotta.” Therefore, look for the middle ground and write from there.

Want to improve your GRE score by 7 points?  We have the industry's leading GRE prep program. Built by world-class instructors with 99th percentile GRE scores , the program learns your strengths and weaknesses through machine learning data science, then customizes your prep program to you so you get the most effective prep possible.

Try our 5-day full access trial for free:

Explanations for Any Hiccups in Your Academic Career

Lastly, the personal statement  gives applicants a chance to explain any problems or changes in their academic histories, such as low grades or gaps in education.

Because transcripts and resumes are severely limited in what information they give, schools often use the personal statement to understand your reasons for abrupt changes in your resume and/or transcripts, and to see how you’ve overcome these barriers in your education (and life).

Essentially, a personal statement equalizes the playing field by giving you full rein to explain yourself and emphasize your success over any struggles you’ve had.

body_typewriter

How to Write a Personal Statement for Grad School: 9-Step Guide

The personal statement is a fiercely important part of your grad school application. In this section, we teach you how to write a memorable personal statement for grad school so that you’ll have a better shot at getting accepted.

Step 1: Start Early

Personal statements (actually, grad school applications in general!) take a lot of work, so don’t put off writing your essay until the week before your deadline. Rather, try to start working on your essay at least two or three months before your application is due.

You might want to give yourself more time to write it if you’re currently in school or working a demanding job. Setting aside more time lets you work on your graduate school essay routinely without having to squeeze in too many hours each week.

If you only have a month or less until your application deadline, get started on your essay pronto! Though it’s possible to write a personal statement quickly, I recommend carving out more time so that you can put more thought and effort into what you write and how you present yourself. (Doing this also gives others more time to edit your essay for you! We’ll cover this more in later steps.)

Step 2: Read the Instructions

Perhaps the most important step is to read your program’s instructions for the personal statement. Not following these instructions could very well result in a rejection, so always read these first before you start writing! Most programs put their personal statement instructions on their application materials pages.

Your program should give you the following information:

  • What type of content your personal statement should include or generally focus on (you might even get an actual prompt to answer!)
  • How long your statement should be
  • What type of heading, if any, you must include on your statement
  • How to save and submit your statement (e.g., .docx, PDF, etc.)

For example, let’s say you’re applying to the History PhD program at UC Berkeley . In this case, your personal statement can’t exceed 1,000 words (three double-spaced pages). You must also answer this prompt :

Please describe how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. Please include information on how you have overcome barriers to access in higher education, evidence of how you have come to understand the barriers faced by others, evidence of your academic service to advance equitable access to higher education for women, racial minorities, and individuals from other groups that have been historically underrepresented in higher education, evidence of your research focusing on underserved populations or related issues of inequality, or evidence of your leadership among such groups.

On the other hand, if you were to apply for an MS in Mining, Geological, and Geophysical Engineering at the University of Arizona , your personal statement would follow these parameters:

Your personal statement is an opportunity to sell yourself, in terms of your research interests, research experience and research goals. Unless you have extensive research experience, most personal statements should be about two single-spaced pages. Your writing should be clear, concise, grammatically correct and professional in tone. You may convey some personal experiences that have led to your current interests or that make you a particularly promising candidate.

Clearly, grad programs can approach personal statements quite differently. Some schools consider them the same as statements of purpose and want a formal focus on academic and research interests, while others want applicants to explain more informally the challenges they’ve overcome to get to this point.

Simply put,  follow your program’s directions exactly in order to give yourself your best shot at admission.  And if any part of the instructions is unclear, don’t hesitate to contact your program!

body_protractor

Step 3: Figure Out Your Angle

Your “angle,” or focus, in your graduate school personal statement will depend on a few key factors:

  • What your grad program wants you to write about
  • Your field of study and research interests
  • How much experience you have in your field

As I mentioned in step 2, it’s extremely important to  read the personal statement instructions for your program. Many times these guidelines will tell you what to include in your essay, thereby clarifying what your overall angle needs to be.

Let’s look back at the example we used above for UC Berkeley’s doctoral program in history. If you were applying here and came from a low-income family, you could discuss how you’ve overcome these financial challenges in your life to get to where you are today.

No matter the prompt, you’ll need to discuss your research interests (to some degree) in your personal statement.  How much you talk about your interests, however, will depend on whether you have to submit a separate statement of purpose. If so, you can focus less on your research plans and more on your passions and motivations for applying.

On the other hand, if your personal statement is essentially a statement of purpose, dive deep into your research interests—that is,  be specific! For example, those applying to English lit programs should think about the works, eras, and writers they want to study, and why.

More broadly, though, try to answer the question of  what you hope to accomplish, either during or after the program. Is there any particular project you want to do? Skills you want to improve? Field you want to break into?

Finally, always choose a positive angle.  Use affirmative words and phrases to highlight both your successes and overall enthusiasm for the program.

Step 4: Ask Yourself, “Why This Program? Why This Field?”

Although the statement of purpose usually answers this question directly, you’ll likely need to address this in your personal statement as well—ideally, with a less academic and more conversational tone.

As you brainstorm, try to come up with answers to the following questions:

  • What goals or experiences led you to apply to this program?
  • How will this program help you grow on a personal level?
  • What made you interested in this field? Why do you want to study it more?
  • What are your research interests? How did you develop these interests?
  • Are there any particular professors you wish to work with?

Step 5: Make an Outline

Now that you’ve brainstormed some ideas, it’s time to start outlining your essay.

Want to improve your GRE score by 7+ points?

Check out our best-in-class online GRE prep program . We guarantee your money back if you don't improve your GRE score by 7 points or more.

PrepScholar GRE is entirely online, and it customizes your prep program to your strengths and weaknesses . We also feature 2,000 practice questions , official practice tests, 150 hours of interactive lessons, and 1-on-1 scoring and feedback on your AWA essays.

Check out our 5-day free trial now:

How you choose to outline your statement is up to you. Some people like drawing bubble charts for organizing their thoughts, whereas others (like myself) prefer to write a list of rough ideas in the general order they want to present them.

Even if you’re not sure whether you want to include something, just add it to your outline anyway. You can always cut it out later as you draft and edit.

Step 6: Draft Your Essay

It’s now time to start writing! Once you’ve got your outline ready, work on expanding what you’ve written into full-fledged paragraphs.

In the beginning, it’s OK to write down anything you feel is relevant, but as you continue to draft, try to look for any extraneous information you can chop.

Remember, most personal statements will be short— usually one to two double-spaced pages—so you don’t want to risk exceeding your program’s word limit. Schools want to see that you can tell a story concisely yet effectively.

If you’re having trouble coming up with a way to open your statement, try skipping around as you draft. Go ahead and jump to a paragraph you have more ideas for—it’s perfectly OK! Just make sure you start to tie all of your ideas together the closer you get to finishing your draft.

On a related note, be careful not to copy any material from your statement of purpose (if you’re required to submit two separate essays). These statements may share a little overlap but should still focus on different aspects of your (academic) life, accomplishments, and goals.

body_wow_post_it

Step 7: Get Feedback

Once you finish drafting, give your essay to people you trust for feedback. This could be a parent, friend, sibling, or mentor (such as a former or current professor).

Ask your editors to give you  specific feedback  on what you can change, both stylistically and technically, to make it more impactful. Ideally, they’ll also note any unclear, awkward, or redundant ideas/phrases and will offer you helpful suggestions for improvement.

If you’ve written a separate statement of purpose, see whether your editors are willing to check that essay over as well so that you can ensure there isn’t too much overlap between the two.

Step 8: Revise & Edit Your Essay

Once you get feedback, revise and edit your personal statement using your editors’ comments as a guide.

For example, if your editors told you your essay lacked detail, look for places in your writing where you can be more specific and that are likely to have a strong impact on the admission committee.

As you revise, keep an eye out for any awkward sentences or extraneous information. Personal statements are usually pretty brief and you don’t want to accidentally exceed the word limit. So when in doubt, take it out!

Step 9: Proofread

The final step is to proofread your draft. Start by using your computer’s spell check function to quickly find any glaring typos and grammatical errors.

Then, proofread your essay one sentence at a time. Since it’s easy to miss errors in your own writing, I recommend editing your essay from back to front (i.e., from the last sentence to the first sentence). Doing this prevents you from glossing over words and lets you pinpoint punctuation, spelling, and grammatical errors more easily.

In addition, check that you have page numbers on each page (if required—though I suggest adding them regardless) and a proper heading (again, if required) that meets the requirements of your program.

Before you submit it, see if you can get someone else (preferably one or all of your editors from step 7) to look over your final draft as well.  If anyone spots a problem with your essay, go back to step 8. If you get all thumbs ups, read over your statement one last time and then turn it in without looking back! (Seriously, don’t read it again or you’re going to want to change something.)

body_unlocked_box

The Key to a Great Graduate School Personal Statement

The personal statement is an essential part of your grad school application. Like the statement of purpose, it highlights your research interests, experiences, and goals.

But more importantly, the personal statement showcases  your unbridled passion for your field, lets you reflect on challenges you’ve faced (and subsequently overcome), and answers the overarching question of why you want to attend grad school.

A great graduate school personal statement will normally include most or all of the following elements:

  • A compelling story
  • Inspirations for your research interests
  • Your motivation for applying to grad school
  • Strong writing skills
  • Explanations for any changes or problems in your academic career

Above, we walked you through how to write a personal statement for grad school. To recap, here are the nine steps to follow:

  • Start early—at least two or three months before your application is due
  • Read your program’s instructions for the personal statement
  • Figure out your angle by brainstorming ideas
  • Ask yourself, “Why this program/field?”
  • Make an outline using charts, a list, etc.
  • Draft your essay
  • Get specific feedback from multiple editors
  • Revise and edit your essay
  • Proofread (and get other people to proofread it, too!)

What’s Next?

Need to write a statement of purpose, too? Waste no time!  Our expert guide offers tons of tips to help you come up with a statement of purpose that’s certain to impress admission committees.

Do your schools require a CV or resume?  If you’re totally lost on where to begin, read our guides to learn how to put together a great CV or resume for grad school. And for extra help, check out our four original CV and resume templates !

What do you need to submit for your grad school application?  Get the scoop on what kinds of materials you’ll need to prepare when applying to grad school .

Ready to improve your GRE score by 7 points?

sample personal statement for graduate school in business

Author: Hannah Muniz

Hannah graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in English and East Asian languages and cultures. After graduation, she taught English in Japan for two years via the JET Program. She is passionate about education, writing, and travel. View all posts by Hannah Muniz

sample personal statement for graduate school in business

At home, abroad, working, interning?  Wherever you are this summer, contact OCS or make an appointment for a virtual advising session. We are available all summer! 

  • Undergraduates
  • Ph.Ds & Postdocs
  • Prospective Students & Guests
  • What is a Community?
  • Student Athletes
  • First Generation and/or Low Income Students
  • International Students
  • LGBTQ Students
  • Students of Color
  • Students with Disabilities
  • Student Veterans
  • Exploring Careers
  • Advertising, Marketing & PR
  • Finance, Insurance & Real Estate
  • General Management & Leadership Development Programs
  • Law & Legal Services
  • Startups, Entrepreneurship & Freelance Work
  • Environment, Sustainability & Energy
  • Media & Communications
  • Policy & Think Tanks
  • Engineering
  • Healthcare, Biotech & Global Public Health
  • Life & Physical Sciences
  • Programming & Data Science
  • Graduate School
  • Health Professions
  • Business School
  • Meet with OCS
  • Student Organizations Workshop Request
  • OCS Podcast Series
  • Office of Fellowships
  • Navigating AI in the Job Search Process
  • Cover Letters & Correspondence
  • Job Market Insights
  • Professional Conduct & Etiquette
  • Professional Online Identity
  • Interview Preparation
  • Resource Database
  • Yale Career Link
  • Jobs, Internships & Other Experiences
  • Gap Year & Short-Term Opportunities
  • Planning an International Internship
  • Funding Your Experience
  • Career Fairs/Networking Events
  • On-Campus Recruiting
  • Job Offers & Salary Negotiation
  • Informational Interviewing
  • Peer Networking Lists
  • Building Your LinkedIn Profile
  • YC First Destinations
  • YC Four-Year Out
  • GSAS Program Statistics
  • Statistics & Reports
  • Contact OCS
  • OCS Mission & Policies
  • Additional Yale Career Offices

Writing Personal Statements for Graduate School

  • Share This: Share Writing Personal Statements for Graduate School on Facebook Share Writing Personal Statements for Graduate School on LinkedIn Share Writing Personal Statements for Graduate School on X

Personal Statements

Preparing a well-written and effective personal statement (sometimes referred to as statements of purpose or personal essays) that clearly articulates your preparation, goals, and motivation for pursuing that specific graduate degree is critically important. You will need to spend a considerable amount of time and effort in crafting these statements. The focus, structure, and length of personal statements vary from program to program. Some will have prompts or questions you need to answer, while others will leave the topic open-ended. The length varies widely as well. Read instructions carefully and make sure to adhere to all parameters laid out in the application guidelines.

Clear writing is the result of clear thinking. The first and most important task is to decide on a message. Consider carefully which two or three points you wish to impress upon the reader, remembering that your audience is composed of academics who are experts in their fields. Your statement should show that you are able to think logically and express your thoughts in a clear and concise manner. Remember that the reader already has a record of your activities and your transcript; avoid simply restating your resume and transcript. Writing your statement will take time; start early and give yourself more than enough time for revisions. If no prompts are given, you can use the questions below to begin brainstorming content to include in your statement; for more information, see our Writing Personal Statement presentation Prezi  and our three-minute video on Writing Personal Statements .

  • What experiences and academic preparation do you have that are relevant to the degree you’re seeking?
  • Why are you choosing to pursue a graduate degree at this time?
  • Why do you want to pursue this particular degree and how will this degree and the specific program fit into your career plans and your long-term goals?
  • What specific topics are you aiming to explore and what does the current literature say about those topics?

After you’ve written a first draft, start the work of editing, refining, simplifying, and polishing. Provide specific examples that will help illustrate your points and convey your interests, intentions, and motivations. Is any section, sentence, or word superfluous, ambiguous, apologetic, or awkward? Are your verbs strong and active? Have you removed most of the qualifiers? Are you sure that each activity or interest you mention supports one of your main ideas? Spelling and grammatical errors are inexcusable. Don’t rely on spell-check to catch all errors; read your statement aloud and have it reviewed by multiple people whose opinion you trust. If possible, have your statement reviewed by a writing tutor. For individual assistance with writing your personal statement, consult with the writing tutor in your residential college  or the Writing Center within the Yale Center for Teaching and Learning .

' src=

Office of Career Strategy

Visiting yale.

sample personal statement for graduate school in business

How to Write a Stand-Out Personal Statement for Your Graduate School Application

How to write a personal statement for grad school

While deciding to embark on the path to graduate school is an exciting first step toward advancing your career, the application process can sometimes feel daunting and confusing.

One major part of the application that most schools require is a personal statement. Writing a personal statement can be an arduous task: After all, most people don’t necessarily enjoy writing about themselves, let alone at length.

A compelling personal statement, however, can help bring your application to the top of the admissions pile. Below, we’ve outlined what you need to know about crafting a personal statement to make your application shine.

What Is a Personal Statement?

The point of a personal statement is for the admissions board to gain a deeper understanding of who you are apart from your education and work experience. It explains why you’re the right fit for the program and a worthwhile applicant. It’s also an opportunity to highlight important factors that may not be readily available in the rest of your application.

A personal statement is different from a statement of purpose (if you’re asked for that as well). A statement of purpose will touch on your academic and career goals, as well as your past credentials. While those should also be discussed in your personal statement, it’s more about your life experiences and how they’ve shaped you and your journey to graduate school.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Writing a Personal Statement

Before you start crafting your essay, there are a few prompts you can ask yourself to help clarify what you want to accomplish.

  • What are the key points you want to communicate about yourself?
  • What personal characteristics or skills do you have that make you a strong candidate for this field?
  • What exactly are your career goals, and how does graduate school play into them?
  • What have you learned about this field already? When did you first choose to follow this path, and what do you enjoy about it?
  • What do you think is important for the admissions board to know specifically about you?
  • Are there any discrepancies or causes for concern in your application you need to address? For example, is there a career and schooling gap, or a low GPA at one point? This is the time to discuss whether a personal hardship may have affected your academics or career.
  • Have you dealt with any unusual obstacles or difficulties in your life? How have they affected and shaped you?
  • What sets you apart and makes you unique from other graduate school applicants?
  • What factors in your life have brought you to where you are today?

Top Tips for Writing a Graduate School Personal Statement

Pick a few points to emphasize about yourself . Introduce yourself to the admissions board. Select key factors about your background that you want the university to know — elements that reveal what kind of person you are and demonstrate why you’re a strong candidate for the school and field of study.

Be very specific . Again, a personal statement is all about communicating what distinguishes you from other applicants. To accomplish that, you need to share specific anecdotes that underscore your statements. If you say you’re a strong leader, present an example of a time you’ve proven that skill through work, school or your personal life. These specific, personal stories provide a deeper understanding of who you are and prove your intentions.

Do your research . Demonstrate what attracted you to the program. If there is a specific faculty member or class that caught your attention, or another aspect of the program that greatly interests you, convey it. This shows you’ve truly researched the school and have a passion for the program.

“Whatever the topic may be, I would recommend writing in a manner that reflects or parallels the institution’s and/or department’s missions, goals and values,” said Moises Cortés, a graduate/international credentials analyst for the Office of Graduate Admission at USC .

Address any gaps or discrepancies . Explain any factors that may have impacted your academic career. If you had an illness or any other personal hardships that affected your grades or work, discuss them. If there is a discrepancy between your grades and your test scores, you can also take the time to go over any extenuating circumstances.

Strike the right tone . While it’s important to give readers a glimpse of your personality, avoid oversharing or revealing intimate details of your life experiences. You should also avoid making jokes or using humorous cliches. Maintain a professional tone throughout your writing.

Start strong and finish strong . As with any piece of writing, you want to draw in your readers immediately. Make sure to start off with an interesting and captivating introduction. Similarly, your conclusion should be a well-written, engaging finish to the essay that highlights any important points.

“ For a personal statement, I think the first and last paragraphs are most important and should always relate the program they are applying to their own experiences and ideas,” Hoon H. Kang, a graduate/international credential analyst with the Office of Graduate Admission, told USC Online.

Proofread, proofread and proofread again . We can’t emphasize enough the importance of rereading your work. Your personal statement is also an analysis of your writing skills, so ensure you have proper grammar and spelling throughout. In addition, we recommend having multiple people look over your statement before submission. They can help with the proofreading (a second person always catches a mistake the writer may miss), give advice about the statement’s structure and content, and confirm it’s the proper recommended length.

Once you’ve considered all of the above and reviewed and edited your personal statement to perfection, it’s time to submit and check off any remaining application requirements, including your resume and letters of recommendation .

Personal statements are arguably one of the most challenging aspects of applying to graduate school, so make sure to revel in this accomplishment and acknowledge your successes.

For more information, visit the  Office of Graduate Admission at USC  and explore  USC Online ’s master’s degrees, doctoral programs and graduate certificates.

  • Search All Scholarships
  • Exclusive Scholarships
  • Easy Scholarships to Apply For
  • No Essay Scholarships
  • Scholarships for HS Juniors
  • Scholarships for HS Seniors
  • Scholarships for College Students
  • Scholarships for Grad Students
  • Scholarships for Women
  • Scholarships for Black Students
  • Scholarships
  • Student Loans
  • College Admissions
  • Financial Aid
  • Scholarship Winners
  • Scholarship Providers

Student-centric advice and objective recommendations

Higher education has never been more confusing or expensive. Our goal is to help you navigate the very big decisions related to higher ed with objective information and expert advice. Each piece of content on the site is original, based on extensive research, and reviewed by multiple editors, including a subject matter expert. This ensures that all of our content is up-to-date, useful, accurate, and thorough.

Our reviews and recommendations are based on extensive research, testing, and feedback. We may receive commission from links on our website, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our marketing partners don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted. You can find a complete list of our partners here .

How to Write a Graduate School Personal Statement (with example!)

sample personal statement for graduate school in business

Varonika Ware is a content writer at Scholarships360. Varonika earned her undergraduate degree in Mass Communications at Louisiana State University. During her time at LSU, she worked with the Center of Academic Success to create the weekly Success Sunday newsletter. Varonika also interned at the Louisiana Department of Insurance in the Public Affairs office with some of her graphics appearing in local news articles.

Learn about our editorial policies

sample personal statement for graduate school in business

Bill Jack has over a decade of experience in college admissions and financial aid. Since 2008, he has worked at Colby College, Wesleyan University, University of Maine at Farmington, and Bates College.

sample personal statement for graduate school in business

Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

How to Write a Graduate School Personal Statement (with example!)

Congratulations on finishing your bachelor’s degree, and starting the next chapter! You might be thinking about applying to graduate school, and fortunately, it’s very similar to applying to an undergraduate program. However, it’s probably been a few years since you’ve had to write an application essay, so you might be wondering how to write a personal statement for graduate school. If so, this guide is the perfect resource for you! Keep reading below to find out more, and don’t forget to check out the example of a graduate school personal statement.

What is a personal statement?

A personal statement is an essay that encapsulates your personal journey and how that’s shaped who you are as an applicant. They are typically 400-600 words, but can be longer or shorter. 

Be sure not to confuse a personal statement with a statement of purpose as they are two different types of admissions essays. Use this as an opportunity to show colleges what you value and what’s turned you into an ideal student for your desired school. 

What should I write about?

Personal statements are your chance to get, well, personal. While you should answer the prompt in its entirety, you should also write about yourself. Bring a personal element into your essay like family or a story of you overcoming an obstacle. 

Ideally, your story should relate to what you’re trying to accomplish at your graduate school of choice. Tie it all together: your personal experiences, your desired major, and your ideal outcome. 

Tips for writing a personal statement for graduate school

It’s important to start your graduate application as soon as you’re able. Usually, the first round of applications receive the best financial aid packages, so start early! 

Starting sooner can also give you the time to outline your essay and get it read over by your support system. You’ll want it all to be perfect, so don’t rush.

Be transparent

Instead of telling admissions what you think they want to hear, be open and honest about yourself. You want them to understand you, and the only way to do that is to show who you actually are. Offer up personal stories or things that genuinely interest you so that you can show off your sparkling personality!

Be original

Graduate programs are often very competitive since there’s a smaller admissions pool. As a result, your essay should be as original as possible to stand out from the crowd. Tell your story in an organic way, and approach the given prompt with an open mind. 

Related : How to write an essay about yourself

Check your work

It’s extremely important for you to proofread and check for correct spelling and grammar throughout your personal statement. Even simply reading your statement out loud can help you catch any errors and make sure your words flow together. You should also consider having mentors or people within your support system read over your essay to ensure your message is clear.

Common mistakes when writing a graduate school personal statement

Reusing your undergraduate essay .

Reusing your first supplemental essay as a template is a big mistake you want to avoid. Years have passed since then, and you’ve learned new skills and grown as a person and a student. 

The experiences you previously wrote might not resonate with who you are today or tell the graduate team what they want to know about you. It may also have grammatical errors that you might not have noticed before, so take a little extra time to start from scratch and create something new.

Repeating what’s in your resume

It’s likely that your graduate school of choice will require you to upload a copy of your resume as part of your application. Therefore, the admissions committee will already know your professional background, so tell them something else about yourself or provide further depth to a job experience. Repeating yourself only tells them one thing, and you want to be the most well-rounded applicant that you can be.

Graduate school personal statement example

Prompt: Please discuss how your experiences, both personal and professional, have led you to pursue a graduate business degree at this time. What are your short- and long- term goals and how will this program and the J. Mack Robinson College of Business help you achieve these goals? (750 words max)

While many of the applications you receive will detail the many ways that person has been the first to do something, I pose a different perspective: hope to be the last. In other words, you might see me as a first-generation college student, but I see the makings of becoming the last generation to worry about generational wealth in my family. 

Though it is true that I would be the first in my family to get my master’s degree, I’m hoping that my future success means I’ll be the last “first.” It’s not lost on me what this title means, but most of all, it signifies the dawn of an era. A dynasty bred from the struggles and achievements of those before it.

These are big shoes to fill, but I’ve never been afraid of a challenge and the things I’ve learned have helped me secure my future. For example, by observing different business models throughout the years, I found a secret about marketing: people love a product that loves them back. In my case, a product that’s always loved me back were books. I’d fallen in love with bookshelves and bookstores alike, so it only makes sense that a culmination of my love of marketing and books is the goal of one day working in book publishing. I want to know the inner workings of book promotion including design decisions and book tours. Eventually, I plan on working at one of the big publishers such as Penguin Random House, Harper Collins, or Macmillan.

Fortunately, I’ve been given opportunities to decide on my own path, which I hope to execute at Georgia State University. This school’s unique curriculum will be an asset to me since there are classes that specifically cater to buyer behavior, and that’s an area of study I’m particularly interested in. The Social Media Intelligence Lab and social media marketing class will hopefully give me an inside look into influencer marketing and its impact on product profitability. According to your mission statement, GSU educates future leaders, and I want to be a part of that.

As a mentor of mine once said, knowledge is meant to be shared, and if it isn’t, it’s control. I hope to build up the people around me with knowledge and experiences as I go out into the professional world just as I hope this program will do for me. If I’m accepted into this program, I plan on using my creativity and drive for not only my success, but for my family’s as well. There may be times I fall short of a goal, but failure isn’t an option. Each benchmark professors put in front of me will be conquered, and one day, I’ll be one of your notable alumni. 

Why this essay works:

  • The writer clearly researched the school and understands its values
  • The prompt is answered completely and seamlessly
  • The applicant knew their goals and thought of ways to achieve them at the college 
  • This statement communicates not only what the college gains from this applicant’s admission, but also what the applicant gains
  • It’s also well within the word limit

Frequently asked questions about how to write a graduate school personal statement

Do i have to write a personal statement to get into graduate school, how long is graduate school, do i have to take an exam to get into graduate school, scholarships360 recommended.

sample personal statement for graduate school in business

10 Tips for Successful College Applications

sample personal statement for graduate school in business

Coalition vs. Common App: What is the difference?

sample personal statement for graduate school in business

College Application Deadlines 2023-2024: What You Need to Know

Trending now.

sample personal statement for graduate school in business

How to Convert Your GPA to a 4.0 Scale

sample personal statement for graduate school in business

PSAT to SAT Score Conversion: Predict Your Score

sample personal statement for graduate school in business

What Are Public Ivy League Schools?

3 reasons to join scholarships360.

  • Automatic entry to our $10,000 No-Essay Scholarship
  • Personalized matching to thousands of vetted scholarships
  • Quick apply for scholarships exclusive to our platform

By the way...Scholarships360 is 100% free!

BrightLink Prep

100+ Grad School Personal Statement Examples

sample personal statement for graduate school in business

by Talha Omer, MBA, M.Eng., Harvard & Cornell Grad

In personal statement samples by field | personal statements samples by university.

In this Article

Importance of a Strong Personal Statement

Purpose of this blog post, length and format, tone and style, general tips for success, computer science and engineering, economics and finance, management and business, healthcare and medicine, environment and sustainability, public affairs, international relations and politics, architecture, arts and film, mathematics and statistics, religion and philosophy, phd personal statement examples, scholarship & fellowship personal statements, word count-specific personal statements, prompt-specific grad school personal statements examples, academic achievements and experiences, research experiences, work and internship experiences, volunteer and community service, personal growth and overcoming challenges, future goals and career aspirations, research the program and faculty, emphasize alignment with program objectives, highlight unique program offerings, overused phrases and clichés , excessive self-praise, lack of focus or organization, consulting mentors, and advisors, incorporating feedback and refine, introduction.

A personal statement is essential in the graduate school application process, as it plays a significant role in shaping the admissions committee’s perception of you. In fact, a survey conducted by the Council of Graduate Schools revealed that 64% of graduate admissions officers consider the personal statement to be the most crucial factor in the admissions process. Furthermore, according to a study by Kaplan Test Prep, a well-crafted personal statement can boost an applicant’s chances of acceptance by up to 50%.

The personal statement’s importance stems from its ability to create a lasting impression on the admissions committee. 

Consider this: the admissions committee (adcom) does not know you personally. They have never met or spoken to you, nor have they ever interviewed you. They only know you through quantifiable aspects such as your GPA, test scores, and work experience. However, they lack insight into your thought processes, aspirations, background, and personal experiences. In essence, they need to connect with you on a personal level. The personal statement serves as a bridge, enabling the adcom, who are human beings themselves, to gain insight into your personality, motivations, and aspirations beyond your grades and test scores.

Time and again, adcoms at top universities emphasize the critical role of personal statements in their decision-making process. Drafting a personal statement is your opportunity to market yourself, showcasing your unique qualities and demonstrating your genuine interest in their program. By investing time and effort into creating a powerful personal statement, you can significantly enhance your chances of securing a place in your desired graduate program.

In this blog post, I will be sharing over 100 authentic graduate school personal statement examples from successful applicants across the globe who have secured admission to prestigious programs in the United States and across the world.

These samples encompass a wide range of fields, including MBA, Law, Medicine, Engineering, and Social Work, and originate from esteemed institutions such as Harvard, Stanford, and MIT. You will find examples of personal statements for various degrees, including MSc, MA, LLM, Residency, MBA, and PhD programs. You will also find examples of statements written by applicants who obtained fellowships, and scholarships. By sharing these diverse examples, I aim to achieve the following goals:

  • Inspiration and guidance: I want to provide you guys with a wide range of personal statement examples to serve as inspiration and offer guidance for making your own statements.
  • Addressing common topics: These samples will cover all the common personal statement elements, helping you understand how to effectively discuss your academic achievements, research experiences, work history, volunteer work, personal growth, and future goals.
  • Tips for success: The post will also provide helpful tips on tailoring personal statements to specific graduate programs, avoiding common pitfalls, and seeking feedback to improve the final draft.
  • Empowerment: Ultimately, the goal of sharing these for free is to empower you guys to create compelling and unique personal statements that will increase your chances of being accepted into your dream graduate program.

By providing this comprehensive resource, I hope to demystify the personal statement writing process and equip you with the tools and inspiration necessary to craft a captivating narrative that reflects your unique journey and aspirations. 

Personal Statement Basics

When writing your personal statement, it’s crucial to pay attention to three key areas: length and format, tone and style, and general tips for success.

It’s important to create a well-structured personal statement that adheres to the specified word count and follows proper formatting guidelines. Some programs, particularly MBA programs, might not request a single personal statement. Instead, they may pose several questions and require you to write a brief essay for each one. Such programs typically break down a personal statement into multiple short questions, expecting essay responses tailored to each query. 

As a result, it’s crucial to carefully read the guidelines before you start writing, as students often mistakenly create a single personal statement and try to tweak it for various programs without realizing that different requirements exist. By doing so, they lose time and waste considerable effort and energy. 

Adhering to instructions and responding appropriately will leave a positive impression on the admissions committee. To accomplish this, consider these key aspects:

  • Word count: Most graduate programs provide guidelines on the desired length of personal statements, typically ranging from 500 to 2,000 words.Adhere to these limits to show that you can follow instructions and communicate concisely.
  • Formatting: Use a clear and easy-to-read font (e.g., Times New Roman or Arial) at a standard size (e.g., 11 or 12 points) with 1-inch margins. Ensure your document is well-organized with paragraphs and headings where appropriate.
  • Structure: Start with a strong opening paragraph that hooks the reader, followed by body paragraphs addressing the key topics, and conclude with a memorable closing paragraph that reinforces your main points. This structure will ensure a cohesive and engaging narrative that effectively communicates your experiences and aspirations to the admissions committee.

In terms of tone and style, your personal statement should strike a balance between professionalism and authenticity to effectively convey your unique experiences and perspective. To accomplish this, consider the following aspects:

  • Professional and confident: Adopt a professional tone in your writing, using clear, concise language. Be confident in presenting your accomplishments without being overly boastful.
  • Authentic and personal: Avoid overly formal or academic language that may make your writing feel impersonal. Showcasing your authentic self will help the admissions committee connect with you on a personal level.
  • Engaging storytelling: Use storytelling techniques to make your personal statement more engaging and memorable. This can include anecdotes, vivid descriptions, and a strong narrative structure. Starting with a quote that is relevant to your story is also a good way to begin your personal statement.

Lastly, adhering to tried and tested tips can greatly improve your personal statement, ensuring you present a polished and compelling narrative that effectively showcases your strengths and aspirations to the admissions committee. Some general advice is as follows::

  • Start early: Give yourself ample time to brainstorm, write, revise, and seek feedback on your personal statement. On average. Grad school applicants spend 20+ hours in perfecting a personal statement of 1000 words. Moreover, they have their personal statement reviewed and redrafted 5 times on average.  
  • Be focused and organized: Clearly structure your personal statement, addressing the main topics and ensuring your narrative flows logically from one point to the next. A well-organized statement will demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively and coherently.
  • Proofread and edit: Carefully review your personal statement for grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors. Use free tools like grammarly to remove any unwanted errors in your writing.
  • Seek feedback: Share your personal statement with your mentors, or peers, to gather valuable feedback. I especially recommend that you show your essay to someone who has already gone through the process successfully as they know the ins and outs well. Then, incorporate this feedback to refine and strengthen your final draft.

To help you get started and see everything that I just discussed in action, here is a list of 100+ personal statement examples from successful graduate school applicants.

Grad School Personal Statement Examples by Field of Study

  • Example Personal Statement Computer Science (Admitted to Oxford with Low GPA )
  • Example Personal Statement Computer Science (Admitted to Stanford )
  • Example Personal Statement Computer Science (Admitted to Cambridge PhD )
  • Example Personal Statement Artificial Intelligence (Admitted to UCLA)
  • Example Personal Statement Machine Learning (Admitted to Duke )
  • Example Personal Statement Data Science and Analytics (Admitted to CMU )
  • Example Personal Statement Data Analytics (Admitted to Georgia Tech )
  • Example Personal Statement Advanced Analytics (Admitted to NCSU )
  • Example Personal Statement Mechanical Engineering (Admitted to USC , Imperial )
  • Example Personal Statement Economics (Admitted to LSE )
  • Example Personal Statement Economics (Admitted to Oxbridge )
  • Example Personal Statement Finance (Admitted to MIT Sloan )
  • Example Personal Statement Financial Engineering (Admitted to UC Berkeley )
  • Example Personal Statement Financial Engineering (Admitted to UCLA )
  • Example Personal Statement Accounting & Finance (Admitted to Michigan University)
  • Example Personal Statement Investment Banking (Admitted to UPenn )
  • Example Personal Statement (Admitted to Georgetown )
  • Example Personal Statement (Admitted to Harvard LLM )
  • Example Personal Statement (Admitted to Northwestern )
  • Example Personal Statement (Admitted to NYU , Duke )
  • 8 MBA Personal Statements (All IVY LEAGUES )
  • Example BA Essays ( INSEAD )
  • Example MBA Essays ( Kellogg Northwestern )
  • Example Personal Statement Operations Management (Admitted to MIT PHD)
  • Example Personal Statement Management (Admitted to Duke )
  • Example Personal Statement Marketing (Admitted to NYU , Cornell )
  • Example Personal Statement Business Analytics (Admitted to MIT , CMU )
  • Example Personal Statement Management & Analytics (Admitted to LBS )
  • Example Personal Statement Project Management (Admitted to UT Austin )
  • Example Personal Statement Logistics & Supply Chain (Admitted to Boston . Penn State )
  • Example Personal Statement Supply Chain Management (Admitted to MIT )
  • Example Personal Statement Teaching ( Scholarship US State Department)
  • Example Education Personal Statement (Admitted to UPenn , NYU , UCLA )
  • Example Personal Statement Education Policy (Admitted to USC )
  • Example Personal Statement Special Education Teacher (Admitted to TUFTS )
  • Example Personal Statement of an Aspiring Teacher (Admitted to American University )
  • Example Personal Statement Residency in Internal Medicine (Admitted to ASU )
  • Example Personal Statement Counseling (Admitted to Harvard , Yale )
  • Example Personal Statement Psychology (Admitted to NYU Steinhardt)
  • Example Personal Statement Nursing (Admitted to Duke , Ohio)
  • Example Personal Statement Public Health (MPH) (Admitted to Columbia , Emory)
  • Example Personal Statement Social Work (MSW) (Admitted to Columbia )
  • Example Personal Statement Veterinary (Admitted to UC Davis , CSU , Edinburgh)
  • Example Personal Statement Biochemistry (Admitted to Johns Hopkins )
  • Example Personal Statement Biology (Admitted to JHU )
  • Example Personal Statement Anthropology (Admitted to Stanford )
  • Example Personal Statement Environment and Sustainability (admitted to Stanford , CALTECH )
  • Example Personal Statement Environmental Sustainability and Energy Management (Admitted to Yale , Duke )
  • Example Personal Statement International Relations (Admitted to Columbia , Cornell )
  • Example Personal Statement Political Science (Admitted to Duke , UCLA , NYU )
  • Example Personal Statement Public Administration MPA (Admitted to Columbia , Harvard )
  • Example Personal Statement Public Policy MPP (Admitted to Harvard , Brown , Erasmus Mundus Scholarship )
  • Example Personal Statement Architecture (Admitted to Cambridge , Cornell , Yale )
  • Example Personal Statement MFA (Admitted to New School and Rhode Island )
  • Example Personal Statement in Filmmaking (Admitted to New York Film Academy )
  • Example Personal Statement Fashion and Textile (Admitted to Parsons , Royal College of Arts )
  • Example Personal Statement Math (Admitted to Oxbridge )
  • Example Personal Statement Statistics (Admitted to NCSU , Cornell )
  • Example Personal Statement Religious Studies (Admitted to Columbia , Harvard )
  • Example Personal Statement 1 (Admitted to MIT )
  • Example Personal Statement 2 (Admitted to Cambridge )
  • Example Research Statement (Admitted to JHU )
  • Example Statement of Research Interests (Admitted to Scripps )
  • Example Statement of Objectives (Admitted to MIT )
  • Example Personal StatemenT MS leading to Ph.D. (Admitted to Notre Dame )

These essays are written by applicants who are seeking financial aid or funding to support their graduate studies. In most cases, the program does not require a separate essay or application for the scholarship or fellowship, but in a few cases they do.

Most external donors do require a separate application such as the Fulbright program.

The purpose of these essays is to convince the selection committee that the applicant is the best candidate for the scholarship or fellowship.

  • Scholarship Personal Statement Example (Won $250,000 Scholarship )
  • Scholarship Personal Statement Example (Won Erasmus Mundus Scholarship )
  • Fellowship Personal Statement Example (Won MIT Sloan Fellowship )
  • Scholarship Personal Statement Example 1 (Won Fulbright Scholarship )
  • Scholarship Personal Statement Example 2 (Won Fulbright Scholarship )

Word Count-Specific Personal Statements have a specific word count limit, which must be adhered to by the applicant. These are often required as part of graduate school applications, where the admissions committee wants to ensure that all applicants are providing the same amount of information and not exceeding or falling short of the specified word count.

Writing a word count-specific personal statement can be challenging, as applicants must balance providing enough detail to adequately convey their story and goals, while also being concise and staying within the specified limit. However, meeting the word count requirement is essential for demonstrating an applicant’s ability to communicate effectively, follow instructions, and prioritize information.

Here are a few examples of word-count specific personal statements.

  • 100 Word Personal Statement Example
  • 150 Word Personal Statement Example
  • 200 Word Personal Statement Example
  • 250 Word Personal Statement Example
  • 300 Word Personal Statement Example
  • 400 Word Personal Statement Example
  • 500 Word Personal Statement Example
  • 600 Word Personal Statement Example
  • 700 Word Personal Statement Example
  • 750 Word Personal Statement Example
  • 800 Word Personal Statement Example
  • 1000 Word Personal Statement Example

Prompt specific personal statements are statements that are tailored to answer a specific question or prompt in a personal statement. These statements are typically used in graduate school applications, especially MBA apps. These essays usually have a word-limit as well.

The purpose of a question specific personal statement is to demonstrate to the admissions committee that the applicant has the skills, knowledge, and experience required to succeed in the program. By directly addressing the prompt or question, the applicant can provide a focused and coherent response that highlights their relevant qualities and accomplishments.

For example, if a prompt asks an applicant to discuss their leadership experience, a question specific personal statement would focus on describing specific instances where the applicant demonstrated leadership skills and qualities, such as problem-solving, decision-making, and effective communication.

Here are some samples on Question or Prompt Specific Personal Statements.

  • Prompt-specific Personal Statement on Career Goals
  • Prompt-specific Personal Statement on Values that have Influenced You
  • Prompt-specific Personal Statement on Leadership
  • Prompt-specific Personal Statement on 25 Things You Don’t Know About Me
  • Prompt-specific Personal Statement on Describe a Challenge you Faced and How you Overcame it?
  • Prompt-specific Personal Statement on My Passion in Life
  • Prompt-specific Personal Statement on Why do you want to become a doctor?
  • Prompt-specific Personal Statement Example 1 ( Responses to 6 Prompts for Fellowship)
  • Prompt-specific Personal Statement Example 2 ( Responses to 5 Prompts for Duke)
  • Prompt-specific Personal Statement Example 3 ( Responses to 3 Prompts for MIT)
  • Prompt-specific Personal Statement Example 4 ( Responses to 4 Prompts for LBS)
  • Prompt-specific Personal Statement Example 5 ( Responses to 4 Prompts for UC Berkeley)
  • Prompt-specific Personal Statement Example 6 ( Responses to 4 Prompts for MIT)

Addressing Common Personal Statement Components

In this section, I will explore the various components that commonly make up a well-rounded personal statement.I have also discussed these in a lot more detail in a blog post here . In that post, I have also shared various examples of personal statements that show how you can put these components in an essay form. Furthermore, that blog post also introduces an 8-point framework designed to assist you in evaluating and rating your personal statement draft.

When applying for graduate programs that are academic in nature, such as PhD, Master of Science, or Master of Arts, it’s essential to emphasize your academic achievements and experiences in your personal statement. To effectively showcase your educational background, you can do the following:

  • Highlight relevant coursework: Discuss courses that have prepared you for graduate study and demonstrate your passion for the subject.
  • Showcase your academic accomplishments: Mention awards, honors, high GPA, or scholarships you’ve received, and explain their significance.
  • Share influential academic experiences: Describe any conferences, workshops, or seminars you’ve attended, and explain how they’ve shaped your understanding of your field.

When applying for research-oriented programs such as PhD, post-doc, or research-based masters, it’s crucial to emphasize your research background, experiences, and achievements in your personal statement. To effectively highlight your research accomplishments, consider including the following in your personal statement:

  • Describe your research projects: Outline the relevant research you’ve conducted, including the objectives, methodology, and results.
  • Emphasize your role: Detail your specific contributions (co-contributor, co-author, lead researcher) to the research project, highlighting your skills and expertise.
  • Discuss the impact: Explain how your research has contributed to the field (maybe you got published in a journal, got a patent or published a white paper). You can also discuss how it influenced your career goals.

When composing your personal statement, it’s a good idea to show your work and internship experiences, as they highlight your practical skills and dedication to your chosen field. These experiences are especially significant for those applying to professional programs such as MBA, Project Management, and Masters in Engineering. 

However, they can also add considerable value to applications for academic or research-based programs. To effectively emphasize your work experiences and their relevance to your graduate studies, take into account the following aspects:

  • Detail relevant experiences: Discuss any internships, part-time jobs, or full-time positions related to your field, highlighting the skills you’ve gained.
  • Demonstrate transferable skills: Show how your work experience has equipped you with valuable skills (e.g., teamwork, leadership, problem-solving) that can be applied to your graduate studies.
  • Share meaningful moments: Describe any significant projects, accomplishments, or challenges you’ve encountered during your work experience that have shaped your perspective or goals.

In your personal statement, highlighting your volunteer and community service experiences can be a valuable addition, particularly for programs that emphasize social impact or community engagement, such as social work, public health, or education.

These experiences demonstrate your commitment to making a difference, and they showcase your ability to apply the skills and knowledge gained in real-world situations. Additionally, they reflect your extroverted nature, openness to new ideas, and willingness to engage with people from diverse backgrounds. 

Emphasizing your involvement in volunteer work and community service not only reveals your personal growth and alignment with your field of study but also highlights your ability to work collaboratively, appreciate different perspectives, and contribute positively to society. To give you some idea, you can demonstrate your service to the community by doing the following in your personal statement:

  • Showcase your involvement: Discuss volunteer work, community service, or extracurricular activities you’ve participated in that are relevant to your field of study or personal growth.
  • Emphasize personal growth: Describe the impact of these experiences on your personal development, such as gaining empathy, cultural competence, or leadership skills.
  • Connect to your field: Explain how your volunteer or community service experiences relate to your graduate studies and future career aspirations.

By sharing the obstacles you’ve faced and the lessons you’ve learned from them, you demonstrate your resilience, adaptability, and motivation. Connecting these experiences to your academic and career goals will further emphasize your determination to succeed in your chosen field and your readiness for the rigors of graduate study. Here are some ideas to get you started with this:

  • Share your story: Discuss any personal challenges or obstacles you’ve faced and how they’ve shaped your character, values, or motivations.
  • Demonstrate resilience: Explain how you’ve overcome these challenges and what you’ve learned from the experience.
  • Relate to your academic and career goals: Show how your personal growth and experiences have influenced your decision to pursue graduate studies and your future career aspirations.

Your personal statement should also address your future goals and career aspirations. You should discuss both your short-term (3-5 year) and long-term (10-15 year) goals in your grad school personal statement. 

Explain the motivation behind them, and connect these goals to the graduate program you’re applying to. This will show that you have a clear plan for your academic and professional journey, and that the program is an essential stepping stone toward achieving your goals. Here is a helping hand that will assist you include this element in your essay.

  • Outline your short-term and long-term goals: Discuss your objectives for both your graduate studies and your future career, demonstrating a clear vision of your path.
  • Explain your passion and motivation: Share the driving forces behind your goals, showcasing your enthusiasm and dedication to your field of study.
  • Connect your goals to the graduate program: Illustrate how the specific graduate program you’re applying to will help you achieve your academic and career objectives.

Tailoring your Personal Statement for Specific Schools

One common mistake that applicants make is submitting a generic personal statement to multiple programs. This can significantly reduce their chances of admission. 

Universities appreciate when applicants have taken the time to research the specific program, courses, faculty, and research facilities, demonstrating genuine interest and effort. 

While it’s acceptable to have a core personal statement that outlines your personal story, achievements, and interests, it’s crucial to tailor part of the essay to the particular program you are applying to. By customizing your personal statement, you show the admissions committee that you’ve done your homework.

Here I have some suggestions for you that you can use to tailor your personal statement for the specific program.

To tailor your personal statement for specific schools, it’s essential to thoroughly research the program and faculty at each institution. This involves exploring the program’s curriculum, core and optional course offerings, summer internship placement opportunities, industry-affiliated projects that are available, faculty research interests, and the school’s overall reputation in your field. By understanding these aspects, you can demonstrate your genuine interest in the program and highlight how your background and goals align with the faculty and coursework offered.

Once you have a solid understanding of the program and faculty, emphasize the alignment between your own values, objectives, and the program’s values and objectives in your personal statement. This can include showcasing your commitment to the program’s core principles, highlighting your passion for the program’s focus areas, and demonstrating your enthusiasm for working with particular faculty members on research or projects that align with your interests.

Each graduate program may have unique offerings that set it apart from others, such as specialized courses, research centers, or industry partnerships. In your personal statement, highlight these distinctive features and explain how they will benefit you. By doing this, you show the admissions committee that you have carefully considered the program’s offerings and have a clear understanding of how they will contribute to your academic and professional growth.

Personal Statement Pitfalls to Avoid

When writing your personal statement, you should be watchful of common traps that can diminish the impact of your narrative. Avoiding these mistakes will help you create a nice, well-rounded and unique story that will stand out to the adcom.

I have also discussed these in a lot more detail in a blog post here . In that post, I have also shared various examples of personal statements that avoid these traps and some that fall for them.

Here are some critical pitfalls to avoid:

Avoid relying on common phrases or clichés in your personal statement. Nearly all the personal statement templates use clichés like, such as “I’ve always known that I wanted to…”, “I have a thirst for knowledge.”, “I want to give back to society.”, “Ever since I can remember…”. These can make your writing appear as copy paste, dull and boring. Instead, you should try to be creative and unique and use expressions that genuinely reflect your own individual experiences and motivations.

While it’s essential to showcase your achievements and strengths, be cautious not to overdo self-promotion. Overly boastful or self-aggrandizing language can be off-putting to the reader and you could come across as arrogant and self-conceited. Focus on presenting your accomplishments and experiences in a balanced and authentic manner, highlighting the impact and the lessons learned from them. In short, stay humble.

A disorganized or unfocused personal statement can make it difficult for the admissions committee to grasp your main points or understand your narrative. Ensure your personal statement is well-structured, with clear coherence between paragraphs and a logical progression of ideas. Stay focused on only talking about experiences that are relevant to your field of study. However, if you want to talk about something that you feel is important for the application but is not relevant to the chosen program, just touch upon it in your essay.

Again, I would recommend you to go through this post where I have delved deeper into the things you should avoid. Additionally, in that post I have also provided you with a 7-point framework that you can use to circumvent the common pitfalls often encountered in personal statements.

Seeking Feedback and Revising Your Personal Statement

Before submitting your personal statement, it’s essential to seek and incorporate feedback. Applicants who create successful personal statements spend 20 hours on average on creating the perfect essay. You should consult mentors, advisors, and peers, to refine your narrative. This section will guide you through the process of seeking feedback and making revisions to optimize your personal statement.

Seek input from individuals who know you well and have experience with the application process. I would also recommend that you should ask feedback from people who have successfully gone through the process in the past. Their feedback can help you identify areas for improvement, and ensure your narrative aligns properly.

After receiving feedback from various sources, take the time to thoughtfully consider their suggestions and incorporate them into your personal statement. Remember that not all feedback may be applicable or useful, so use your judgment to determine which revisions will enhance your narrative. Continue refining your personal statement through multiple drafts, ensuring your final version presents a polished and compelling story that showcases your strengths and aspirations.

I hope that these 100+ personal statement examples for graduate school and all the associated tips will provide you with the inspiration, guidance, and ideas you need to create a captivating narrative of your own. As you embark on this journey, remember that dedication, self-reflection, and resilience are key to putting up a persuasive narrative. Remember, there is no short-cut to success. Good luck, and we can’t wait to see where your academic journey takes you!

WANT MORE AMAZING ARTICLES ON GRAD SCHOOL PERSONAL STATEMENTS?

  • 100+ Outstanding Examples of Personal Statements
  • The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Winning Personal Statement
  • Common Pitfalls to Avoid in Your Personal Statement
  • Writing a Killer Opening Paragraph for Your Personal Statement
  • Ideal Length for a Graduate School Personal Statement
  • 100 Inspiring Quotes to Jumpstart Your Personal Statement

Sample Personal Statement for Masters in International Business

Sample Personal Statement for Masters in International Business My journey began amidst the kaleidoscope of Qatar's landscapes, setting the stage for a life attuned to cultural nuances. Transitioning to Riyadh in my teens, I absorbed a mosaic of traditions, sparking a...

Sample Personal Statement for Family Medicine Residency

Personal Statement Prompt: A personal letter is required. We are looking for mature, enthusiastic physicians who bring with them a broad range of life experiences, are committed to providing excellent patient care, and can embrace the depth and breadth of experiences...

Harvard Personal Statement Example

In this article, I will be providing a sample grad school personal statement for Harvard University. This example aims to show how prospective applicants like you can seamlessly weave your passion, skills, and relevant experiences into a compelling narrative. In...

[2024] 4 Law School Personal Statement Examples from Top Programs

In this article, I will discuss 4 law school personal statement samples. These statements have been written by successful applicants who gained admission to prestigious US Law schools like Yale, Harvard, and Stanford. The purpose of these examples is to demonstrate...

Sample Personal Statement Cybersecurity

In this article, I will be providing a sample grad school personal statement in the field of cybersecurity. This sample was written by an applicant who got admitted into George Mason, Northeastern and Arizona State University. This example aims to show how prospective...

WANT AMAZING ARTICLES ON GRAD SCHOOL PERSONAL STATEMENTS?

  • 100+ Personal Statement Templates

ACCEPTED

Which program are you applying to?

Mba personal statement examples.

Get accepted to your top choice business school with your compelling essay.

MBA Personal Statement Sample Essays & Tips

Your academic record, GMAT scores, and GPA are important factors in the MBA application process. But, more than that, business schools ultimately care about who you are and whether you would be a good fit for their program. This is where your application essays come in. The goal here is to complete the picture that your scores and stats began sketching. Take your time when writing these essays. They will form the image the admissions committee will see before they meet you at your interview. Write, edit, and edit again. Be sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors in your essay. You want your portrait to be clean and clear. Once you are satisfied with your essay, ask a trusted friend, mentor, or admissions pro to read it. A fresh pair of eyes can often see things that you can’t.

7 tips for creating the best MBA essays

Here are some important things to remember when writing your MBA essays.

  • Show who you are in a background essay Use this opportunity to reveal your values and personality, the obstacles you’ve overcome, and the seminal experiences that have shaped you into the person you are today. No two people have the same history. Use stories and examples to make your background bright and stand out to demonstrate what makes you special. Discuss how your history has brought you to this point. What is there in your background that compels you to pursue an MBA at this time?
  • Show your direction in the goals essay Use this opportunity to show that you have clear direction and purpose based on experience and planning. Business school is not another opportunity to “find yourself.” Even if you have had one career path and will use your MBA to launch another career, this essay must describe the reasons behind your career-change, your new goals, and how the program will help you achieve them.
  • Use your optional essay to explain negatives in your stats If your GPA was lower than you would have liked early in your undergraduate education, use your essay to show how you learned from this experience. Everyone makes mistakes. How you deal with your mistakes shows a lot to the admissions committee – determination, discipline, success, resilience, and breadth of experience are qualities that will serve you well in your MBA studies and later in life. Be sure that you explain your negatives and don’t try to justify them. Show that you understand the mistake you made, learned from it and changed as a result of processing the experience. That response shows maturity. Justifying – instead of learning or changing – is a sign of immaturity. MBA programs want mature adults. Almost all of them have made mistakes.
  • Say what you mean, and mean what you say Admissions committees read thousands of essays during each admissions round. A concise, well thought-out essay will have them reading yours to the end.  You need examples and stories to support your statements and make your essay interesting and readable. Each of these needs to be to the point. These professionals are trained to spot an essay that is full of fluff and without substance.Avoid rambling and the use of keywords that you think the reader wants to see. A non-substantive essay will lead the reader to conclude that you, too, are without substance.
  • Find your passion This relates to tip #4 above. You want to grab the reader right away and create an essay that will keep their attention to the very end – and leave them wanting to meet you and get to know you even better. In other words, offer you a coveted interview! Find a theme, and weave it throughout your essay. If you can identify a passion that you had from an early age and follow it through the different stages of your life, you will have an interesting, readable essay. Connect your passion to your childhood and you professional and extracurricular experiences and accomplishments. Demonstrate how your passion will influence your future career and serve the community at the school you want to attend.
  • Focus on your professional experience and achievements Not everyone has a passion that they have carried with them throughout their life. However, since you are planning on attending an MBA program, you must have had professional and personal achievements. Highlight your professional skills and successes, as well as personal accomplishments. Show how these experiences and achievements have brought you to this point, and how they have influenced your long-term plans and reasons for pursuing an MBA.
  • Highlight your experience in your EMBA essay An applicant to an Executive MBA program is an executive or manager currently in the workforce, usually with at least eight years of business experience. As an EMBA student you will be expected to excel in your coursework while continuing to hold down your full-time job. You must demonstrate significant leadership, impact, potential, and the legitimate need for the degree to be accepted. Highlight your current responsibilities and recent achievements, as well as your skill sets. Discuss your goals and how an EMBA will help you reach them. Include how you will positively impact the community at the program you are applying to.

Read MBA Personal Statement Examples

Now that you have the tools to write your compelling essay, check out our sample MBA application essays to see what you will be able to accomplish.

GET ALL THE SAMPLE ESSAYS IN ONE CONVENIENT PDF!

BONUS: You'll also receive a free copy of our popular guide,  5 Fatal Flaws To Avoid in Your MBA Applications Essays.

Get Expert Help With Your MBA Application

Our world-class team helps you stand out from the competition and get accepted.

APPLICATION STRATEGY /  ESSAY REVIEW / INTERVIEW PREP

TOP 10 BUSINESS SCHOOLS

HAVE AN AVERAGE ACCEPTANCE RATE OF  10.25%. 

home-usnews

A STRONG BUSINESS SCHOOL APPLICATION ESSAY WILL MAKE YOU STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD

You want to get into a top business school, but you need to stand out from the tens of thousands of other impressive applicants. According to US News, the average top 20 b-school acceptance rate is 12.37%, but our MBA clients enjoy an 84% ACCEPTANCE RATE . How can you separate yourself from the competition successfully? By crafting an excellent application essay.

Our clients gain acceptance to... 

Logo_Harvard_Business_School

MIT, Kellogg, HAAS, Tuck, Columbia, NYU and many other business schools.

Get Accepted! Speak with an admissions expert today!

Logo

  • How to Write a Great MBA Personal Statement

B-School Search

For the 2023-2024 academic year, we have 118 schools in our BSchools.org database and those that advertise with us are labeled “sponsor”. When you click on a sponsoring school or program, or fill out a form to request information from a sponsoring school, we may earn a commission. View our advertising disclosure for more details.

For many candidates, writing essays for business school applications can feel intimidating because of the slim margin for error. Admissions officers at highly selective business schools look for justifications to reject candidates, and when they cannot find those justifications in work experience, undergraduate grades, or admissions test scores, they search for them in application essays. “Your personal story is what will set you apart from other applicants,” according to Poets & Quants contributor and Personal MBA coach Scott Edinburgh.

Best practices in application essay writing indeed exist, although some of them are not obvious and a few may seem counterintuitive. BSchools editors reviewed the analysis, advice from several authorities, and essay examples from admitted students. Although this information is mainly sourced from essays submitted to the Harvard Business School and the Stanford Graduate School of Business , the principles outlined below apply to any top MBA program, whether on-campus, executive, or online.

Before discussing the findings, it should be noted that schools have shifted from experimentation to implementing high-tech replacements for their written application essays, according to Poets & Quants . Since 2020, most business schools require video submissions of essay questions in the application process, including London Business School and Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. MIT’s video essay gives candidates sixty seconds to present themselves in one shot, while New York University asks for six captioned images describing candidates.

Below is an overview of the most frequent application essay prompts or discussion topics and best practices for writing.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST IN Southern New Hampshire University Online MS - Construction Management

Common mba application essay prompts.

Most application essay prompts can be divided into five categories: introduction, career objectives, school selection motivation, achievements and setbacks, and additional optional essays.

Introduction (“Introduce Yourself”) Prompts

These prompts ask applicants to introduce themselves to the admissions committee members. Here the actual class of 2023 required essay prompt from Harvard:

You’re applying to Harvard Business School. We can see your resume, academic transcripts, extracurricular activities, awards, post-MBA career goals, test scores, and what your recommenders have to say about you. As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA program?

A variant includes a previous Harvard prompt asking candidates what they would say when introducing themselves to other new students on the first day of classes. Stanford’s famous embodiment of this prompt simply reads:

“What matters most to you and why?”

Career Objective Prompts

These prompts ask applicants to explain their career goals and why they believe an MBA is necessary to accomplish those goals.

School Selection Motivation Prompts

These prompts ask candidates to discuss why they want to attend that particular business school and the benefits the school and classmates will receive should they win admission. Experts believe this topic is highly significant to admissions officers and needs to be incorporated into most essays—especially introduction essays—in some fashion.

Achievements and Setbacks Prompts

These prompts request discussions of inflection points in an applicant’s career. The questions seek to uncover what contributed to these accomplishments, how they recovered from setbacks, and what candidates learned from them.

Additional Optional Essays

This last prompt typically asks applicants to discuss any additional topics about which admissions committees need to know before rendering decisions.

Essay Writing Best Practices

Essay structure.

Writing expert and admissions consultant, Sandy Kreisberg, offers a great deal of insight about successful application essays. In an interview with Poets & Quants , she points out that many successful HBS essays follow a typical structure. First, they state the applicant’s goals, then identify three or four crucial experiences that helped shape those goals. Frequently, candidates also include how those experiences helped form their values. Another admissions consultant argues that emphasizing values is necessary within any approach or structure.

Frequent Essay Themes

Admissions consultant Stacy Blackman advises clients to select themes that will enable them to display qualities HBS highly values , especially drive, accomplishment, and leadership:

We have found that both personal and career-oriented topics can work, and most candidates tell more than one story in the essay. In the past, we have observed that successful HBS essays also demonstrate a core driving passion […] HBS has always been highly focused on leadership and really loves candidates with a track record of leadership impact and a success trajectory that indicates upper management potential. Accomplishments have traditionally been a strong focus of HBS essays, and using at least one accomplishment story in this essay may be a good strategy.

According to Kreisberg, frequent themes include overcoming adversity, helping others overcome adversity, overcoming victimization, or assisting others in overcoming victimization. In fact, he argues that this theme accounted for as much as 70 percent of recent Stanford Business School essays. In addition, Kreisberg says absent parents, especially absent fathers, embody themes in many successful Harvard essays from 2014 and 2015.

Voice Is The Most Important Factor

By saying that “voice trumps everything,” Kreisberg points out that the voice with which candidates speak through their essays can be more important than any other aspect of application essay writing. Characteristics of a “good voice” include :

The essay must convey that, above all, the candidate seems like a genuinely likable person. If it does not, the piece can render an otherwise outstanding candidate vulnerable to a “ding,” which is business school lingo for a denial. According to Kreisberg, the critical test the HBS admission committee reportedly relies on is this question: Is this someone you would want to sit next to in a case method class?

Authenticity, Sincerity, and Vulnerability

All experts agree that authenticity is a necessary winning essay hallmark. Admissions consultant Eric Allen states, “The key character traits built from your personal, professional, and community stories and experiences that provide a unique and authentic story differentiating you from other applicants.” It may be surprising how many MBA application essays display vulnerability because this quality is not generally associated with business leaders.

Reflectiveness

Candidates need to present examples demonstrating their introspection and self-awareness.

One of the most difficult challenges of application essay composition is figuring out a balance between presenting a string of impressive accomplishments while also being humble. Unfortunately, any form of bragging in an essay amounts to self-sabotage.

Thoughtfulness

Candidates must show careful attention, especially to other people’s needs.

Cohort-appropriateness

Ideally, candidates need to sound like previous applicants from the same industry. For example, applicants with work experience in investment banking need to sound like students the school accepted with investment banking experience, applicants with military experience need to sound like students the school admitted from the armed services, and so on.

Writing Quality

Many experts suggest that effective application essays do not need to be exceptionally well-written. They contend that admissions committees overlook less-than-perfect writing as long as applicants deliver compelling pitches. Business schools are interested in selecting and training future business leaders, not Pulitzer Prize-winning writers.

Moreover, the reviewed HBS essays do not appear to be particularly well-written. The errors and defects found in the samples suggested that the authors won admission because of other factors, like their work experience, undergraduate grades, or admissions test scores. Nevertheless, the most successful essays appear to demonstrate many characteristics of good writing, such as:

Powerful, Compelling, and Sometimes Shocking Introductions

“In all essay writing, of course, you learn that a lead, the way you entice a reader into your writing, is all-important, in part, because it should generally be compelling enough to grab someone and make them want to read on. In that regard, there are some fairly grabby leads,” according to Byrne , who knows how a significant lead reads; he was a magazine editor at BusinessWeek and FastCompany.

Consider for a moment why a powerful lead can be critical in this kind of essay. A typical admission committee member might review as many as 30 or 40 of these essays within candidate files on average. A compelling lead not only differentiates an article in the mind of that reviewer, but also grabs their attention.

The best essays display compelling first paragraphs and lead with first sentences that grab readers’ attention through vivid, shocking images. Here is a remarkable example:

“You are a woman AND a vegetarian! You will never make it at this place”. As a senior midshipman screamed those words at me from across the table, I instantly decided to change the one aspect of that statement within my control. I scarfed down Stouffer’s meat lasagna during my first dinner at the United States Naval Academy and wracked my brain, pondering how the females before me had survived. After leaving the comfort of my childhood home, I found myself blindsided by a brutal indoctrination into the male-dominated military.

The contention and excitement in the first sentence virtually guarantee further reading because it arouses the reader’s curiosity about what sort of place the applicant ended up treating women (and vegetarians) with such disrespect. The writer eventually introduces the controversial topic of male domination of organizations and explains how she adapted to that domination and finally overcame it.

Here is another compelling introduction:

During my first year in college, my parents declared bankruptcy. The bankruptcy was caused by my father’s growing drug addiction and it had a cascading impact on our entire family. Since my parents were co-signers on my student loans, our bank refused to renew them after my first year. I did a number of things to get by, including working three jobs simultaneously to make ends meet. I also tried to support my dad by helping to manage his rehabilitation process as much as a teenager reasonably could.

Displaying vulnerability, this example surprises readers who may not expect an HBS student to have faced damaging family issues like bankruptcy and drug addiction. The lead also arouses the curiosity of readers who want to know how the applicant eventually overcame these traumas.

Active Voice and Verbs

The best essays tend to avoid the passive voice . Notice the active voice and the vivid choice of the verbs in the below essay:

After college, I joined the Ivy Club in D.C., serving as the chair of Young Alums. The club had declining admissions, so I galvanized support by changing its mission and expanding its demographics […] Still, I craved more impact and contribution to a company’s success […] Now I thrive on helping other people and organizations do the same: identify problems, then clarify and meet their goals.

Essay Length and Word Limits

Some universities do not specify word limits for their essays. However, the best pieces display judicious word counts, sometimes in two separate essays. MBA Mission explains in more detail:

In the past, when Chicago Booth required only one essay, we often suggested 1,000 words as a guide; now with two essays, we propose keeping your responses to 500–600 words each. Approximately double the minimum seems to be a reasonable high-end target, though you will not be rejected from the applicant pool for going even higher. That said, we would recommend 1,000 words per essay as the absolute upper limit, and only in exceedingly rare cases.

Stacy Blackman concurs, saying that essays should be under 1,200 words. It is always easier to cut words down than add more during the editing process. A good rule of thumb is to write until the essay feels complete, and then take a second pass through the article essay to cut any unnecessary words.

Sample Harvard Business School Essay

The following outstanding Harvard Business School essay —which was written by a published author—satisfies all of the above criteria. It is an inspiring, compelling, and well-written example that can be read below in its entirety, followed by a brief analysis from Harbus, the essay’s publisher. .

In 2012, I realized a life ambition—I completed my first novel, all while working full time at [Top U.S. Investment Bank]. I could not wait to share it with the world and eagerly went in search of a literary agent. But each agent I contacted declined to represent my novel.

Nevertheless, I was passionate about my work and was determined to put it into readers’ hands. In true entrepreneurial fashion, I self-published my novel through the digital platforms Smashwords and Createspace. I worked with a promotional expert to organize a month-long book tour to promote the book to prominent book bloggers and their readers. The result? My novel has received multiple 5-star reader reviews, from Amazon to Goodreads, and was a semifinalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.

Storytelling is my lifelong passion; it saw me through a difficult childhood. After my father left, my mother raised me as a single parent in [U.S. City/State], a rural Bible Belt town two hours south of [U.S. State]. We did not have much money and that coupled with my bookishness made me a target for bullies. Books and writing were an escape; they gave me an avenue to articulate the feelings of abandonment and powerlessness I otherwise did not want to express. Writing made me happy and the more I wrote, the more my talent blossomed. I began to win awards and my work was published in youth literary journals. These experiences made me more confident, a key part of my success later in life. It all started with a pen, a notebook, and my imagination.

Stories are an integral part of the human experience. They uplift and inspire, give us permission to dream and to visualize what could be. Storytelling has been an integral part of my career, from building financial models at [Top U.S. Investment Bank] that illustrated my expectations for the companies that I covered to delivering a presentation to [International Daily Newspaper]’s chief revenue officer explaining why reducing ad prices for tender house advertisers would not lead to an increase in revenue.

My passion has also informed my growth as a leader; I believe my most impactful expressions of leadership have been my efforts to help others write the narratives of their own lives and careers. At [Top U.S. Investment Bank], I created an informal mentorship program for female and minority interns and first-year analysts in the research division and led a “soft skills” class to help new analysts handle difficult interpersonal situations. For four years, I’ve mentored a young Hispanic woman through Student Sponsor Partners, a nonprofit that gives low-income students scholarships to private high schools. Being a mentor gave me the privilege of guiding another first generation college student along what I know can be a lonely, difficult path. This fall, she started college with a full scholarship.

Storytelling will be a part of my future career path; as an MBA graduate, my goal is to obtain a position in strategy and business development at an entertainment company that specializes in film or television. Long term, I want to start a multimedia and merchandising company with a publishing arm (books and magazines) as well as film, TV, and digital operations. Using strong, fictional heroines and informative lifestyle content, my company’s goal will be to educate and inspire women to become their best selves. My particular focus is creating compelling, multidimensional characters to inspire young women of color, who are constantly bombarded by negative images of women who look like them in media.

I’m pursuing a Harvard MBA because I want to become a better business strategist and strong general manager. Also, I want to further develop my leadership and presentation skills as I will manage professionals on the content and business side; it will be my task to unite them behind a shared strategic vision. Specifically, I want to learn how to motivate teams and individuals to perform at their highest level, and to become more adept at persuasion and generating “buy-in” from others. Harvard’s unique approach using the case method and emphasis on leadership development will challenge me to grow in both these areas. I also feel that I have much to contribute to Harvard’s community. My varied background in finance and media has given me a unique perspective that will be valuable in classroom discussions and team projects. I want to share my passion for the entertainment industry with my classmates by chairing the Entertainment & Media club and planning conferences, career treks, and other opportunities.

My background gives me the capacity for fearless thinking that is needed to meet the challenges of the entertainment industry’s shifting landscape. A Harvard MBA will strengthen that foundation and help me to become the kind of dynamic leader who can bring the vision for my own company to life and be at the forefront of entertainment’s structural shift.

A brief analysis from Harbus:

The author sets the stage for the remainder of the essay by first presenting a notable accomplishment of hers and then explicitly illustrating the entrepreneurial drive and diligence she used to see it through. More importantly, the author’s opening introduces a theme—storytelling—that is consistently interwoven through different stages of her life. The reader is led through the author’s childhood, professional and extracurricular experiences, along with accomplishments, all the while being reminded of the integral role storytelling has played. Beyond highlighting her gift, or passion for the art of storytelling, the author goes on to connect this theme with her future career ambitions, as well as describe how this could also serve the HBS community.

Douglas Mark

While a partner in a San Francisco marketing and design firm, for over 20 years Douglas Mark wrote online and print content for the world’s biggest brands , including United Airlines, Union Bank, Ziff Davis, Sebastiani, and AT&T. Since his first magazine article appeared in MacUser in 1995, he’s also written on finance and graduate business education in addition to mobile online devices, apps, and technology. Doug graduated in the top 1 percent of his class with a business administration degree from the University of Illinois and studied computer science at Stanford University.

Related Programs

  • 1 AACSB-Accredited Online MBA Programs 1">
  • 2 ACBSP-Accredited Online MBA Programs 1">
  • 3 IACBE-Accredited Online MBA Programs 1">
  • 4 MBA in Accounting 1">
  • 5 MBA in Construction Management 1">
  • 6 MBA in Entrepreneurship 1">
  • 7 MBA in General Management 1">

Related FAQs

  • 1 How Do I Get into Business School?
  • 2 What are MBA Program Yield Management and Yield Protection?
  • 3 What are MBA Yield Comparisons, Connotations, and Stakeholders?
  • 4 What are the Typical Requirements for Admission to MBA Programs?
  • 5 Do I Need an Undergraduate Degree in Business to Pursue an MBA?
  • 6 How Do I Secure an MBA Internship?
  • 7 How Do I Study for the GMAT?

Related Posts

Guide to mba scholarships for 2024.

Given that higher education has now become the second-largest expense for an individual in their lifetime, only topped by buying a home, it’s no wonder why so many students now look to scholarships and fellowships for help. Fortunately, research compiled for our profiles below revealed many scholarships that can help defray the cost of earning an MBA.

Online MBA Programs Ranked by Affordability (2023-2024)

These online programs ranked by affordability can be a viable alternative to more expensive programs while still receiving an excellent education and providing the flexibility working professionals need to balance work, family, and higher education demands.

Should I Hire an MBA Admissions Consultant? Best Practices for Getting into Business School

Few topics seem as controversial among applicants to MBA programs as the use of graduate admissions consultants. These consultants help optimize the chances of acceptance for their clients, typically candidates applying to highly selective business schools.

Acing the MBA Essay Questions – Tips & Reviews

Focusing on Harvard Business School application essays written by candidates who won admission, our previous guide in this series presented general principles for writing compelling long-form MBA essays. However, this guide takes a different approach. This article presents specific tips for writing short-answer essays constrained by tight word limits.

Personal Reference Letters for Business School – Tips & Templates

A great recommender is an MBA candidate’s champion. They need to fit the profile of the “raving fans” cited by management gurus like Ken Blanchard and Tony Robbins. Because the likelihood of a great recommendation letter mostly depends on whom the candidate selects to write it, their enthusiasm level amounts to a crucial benchmark and a major deciding factor.

Is the U.S. Already in a Recession? An MBA Application Opportunity

Discover new forecasting methods that can provide MBA applicants with earlier awareness of an impending economic downturn, giving them extra time to prepare more competitive MBA applications that can help them win entry at better business schools—where they can ride out a recession predicted by leading economists for 2022.

The Exploding Demand for Online MBA Programs

The number of accredited schools offering fully online degree programs grew by 54 percent worldwide between the 2012-2013 and 2016-2017 academic years.

 alt=

Inspira Advantage

A notebook and fountain pen

Outstanding MBA Personal Statement Examples

Introduction.

Applying to an MBA program is a lengthy process that involves multiple steps and numerous requirements. Some parts of the process are relatively simple, such as academic transcripts or test score submissions. 

Other parts are more complex and require more from you, such as the MBA essay(s) that you’ll likely have to submit. Of course, every bit of information you include in your application is vitally important because your application will be considered in its entirety before any decisions regarding your candidacy are made. 

However, certain portions of your application may hold more weight than others. There is no doubt that grades are important, and having a high GPA or an exceptional GMAT score certainly helps improve your chances of acceptance. 

Yet, numbers don’t leave much room for standing out, which is necessary when considering the sheer amount of applications MBA admissions committees have to sort through. However, writing an outstanding MBA personal statement is your chance to do precisely that. 

An exceptionally well-written personal statement could be the gateway to your success and could land your name on a shortlist for an interview invitation to the business school of your choice, getting you that much closer to an acceptance to a future MBA program. 

On the other hand, “ An essay that reveals any weakness in your candidacy could quickly put you in the reject pile,” so the stakes are high when you get to this point in your application. To learn more about where you should start, how you can ensure that your MBA personal statement makes you stand out, and what kinds of things you should avoid writing about - read on.

What is an MBA Personal Statement?

An MBA personal statement introduces you to the school’s admissions committee that you’re applying to. It is also an opportunity for you to show them what you could potentially contribute to the community that exists at their school.

For most schools, your chance to write a personal statement comes with your responses to the MBA essay questions. Each school has its own requirements when it comes to the MBA essay. There is only one essay prompt for some schools, and for others, there are multiple questions that you must answer. 

Similarly, some schools have word requirements that limit either the minimum or maximum word count that you can use for your answers, whereas others provide the question and let you decide how much to contribute.

Although each school has topics they typically like to cover, many schools change their questions from year-to-year, but some general themes tend to reoccur quite often in these kinds of prompts. One theme that often comes up has to do with your interest in the school or how you envision yourself fitting into the school’s program. 

For example, the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania requests their applicants to answer “What do you hope to gain professionally from the Wharton MBA?” They also ask “how do you plan to make specific, meaningful contributions to the Wharton community?” 

Other schools are more interested in the theme of self-reflection. The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business , for example, wants to learn “more about you outside of the office,” and they request that you take their essay as an “opportunity to tell us [them] something about who you are.” 

For many schools, the theme of goals and ambitions is a popular topic. At NYU Stern , they ask applicants, “What are your short and long-term career goals?” and  “how will the MBA help you achieve them?”Another major theme shared by many schools is that of leadership. 

Berkeley Haas requires that applicants consider how “the definition of successful leadership has evolved over the last decade and will continue to change,” and they’re interested in knowing “What do you need to develop to become a successful leader?” Although some schools branch away from these general subjects, these themes tend to be the most common, so the chances are good that you may have to write about one or more of these topics in your MBA personal statement.

Top Tips on Writing an Outstanding MBA Personal Statement

Focus on the question.

You’re going to want to keep in mind several things while you’re writing your MBA personal statement. One of the things is that you maintain a steady focus on the actual question(s) asked throughout your essay. Of course, the questions are often very open-ended and allow you to answer them in a variety of ways. 

Once you’ve chosen a path, try your best to stick with it and continuously remind yourself of the task at hand, so you can question whether you’re straying too far from what you’re trying to write about. Staying on topic and focusing on the question at hand will also help prevent you from wasting space and time on irrelevant information. 

Although the admissions committee probably doesn’t have a distinct black and white answer to the question that they’re asking, they are still looking for an answer, so make sure that you’re not just providing them with an autobiography. 

Writing about your strengths and experiences is still necessary, so make sure you cover any  relevant strengths and experiences in accordance with the theme and question. Although admissions committees are generally interested in applicants who write unique content, it is important to avoid getting too far off track with your MBA personal statement. There is still a question at hand to answer, with directions that must be followed, so don’t write about whatever you please.

Show Your Passion

A good, compelling MBA personal statement is chalked full of passion. If you let your passion shine through in every line, you’re bound to grab the attention of the admissions committee that reads your application. No business school is interested in an applicant that lacks passion and enthusiasm. 

The main goal of each school is to fill their cohort with future leaders, who are passionate and driven to succeed. Let them know what kind of  business goals you have in mind and give them an idea of your ultimate ambitions. Whether you want to create a startup, start a nonprofit, or even move up within the ranks of the company that you’re already working for, let the admissions committee in on how you view your future in the business world.

With that said, make sure it's overtly clear why that envisioned future has ignited a passion inside of you that has pushed you to apply for an MBA program. Ensure that you go back to the source of your ambitions and give them an idea of where your passion originally stemmed from. Doing this will help them understand your aspirations better, and it will also give them a better overall understanding of who you are at your core.

Get to Know the School

It should also be evident in your MBA personal statement that you’ve invested time into getting to know the school that you’re applying to. Schools differ from each other in varying ways, and each of their MBA programs have distinct features that set them apart from one another. 

If you can demonstrate an understanding of the school’s missions, values, and goals in your personal statement, it will let the admissions committee know that you’ve done your research. Knowing these things will also help you tailor your MBA personal statement to meet some of the school’s criteria. 

Once you know the goals of a school, you can detail various ways that you’re capable of contributing to them. Once you know their values, you can show them various traits, which you possess, that align with those values. Once you know what their mission is, you can highlight ways in which your mission is similar. 

Of course, it isn’t necessary to reflect every single virtue that the school values in your MBA personal statement, but if you’re able to make enough of these connections between yourself and the school, they’ll see that you’re a good fit for a future cohort, increasing your chances of acceptance into one of their programs. 

Let the admissions committee know why you feel their MBA program is the best fit for you. If you can think of some specific things that their program provides, such as experiential learning or internships, mention why these opportunities excite you. Additionally, if a particular member of their faculty or a specific course interests you, explain where your appeal is coming from. 

There are many ways for you to gain more information about a school that will be useful during this portion of your personal statement. You can check out the school’s website, reach out to department heads, look into previous or current students’ profiles, look at the school’s online forums and social media groups, and even attend their events scheduled for prospective students.

Highlight Your Leadership Qualities

Upon closer inspection of some business school websites, it will be apparent that most of them value leadership above all else. Essentially, all business schools are looking to fill their cohorts with students who will become global leaders in the future. 

If you can show a school’s admissions committee that you have leadership qualities and that you have the potential to be a great leader, it will undoubtedly pique their interest in you. The best way to do this is by providing an insight into your motivations, strengths, and capabilities by emphasizing experiences that you’ve had, which present you as a proactive person who takes charge of the situations. 

You don’t need to describe some grand situation where you made a global impact. However, if you’ve taken the initiative to lead a local fundraiser, or you’ve started a club and led them to a set goal, these are the kinds of experiences that are worth mentioning because they will portray you as a leader.

Back-Up Your Claims

It is of vital importance that you don’t merely tell admissions why you’re a good fit for their school, or that you’re a strong leader, or that you have what it takes to make it in the world of business. Instead, you must show them all of these things by backing up your claims with examples. 

Your claims will feel empty and baseless if you don’t have real-life examples to back them up. Rather than telling a school how resourceful or imaginative you are, tell them an anecdotal story that helps them independently draw this conclusion . 

You can describe a situation when you made use of connections you have within your community to get something done that would benefit everyone or a time when you had to come up with a creative solution to a setback that you were facing. 

Unlike general statements, stories are memorable and will be hard for admissions committees to forget about you if you tell them a story that shines a light on your best side. Keep your stories brief and to the point, but include the necessary details to illustrate the points you’re trying to make.

Mistakes to Avoid While Writing an MBA Personal Statement

Don’t be too eager to please.

Many people make a common mistake when writing their MBA personal statement by focusing too much on writing exactly what they believe the committee wants to hear. In other words, trying too hard to please the admissions committee can sometimes have the opposite effect. 

When taking on an MBA essay, if you write what you think the admissions committee is expecting, you’ll waste a perfect opportunity to show them your actual value to their program, and you’ll likely blend in with the rest of the applicants. 

Each admissions committee has boxes that they are looking to tick, and the overall goal is for you to tick as many or all of those boxes as possible in a natural manner. If your aim is fitting the bill, it will be obvious and will detract from your chance to come across as unique. 

It will also make for a dull and underwhelming MBA personal statement. Beyond fulfilling specific requirements, you should demonstrate that you have character. Don’t be afraid to break the mold, at times, if it will allow you to open up more and share something genuine about who you are. 

Diversity is essential at any business school because diverse perspectives are what make a cohort attractive and interesting. So, think of how you can contribute to this diversity and embrace your authentic self when you craft your MBA personal statement.

Avoid Summarizing Your Résumé

By the time that an admissions committee gets to your MBA personal statement, the chances are good that they’ve already read through your résumé . Thus, there is no need for you to restate information directly from your résumé during your MBA personal statement. 

The admissions committee has that information already, and you can trust that they will not forget it if it is worth remembering.  By the time they get to your personal statement, they are craving something original and fresh. 

The purpose of a résumé is to list your relevant experience, but the purpose of an MBA personal statement is to show why that experience matters and why it sets you apart from all the other applicants. 

If you want your essay to be captivating, you must draw the admissions committee in with your storytelling skills. Use vivid descriptions to bring the stories that you’re telling to life and take the admissions committee on a journey that demands their attention.

No Need to Apologize

A general rule to keep in mind when writing your MBA personal statements is to avoid making any apologies. If there is a portion of your application that you aren’t feeling overly confident about, don’t draw attention to it. 

It might feel like you must explain yourself, whether this means justifying a lower than average GPA or test score or why there is a gap in your employment. 

However, your MBA personal statement is a limited opportunity for you to convince an admissions committee of your candidacy for their program, so spending time on things that don’t accentuate your best side is a waste of valuable time and words. Rather than apologizing for your potential downfalls, draw the admissions committee’s attention away from those parts of your application. 

Give them a good reason to naturally forget those things by wowing them with an MBA personal statement that highlights all of the reasons you are the ideal choice for their next cohort. The only time it is acceptable to explain your shortcomings is if the essay question specifically asks about them.

Outstanding MBA Personal Statement Examples 

Goals essay example.

Essay 1: What do you hope to gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (500 words)

Sample Introduction:

Prior to COVID, I dreamed of a future as an entrepreneur building on my mother’s example of using business to make a difference in local communities. 2020, however, afforded me the opportunity to simultaneously begin pursuing the impact I hoped to make, even without my own venture, by participating in [Name] and [Name] recruiting efforts, while pausing to reflect on those aspirations.

Though I would still like to build on my mother’s legacy of community-minded entrepreneurship, I believe I will be able to make the most direct impact by founding my own venture capital fund that incubates companies from seed to late stage. My three years at [Company] have helped me develop analytical and operational skills necessary to be a thoughtful founder, but a Wharton MBA will help me refine my leadership style, as well as help me adopt the mindset of a community-minded investor.

Sample Body Paragraph:

With a flexible core foundation, I will use my time at Wharton to focus on classes that will uniquely help me achieve my goal. As a double major in Business Economics and Public Policy and Entrepreneurship & Innovation, I will not only understand the best way to use business to improve a community with classes like “Urban Public Policy and Private Economic Development,” but I can also study different methods to bring solutions to life with classes like “Venture Capital and Entrepreneurial Management” and “Finance of Buyouts and Acquisitions.” Best of all, I can begin applying and practicing what I have learned in the classroom by working with the [Company] or spending a semester in [Place] with the robust [Community] in the [Area].

Sample Conclusion:

After graduating, I intend to be an active alumni, joining the Alumni Angel group, as well as serving as a mentor for Wharton students. Bolstered by my experiences inside and outside the classroom, I will be ready to make my mark on the Venture Capital world, bringing more equitable access to financial resources for entrepreneurs of color. When I do, I know that I will have the support of my Wharton community behind me.

Why it Works:

This is a fantastic sample of a MBA personal statement for many reasons. Firstly, the applicant doesn’t waste any time and gets right into an explanation of their personal goals and aspirations at the beginning of their essay, which then ties into a brief explanation of the source of their inspiration. 

They also highlight their opportunistic nature by showing how they took advantage of the situation when COVID began. They consistently reference specific parts of the Wharton MBA program they’re interested in, such as some specific classes they intend to take. They also mention how they plan to use their experience at Wharton to make their dream a reality.

Contributions Essay Example

Essay 2: Taking into consideration your background – personal, professional, and/or academic – how do you plan to make specific, meaningful contributions to the Wharton community? (400 words)

While I may have a few years before launching my own fund to transform local communities, during my time at Wharton, I intend to be an active participant in Wharton’s Anti-Racism goals, fighting to bring equity and inclusion with the same passion I have brought to my office and B/LX network. I want to help usher in a new era at Wharton focused on today’s business concerns where diversity and inclusion are top of mind.

I plan to be an active member of whatever initiatives are formed with student involvement seeking to effect that change, such as the Wharton Graduate Association (WGA). As a member of the [Organization], I can work with my peers to network in our hometowns to increase [Ethnicity] participation in MBA programs, which has been historically under-represented, as well as welcome prospective students as a host during [Initiative], to ensure that all who are interested feel welcome the moment they approach this school.

I have learned through my work at [Company] that one needs to bring in allies to improve diversity - cultivating a strong affinity group is a start, but not enough. As a member of the [Group], I will support Wharton founders, specifically ones with social ventures addressing poverty and inequality in the greater [City] community, thus growing student-funded entrepreneurship with a social benefit. As a fellow, I will also be able to further hone my own sense of leadership to understand the best way to motivate people to prioritize community benefit.

When not focused on ventures and leadership, I plan to school fellow students in the Tennis Club, share meals with the Wharton Food Club, and continue bragging about California’s Cabernet Sauvignons to the Wine Club. I envision my Wharton experience moving beyond the classroom to build an alumni cohort to last a lifetime, supporting each other to overcome the challenges we will inevitably face as we become next generation leaders.

This MBA personal statement is yet another strong sample. This applicant has clearly done their research and has discovered that they have a goal in common with the school they’re applying to. They focus on this shared goal and highlight how they intend to achieve progress towards it by working together with the school and its community. 

They make sure to back up their claims with examples of relevant work experience  that is in line with this vein of thought. Doing this demonstrates focus and shows that they are serious about their passions. 

Their conclusion further reinstates the fact that they are familiar with what the school has to offer, and it also flushes their personality out a little more. It also helps the admissions committee to envision the applicant fitting into the school’s community in various ways.

Self Reflection Essay Example

Essay 3: As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA program?

Disability has always been close to home; my family and community have a long and painful history of degenerative disease. I often think of my uncle, who steadfastly refused to let others help him eat meals following a string of kidney surgeries, and to my grandfather, suffering from neurodegenerative decline, who would rather exert excruciating effort to walk up a flight of stairs than ask me to get reading glasses from his bedroom.

It dawned on me that a reliance on others to move through daily life slowly chips away at one’s humanity; that lost independence is a common denominator of disability, and it impacts people almost as meaningfully as the underlying medical condition does. While various technologies and medical subspecialties exist to ease physical suffering, there is woefully little out there aimed to mitigate this deeper psychological problem. What’s more, the data and tools to solve this issue do exist, but millions continue to suffer.

I’m driven by finding answers to the most complex, most challenging problems faced by humanity; the ones that are too daunting, or those that go unrecognized. I felt a moral obligation to intervene. What followed would help me discover my life’s mission – building AI-driven tech to improve healthcare.

Sample Body Paragraphs

I rallied a friend, and together we built an AI-driven, low-cost speech-recognition platform that enabled voice-activated control over electronic systems in a household, thus empowering individuals suffering from ALS and multiple sclerosis. It was an exercise in creativity and persistence. It was quite daunting at the outset - I still have scars from initial circuit prototypes exploding in my hand. But, in the end, our solution worked, and cost a fraction of a now commercially available solution like Alexa.

As I think back to my core questions of independence, disability, and the juxtaposition of

medical and psychological suffering, I see increased life expectancy as a testament to modern advances in medicine. I now want to start the conversation around ensuring that people like my uncle or grandfather live not just longer, but happier, more dignified lives.

In the long run, by proving the benefits of AI-driven healthcare to the world, I want to build an enterprise that not only continues to develop sophisticated technologies, solve complex medical challenges, and change lives, but also improves the underlying fabric of healthcare policy. Like Uber and Airbnb, my dream is to eventually create an organization that fundamentally shifts the contemporary regulatory paradigm in healthcare to one that evolves and appropriately reflects both the medical and psychological needs of the modern patient.

The more I study disability, disease, impairment, and their implications on the human psyche, the more I appreciate the power of community - the feeling that there are people who fearlessly stand with you as you look to defy the odds. As I look to achieve my life’s mission and create a better healthcare system, I can’t think of a stronger, more supportive, and more inspiring community than Harvard.

The general management toolkit, network, and leadership skills that I develop will stay with me long past my time at HBS. I am confident in finding co-founders, collaborators, and investors who are as passionate as I am about solving entrenched challenges in healthcare. I plan to engage in cross-disciplinary inquiry through the [Initiative], and strive to develop a deft understanding of the interplay between the business, policy, and technological aspects of healthcare, something made uniquely possible through close collaboration with HMS and HKS.

I am more inspired than ever to realize my dream of restoring the lives of millions who suffer through no fault of their own, and the Harvard MBA will enable me to achieve exactly that.

This essay manages to take a very broad MBA essay question and turn it into a highly focused and genuine personal statement. The applicant doesn’t merely state their goals, but paints a delicate picture of their very personal inspirations that have become their driving force. 

This MBA personal statement includes numerous details, while refraining from including irrelevant ones. Each part of the narrative that they’ve told is necessary and is carefully woven together to provide an accurate background of where their motivation stems from and how it has led them to apply to this school. 

They also reference relevant achievements and experiences that they’ve had that indicate a strong sense of leadership within them, making them an attractive candidate for the school they’re applying to.

1. What is the purpose of an MBA personal statement?

The general purpose of an MBA personal statement is to show the admissions committee a little more about who you are and why they should consider your candidacy for their program. It is also a chance for you to show your goals and ambitions, while demonstrating how they pertain to the specific MBA program you’re applying to.

2. How long should an MBA personal statement be?

Some schools have specific minimum or maximum word counts for their essays, while others don’t. A school will typically list these kinds of requirements together with the essay questions.

3. What should I focus on with my MBA personal statement?

Your MBA personal statement should focus on answering the question(s) that the school has provided. These questions vary from school-to-school, but are usually found on the applications page of a school’s website, along with all of the other information relevant to your application. In conjunction with your answer to the prompt, you may focus on describing experiences, skills, and goals of yours that are relevant to the MBA program you’re applying to.

4. Should I write a different personal statement for each school that I apply to if I’m applying to multiple schools/programs?

Yes. Not only does each school have their own essay questions, but each school also has its own set of values, missions, and interests. Thus, your MBA personal statement isn’t easily transferable from one school’s application to another. 

If you want to maximize your chances of getting accepted into a school’s MBA program, you must carefully craft a unique MBA personal statement for each school that you apply to.

5. What should I research before writing my MBA personal statement?

Some research into a school is necessary before you can begin writing an MBA personal statement to submit to them. You may want to research a school’s mission statement, curriculum, faculty, extracurricular activities, or other pertinent information related to their MBA program. 

It will be necessary to reference these kinds of things throughout your MBA personal statement when you explain why this particular school is the best option for you and why you are the best fit for their next cohort.

6. Should I mention my GPA or GMAT/GRE scores in my MBA personal statement?

No. Your academic transcripts and test score submissions will be part of a different section of your application. The admissions committee does not need to see the same information in two places. 

Use the MBA personal statement as an opportunity to improve your candidacy for the school’s program in fresh, new ways by discussing things that would not be possible to include in your transcripts or on your résumé.

Your MBA personal statement is a vital part of your MBA application, and, as such, it requires that you approach your writing process with careful consideration. Your personal statement is a significant opportunity to make a good impression on the admissions committee by showing them who you are and why you deserve a coveted spot in their program. 

Plan out what you want to say, and take your time organizing exactly how you’d like to say it. Remember that every word counts, so make sure that you stay focused and don’t get off-topic. Once you’ve written an outstanding MBA personal statement that you feel packs a punch, proofread your essay, and, if possible, have others proofread it as well to ensure that there are no errors that will detract from the content.

You should also make sure that your writing conveys a sense of confidence, creativity, and passion. If you account for all of these things, and you let your true self shine through in your MBA personal statement, then there is no reason why an admissions committee wouldn’t be interested in having you join their next cohort of students.

About Inspira Futures

Schedule a free consultation, you may also like.

How To Get Into HAAS MBA at UC Berkeley - Complete Guide

How To Get Into HAAS MBA at UC Berkeley - Complete Guide

London Business School MBA Acceptance Rate + Admission Guide

London Business School MBA Acceptance Rate + Admission Guide

image of an envelope icon

Stanford University

Writing Your Personal Statements

Your personal statement must demonstrate to the admissions committee that you have considered graduate school and their specific program seriously. It’s your opportunity to summarize your academic and research experiences. You must also communicate how your experiences are relevant to preparing you for the graduate degree that you will be pursuing and explain why a given program is the right one for you.

The personal statement is where you highlight your strengths. Make your strengths absolutely clear to the reviewers, because they will often be reading many other statements. Your self-assessments and honest conversations with peers and advisors should have also revealed your strengths. But you must also address (not blame others for) weaknesses or unusual aspects of your application or academic background.

Your personal statement should focus on two main aspects: your competence and commitment.

1. Identify your strengths in terms of competence that indicate that you will succeed in the grad program and provide examples to support your claims. Start your statement by describing your strengths immediately. Because faculty will be reading many statements, it’s important to start off with your strengths and not “bury your lede.” Consider traits of successful graduate students from your informational interviews, and identify which of these traits you have. These traits could involve research skills and experiences, expertise in working with techniques or instruments, familiarity with professional networks and resources in your field, etc.

  • Check your responses from the exercises in the self-assessment section. You may wish to consult notes from your informational interviews and your Seven Stories . Write concise summaries and stories that demonstrate your strengths, e.g. how your strengths helped you to achieve certain goals or overcome obstacles.
  • Summarize your research experience(s). What were the main project goals and the “big picture” questions? What was your role in this project? What did you accomplish? What did you learn, and how did you grow as a result of the experience(s)?

Vannessa Velez's portrait

My research examines the interplay between U.S. domestic politics and foreign policy during the Cold War. As a native New Yorker, I saw firsthand how dramatically my city changed after 9/11, which prompted my early interest in U.S. policy at home and abroad. As an undergraduate at the City College of New York, I planned to study international relations with a focus on U.S. foreign affairs. I also quickly became involved in student activist groups that focused on raising awareness about a wide range of human rights issues, from the Syrian refugee crisis to asylum seekers from Central America.

The more I learned about the crises in the present, the more I realized that I needed a deeper understanding of the past to fully grasp them. I decided to pursue a PhD in history in order to gain a clearer understanding of human rights issues in the present and to empower young student-activists like myself.

— Vannessa Velez, PhD candidate in History

Addressing weaknesses or unusual aspects

  • Identify weaknesses or unusual aspects in your application—e.g., a significant drop in your GPA during a term; weak GRE scores; changes in your academic trajectory, etc. Don’t ignore them, because ignoring them might be interpreted as blind spots for you. If you’re unsure if a particular issue is significant enough to address, seek advice from faculty mentors.
  • Explain how you’ll improve and strengthen those areas or work around your weakness. Determine how you will address them in a positive light, e.g., by discussing how you overcame obstacles through persistence, what you learned from challenges, and how you grew from failures. Focusing on a growth mindset  or grit  and this blog on weaknesses might also help.
  • Deal with any significant unusual aspects later in the statement to allow a positive impression to develop first.
  • Explain, rather than provide excuses—i.e., address the issue directly and don’t blame others (even if you believe someone else is responsible). Draft it and get feedback from others to see if the explanation is working as you want it to.
  • Provide supporting empirical evidence if possible. For example, “Adjusting to college was a major step for me, coming from a small high school and as a first-generation college student. My freshman GPA was not up to par with my typical achievements, as demonstrated by my improved  GPA of 3.8 during my second and third years in college."
  • Be concise (don’t dwell on the issues), but also be complete (don’t lead to other potentially unanswered questions). For example, if a drop in grades during a term was due to a health issue, explain whether the health issue is recurring, managed now with medication, resolved, etc.

2. Explain your commitment to research and their graduate program, including your motivation for why you are applying to this graduate program at this university. Be as specific as possible. Identify several faculty members with whom you are interested in working, and explain why their research interests you.

  • Descriptions of your commitment should explain why you’re passionate about this particular academic field and provide demonstrations of your commitment with stories (e.g., working long hours to solve a problem, overcoming challenges in research, resilience in pursuing problems). Don’t merely assert your commitment.
  • Explain why you are applying to graduate school, as opposed to seeking a professional degree or a job. Discuss your interest and motivation for grad school, along with your future career aspirations.

Jaime Fine's portrait

I am definitely not your traditional graduate student. As a biracial (Native American and white), first-generation PhD student from a military family, I had very limited guidance on how best to pursue my education, especially when I decided that graduate school was a good idea. I ended up coming to this PhD in a very circuitous manner, stopping first to get a JD and, later, an MFA in Young Adult Literature. With each degree, I took time to work and apply what I’d learned, as a lawyer and as an educator. Each time, I realized that I was circling around questions that I couldn’t let go of—not just because I found them to be fascinating, but because I did (and still do!) feel that my research could help to bridge a gap that desperately needs bridging. Because my work is quite interdisciplinary, I strongly feel that I wouldn’t have been able to pursue this line of research without the degrees and life experience I gained before coming to this program.

— Jamie Fine, PhD candidate in Modern Thought and Literature

Statement of Purpose: subtle aspects

  • Think in terms of engaging faculty in a conversation rather than pleading with them that you should be admitted. Ask reviewers to read drafts with this concern in mind.
  • With later drafts, try developing an overall narrative theme. See if one emerges as you work.
  • Write at least 10 drafts and expect your thinking and the essay to change quite a bit over time.
  • Read drafts out loud to help you catch errors.
  • Expect the "you' that emerges in your essay to be incomplete. . . that’s OK.
  • You’re sharing a professional/scholarly slice of "you."
  • Avoid humor (do you really know what senior academics find funny?) and flashy openings and closings. Think of pitching the essay to an educated person in the field, but not necessarily in your specialty. Avoid emotionally laden words (such as "love" or "passion"). Remember, your audience is a group of professors! Overly emotional appeals might make them uncomfortable. They are looking for scholarly colleagues.

Stanford University

© Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305

ScholarshipTab

How To Write A Personal Statement For Masters (17 PDF Sample Examples)

Published: 14 Mar 2022 Study Abroad 103,316 views

How To Write A Personal Statement For Masters (17 PDF Sample Examples)

A personal statement for masters program is one of the most important parts of your college application and writing a good one is what’s the exception between receiving an offer and being rejected.

If you’ve been tasked with presenting a personal statement, you should keep in mind that whatever you submit must put you forward as the right candidate for the course. Additionally, it should convince the admissions officers that you deserve a place on your program of study.

Achieving the above, is a skill most postgraduate students are yet to acquire but thankfully this article on How To Write A Personal Statement For Masters covers everything you need to know on doing this.

In this article you’ll learn:

  • What is a personal statement?
  • Tips for making your personal statement for masters stand out
  • How to write a personal statement for masters
  • Personal statement for masters sample
  • Examples of personal statement for masters
  • Conclusion – things to avoid when writing a personal statement for masters

Read:  Admission Interview Tips .

What Is a Personal Statement?

A personal statement AKA admissions or application essay or statement of purpose is a type of essay or written statement a candidate presents to a college, university, or graduate school they are applying to, explaining why they want to attend that school, study a particular course, and why they would be a perfect fit for these things.

A personal statement for masters is an essay you submit specifically for your postgraduate application. Writing one presents the opportunity for you to promote yourself to a school and show the admissions teachers that you are the perfect candidate for a course.

Tips For Making Your Personal Statement For Masters Stand Out

Before we get into how you should write a statement of purpose for masters, we would first like to share with you certain tips to include in your essay to make it stand out from that of other applicants and be convincing enough to any admissions officer that reads it. The tips we have mentioned here, cover general things like starting and ending your personal statement, timing, length, and what to include and what not to include in the essay, etc.

1. Starting And Ending A Personal Statement

When starting a personal statement, you would want to right off the bat grab the reader’s attention. To do this, start the statement by writing about your degree of choice, next why you want to study it and then how you got interested in it.

The next 2 sentences after that should cover a summary of your background in the chosen field, and you conclude by saying what you plan to do once you acquire your graduate degree.

Also start with that the evaluators reading want to hear first, then every other information should come second. You will notice we’ve used in the sop examples for masters we will share with you later in this article.

2. Plan Ahead

A personal statement is not something you rush while writing, which means if you want to get something good before you application then you must start to decide things like the length and how long it should take to complete.

Let us throw more light on this…

For length, a personal statement should be brief ranging somewhere between 500 -700 words, although schools often detect how long it should be. So, this is dependent on the institution you are applying to.

In terms of what to say in a statement, you could include personal experiences like why you were driven to apply for the program, an experience you had with a scholar in your chosen discipline, a course you took that inspired you to pursue masters, or a key moment during your studies which further motivated you.

No matter what you decide to write, just keep in mind that you need to take your time to craft something good even if it means creating several drafts before the real thing and do not forget to proofread the statement for errors.

3. Research Your Program Of Study

Researching your program of study is one way to establish that you truly understand the discipline you’re getting into and prove to the admissions officer that you thoroughly thought about it before applying.

And because you want to put yourself forward as a serious candidate, one way to make you research easier is for you to visit the website of the department you are applying to. This page will contain information about faculty members, their specialisation, and publications.

From the intel, you gathered there you can now identify which professors match your interests and which ones you will benefit the most from learning under. After you’ve found this out, relate the same in a sentence or two in your statement of purpose for masters.

Example: “I would be honoured to study under the tutelage of Professor Nadia whose work I found resonated strongly with my beliefs and intended projects in this course”.

4. Avoid Clichés, Junks, And Many Details

When writing a statement of purpose for master degree try to avoid clichés, junks, and unnecessary details so that you don’t lose or bore your readers in between. Be as concise as possible, even if it’s your chance to express yourself.

A personal statement is an opportunity for the admissions committee to get information that tells the that you are suitable for the course. So, when you overpower your statement with too many words, stories, and useless details, you come off as someone who is just trying to meet the word count.

5. Include Your Personal History Only If It Adds To The Statement

Do not include your personal history in your statement of intent for masters if it is not relevant to your purpose of study. This means no need for you to tell that story about that time you helped someone treat a cut and immediately realised that you wanted to be a doctor or nurse or how you developed a taste for reading at a very young age.

We can guarantee you that the hundreds of other applications competing for the same spot you are felt the same way, so saying those things really doesn’t make you unique.

On the other hand, if you are going to add personal history to your statement, you can put in things like an internship you did and the experience you got from the job, a major research project you ran by yourself, publications you’ve read or published, conferences you’ve attended or presentations you’ve done. These experiences are more concrete and are directly related to your program of study. They also set you apart from other applicants.

6. Don't Use The Same Personal Statement For All Your Applications

One common mistake applicant make that you shouldn’t is using the same statement of purpose for master degree for all your applications. Using the same information repeatedly even if you are going to change the university names is risky and could land you in a big mistake on a day you forget to be thorough.

All programmes have their own unique set of questions they want to see answered and information they need in your personal statement.

And even if some of them like extracurricular activities, proposal for project, why you are applying to the school, your unique qualities, and research works you’re doing might appear the same, do not use one statement to respond to all of them.

Write a new unique personal statement every time you want to apply.

Check out:  How to Write a Good CV for Students - Resume Examples for Students (PDF).

How To Write A Personal Statement for Masters

When writing a personal statement for masters there are several steps and ground rules you need to follow to ensure that it comes out good enough to impress the admissions team of a school, and ultimately convince them to give you a spot on your program of study.

If writing one is something you are currently struggling with and can’t seem to get down the process of it right no matter what, this section on how to write a personal statement for masters, discusses in detail everything you need to get help with yours.

There are 4 parts to consider when writing your personal statement and we have listed them below:

1. Planning A Personal Statement

A personal statement is a piece of writing showing your academic interests and is only for application purposes which means there is no room for any autobiographical information in it about your personal life. Be as to-the-point as possible when writing it and stick to telling the school why you are the right person for the course, plus any other extra information detailing your achievements.

Before You Start:

Allot plenty of time to write your msc personal statement so that you don’t rush it. Remember, this simple piece of writing is your one shot at convincing a school that you are the best applicant they’ve seen and as such can either make or break your application.

Read the information expected of you from the university, rules and guidelines given, selection criteria and understand what they mean. Also research the institution.

Do a thorough research on the course you are applying for; this will help you explain better why you want to study it. The tutors interviewing you can tell when you are lying and presenting yourself as uninformed can cost you the admission.

Ensure that you don’t use the same personal statement for all your applications.

When Writing:

When writing the statement there are some questions to ask yourself that can help you plan it better. Those questions are:

  • Why you want to study a master’s and how does it benefit you in future?
  • How does the course you have chosen fit into your pre-existing skill set?
  • How do you stand out from the crowd as an applicant - e.g., work experiences you’ve had in the same field you are applying for?
  • What do you aspire to do or be as a future career and how will the course help you achieve that?
  • How can your work or skillsets contribute positively to the department/ university you are applying to, or society at large?

On the other hand, if you are applying for the masters to change from the field you studied in your undergraduate to another field, you should tell the school why you decided to take a different path in your studies.

Questions to ask yourself for this include:

  • Your reason for deciding to change your discipline.
  • How your undergraduate degree will be material for bringing fresh insights into your masters course.
  • How changing your study path will help you attain your future career.

2. Structuring A Personal Statement

Having good structure for your personal statement for master degree is important because it ensures that everything from the beginning, middle, and ending of the statement is written and equally falls in place perfectly.

We’ve left some tips for you below to help you:

Start your personal statement with an attention-grabbing introduction that is not dramatic or cliché. That means you should not begin with any of these over-used phrases we’ve listed out below:

For as long as I remember…

Since my childhood…

I want to apply to this course because I’ve always felt a strong connection to it…

All my life, I have always loved…

My interest in (course) always ran deeper than…

I’ve always been zealous about…

Ever since I was a child, I’ve always wanted to pursue a career in…

My past educational experiences have always…

You would want to be as snappy as possible with your opening because the admission officer has over a hundred applications to read and can’t waste all their time on yours. This means you should avoid overpowering it with unnecessary facts, quotes, and stories from your life.

The middle part of your ma personal statement is where the main content of the write-up should be. This is where you show your dedication to the course you’ve chosen, what motivated you to choose it, and why you are the right candidate for it.

When writing the middle part of a graduate personal statement, you should:  

  • Give concrete reasons why you want to study a course at the University. The reason could be because of how the course is aligned to your future career or the University’s reputation in teaching that program.
  • Mention relevant things like projects, dissertations, or essays you’ve done, and any work experience you have.
  • Show proof of your core skills like and how they can contribute to the department.
  • Prove what makes you a unique candidate.
  • Discuss who your main influences for wanting to study the course are and why.
  • Add experiences like memberships to clubs that are related to your field, papers you’ve written before, awards, scholarships, or prizes.
  • Draw focus to how the course links to your past and future.
  • Mention your academic and non-academic skills and how they fit the course.

For Formatting:

  • Keep the statement length between 250 -500 words or as directed by the school.
  • Sentences should be no more than 25-30 words.
  • Use headings to break up the content – Why this university? Why this subject? Etc.
  • Make claims and provide evidence to back each of them up. This can be done by discussing your work experience and academic interests.

Language and tone to use:     

  • The tone for your masters application personal statement should be positive and enthusiastic, to show you eagerness to learn and so that you convince the evaluators that you have what it takes to succeed.
  • Use exciting and refreshing language, and an engaging opening line.
  • Ensure you grammar, punctuations, and spellings are accurate.
  • Avoid exaggerated claims you cannot backup.
  • Don’t use cliché generic terms and keep your focus on the course.

Keep the ending of your essay for master degree application concise and memorable, leaving no doubt in the admission officers mind that you deserve a spot on the program.

To create the best ending summarise all your key points without dragging it our or repeating yourself. The ending should be simple, end on a positive note and make it clear that the school will be lucky to have you on their program.

Personal Statement for Masters Sample

In this section, we have left a masters personal statement example for you, which you can use as material to write yours for any course of study you are applying to a school for.

Personal Statement PDF

You can also download this statement of purpose sample for masters degree pdf here and take your time to read it later – Personal Statement For Masters Sample .

See Also:  Student CV Template .

Examples of Personal Statement for Masters

We have taken the time to source for some of the best postgraduate personal statement examples, which you can use in addition to the personal statement for masters program example as a template to write yours.

While you scroll through our list, you will find the perfect masters essay example for any field you wish to apply for, from business administration, to Psychology, to information technology, and lots more.

1. msw personal statement

We have found one of the best msw personal statement examples out there for you.

social work masters personal statement .  

2. personal statement for masters in public health

mph personal statement examples

3. personal statement for masters in management

Personal statement for master degree sample for masters in management .  , 4. personal statement for masters in education example.

personal statement for masters in education example

5. psychology masters personal statement

psychology masters personal statement example

6. sample personal statement for masters in data science data science masters personal statement

7. speech and language therapy personal statement statement of purpose for masters sample: speech and language therapy

8. business administration personal statement personal statement for masters in business administration

9. personal statement for masters in cyber security pdf masters degree personal statement examples for cyber security

10. personal statement for masters in finance msc finance personal statement examples

11. statement of purpose for masters in information technology pdf msc personal statement examples for information technology

12. international development personal statement statement of purpose for masters example

13. msc international business management personal statement international business management personal statement examples

14. computer science masters personal statement

statement of purpose for masters in computer science pdf

15. personal statement for masters in economics statement of purpose sample for masters degree in economics

16. mha personal statement statement of purpose format for masters in health administration    

Conclusion – Things to Avoid When Writing A Personal Statement For Masters When writing a personal statement for university masters, there are some things you should avoid, so that you don’t ruin your essay. We have listed out those things below: •    Avoid negativity. •    Following an online template blindly. •    Do not include unnecessary course modules, personal facts, or extra-curricular activities in your personal statement. •    Do not lie or exaggerate an achievement or event. •    Do not include inspirational quotes to your statement. •    Avoid using clichés, gimmicks, humour, over-used word such as 'passion' or ‘driven’. •    Do not make pleading statements. •    Avoid mentioning key authors or professors in your field without any explanation. •    Avoid using sentences that are too long. •    Avoid flattering the organisation or using patronising terms. •    Do not repeat information in your statement that you have already listed in your application. •    Avoid waffling i.e., writing at length. •    Don’t start writing your personal statement at the last minute.  

Related Articles:

How to Write a Good Letter of Recommendation for Students (10 PDF Sample Examples).

How to Write a Good Financial Aid Appeal Letter (13 PDF Sample Examples).

How to Write a Good Personal Statement for a Scholarship ( 7 PDF Sample Examples).

How To Write A Good Motivation Letter For Scholarship (4 PDF Sample Examples).

How To Write A Letter Of Intent For Scholarship (4 PDF Sample LOI Example).

Latest Blog Posts

  • 30 Best Medical Universities In The US 2024
  • Tips To Find And Apply For Scholarships Online
  • 30 Best Study Techniques To Try This 2024
  • 26 Best Country To Teach English 2024
  • 26 Best Free AI Chatbot 2024
  • 20 Best Countries To Relocate 2024
  • 30 Best Countries For Tourism - Top Tourist Countries
  • Canada Work Visa Application Process
  • Best Scholarships
  • Sanlam Actuarial Bursaries for South Africans 2025
  • University of Pretoria Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarship for Master studies 2025 (Fully funded)
  • Mastercard Foundation Graduate Scholars Program at University of Gondar 2024
  • Bond University Vice Chancellor's Elite Scholarship 2024
  • University of Sheffield Africa Scholarship for Postgraduate Students from Africa 2024
  • Apply Now: Australian Government Research Training Program (AGRTP) Scholarship 2024
  • Monash University Raydon Graduate Research Scholarships 2024
  • Swansea University Eira Francis Davies Scholarship for Female Students 2024

Scholarship Tips

Scholarships by country to study.

  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • South Africa
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand

Scholarships by Category

  • Postgraduate
  • Undergraduate
  • College School
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Bachelors Degree
  • Women Scholarships
  • Fully Funded

Scholarships by Country of Origin

  • African Students
  • Developing Countries

Scholarships by Institution / Company

  • Flinders University
  • German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
  • University of Edinburgh
  • The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS)

Scholarships by School

  • University of Melbourne
  • University Of Queensland, Australia
  • University of East Anglia
  • University of Kent
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use

Scholarships

  • Undergraduate Scholarships
  • Masters Scholarships
  • MBA Scholarships
  • Ph.D Scholarships
  • Fellowship Scholarships
  • Fully Funded Scholarships
  • F1 Visa Interview Questions And Answers
  • Scholarship Application Letter
  • Letter Of Intent For Scholarship
  • Personal Statement For Masters
  • Motivation Letter For Scholarship
  • Scholarship Acceptance Letter

Other Locations

  • Scholarships in UK
  • Scholarships in Canada
  • Scholarships for Nigerian Students
  • Scholarships for African Students
  • Study Abroad Community

5 Harvard MBA Personal Statement Examples

Featured Expert: Aali Malik, MBA

Harvard MBA Personal Statement Examples

Harvard MBA personal statement examples can be helpful to applicants preparing to write their own stellar essays. That's why we've provided five of them for you to review and get inspired. So whether you have your eyes set on Harvard business school or just need some help with your personal statement for a different business school, this post will have some valuable information for you.

>> Want us to help you get accepted? Schedule a free strategy call here . <<

Article Contents 11 min read

An MBA personal statement is a short essay that summarizes your goals and experiences, as well as your reasons for pursuing an MBA and choosing a particular MBA program. It is also sometimes called a goal statement or MBA statement of purpose . A good personal statement should convince the admissions committees that you are the most suitable candidate for their MBA program by showing them your skills, experiences, and values. You can think of MBA personal statements as a cover letter for your MBA application. A cover letter is supposed to showcase your suitability for a professional role, and a personal statement is meant to communicate your suitability for a specific program and school. 

MBA personal statements are an essential part of your application because most graduate programs, like MBAs, look for well-rounded candidates. That's why they want to know more about your motivations and purpose for applying. To make an impression on your chosen business school's admissions committee, you need to show them the person behind the high grades and impressive MBA resume . It's also a great way to show the committee that you have outstanding communication skills, a trait that will serve you well as an MBA student and business leader in the professional world.

Brainstorming for personal statements and reading personal statement examples is also good preparation for MBA interview questions ! ","label":"Tip","title":"Tip"}]" code="tab1" template="BlogArticle">

The admissions committee of most MBA programs will usually pose a question (a prompt) that applicants are expected to answer in essay format. While these questions vary from one program to another and often change from year to year, there are prompts that are commonly used by all programs every application cycle; reviewing common prompts can help you prepare and give you ideas for the statement you will need to write. Harvard Business School (HBS) is a very prestigious institution and the competition to get into their MBA programs is fierce. That's why the admissions committee always gives applicants great personal statement prompts that encourage students to self-reflect on their motivations, perspectives, and goals. This is an excellent way for the admissions team to ensure that your values align with the school's.

Below are some of Harvard's famous prompts with sample answers that will help inspire your own. Pay special attention to the different ways these sample answers respond to the prompt while tying it back to the skills and qualities needed to succeed in business school.  

Looking for tips for writing your MBA resume as well? Take a look at this infographic:

Prompt: Describe an internal conflict (or difficult decision) that you have faced. How did you resolve the situation? What did you learn from this? (500-word limit). 

As a business owner, I frequently encounter the need to make decisions that affect others, but the most difficult decision I have ever had to make was a personal one about my career. 

Five years ago, I worked as a financial manager in a car dealership, and I was rather successful at it. In addition to working as a financial manager, I often spent my weekends working on cars with a friend who owned a small auto repair shop. We often talked about becoming partners and growing the business, but I was too comfortable at my job and unwilling to make such a risky move. My position as a finance manager was well-paid; it involved constant interaction with the public, sales, and business analysis, all of which I enjoy very much. Unfortunately, there was also no room to grow or learn anything new with this position, which I did not enjoy. Eventually, I found that even though I was comfortable, I was not happy with my work, and I was not putting in the same level of effort I once did. It wasn't long before I concluded that I needed to make a change. 

I pride myself on my ability to take a step back, look at the bigger picture and objectively analyze a situation. So that's exactly what I did with my career. I was able to look at the different aspects of my life and the skills that I have to offer. I came to the conclusion that my relative youth and lack of dependents made this the ideal time for me to take a big risk. I also felt that being a business owner would allow me to express my talents effectively and bring a significant contribution to the local economy. So, I decided to take a leap of faith and become part owner in the auto repair shop that my friend owned. 

The process of making this difficult decision and the resulting experience has taught me the importance of considering all options and that some risks are worth taking. I also learned a lot about myself during this process. I devoted numerous hours to contemplating questions such as 'What do I like to do?' 'What am I good at?' 'What role do I wish to play in my community?' I came out on the other side, strengthened and determined. I made that decision four years ago, and since then, I have not looked back or hesitated. It has been a challenging but rewarding experience. We've been able to grow our auto repair shop from a three-person operation to a company that employs twelve mechanics. 

I am dedicated to developing my business administration knowledge for my employees, business partner, and myself. Harvard Business school is the best place for me to do this, as it has a well-rounded curriculum that focuses on building leadership and analytical skills. Both of those are skills that I possess and wish to hone. 

Harvard MBA Personal Statement Example #2

Prompt: What are your three most substantial accomplishments and why do you view them as such? (600-word limit). 

I’ve achieved a few things in my life, many of which are listed on my resume. But my three most substantial accomplishments are not academic or professional. Still, they have significantly impacted every aspect of my life, including how I approach my work and school life.   

1. Leaving my hometown

I know that this is something that hundreds, if not thousands of people do every day, but I believe that it is a substantial accomplishment for many of those people too. I grew up in a small, conservative town with a population of less than 2000, and for a long time, my view of the world did not extend past the borders of our little town. I am an avid reader and was content with traveling only through the words of others. However, as I grew and started thinking about college and the career that I wanted, I realized that I could not succeed the way I wanted to without expanding my worldview. I then had to decide: stay in my comfort zone and settle or leave everything I knew behind and pursue my dreams of being an environmental lawyer. My ambition won. At the age of 17, I packed my bags and moved to the other end of the country. To this day, it is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but it is also the best decision I have ever made. 

2. Becoming a firefighter

Six years ago, I started volunteering as a firefighter, and it has been the most rewarding experience of my life. When I moved to this city, it took me a while to find my footing, but so many amazing resources were available to support me in my transition. So, when I finally settled down, I decided to give back to the community that had welcomed me with open arms, and I wanted to do that in a way that also challenged me. The training to become a firefighter pushed me both physically and mentally, and being in the field also pushed me emotionally. Unfortunately, as a firefighter, there are days when we can't get there in time, or we cannot save everyone. On the other hand, it also serves as a big motivator, and I can honestly say that every time we save someone, it feels like a substantial accomplishment. 

3. Making my workplace go green

One of the many things that I appreciate about my hometown is the community spirit. Everyone often comes together and does their part for the good of the entire community. It's something that I try to take with me everywhere I go. It is why I got involved with the student union in college, why I hope to get involved with the one at HBS, and why I decided to take the initiative and spearhead a project that would have a long-term effect at my workplace. I was able to enlist the help of three of my colleagues. We worked together to digitize the company's filing system, thus increasing efficiency and pushing us forward in our efforts to use less paper. In the last year, we’ve continued working towards becoming a greener company. I am proud of the progress that we’ve made because it took a lot of hard work, but it will positively impact not only the company but also our community. 

I think my accomplishments show a trend of persistence, community spirit, and diligence. I hope to bring all of these to Harvard Business School and carry them with me as I practice as an environmental lawyer in the future. 

Would you like to see these prompts all in one place to help you practice? This infographic is for you:

Prompt: What do you enjoy and what do you dislike about your current job? Why? (300-word limit). 

I have been working in a customer service center for almost a decade. When I first started as a customer service representative, I enjoyed making someone's day a little easier by providing a simple service. Today, I have worked my way up to my current role as Team Leader, and the thing that I enjoy the most about my work has not changed. As a Team Leader, I get to make my agents' days a little easier by doing everything I can to ensure they have what they need to do their job and enjoy the process. 

Another thing that I equally enjoy is that this role is constantly pushing me. I have often had to challenge myself to look for new and creative ways to keep my staff motivated and working as a unit. I am particularly proud of the points reward system that I created for my team, which is now used by all the different teams on the call center floor. 

On the other hand, I dislike my salary. Salary isn't the most important thing for me, but the reality is that money is an important factor when it comes to employment, especially when you have a family to support and bills to pay. I have discussed this with my employer, and unfortunately, there is just not much they can do while I am working in this particular position. 

It is one of the reasons why I wish to attend Harvard Business School. Over the years, as a student union member and then an employee, I have proven that I have the dedication and leadership qualities needed to succeed in a managerial role. Now, I am ready to invest in my future by learning from a school with a track record for creating creative business leaders.  

Harvard MBA Personal Statement Example #4 

Prompt: What are your career aspirations and why? How will you get there? (300-word limit). 

My long-term career goal is to occupy a senior managerial position in a corporation that manufactures, distributes, and markets high-end clothing. I plan to accomplish this by using the knowledge that I will gain from my MBA, and the analytical and leadership skills that I have honed over the years as a marketing director. 

I have been fascinated by fashion since I was a child. I was the kind of little girl who spent hours playing with dolls and trying on her mother's high heels. I have a curious mind and enjoy learning, so I started reading about fashion and its history. My fascination with the clothing industry, and consequently the size of my wardrobe, grew as I learned more about the subject.  

Over the years, as I learned about fashion, completed an undergraduate degree in statistics & marketing, and started working as a marketing specialist, I came to understand that only 50% of a successful business depends on the product or service it sells. The other 50% depends on business operations. If the accounting, marketing, and logistics are not right, then it does not matter how good the product is. Since I, unfortunately, have no talent when it comes to clothing design, my short-term goal is to master everything to do with the second half of running a successful business, and I believe that HBS is the best place for me to do that.  

I genuinely believe that my academic background, love for learning, and over six years of experience in fashion marketing have prepared me to handle the demanding nature of an MBA. I also know that Harvard's well-rounded MBA curriculum will give me the knowledge and network I need to accomplish my short-term goal, thus bringing me closer to my long-term career goal.  

Have you started thinking about MBA interview prep at all yet? You'll want to check out this video when you get to that point:

Harvard MBA Personal Statement Example #5

Question: As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA program? (No specific word count) 

Beyond the achievements and qualifications listed on my resume, I would like you to know that I am a leader who is passionate about education technology, and I believe that Harvard is my calling.  

Harvard Business School is the institution that initially piqued my interest in management sciences. Prof. Jonathan Smith, who taught my introduction to management course at the University of X, is a Harvard alumnus. He introduced me to the IBM portal, where he often read articles and case studies, which I still keep up with today. It is actually one of those articles that convinced me to apply for this Master in Business Administration/Master in Public Administration-International Development program. 

Last year, there was an article about the different ways in which technology can help increase the quality of the education for underserved populations. This topic is very dear to me because I grew up in an immigrant community and saw firsthand what it means to live in a poor, remote part of a country. While I completed my undergraduate teaching degree, I worked as a research assistant for Dr. Jane Laporte, who was conducting a study on a similar topic. She found that children who had access to certain technologies learned a lot better, even when all other circumstances were not ideal. 

I intend to leverage my teaching experience and the business acumen I'll acquire at Harvard to increase access to education through Ed-Tech products. My experience as a teacher in low-income communities has given me the knowledge needed to take on such a project. I also have a proven track record as a leader, starting in high school as a co-president of the student body and captain of the varsity soccer team, continuing in college as an elected vice-president of the student union, and even now, as the head of the teacher's association in my local community. 

Now, I am ready to take the next step in my academic career by attending Harvard Business School and completing the MBA/MPA-IDM program. I have selected this program because it offers a well-rounded curriculum focusing on international development and business administration. I believe that it is the best way for me to acquire the business savvy that I need to fulfill my long-term career goal. 

In short, an MBA personal statement is like the cover letter for your MBA application. It is a short essay that tells the admissions committee about the person behind the application. 

Yes, they are. Your MBA personal statement is an integral part of your application. It is supposed to show the admissions committees what skills, experiences, and fresh perspective you bring to their program. When done correctly, it can make your application stand out. 

Many business schools have a specific word limit, so you should always check the specific requirements or guidelines provided by the school. If there is no word count mentioned, you should aim for around 400-1,000 words. 

It is always a good idea to review personal statement examples and look at statement of purpose examples and tips for assistance in crafting your own statement. Harvard Business School has some excellent prompts that require applicants to dig deep and self-reflect. Therefore, they are a great tool for inspiring applicants who may be having a hard time brainstorming for their own statement. 

Not all schools provide a prompt, but they may provide different requirements. It is essential to always check the specific guidelines provided by your chosen school. 

Yes. Usually, schools will change the essay question every year or every application cycle. However, even if the wording of the prompts change, the core of the questions they ask remain the same. This is why it’s always a good idea to look back at old prompts.

We do not recommend doing this. First, many business schools have specific questions or prompts that your personal essay will need to answer. Secondly, different schools value different things, and your essay should reflect the values and skills that your chosen school is looking for in candidates. 

Yes. We highly recommend having someone else look at your statement to make sure it is grammatically correct, coherent, and compelling. To ensure that this is the case, you might want to consider investing in MBA admissions consulting .

Want more free tips? Subscribe to our channels for more free and useful content!

Apple Podcasts

Like our blog? Write for us ! >>

Have a question ask our admissions experts below and we'll answer your questions, get started now.

Talk to one of our admissions experts

Our site uses cookies. By using our website, you agree with our cookie policy .

FREE Training Webclass: 

How to make your mba application stand out.

And Avoid the Top 5 Mistakes That Get Most Rejected

Time Sensitive. Limited Spots Available:

We guarantee you'll get into your dream MBA program or you don't pay.

Swipe up to see a great offer!

sample personal statement for graduate school in business

  • Career Exploration
  • Arts, Communications, & Media
  • Education, Nonprofit, & Social Impact
  • Business, Consulting, Finance, & Marketing
  • Government, International Affairs, Law, & Public Policy
  • Health Professions Advising
  • Graduate School
  • Signature Internships
  • Grants Program
  • Internship Credit
  • Short Internship Projects (SHIPs)
  • Fellowships for Undergraduates
  • Fellowships for Graduates
  • Class of 2025 Fellowship Planning
  • Fellowships for International Students
  • Civic Engagement

Writing a Personal Statement

Wellesley Career Education logo

Preparing to Write

Brainstorming, don't forget, sample prompts.

A personal statement is a narrative essay that connects your background, experiences, and goals to the mission, requirements, and desired outcomes of the specific opportunity you are seeking. It is a critical component in the selection process, whether the essay is for a competitive internship, a graduate fellowship, or admittance to a graduate school program. It gives the selection committee the best opportunity to get to know you, how you think and make decisions, ways in which past experiences have been significant or formative, and how you envision your future. Personal statements can be varied in form; some are given a specific prompt, while others are less structured. However, in general a personal statement should answer the following questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What are your goals?
  • How does this specific program/opportunity help you achieve your goals?
  • What is in the future?

A personal statement is not:

  • A variation of your college admissions essay
  • An academic/research paper
  • A narrative version of your resume
  • A creative writing piece (it can be creative, though)
  • An essay about somebody else

Keep in mind that your statement is only a portion of the application and should be written with this in mind. Your entire application package will include some, possibly all, of the materials listed below. You will want to consider what these pieces of the application communicate about you. Your personal statement should aim to tie everything together and fill in or address any gaps. There will likely be some overlap but be sure not to be too repetitive.

  • Personal Statement(s)
  • Transcripts
  • Letters of recommendations
  • Sample of written work
  • Research proposal

Preparing to Write A large portion of your work towards completing a personal statement begins well before your first draft or even an outline. It is incredibly important to be sure you understand all of the rules and regulations around the statement. Things to consider before you begin writing:

  • How many prompts? And what are they? It is important to know the basics so you can get your ideas in order. Some programs will require a general statement of interest and a focused supplementary or secondary statement closely aligned with the institution's goals.
  • Are there formatting guidelines? Single or double spaced, margins, fonts, text sizes, etc. Our general guideline is to keep it simple.
  • How do I submit my statement(s)? If uploading a document we highly suggest using a PDF as it will minimize the chances of accidental changes to formatting. Some programs may event ask you to copy and paste into a text box.
  • When do I have to submit my statement(s)? Most are due at the time of application but some programs, especially medical schools, will ask for secondary statements a few months after you apply. In these instances be sure to complete them within two weeks, any longer is an indication that you aren't that interested in the institution.

Before you start writing, take some time to reflect on your experiences and motivations as they relate to the programs to which you are applying. This will offer you a chance to organize your thoughts which will make the writing process much easier. Below are a list of questions to help you get started:

  • What individuals, experiences or events have shaped your interest in this particular field?
  • What has influenced your decision to apply to graduate school?
  • How does this field align with your interests, strengths, and values?
  • What distinguishes you from other applicants?
  • What would you bring to this program/profession?
  • What has prepared you for graduate study in this field? Consider your classes at Wellesley, research and work experience, including internships, summer jobs and volunteer work.
  • Why are you interested in this particular institution or degree program?
  • How is this program distinct from others?
  • What do you hope to gain?
  • What is motivating you to seek an advanced degree now?
  • Where do you see yourself headed and how will this degree program help you get there?

For those applying to Medical School, if you need a committee letter for your application and are using the Medical Professions Advisory Committee you have already done a lot of heavy lifting through the 2017-2018 Applicant Information Form . Even if you aren't using MPAC the applicant information form is a great place to start.

Another great place to start is through talking out your ideas. You have a number of options both on and off campus, such as: Career Education advisors and mentors ( you can set up an appointment here ), major advisor, family, friends. If you are applying to a graduate program it is especially important to talk with a faculty member in the field. Remember to take good notes so you can refer to them later.

When you begin writing keep in mind that your essay is one of many in the application pool. This is not to say you should exaggerate your experiences to “stand out” but that you should focus on clear, concise writing. Also keep in mind that the readers are considering you not just as a potential student but a future colleague. Be sure to show them examples and experiences which demonstrate you are ready to begin their program.

It is important to remember that your personal statement will take time and energy to complete, so plan accordingly. Every application and statement should be seen as different from one another, even if they are all the same type of program. Each institution may teach you the same material but their delivery or focus will be slightly different.

In addition, remember:

  • Be yourself: You aren’t good at being someone else
  • Tragedy is not a requirement, reflection and depth are
  • Research the institution or organization
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread
  • How to have your personal statement reviewed

The prompts below are from actual applications to a several types of programs. As you will notice many of them are VERY general in nature. This is why it is so important to do your research and reflect on your motivations. Although the prompts are similar in nature the resulting statements would be very different depending on the discipline and type of program, as well as your particular background and reasons for wanting to pursue this graduate degree.

  • This statement should illustrate your academic background and experiences and explain why you would excel in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (UMass Amherst - M.S. in Civil Engineering).
  • Describe your academic and career objectives and how the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies can help you achieve them. Include other considerations that explain why you seek admissions to the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and your interests in the environmental field (Yale - Master of Environmental Management).  
  • Please discuss your academic interests and goals. Include your current professional and research interests, as well as your long-range professional objectives. Please be as specific as possible about how your objectives can be met at Clark and do not exceed 800 words (Clark University - M.A. in International Development and Social Change).
  • Write a 500- to 700-word statement that describes your work or research. Discuss how you came to focus on the medium, body of work, or academic area you wish to pursue at the graduate level. Also discuss future directions or goals for your work, and describe how the Master of Fine Arts in Studio (Printmedia) is particularly suited to your professional goals (School of the Art Institute of Chicago - MFA in Studio, Printmaking).
  • Your statement should explain why you want to study economics at the graduate level. The statement is particularly important if there is something unusual about your background and preparation that you would like us to know about you (University of Texas at Austin - Ph.D in Economics).
  • Your personal goal statement is an important part of the review process for our faculty members as they consider your application. They want to know about your background, work experience, plans for graduate study and professional career, qualifications that make you a strong candidate for the program, and any other relevant information (Indiana University Bloomington - M.S.Ed. in Secondary Education).
  • Your autobiographical essay/personal statement is a narrative that outlines significant experiences in your life, including childhood experiences, study and work, your strengths and aspirations in the field of architecture, and why you want to come to the University of Oregon (University of Oregon - Master of Architecture).
  • Personal history and diversity statement, in which you describe how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. You may refer to any educational, familial, cultural, economic or social experiences, challenges, community service, outreach activities, residency and citizenship, first-generation college status, or opportunities relevant to your academic journey; how your life experiences contribute to the social, intellectual or cultural diversity within a campus community and your chosen field; or how you might serve educationally underrepresented and underserved segments of society with your graduate education (U.C. Davis - M.A. in Linguistics).
  • A Personal Statement specifying your past experiences, reasons for applying, and your areas of interest. It should explain your intellectual and personal goals, why you are interested in pursuing an interdisciplinary degree rather than a more traditional disciplinary one, and how this degree fits into your intellectual and personal future (Rutgers University - Ph.D in Women’s and Gender Studies).
  • Your application requires a written statement to uploaded into your application and is a critical component of your application for admission. This is your opportunity to tell us what excites you about the field of library and information science, and what problems you want to help solve in this field. Please also tell us how your prior experiences have prepared you for this next step toward your career goals and how this program will help you achieve them (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill - Master of Science in Library Science).
  • After watching the video, please describe what strengths and preferences as a learner you have that will facilitate your success in this innovative curriculum. What challenges in our curriculum do you anticipate and what strategies might you use to address these challenges? (MGH Institute of Health Professions PT - They recently redesigned their curriculum)
  • Your personal goal statement should briefly describe how you view the future of the field, what your goals are to be part of that future, and what brought you to pursue an advanced education degree in your chosen field. You may include any other information that you feel might be useful. (Northeastern PT)
  • Personal Statement: In 500 words or less, describe a meaningful educational experience that affected your professional goals and growth and explain how it impacted you. The educational experience does not need to be related to this degree. Focus on the educational experience and not why you think you would be a good professional in this field. (Simmons PT)
  • Personal Statement (500 word minimum): State your reasons for seeking admission to this program at this institution. Include your professional goals, why you want to pursue a career in this field and how admission to this program will assist you in accomplishing those goals. (Regis College Nursing)
  • “Use the space provided to explain why you want to go to this type of program.” (AMCAS)
  • Address the following three questions(Though there is no set limit, most statements are 1–2 pages, single-spaced.): What are your reasons for pursuing this degree? Why do you wish to pursue your degree at this institution? How do you intend to leverage your degree in a career of this field? (Boston University MPH)
  • Please submit a personal statement/statement of purpose of no more than 500 words for the department/degree of choice. Professional degree essays require a clear understanding of the _______ field and how you hope to work within the field. Be sure to proofread your personal statement carefully for spelling and grammar. In your statement, be sure to address the following: what interests you in the field of _____ what interests you in a specific degree program and department at this institution and what interests you in a particular certificate (if applicable). Please also describe how you hope to use your ________ training to help you achieve your career goals. (Columbia PhD in Public Health - Epidemiology)
  • Because each Home Program requires significant original research activities in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, we are interested in obtaining as much information as possible about your previous research experiences. Those who already have such experience are in a better position to know whether they are truly interested in performing ______ research as part of a graduate program. Please include specific information about your research experience in your Statement of Purpose. You may also use the Statement to amplify your comments about your choice of Home Program(s), and how your past experiences and current interests are related to your choice. Personal Statements should not exceed two pages in length (single spaced). Make sure to set your computer to Western European or other English-language setting. We cannot guarantee the ability to access your statement if it is submitted in other fonts. (Stanford Biosciences PhD)
  • Your statement of purpose should describe succinctly your reasons for applying to the Department of ____ at ___ University. It would be helpful to include what you have done to prepare for this degree program. Please describe your research interests, past research experience, future career plans and other details of your background and interests that will allow us to evaluate your ability to thrive in our program. If you have interests that align with a specific faculty member, you may state this in your application. Your statement of purpose should not exceed two pages in length (single spaced). (Stanford Bioengineering PhD)
  • Statement of purpose (Up to one page or 1,000 words): Rather than a research proposal, you should provide a statement of purpose. Your statement should be written in English and explain your motivation for applying for the course at this institution and your relevant experience and education. Please provide an indication of the area of your proposed research and supervisor(s) in your statement. This will be assessed for the coherence of the statement; evidence of motivation for and understanding of the proposed area of study; the ability to present a reasoned case in English; and commitment to the subject. (Oxford Inorganic Chemistry - DPhil)

Related resources

IMAGES

  1. FREE 8+ Personal Statement Samples in PDF

    sample personal statement for graduate school in business

  2. How to Make/Create a Personal Statement for Grad School [Templates

    sample personal statement for graduate school in business

  3. FREE 7+ Sample Personal Statement For Graduate School in MS Word

    sample personal statement for graduate school in business

  4. Graduate School Personal Statement

    sample personal statement for graduate school in business

  5. 50 Statement Of Purpose Examples (Graduate School, MBA, PhD) ᐅ

    sample personal statement for graduate school in business

  6. FREE 7+ Sample Personal Statement For Graduate School in MS Word

    sample personal statement for graduate school in business

VIDEO

  1. Reading My Medical School Personal Statement + Advice

  2. Writing a Personal or Diversity Statement for Master’s or PhD Programs

  3. Write an Incredible Personal Statement: 3 Steps with Examples

  4. PTDF Motivation Letter Sample| #nigerianscholarships

  5. Personal Statement Workshop

  6. Presidential Business School

COMMENTS

  1. Business School Personal Statement Examples

    Example #3. James Broughton said, "The only limits are, as always, those of vision". Truer words have never been spoken, for I believe that vision is the foundation upon which the impossible is built. Leadman University School of Business' mission is centered on vision because, like me, the leadership of the institution believes that with ...

  2. 3 Successful Graduate School Personal Statement Examples

    Sample Personal Statement for Graduate School 3. PDF of Sample Graduate School Personal Statement 3 - Public Health. This is my successful personal statement for Columbia's Master's program in Public Health. We'll do a deep dive on this statement paragraph-by-paragraph in the next section, but I'll highlight a couple of things that ...

  3. How to Write Your Personal Statement

    A personal statement is a short essay of around 500-1,000 words, in which you tell a compelling story about who you are, what drives you, and why you're applying. To write a successful personal statement for a graduate school application, don't just summarize your experience; instead, craft a focused narrative in your own voice. Aim to ...

  4. How to Write a Top MBA Personal Statement (With Examples)

    Research the program you're applying for and use examples from the curriculum. Example: "My immediate goal is to transition from project management to strategic consulting, and Crummer's MBA program's focus on experiential learning and global business strategy perfectly complements my aspirations.".

  5. Personal Statement Examples for Graduate School 2022+

    Graduate Personal Statement Examples. Below are three personal statement examples for grad school. Read these to get an idea of what to expect when writing yours. Keep in mind that different schools may have specific requirements. Some might give you a prompt to write your personal statement. Make sure to answer the prompt fully.

  6. Business Management Masters Personal Statement Sample

    This is an example personal statement for a Masters degree application in Business Management. See our guide for advice on writing your own postgraduate personal statement. Businesses have been instrumental in building our modern way of living. The versatility and innovation of business quickly captured my attention when I started my first job ...

  7. Personal Statement Examples for Graduate School: Good, Bad ...

    Comparing Graduate School Personal Statement Examples. Below I will share types of personal statement examples: one with a strong writing approach and one that lacks clarity and may cause confusion for an admissions committee reader. Then I will describe the strengths and weaknesses of each example. Introduction Paragraph Examples:

  8. How to Write a Stand-Out Personal Statement for Grad School

    Step 3: Figure Out Your Angle. Your "angle," or focus, in your graduate school personal statement will depend on a few key factors: What your grad program wants you to write about. Your field of study and research interests. How much experience you have in your field.

  9. Writing Personal Statements for Graduate School

    Personal Statements. Preparing a well-written and effective personal statement (sometimes referred to as statements of purpose or personal essays) that clearly articulates your preparation, goals, and motivation for pursuing that specific graduate degree is critically important. You will need to spend a considerable amount of time and effort in ...

  10. How to Write a Personal Statement for Grad School: Tips & Samples

    While deciding to embark on the path to graduate school is an exciting first step toward advancing your career, the application process can sometimes feel daunting and confusing.. One major part of the application that most schools require is a personal statement. Writing a personal statement can be an arduous task: After all, most people don't necessarily enjoy writing about themselves, let ...

  11. Harvard Graduate School Personal Statement Examples

    Reading Harvard graduate school personal statement examples can help organize your thoughts, experiences, and knowledge to craft your own above-average personal statement. ... Arts and Sciences offers master's and PhD degrees in various areas of study, ranging from the arts and humanities to business administration and physics. As such, each ...

  12. How to Write a Graduate School Personal Statement (with example!)

    Personal statements are your chance to get, well, personal. While you should answer the prompt in its entirety, you should also write about yourself. Bring a personal element into your essay like family or a story of you overcoming an obstacle. Ideally, your story should relate to what you're trying to accomplish at your graduate school of ...

  13. [2024] 8 MBA Personal Statement Examples from Top Programs

    In this Article [ hide] Personal Statement Examples. Example 1: The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Example 2: W. P. Carey School of Business - Arizona State University. Example 3: Duke's Fuqua School of Business. Example 4: Harvard Business School. Example 5: Schulich School of Business, York University.

  14. 100+ Grad School Personal Statement Examples

    Your personal statement should also address your future goals and career aspirations. You should discuss both your short-term (3-5 year) and long-term (10-15 year) goals in your grad school personal statement. Explain the motivation behind them, and connect these goals to the graduate program you're applying to.

  15. MBA Personal Statement Examples for 2022 Applicants

    Your academic record, GMAT scores, and GPA are important factors in the MBA application process. But, more than that, business schools ultimately care about who you are and whether you would be a good fit for their program. This is where your application essays come in. The goal here is to complete the picture that your scores and stats began ...

  16. How to Write a Great MBA Personal Statement

    First, they state the applicant's goals, then identify three or four crucial experiences that helped shape those goals. Frequently, candidates also include how those experiences helped form their values. Another admissions consultant argues that emphasizing values is necessary within any approach or structure.

  17. Outstanding MBA Personal Statement Examples

    Why it Works: This is a fantastic sample of a MBA personal statement for many reasons. Firstly, the applicant doesn't waste any time and gets right into an explanation of their personal goals and aspirations at the beginning of their essay, which then ties into a brief explanation of the source of their inspiration.

  18. 7 Outstanding MBA Personal Statement Examples

    Graduate school programs may also ask for a statement of purpose to ask you further questions about yourself, so review some graduate school statement of purpose examples and tips for extra help. The key is delivering a personal answer while tying it back to the skills and qualities needed to succeed in business school.

  19. How to Write a Personal Statement

    Watch out for cliches like "making a difference," "broadening my horizons," or "the best thing that ever happened to me." 3. Stay focused. Try to avoid getting off-track or including tangents in your personal statement. Stay focused by writing a first draft and then re-reading what you've written.

  20. Writing Your Personal Statements

    Your personal statement should focus on two main aspects: your competence and commitment. 1. Identify your strengths in terms of competence that indicate that you will succeed in the grad program and provide examples to support your claims. Start your statement by describing your strengths immediately. Because faculty will be reading many ...

  21. Personal Statement For Masters (17 PDF Sample Examples)

    7. speech and language therapy personal statement. statement of purpose for masters sample: speech and language therapy. 8. business administration personal statement. personal statement for masters in business administration. 9. personal statement for masters in cyber security pdf.

  22. Harvard MBA Personal Statement Examples

    Harvard MBA personal statement examples can be helpful to applicants preparing to write their own stellar essays. That's why we've provided five of them for you to review and get inspired. So whether you have your eyes set on Harvard business school or just need some help with your personal statement for a different business school, this post will have some valuable information for you.

  23. Graduate School Personal Statement

    A graduate school personal statement is a statement written by a person upon his/her admission to graduate school. In writing this statement, the individual, or in this case, the applicant would include his/her attributes and qualifications and other things that makes him/her fit for admission, and may include why he/she wants to attend the ...

  24. Writing a Personal Statement

    A personal statement is a narrative essay that connects your background, experiences, and goals to the mission, requirements, and desired outcomes of the specific opportunity you are seeking. It is a critical component in the selection process, whether the essay is for a competitive internship, a graduate fellowship, or admittance to a graduate school program.