What Are the Different Types of MBA Application Essays?. Nail your admission journey with expert insights. Your path to success starts here!

What Are the Different Types of MBA Application Essays?

When it comes to MBA admission,  admissions committees of various business schools evaluate multiple  elements of your profile in addition to your GMAT / GRE scores and your GPAs. The evaluation process in most cases tends to be holistic in nature  wherein the admission committee really wants to know you and understand why you want to pursue  the MBA program. MBA application essays play a significant role in the admission process as they can best showcase your merit, your experience, your cultural fit to the admission committee. A well written MBA essay gives a clear picture of your career goals, your value system, your cultural fit , while detailing out reasons for applying to particular MBA programs. There are different types of topics for MBA application essays which can vary from school to school and from program to programs. 

Here we list some commonly asked MBA application essay topics.

Your plans post the MBA

This most commonly asked application question by business schools helps them to understand your career goals both in the short term and the long term. By asking this question, the admissions committee is trying to assess whether the program can meet your career expectations, as you will be investing significant time and money in pursuing the program. ‘Career goals’ is an essay topic that gives you an opportunity to narrate yours prior experience, why you intend to pursue an given career track, how the school will help you build the missing skills and experience that will be critical for pursuing your desired career choice. Almost all schools will have a question that is directly or indirectly linked to “What are your short-term goals after MBA and why”? Some even ask for your long term career plans as they want to evaluate how you will contribute to the school and the program as an alumni. 

Your leadership experience and past achievements 

These essay topics are asked to get a clear picture of the candidate’s past achievements as well as leadership qualities. Most business schools prefer to choose candidates who show competency and promise of excellence both in academics and in extracurricular activities. Through this question, candidates get a opportunity to talk about their leadership achievements, what it means to them and what that experience has taught them about themselves overall. Stressing on the people aspect is often critical for having an impact on the admissions committee. As most MBA programs stress on leadership development, this essay will provide you opportunity to talk about what is your interpretation and leadership since it can vary from person to person and from situation to situation. HEC PARIS has asked an essay question on this topic: “Ethics and leadership are twined in the business niche. Write about a situation where you have addressed these issues and how you got influenced by them”?

Video Essay

Many MBA candidates may be new to the video essay concept, but many business schools have adopted it as an essential part of the application process. Video essays are great ways to guess your interpersonal skills and check whether your story is authentic. It also helps the admission committee to get a quick look at your personality and even test your communication skills and your ability to think on the spot. Business schools may ask you to say something about the particular aspects of your life, your career goals, and some kind of past experience that can highlight your potential. You may be asked to talk about something related to the course you chose to study. MIT Sloan School for Management asks candidates to make a 60-second introduction video while Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management requires their candidates to answer the question: “Which arena you are interested in following and how will you get there”? McCombs on the other hand has completely done away with the inperson interview and replace it with a series of 7 video essay questions to test your personality and your leadership skills.


This type of essay covers a wide variety of questions for candidates to answer. Some topics ask you to highlight your weak points, failures, and achievements in life whereas others may need you to elaborate on the answer to the question, ‘What matters to you most and why’? Self-reflection topics help the admission committee to get a clear picture of your strengths, weaknesses, your passions and your overall personality. This question helps them evaluate if you will be a good cultural fit for their cohort and will adhere to their value system and their core principles. 

Initiatives and contributions

Initiatives from students have an essential role in a business school’s development and popularity. It is a part of the school culture too. With a contribution essay, the admission committee can understand and evaluate what you can contribute to your fellow students and to the school. An example for this type of essay is that NYU Stern has the following question prompt
In today’s global business environment, the only constant is change. Using NYU Stern’s brand call to action, we want to know how you view change. Change: _____ it. Fill in the blank with a word of your choice. Why does this word resonate with you? How will you embrace your own personal tagline while at Stern? 

When do you have to submit the MBA essay during the application process?

You should have a clear idea of when you will want to submit the MBA essay during the whole application process. This is essential to be well-prepared and use the chance to stand out from the crowd. Most business schools ask the candidates to submit the essay on the final deadline. However, some schools shortlist their candidates from their application form and ask only them to provide MBA essays

An essay on your achievements and how they have influenced your decision will take a lot of writing and rewriting. It is generally found that students write upto 10 drafts to provide a brilliantly written essay. So, candidates should ensure they give themselves enough time to complete an essay. People choose an MBA degree to grow and leave their marks in the chosen area. 

According to experts and Admission Committee members of various business schools, to write a winning essay, candidates have to do a lot of research and reflection until the final product gets enough details, and assures clarity to seize the attention of the admission committee. With the help of our overseas MBA consulting services, increase your chances of being accepted into prestigious business schools around the globe.