How to Tackle MBA Essay Questions?

Gauri Khatri

Gauri Khatri

Founder, Pegasus Global Consultants

The admissions Committee tend to change the essay questions every year. The intent behind changing the pattern is to discourage plagiarism and encourage original statements. Let us discuss five common questions asked and the best approach to answer them.


Why an MBA? (Career objectives, Long term, and short-term goals)

Why an MBA? Is a critical question. You should understand if the focus is on your past “What shepherd you to an MBA”? or on your future “what do you plan to do after completing your MBA”? These questions cover different timelines


· Past: How your experiences and future goals led you to this point

· Present: How does an MBA fit into your career right now

· Future: Long- and short-term goals concerning an MBA degree

· Why keen on pursuing an MBA from a particular school?

· Why an MBA? Why not any other Master’s program?


The Admissions Committee is looking for the bridge between your past and future. Your answer requires conviction that your past and present experience are essential and an MBA will add value to your existing profile and broaden your horizon in terms of future goals (e.g., aiming to float a startup). Credit your past experiences and highlight how the MBA will assimilate both experiences and benefit your career objectives.


Handling Weakness and Failure

The Admissions Committee is not scrutinising your failure. Everyone has failed at some point; however, how you dealt with the debacle is a great insight to your character. How you responded to non-fulfillment and what was your most significant learning from the failure. The Adcom is looking for a candidate that has the maturity to admit defeat and courage to take responsibility for it as well.



Leadership is always the essence of an MBA application. The Admission Committee is not just gauging your understanding of leadership but also your attitude towards it. Experience in a leadership role is not sufficient to convince the committee you understand the concept of leadership. You need to exhibit how well versed are you with it. You need to manifest an unambiguous understanding of your style of leadership. How you influence, inspire, encourage are a testimony to your approach towards leadership.


Unique and Distinctive

The Admissions Committee wants to understand your background, experience, potential and work experience. What exactly sets you apart from others? How will you be beneficial to the program and vice versa? A misconception that most MBA aspirants have is that the Adcom is looking for reasons to reject your application; however, all that they are looking for is a candidate that stands out in a crowd. An ideal essay is not one that covers all aspects; It is the one that balances the right credentials with diversity.


Ethics and Values

Honestly, moral values, beliefs, and ethics are debatable. A candidate’s over the top allegiance with Fair play, and honest dealing is not going to impress the Adcom. However, showing commitment to values that are unique and can show tested evidence to your engagement in moments of temptation will add positive endorsement to your application.

Share this post:

More Articles

Specialized Masters Programs

Graduate students and young professionals are eager to take up “specialized” master programs more than the regular masters’ programs like Masters Program in Computer Science,

Masters in Management

MIM or Masters in Management is a premium post-graduate degree meant for individuals who have just graduated or are young professionals.   Why would you