Specific SOPs: MBA
Unlike other specific master’s courses like Computer Engineering, Chemistry, Commerce etc, MBA is a field, which people pursue for several reasons. For instance, anengineering or a law graduate may want to pursue a degree in management, which has nothing in common with his/her graduation degree. Hence, spelling out your objectives in an SOP becomes tricky while applying for an MBA program.
First of all, lets consider the reasons why most Indian students REALLY pursue an MBA degree:
- Bored with a software job, no growth opportunities without a management degree.
- Career change/ change of industry due to less scope/opportunities
- Desire to become entrepreneur
- Desire to move up the position ladder like leadership roles or managerial roles
- Building professional network
- Company-sponsorship for MBA
- Everyone is doing MBA
- Inspired from celebrity management profiles
However, you must understand that not all of these reasons can be stated in an MBA SOP. So what should you include?
Background : Regardless of your family being in the business or your direct connection with management or your graduation in engineering or accountancy, you must state your background. You have to mention from where you did your graduation and your purpose for the specific subject you had chosen.
Personal traits/interests : This becomes especially crucial if you have absolutely no management related background. You must relate some of your personal traits such as organization or networking abilities, experience of managing a college fest or event, communication skills, people skills, extroversion etc. Just think of qualities you would see in a manager and check if you possess some of them.
Specific interest : For an MBA program, you will have to highlight why you want to ONLY pursue Finance or Marketing or Human Resources. Here too, you must quote real-time examples of your personality traits to add emphasis to your area of interest. If you have any work experience in the related field or a specific project that you did during college, which brought out your management skill, highlight it.
What you are looking for : Do a thorough research of the B-School you are applying for. Try to see how its research facilities or summer programs or reputation etc will add value to your management learning. This will show how passionate you are about getting an admission to this school. State how exactly this specific MBA program will further your own career goals.
Academic achievements : Don’t forget to mention your academic achievements that show your sincerity and merit.
Long-term goals : Explain how an MBA degree is going to benefit your long-term career plan. Describe how much you need to pursue this degree and the specific contribution/achievements you see for yourself and for society in general. Understand that B-Schools are looking for focused and initiated individuals who would positively contribute to the reputation of the school.
Most importantly, be very honest in writing an MBA SOP. Don’t get someone else to write it for you. Keep it real and truthful.