A Statement of Purpose (SOP), also known as a personal statement is a long application essay was written by the applicant to be sent to the university, graduate school or college for admission. This essay is written to specify the student’s ambitions, why they have chosen the particular career path, what motivated them this far throughout their academic progress and any former work experience.
Often, universities demand a question – based essay or require the Statement of Purpose. There are numerous aspects included in an SoP which makes it almost a 1000 – word essay (most encourage at least 1500 to 2000 words).
The format of the MBA Statement of Purpose
It might somewhat be a difficult task to put in everything about your career, goals, and endeavors into a limited – word essay. Below are listed in order, some important elements you must not forget to mention in your Statement of Purpose :
- Your background
- Your accomplishments and pursuits of your professional life
- Your goals and ambitions for your career
- Your purpose of choosing an MBA and why do feel the need to go for higher education
- Your reason to choose the university as being the best to pursue MBA
The length and Word Count for a Statement of Purpose for MBA
There are two categories of students when it comes to an SoP. One of the two take it as an opportunity to soar high and therefore end up writing too much about themselves which is mostly unnecessary. The others are too lazy to put in their efforts and treat the SoP as a formality, so they fill it as a form.
You would want to be neither of the two. Your SoP should be long enough to include significant details about your career and academics. No university or college specify the word limit which implies that you have the liberty to write without any number of words.
However, a standard essay consists of at least 1500 words. You do not want to bore the admission committee by writing the same thing that you have mentioned in your resume. Instead, be unique and let it come naturally with the flow.
What to include in Statement of Purpose for an MBA?
Writing an SOP for MBA is entirely different from writing an SOP for other postgraduate programs. Here are some primary things to keep in mind and include while writing an SOP to add more value to it :
Define your short term and long term goals clearly
You must put forth a clear view of your short as well as long term goals in your SoP, unlike the ones for an MS or MA. Define the nature of the work you wish to do and in which position. If you have a list of companies already selected, mention them as well so that the reader knows how clear you are about your endeavors. The more your mind is clear, the better your SoP will be.
Past achievements at work
Even though you are defining your goals, your experience and what you have achieved becomes equally important as that counterbalances your goals. Don’t just make a simple mention of your achievement but describe it in details and prove how big it was. That portrays your personality clearly, and the concerned authorities can analyze your decision – making skills.
Admission committees are not just looking for managers, but socially responsible manners, who know people and how to handle situations with responsibility. It is usually the best universities that seek for this aspect of your life in your SoP. Your volunteering could be small, after office or college hours, but doing it for a cause is what matters. As it is not just your career that matters, but also an advancement in your responsibilities.
It is a widespread belief that inclusion of co-curricular activities in your SoP is strictly prohibited. But it is incredibly normal and important to make them a part of it. You might be passionate about music or sports, and letting the university authorities know about your personal life validates how you have balanced both the academic and non-academic platforms. A Statement of Purpose is all about the student. Therefore personal aspects like these play a vital role.
How a particular university would help you achieve your ambitions
Only mentioning about your career path or your goal is not enough. You need to ensure that the university that you choose is the channel through which you would achieve your goals and how it would help you do so. It could be a student club or association of that university, or it could also be the company that you have chosen to be hired in. Make your SoP ‘university specific’ as that would clarify how capable you are of taking up the program and doing full justice to it through the support of the university you choose.
What to not include in Statement of Purpose FOR mba?
While you have just read about the do’s in your SoP, there are certain things you must never include :
All achievement of your life
Remember that an SOP is to showcase your personality in the best way possible. Writing about all your accomplishments since childhood is not the right way. You need to handpick from them that would be relevant to this context and would impact your admission process. Mentioning about all your achievements will simply bore the admission committee, and that is not the impression you want to create.
Your family background
As mentioned earlier, you need to write about yourself as that is the sole purpose of an SOP. Your family history and their background are of no use to the university as you have already mentioned about them and their required details in the application. Do not waste your words or ramble about any of your family members or the whole. Just stick to yourself and include effective and necessary information.
Why do you need a Statement of Purpose for MBA?
A Statement of Purpose is essentially the most significant element of your admission requirements as it portrays your personality as a whole. The admission committees look for candidates who have a clear purpose and determination to pursue the given program and how diligent they are towards their goals.
How to write a Statement of Purpose?
Every university and graduate school has a different set of standards to be met when it is a matter of technical requirements. While some want a precise 1000 – word essay, others require a detailed description of your academics thus far, inclusive of your curriculum performance and potential.
There is nothing to be anxious about, as the solution to writing an impactful statement of purpose is simple. You can create a long-lasting impression by conveying your message naturally.
Here are a few steps you need to follow in writing a concise Statement of Purpose :
- Do not begin with clichéd statements like ‘It is an honor to apply to this program…’. Uniquely introduce yourself as that is how the professors and the admission committee would perceive you to be. Your opening paragraph should be interesting to keep the authorities concerned, glued to your essay. You could begin trying to open with a quote, personal work experience or an anecdote. Since hundreds of candidates will be writing an SoP, make sure your use of words is innovative to stand out amongst the others.
- Have your ideas clear while writing. Be concise and coherent. Do not waste your words beating around the bush but utilize them to describe your passion about your career or the subject. Attempt to convey your message in a few words, therefore making it compact. Do not become repetitive and make your statement long.
- Your vocabulary will make the most difference as that will determine the tone of your SoP. Make a careful choice of words. You do not have to grind your dictionary to use big words. Neither should you simplify your content to the extent that it seems to be written by a school – goer. You can choose to sound humorous at certain parts (only if necessary) but likewise, use your words appropriately to showcase your capabilities and caliber. Since an SoP is a strict business, do not write ridiculously or use offensive words. As long as you can handle your essay uniquely and creatively with a strong command over your vocabulary, you are great to go.
- The final step to make your SoP error-free is to proofread it. Nothing can be more disappointing than an essay sent for a postgraduate level of education consisting of grammatical and spelling mistakes. Proofreading is also essential to structure the format of your essay. It would also be recommended to have your essay proofread by a friend to make any additional changes. Re-read your essay after two days or so, and you might find newer or better ideas to rephrase your statement.
Once you have followed the given steps, you can send your SoP to the respective colleges and schools you wish to study in.