How to write a Statement of Purpose (SOP) for MBA?

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Rachit Agrawal
Modified on 2019-03-30 in SOP
Read time: 17 mins

SOURCE: ChetChat

It is important to realize that an SOP plays a big role in admittance to a business school. An excellent SOP for MBA will help you create an impression & stand out among the crowd. It might also demonstrate to the institution how enthusiastic you’re about the course.

Many students find themselves in a tough situation since they don’t understand how to compose an SOP for MBA. They don’t know what they should mention and what they should leave out. Writing SOP for MBA is a stressful procedure for any student and making the slightest blunder can stress them out. However, you should not be concerned!

SOP FOR MBA FORMAT

The SOP for MBA should flow smoothly, and every one of the paragraphs should be in the proper order. Simply put, you need to narrate your story to the institution admissions board that displays your ideas and point of view. Now, let us look at the format of SOP for MBA:

  • First Para: The SOP for MBA can be split into 3-4 sections, each with a distinct purpose. The very first para usually responds to the questions like ‘how did you conclude to pursue an MBA’. It should also highlight your prime motive for enrolling in this course. This paragraph acts as the start to your SOP & therefore is important for creating a positive impression on the institution. Make sure to be as imaginative, original, and witty as possible in this paragraph of the SOP.
  • Second Para: The second para should go over your background, professional and academic accomplishments, and university objectives. When discussing your goals, remember to properly differentiate between long and short-term goals by discussing subjects such as ‘where do you see yourself in the next few years’ or ‘what strategies you have in mind to reach these goals.’
  • Third & Fourth Para: This paragraph should explain why you want to get an MBA as well as how the institution you choose will assist you in achieving your goals. Also, you can indicate how a certain professor from the university can assist you in obtaining the most thorough educational experiences, which will be beneficial to your development.
  • Fifth/conclusion Para: The final paragraph, which will serve as the SOP’s conclusion, should be strong and effective. You can write about how you intend to serve the institution and also how your previous experiences will actively influence fellow students. In short, your SOP for MBA must show that you’ll be a valuable asset to the institution.

How to Start an SOP?

Although there aren’t any hard rules for applicants, here are some major insights that the university entrance committee looks for in a SOP for MBA:

Introduction

The opening paragraph of a SOP for MBA is the introduction of the applicant. The introduction section should be well-written and revised as it gives the reader an insight into your overall character. Here are things you must mention in your SOP for MBA introduction para:

  • What program have you already studied and from which institute?
  • What city are you currently residing in?
  • Why do you want to do MBA?
  • What events influenced your decision?
  • Which program are you interested in?

Academic Goal

The next thing to mention in a SOP for MBA is your academic goal & background. It is important to give an insight into your previous academic achievements to impress and prove your worth to the admission board. Here are a few things you must mention in a SOP for MBA about your academics:

  • Projects you’ve worked on.
  • Participation in field-related activity.
  • Membership of clubs that have helped you gain relevant skills.

Professional Goal

Mentioning professional goals is a crucial element of your SOP for MBA in the United States, Australia, Canada, or any other renowned overseas study destination. It can help you show your professional competence. Some prompts for writing a SOP for MBA are listed below:

  • Notable accomplishments like awards, promotions, and recognition.
  • Contribution to an organization or field that has been notable.
  • Skills such as teamwork, multi-cultural or international exposure, creativity, and so on.
  • Some soft skills such as leadership, sincerity, work ethics.

Career Goals & Vision

Stating your career goals & vision in a SOP for MBA will enable the reader to understand your future goals & plans. This will show your seriousness and maturity in your field. Don’t exaggerate your paragraphs by stating unrealistic future goals that are irrelevant to your present accomplishments. Try to connect your academic goals and career goals to make an effective SOP for MBA.

Here are some things to mention while writing about your career goals:

  • Mention both short & long-term future career goals.
  • Connect the details from your professional & academic goals to your future career goals.
  • Also, explain how getting MBA from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, or another university can assist you in accomplishing your goals.

Reasons to Choose Specific University

Now, the answer to this question in your SOP for MBA will make you stand out in the crowd. Correctly answering “why you want to get enrolled in a specific university” will surely impress the admission committee. Here are some things you can mention in the SOP for MBA about choosing a specific university/college:

  • How you can contribute to the university’s achievement history.
  • Connecting your skillset and achievement with the university’s education system. 
  • Showing that you’re seeking the same type of education that the university is providing. 

Conclusion

Finally, end the SOP for MBA with a note of how you’re a good fit for the program and the university you’re applying to. Here are some things you can mention while concluding the SOP for MBA:

  • Why you’re a suitable student for the university.
  • What things do you have to offer to the university?

Check Out: How to write SOP for MBA


How to Write Statement of Purpose for MBA?

Many MBA programs make no mention of SOP for MBA and leave that to the applicants to decide. Many candidates take advantage of the chance and begin writing paragraphs emphasizing their qualifications. However, that’s not the best method. Drafting a SOP for MBA with so many paragraphs might make it appear quite monotonous, and there’s also a huge possibility that it will go unnoticed.

Instead, keep in mind to offer necessary details that won’t bore the reader. Do not write something that doesn’t make sense. Only include relevant and relevant details that you believe the board should be must know. If the institution has not specified a word count, try to wrap up your SOP for MBA between 1200 – 1500 words. Make sure your SOP for MBA has a professional appearance and focuses on quality over quantity.

Here are some tips to keep in consideration while writing your Statement of Purpose (SOP):

  1. Make sure there’s a link between the sections; they need to be connected. All the paragraphs should be in sync with each other in your SOP for MBA.
  2. When creating your SOP, use a professional & formal tone.
  3. Give the introductory & conclusion paragraphs special attention because they help the SOP for MBA stand out from the rest.
  4. Follow the instructions provided by the college/business institution to which you are enrolling.
  5. All of the data you mention should be about MBA & how getting one from a specific university may be a game-changer in your profession.
  6. Plan the SOP, identify what you need to write & put it together in a logical order.
  7. Plagiarism is a big NO when writing a SOP for MBA. A plagiarised SOP will be rejected by the board immediately. So, only write original content. 
  8. Your SOP is like a link between you & the B-school. So, present yourself in a visually-pleasing manner.
  9. Finally, review the SOP you’ve created. Go through the essay and modify & alter it as needed. It is important to revise it to make sure that the SOP looks good.

SOP for Types of MBA

Statement of purpose (SOP) for different fields of MBA requires a different type of details in them. Most universities require all MBA specializations to submit a standard SOP. However, if a student is seeking a specific specialization, he or she should follow the guidelines below:

MBA in Finance

The qualities that the admissions committee seeks for in an SOP for MBA in finance at a top university overseas are as follows:

  • Ability to manage, regulate, and monitor diverse sources of money. 
  • Ability to interpret financial reports for a company.
  • Can devise a plan to increase the company’s stock value.
  • Can create a budget for a company.
  • Knowledge of financial management, banking, accounting, mergers & acquisitions, and so on.

MBA in Marketing

In the SOP for MBA (Marketing) from colleges around the world, candidates should display a high sense of passion and powerful willpower to be at the top of the industry. Here are some qualities to mention in your Statement of Purpose for MBA in marketing:

  • Understanding and knowledge of the link between different marketing tasks.
  • A scientific method towards carrying out difficult business processes.
  • Understanding of various marketing fields like e-marketing, digital marketing, branding, etc.
  • Ability to manage tasks of high management.
  • In-depth knowledge of marketing concepts such as the four P’s, pitching skills, etc.

MBA in HR

Students’ capacity to comprehend & handle any company’s culture should be highlighted in the SOP for MBA (Human Resource). Because hiring, managing, and retaining people is a crucial component of HR’s role, students should describe an occasion in which they demonstrated the following skills:

  • Effortlessly managed a team.
  • Showed a solid awareness of people’s personalities.
  • Proposed a fix to the employee-senior management conflict.
  • Used their understanding of labor rights to assist workers as well as the company.

MBA in Operations

If a candidate was engaged in management, creation, or planning, it should be mentioned in the SOP for MBA (Operations) at top colleges. Highlighting your logistical knowledge will give your essay a boost. Given below are some subject knowledge that can be included in your SOP for higher chances of selection:

  • Innovative management.
  • Business Stats.
  • IT & system management.
  • Project management.

SOP for MBA in different countries

Mentioned below re some ponints that you need to keep in mind while writing an SOP for MBA for UK, USA, Canada and Australia.

SOP for MBA Admissions in the UK

The SOP functions like a real interview in the United Kingdom, and it possesses value among the supporting documents provided. Unlike the United States, universities in the United Kingdom prefer to pose essay-style questions rather than requiring all applicants to submit only one SOP essay.

The following are some suggestions and points to consider while writing a question-based SOP for MBA for UK universities:

  1. Because most UK colleges ask questionnaires regarding both professional & academic experiences, candidates should try to combine the two in their answers.
  2. “Are there any specific detail or information you’d like to share with the admission board?” is a question that all colleges ask. Although this question is optional, it is recommended that all applicants attempt it & answer it thoroughly.
  3. Applicants should pay close attention to and double-check the evaluation procedures for SOP for MBA in the United Kingdom since each institution has detailed them on their admission page for MBA.

SOP for MBA Admissions in the USA

If one wishes to receive the best outcomes from SOP for MBA admission in the United States, it must be well-drafted, planned, and written. The SOP should be viewed as a unique chance that no other item in your admissions package can match.

Here are a few things to have in mind when writing SOP for universities in the USA:

  1. Briefly describe your academic & personal lives.
  2. Reasons for selecting the specific university for your MBA study and a specific country for Further Studies.
  3. Mention your long & short-term career goals.
  4. Add a short description of how you plan to use your knowledge to help your country or community.

SOP for MBA Admissions in Canada

MBA is by far the most desirable course worldwide, and Canada is among the most popular overseas study destinations. , it is necessary that both of the above points are highlighted in the video or written SOP for MBA admission in Canada.

Here are a few things to have in mind when writing SOP for universities in Canada:

  1. Because most Canadian institutions do not conduct interviews, the SOP for MBA must include all necessary details.
  2. All information that has been mentioned in the SOP should be accurate & verified, as well as concise. Your SOP is a story of yourself, but it shouldn’t be written in the style of a fairy tale.
  3. The tone & wording of your SOP for MBA admission in Canada should be educational and concise. Also, because it is for an MBA course, it must emphasize your work qualifications as well.
  4. Your SOP for MBA should reflect your original personality & character attributes.

Check Out: SOP for Australia


SOP for MBA Admissions in Australia

When it comes to writing a SOP for MBA admission in Australia, candidates are expected to produce a 500-1000 word essay describing their academic accomplishments, life journey & desire to seek an MBA program, and their long-term professional goals.

The content must be organized into separate paragraphs so that the reader can comprehend it easily. Other considerations to keep in mind while completing your SOP for MBA are:

  1. Only verifiable facts must be included in the statement.
  2. Applicants should not discuss their family’s accomplishments or any other non-essential details that aren’t required for the entrance application.
  3. This statement must be written in academic & professional language and should appear as an appealing document.

SOP SAMPLE

Generally speaking, an SOP seeks to answer some basic questions oneself and the ideas and objectives one holds and seeks to achieve. It would show why one wants to join MBA. It has certain very pragmatic questions answered if it is a successful one. Given below is a sample link of an SOP for MBA.

Link for SOP for MBA

SOP WITH WORK EXPERIENCE

The writings of an SOP requires the mention of work done and positions of responsibility. Work experience must be aptly mentioned. What is important is writing truthfully about the ups and downs in one’s previous position. A sample is given below

“Ever since I was young, I have been constantly exposed to the business world. Both my parents are in the business industry and as a result, despite my young age, I have found myself having the call for business…. After college, I worked with Kicks, a shoe company, in their marketing department. I failed my colleagues at the time, being the novice that I am. Yet, I managed to transform those failures into lessons and inspirations and eventually got my success. I was part of the team that marketed the best-selling athletic shoe of Kicks.”

Read Full Essay at statementofpurpose.com

SOP without work experience

If one has zero work experience, detailed writing of academic achievement in one’s college. A detailed description of college life is also must with the positions of responsibility held. A sample is given below

As someone who has traveled around the world, I am no stranger to respecting and understanding new aspects of culture. I was born to a military family, and have lived at least four years in almost every continent except Antarctica. I studied abroad in India where I learned about the customs there regarding management seniority…. Such cultural differences play a great part in determining management strategies when expanding globally, and it is a very tricky concept to grasp. An MBA in International Management will give me the knowledge of general management techniques that I need to know for successful management, but will also teach me how to tailor these strategies for different markets.”

SOP FOR MBA FRESHERS

A SOP of a fresher would vary from that of a regular MBA applicant. It should well embroil why they want to venture into this field and the social benefits.

My strong desire to give back to my community coupled with my experience in the telecommunication sector has inspired within me the desire to set up a Telecom company specific to the rural sector in the state of Bihar…. With 85% population of the state still in villages and dependent on agriculture, I wish to use the technology to bring innovation to the agricultural sector. In order to achieve this long-term aspiration, I now need to further enhance my understanding of the functional aspects of management. I envision myself joining a Telecom major like Telefonica in order to process the ways and project execution methods before setting up my own Telecom Consultancy in the State of Bihar.”

SOP for different backgrounds

Following are some points mentioned for SOP for diffferent academic backgrounds.

SOP for engineering background

Generally, there are many Engineering students who take up to several of the management courses. The strength of an SOP of such a kind lies in the successful portrayal of the skills achieved through the Engineering degree. This degree provides excellent analytical skills.

The below example can help:

“My Engineering degree has given a strong foundation to my analytical skills since civil designing involves a lot of long, complex and intricate calculations and the application of basic math skills. Over the past four years, I have been working part-time with my family firm, CWS Systems. I am also the co-founder and active member with FOE – Friends of the Environment. I have assisted in the installation of an Enterprise-wide Resource Planning (ERP) System at Biotech, a major Engineering Company. More than what I have studied in school and college, it has been these experiences that have shaped the person that I am today. “

SOP for pharmaceutical management

While applying for an MBA in Pharmaceutical Management, it is imperative to write about one’s aptitude in the field of pharmaceutics and then further it with the application of management. While it is really not necessary to hold any degree in the specific disciplines related to Pharmacy, a knowledge base has to be represented.

The following excerpt might give an idea:

“My course as a part of the undergraduate study has helped me in acquiring a  forte in topics such as Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmaceutics, Pharmacology, Analytical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry and other topics related to pharmaceutical studies comprehensively, taught by highly qualified and competent faculty members, and also through frequent guest lectures, interaction with industrialists.”

SOP for MBA in supply chain managment

Supply chain management would require the candidate to express interest in the end to end logistics and movement of commodities. The aspirant needs to be clear and precise about their idea of supply chain management.

The following sample would provide an idea:

“The days of my undergraduate study at X University helped me to get sound knowledge and firm grasps over the underlying principles of subjects like Business Economics, Marketing Management, Operation Management, and Business Research, and has equipped me with the necessary prerequisites for a formal graduate course. In the last semester, I got the chance to pursue a project related to Agricultural Products Supply Chain Management with the Royal Project at Chiang Mai province. I gained a lot from this project. The more tangible benefits have been a deeper insight into agriculture and working of microprocessor and thorough business/economics programming skills.”

“During my first job at an Export company, I acquired a great deal of knowledge about International Business, International Trade, International Logistics Management, and logistics and supply chain controlling methodologies. I attended a series of training and workshops focusing on logistics and supply chain management and international business as well as the practical use of these systems. In addition, I was responsible for the overall implementation and maintenance of my family business.”

SOP for commerce background

While writing an SOP for an MBA from commerce background is along the lines of other SOPs, there is an advantage to commerce students that needs to be brought out in their SOPs. The commerce student needs to make the admissions committee convinced about their edge in managerial competencies.

“From a young age, I set goals beyond those of my peers. I decided to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce, but in recognition of the limitation of programs in this field in my native country, I decided to pursue my undergraduate degree in Europe. The course I joined was run by Goodwell University in the UK, and due to the experience of the instructors and the overall sophistication of the program, I received an incredibly valuable learning experience, beyond that which I could have received elsewhere. My undergraduate coursework at Goodwell University focused on management marketing, accounting, and various aspects of tourism. I received broad business-based education while immersing myself in European culture and language on a daily basis. As a result, I am confident in my ability to adapt to your environment and join your MBA program.”

For full SOP, Refer to onlinemacha.com

sop for mba

FAQs

What is the general word limit of an SOP?

Ans: The general word limit of an SOP would be specified by the university you are applying to.

What do universities expect to read in a good SOP?

Ans: Universities most likely check your ability to express yourself and what you think of yourself as an individual. Other than that, they seek to know what your aspirations from your course are. Remember, they already have your CV and hence know your scores, etc.

Are online SOP writing platforms really useful?

Ans: The online SOP platforms might be a big help to those who lack the power of expression through words. However, an SOP is a personalised article that should reflect you.

How important is Statement of Purpose for MBA?

Ans: Yes, SOPs can be the deciding factor about any particular person getting into or being left out of the university. The MBA SOP serves as the foundation of the application. Powerful SOPs can really help a lot.

What are some tricks that can help get a different SOP?

Ans: An SOP is a personal statement. Try reading through various samples and try eliminating the common phrases to make a truly unique SOP.

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About the Author

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Rachit AgrawalRachit believes in the power of education and has studied from the top institutes of IIIT Allahabad, IIM Calcutta, and Francois Rabelias in France. He has worked as Software Developer with Microsoft and Adobe. Post his MBA, he worked with the world's # 1 consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group across multiple geographies US, South-East Asia and Europe.

Comments (16)

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MokshCommented on 2022-01-28

How do I introduce myself in SOP?

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IshaCommented on 2022-01-28

How do I introduce myself in SOP?

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NamanCommented on 2022-01-28

Can I get my study visa without SOP

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IshaCommented on 2022-01-28

Can I get my study visa without SOP

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PoojaCommented on 2022-01-28

Is SOP compulsory to apply to Canada Visa?

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IshaCommented on 2022-01-28

Is SOP compulsory to apply to Canada Visa?

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SidharthCommented on 2022-01-28

What to write in SOP for MBA?

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IshaCommented on 2022-01-28

What to write in SOP for MBA?

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RitikaCommented on 2022-01-28

What things should i keep in mind while writing SOP for MBA?

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IshaCommented on 2022-01-28

What things should i keep in mind while writing SOP for MBA?

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ArunavCommented on 2022-01-28

What should be the word count of SOP for MBA?

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IshaCommented on 2022-01-28

What should be the word count of SOP for MBA?

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NaveenCommented on 2022-01-28

What are the key features that should we include in SOP for MBA?

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IshaCommented on 2022-01-28

What are the key features that should we include in SOP for MBA?

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RahulCommented on 2022-01-28

Can I include quotes in my SOP?

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IshaCommented on 2022-01-28

Can I include quotes in my SOP?