This Part Of Your MBA Application Makes The Biggest Difference

Successful MBA application essay

This Part of Your MBA Application Makes The Biggest Difference

The MBA application has a variety of components—from GPA and GMAT to essays and recommendation letters. But is there a “most important” aspect of your application?

Stacy Blackman, founder of Stacy Blackman Consulting, says that while there isn’t necessarily one component that is more important than another, aspects of your application that can speak to your story tend to make the biggest difference in admissions chances.

“It’s the essays, interviews, and recommendations that ultimately reveal the person beyond the paper,” Blackman writes. “Compelling essays, recommendations, and interviews can provide context for a low GMAT score or GPA. But the reverse is not true. Strong numbers will never make up for weak essays or a disorganized, negative recommendation.”


MBA essays can make a huge impact in your admissions chances because strong essays provide the admissions committee with an opportunity to see who you really are.

“It’s where you write why an MBA makes sense as the next step of your career path,” Blackman writes. “Also, it’s how you differentiate yourself from everyone else who scored in the 700s on their GMAT. The essays are your opportunity to present your strengths and explain your weaknesses. They also go a long way toward convincing the adcomm that you have a lot to offer the program and that you belong in their class.”


Convincing the admissions committee that you belong takes more than simply reiterating the traits of an “ideal applicant.” Experts say giving an authentic view of yourself is what differentiates a compelling essay from an ordinary one.

“I can’t emphasize this enough: do not write what you think admissions committee members want to read,” Erin Wand, a featured contributor at and vice president of marketing and operations for Personal MBA Coach, writes. “The qualities and experiences that make you unique are your greatest selling points. Each essay should paint a clear picture of who you are, what motivates you, and what you’re passionate about.”

At the end of the day, the MBA essay carries significant weight in your admissions chances because—in many ways—it’s one component of the application that levels the playing field for applicants.

“All candidates receive the same set of questions,” Blackman writes. “The same group of admissions members reviews those answers. This creates a level playing field that can simplify the review process.”

Sources: Stacy Blackman Consulting,

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