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How to Approach the “Fit” MBA Essay

Nearly every business school has one essay that asks applicants to describe how they’ll contribute to the MBA program.

Answering this question correctly is key, as it demonstrates to admissions officers that you’ve done your research and can bring a unique perspective to the business school community. Scott Brownlee, an expert coach at Fortuna Admissions and former senior admissions counselor at the Wharton School, recently offered insight into how applicants should approach this common essay question.


Fit is an important factor that many applicants use when determining which MBA program is right for them.

“Choosing where to pursue an MBA is a huge decision. A focus on fit will help you narrow down the options,” Stacy Blackman, founder of Stacy Blackman Consulting, says. “Knowing yourself and how a particular school suits your professional goals and needs is the essence of making the right choice.”

Likewise, MBA admissions officers use this essay question to determine whether or not you, as an applicant, are a good fit for their B-school.

“Essentially, they want to discern if you’re a good fit for their MBA program based on how you’ll enhance the academic community and the experiences of your fellow students,” Brownlee says. “It’s not just about your qualifications; it’s about your potential contributions to the collective learning environment.”


To approach this essay, Brownlee recommends applicants to first start by noting any initial ideas that come to mind.

“Consider what skills, experiences or perspectives you possess that could enrich the MBA program,” Brownlee says. “We’d encourage you to take a moment, in particular, to think about yourself outside work — what motivates you, has most shaped your experiences and makes you most curious about the world and your place in it. The AdComm wants to know about the full version of you, not just the version you bring to work.”

It can help to also consider what makes you stand out from the “typical” profile of the MBA class at your target school.

“Our clients have found success doing some of this preliminary research on LinkedIn to see what recent graduates of their target schools have pivoted to professionally, as well as which experiences they’ve had that seem to mirror each other,” Brownlee says.


Your final essay should be concise, but detailed. Brownlee advises applicants to avoid vague statements and bolster their essay with concrete examples of how they’ve contributed to communities in the past and how they hope to contribute to the B-school’s community. 

“The more concrete you can be, the better,” Brownlee says. “A specific example is much easier to remember than a generalization.”

Sources: Fortuna Admissions, Stacy Blackman Consulting

Next Page: Explaining job hopping in your MBA resume.

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