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There are lakhs of students that apply for MBA admissions in India every year. Students have to face intense competition for admission to one of the top b-schools of India. At the same time, the colleges also limited seats available and so have to provide a fair chance to every candidate for admission.
Now, academics are not the only thing that matters in MBA admissions. It is a professional course and there is a lot beyond academics that can make a good candidate for a management programme. Hence, colleges have evolved to have complex selection criteria of candidates in which they not only test how much a candidate is good at studies but instead their overall personality and motivation.
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What is an SOP?
SOP is also known as an Essay. It is a written statement that you submit in response to an Essay-type question raised by the college. The SOP is personal to you and provides you with a chance to make your application unique. In an SOP, you include:
What is your life story?
What motivates you to join an MBA course?
Why do you want to join that particular MBA college?
What do you expect to learn during the course?
What are your career goals?
How do you want to use your learnings to advance towards your career goals?
Sample Questions for SOP
Usually, your MBA college provides you with a question and your SOP has to be in response to that question. Studying the question carefully is important as your answer should cover every point mentioned in the question. Sometimes, the SOP question may be very general and not raise any particular points. Here, the college might want you to write anything that you think adds to your application and increases your chances of admission to the college.
Harvard Business School MBA SOP Question
In this question, HBS allows you the freedom to decide what you want to add to their SOP. However, you have to be careful that you don't share unnecessary information or information that could harm your chances of admission. Check the DO's and DONT's of SOP writing given below.
"As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA program?"
Indian School of Business MBA SOP Question
The following SOP question by ISB Hyderabad asks you to elaborate on this goal. In this, what information you include has been narrowed down and you have to be smart about adding any other information. What you include must be relevant to your career goals.
"Enrolling in a Business School is an important career decision. Critically look at your career to date, the choices you have made, the key influences behind those choices, your goals for the future and how do you think ISB’s PGP can help you in achieving your goals?"
Also Read: List of Top MBA Colleges for Women in India
DO's When Writing an SOP
An SOP is a personal statement and you are the only person who decides what should be included in your SOP and what should be left out. However, there are some good practices of SOP writing that experts abide by. Going through these tips will help you write a better SOP.
- Include your interests and what inspires you in your SOP. The admissions committee wants to understand you individually and the SOP allows you to make that connection with them.
Make sure that you are specific and give examples of past incidents that highlight your qualities. For eg. Instead of simply saying that you are good at debates, share examples of where you excelled in debates.
Highlight your career goals in your SOP and what is your reason behind having those goals. Top colleges are spoiled for choice when it comes to good candidates and they shy away from giving admission to any candidate without any aim.
Research about the college and the programme and specify particular details about the college and course that can help you reach your goals. Specify your reason for applying for that college.
Make it a story to keep your reader engaged. An SOP is also a test of your written communication skills and hence it must be flawless. However, if you have a strong motivation, solid strategy and career goals, it is OK to make it simple and get your point across.
Also Read:How to Choose a B-School?
DONT's When Writing an SOP
There are not many restrictions in an SOP. You decide the content and most colleges also don't specify any particular length for the statement. Therefore, it is very important that you place these restrictions yourself and only include what is relevant in your SOP. Here are some of the bad practices that you should avoid when writing an SOP.
Don't boast in your SOP. Assume a humble tone and include other people who helped you and inspired you in your life.
Don't make it too short or long. Try to wrap up your SOP in 500 to 1000 words. Having a word limit not only prevents it from being boring but also makes you only include what is necessary.
Don't just include what's already on your resume. Your SOP should also have what excites you and inspires you beyond simply studies.
One of the biggest mistakes when writing and SOP is copying from a template. If you are worried that you don't have good enough English, take help from a friend, a teacher or hire a professional. In fact, simply using online grammar correction tools will also help you but try and write your SOP yourself, it will always be better that way.
These were the best practices and mistakes that you should keep in mind when writing an SOP. If you have any queries or doubts, please feel free to ask them on the CollegeDekho QnA Zone.
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