While most college application deadlines have come and gone, there are still many students out there preparing to submit applications to higher-level programs, MBA in particular. With that in mind, I thought I’d take some time today to provide some detailed advice for anyone still working on MBA essays. Don’t forget to check out our sister site, EssayEdge, for more great advice like this!

As more schools improve their programs, bringing prestigious professors and partnering with global firms, MBA programs seek to distinguish themselves by defining the community and overall atmosphere of their program. This means that your ability to make a substantial contribution to an MBA program is very important to admissions officers. For this reason, an increasing number of MBA programs are asking specific essay questions regarding how you plan to do this at their school. However, this is one of the hardest prompts for applicants.

Here is a sample outline for explaining how you will add value to the community for your chosen MBA program:

“Tell us how you will enhance the overall experience for your classmates at our school.”

I. Introduction

For the introduction to this essay, state the factors that influence your decisions regarding what you choose to participate in within the community. Is leadership most important to you? Social entrepreneurship? Connecting the community with business resources? Creating mentorship opportunities?

II. Example of Something Similar in the Past

It doesn’t have to be an exact match, but there does need to be a connection between past activities that you have participated in and what you plan to do as part of your MBA community. If you have completed community improvement programs in the past, such as planting trees in abandoned parking lots, write about how you partnered with local businesses to gain sponsorship.

III. Specific MBA programs or organizations

This is where you really need to demonstrate that you have done your homework in making your application to this school. Place the shoe on the other foot: If an applicant can’t visualize themselves playing a meaningful role within the community at our school, why should we accept them? Especially if you have reached out to current or past members of these organizations or worked with other chapters of that organization, tell the admissions officers who you have met and what you have done. Next, describe the role you see yourself having within the organization. What projects do you see yourself enhancing or even initiating? Finally, don’t shy away if you see gaps in the program’s offerings. Is there a club that the school doesn’t have but you feel would be a perfect match for the school’s vision and values? Detail your plan to initiate the club, make it known to others in the program, and offer something meaningful to the participants and the program as a whole.

IV. Conclusion

Bring everything together here: what you value, what you have done, and what you want to do. State that you understand the honor it would be to have the opportunity to be an active member of the MBA program community. End the essay with a sentence regarding the importance of community and participation at your school and reaffirm that you will work to fulfill that role.