2023-2024 MBA Essays: Tips for Olin Business School

Washington University's Olin Business School

Lucky for MBA applicants, Olin Business School tends to stick to the same prompts year-on-year, which means it’s never too early to get started! Most MBA programs will highly value the personal statement in your application. So don’t slack on it! Writing a unique essay that captures your individuality while responding to the prompt is a challenging task, but here at Menlo Coaching, we have a comprehensive guide to perfect it.

Olin Business School is looking for students with a well-rounded background and lots of experience that can be translated into a succinct and compelling statement. One of the essential tips for an impactful essay is asking yourself why you chose to highlight a particular experience. Did it show significant professional development? Did it show how you overcame a personal struggle? Making sure your essay connects to the prompt, especially that it shows why you are pursuing an MBA, will make your essay stand out. No matter what the essay prompt is, these tips are broadly applicable. With that being said, the two different types of essays you will see on Olin Business School’s application are personal and career goals. 

The Personal Statement Essay

Personal essays encompass your moral character, passions in and out of work, and the relationships you have fostered with friends and mentors. This essay type is where you can show the MBA program who you are as an individual and the intrapersonal impacts you have made on people around you. Olin Business School is looking to recruit students who show compassion and enthusiasm in the office and with the people in their lives. Make sure to emphasize where you have shown empathy in your life while explaining how you will contribute positively to the on-campus experience. One of the biggest mistakes students make when writing a personal essay is focusing too much on their professional expertise.

This essay is where you can move away from talking about your work and speak about who you are outside of your job. Research Olin Business School’s core values by speaking with current students and faculty to capture the essence of the program. Tailoring which attributes you write about to each program is important. It shows you’ve done your research and are a genuinely kind, empathetic person in your real life. A recent personal statement prompt was: The confidence to operate beyond one’s comfort zone is grounded in understanding who you are, what you value and how you uniquely contribute. Share your story. Describe who you are and the impact you wish to have. 

Personal Statement

Early Birds Toolkit

Learn 3 Steps You Should Take NOW to Improve Your Profile for R1 2024

In MBA admissions, starting early can significantly boost your chances. 

But there are no shortcuts, and while R1 2024 deadlines might seem far off, building your profile takes time.

Our Early Birds Toolkit has everything you need to get started right now—leave your name and email, and we’ll send you three actionable steps to elevate your profile, plus time-saving tools for faster progress.

The Career Goals Essay

The career goals essay is the space to emphasize your post-MBA plans. MBA programs want to accept students who have concrete, achievable career plans and a roadmap to success. MBA programs want a glowing post-grad report that proves they produce successful graduates with many job prospects (and who will donate money in the future)! Olin Business School also wants students to promote their program to friends, co-workers, and prospective applicants.

The career goals essay combines your hard statistics (ex: GMAT score) with your interpersonal skills (ex: recommendations) to formulate the case for getting an MBA. Make sure to state your achievable short-term and long-term goals explicitly. Explain why an MBA would help you achieve these goals and how Olin Business School is essential to your plan. Connecting the positive attributes from your personal essay to your career goals essay is critical to forming a well-rounded application. Also, research what fields the graduates of Olin Business School enter, and emphasize your findings in the essay to show you’re genuinely interested.

A recent career goals prompt was: Share with us one of your strongest values. Help us understand how that value connects to your career aspirations. Please include the following in your response: Target function and/or industry; Desired company or organization; Skills you will need to develop; Necessary connections and/or experiences. 

  • Career Goals
    Share with us one of your strongest values. Help us understand how that value connects to your career aspirations. Please include the following in your response: Target function and/or industry; Desired company or organization; Skills you will need to develop; Necessary connections and/or experiences (350-500 word maximum)

Source

Conclusion

Overall, honesty and growth are the most important parts of a successful MBA application essay. In addition, applying the lessons you learned shows improvement in your interpersonal and professional skills, making you a more attractive candidate for MBA programs. At Menlo Coaching, we are prepared to help you take the next step and perfect your essays. Visit our process page to understand how Menlo Coaching can help you!