SOP for MBA Admission: How to Write a Statement of Purpose (SOP) for MBA Admission?

SOP for MBA Admission: How to Write a Statement of Purpose (SOP) for MBA Admission?

7 mins read1.9L Views 24 Comments
Aprant Agarwal
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Mar 23, 2023 18:15 IST

A statement of purpose (SoP) is a short academic essay required for graduate school applications. Students who are looking to study MBA abroad need to write an SOP for the MBA program to tell the admissions committee why they are interested in their MBA program and why they are the perfect fit for it. The admissions committee already knows about your work experience from your MBA resume and your academic performance from your transcripts. The statement of purpose allows them to assess your suitability for their institution, and more importantly, their program.

MBA courses, across universities around the world, draw a certain specific category of students. Unlike other Master's courses, MBA programs are defined in a separate section. Simply said, there is a lot of difference between the SOP for the MBA and MS programmes. In effect, a student must pay great attention while writing the SOP for applying to a Management program.

Steps to Write an SOP for MBA

To begin with, the 5 basic steps of how to write an SOP remain the same. However, there are a few things a student must do in addition to those steps while writing an SOP for an MBA program, such as:

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Step 1: Prepare a separate list of personal and professional instances

Writing an SOP is a creative exercise. However, one must remember that the process as such is rather technical, and like writing any SOP, you need to start by preparing a list. The difference while preparing an SOP for a Management course or an MBA program is that you should create two separate lists – one personal and another professional.

Many universities abroad require work experience for their MBA programs. As such, you would also have to include your work experience in your SOP. While writing an SOP for MBA programs, it is important to understand how to strike a balance between the two. The best way to do that is by preparing a list of incidents, instances, and/or qualities that you would want to include, and segregating these into two separate lists.

Step 2: Select the characteristic that you wish to highlight

Often, different Business/Management Schools, look for a certain quality in the candidate. Before you start writing your SOP, it is important to search for the quality that universities often look at, to determine which of those characteristics you would want to display. It could be anything from leadership, entrepreneurship, lessons from failures, and perseverance to even being focused and/or goal-oriented. It could be anything that you wish to highlight. What matters is that you choose something that the university is looking for.

Point to Remember: You can always highlight more than one characteristic that strengthens your profile.

Step 3: Match the lists and prepare a combined list

Once you have selected the idea and have lists ready, you must now match the lists and prepare one combined list. Remember, while writing, you would be required to shorten the list for your MBA SOP, so, you must try to avoid the unnecessary parts. No matter which incident you pick, you must ensure that the personal or professional experiences fall in place with the same.

Step 4: Research the relevant clubs

Management programs are more of a training arena, and clubs/ student associations are a big part of this learning process. It is important to include the clubs and other activities you would be participating in. The club you choose should also be in accordance with the characteristics you choose to display.

Step 5: Write the first draft and edit and re-write

This is the same as any SOP…now you are ready to write it. The first draft should be prepared and then edited. Punctuation, spelling, and vocabulary should be given extra focus. After you have written your first draft, give it a few days before going through it again. Spacing it out gives you a fresher perspective. Then, rewrite the draft; remember, just making changes will not suffice. And, always edit and proofread the document thoroughly.

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SOP for MBA Format

Students must know the SOP format for an MBA application. The SOP format for MBA will differ depending on the institution and programme requirements, however here are some common guidelines:

  • Introduction: Begin with a concise and brief introduction that describes your goal and objectives. This section should pique the reader's interest and set the tone for the remainder of the piece.
  • Body Paragraphs: This area should be divided into paragraphs and contain information on your academic background, strengths, successes, and future goals. Make sure that all these points are connected with the help of logic. There must be a seamless flow in your writing and the admissions committee must not be confused while reading your SOP for MBA.
  • Conclusion: Summarize your main points and emphasise why you are the greatest fit for the MBA programme in the final paragraph.
  • Language and Tone: Throughout the document, use professional language and a confident and optimistic tone.
  • Remember to customise your SOP towards the exact programme and institution to which you are applying. Make sure to research the university thoroughly. If there is something about the university that caught your attention (e.g. research project, publications, etc.), you can mention that in your SOP.

You can also start by reading a Sample SOP for MBA to get a basic understanding of how to write your own. You may also want to refer to SOP writing for Masters in Management (MIM).

Need help editing your SOP/LORs for your MBA? Enrol with Shiksha to get free editing help from expert editors - Sign Up Now




Also, Read:

How to write an SOP for MS Statement of Purpose - What is it?
How to Write a Winning SOP What not to include in your SOP

SOP for MBA Admission FAQs

Q. How do you write a statement of purpose for an MBA programme?

A. To write an essay for an MBA program, you must follow 5 basic steps. Your MBA statement of purpose should tell the admissions board why you are interested in an MBA, why you've chosen their program in particular, why you'd be a good addition to the program, and how the MBA will help you achieve your career goals. Whatever you write in your SOP for an MBA programme, make sure that the events are connected with the help of logic. There should not be any randomness in your SOP. Tip: Before starting an SOP, prepare a structure for the same. This will help you remove unnecessary points and include the necessary ones.

Q. How do I write the introduction of an SOP for an MBA?

A. Writing an opener to a statement of purpose (SOP) might be difficult, but it is critical to make a good first impression. Here's an example of an SOP introduction: Introduce yourself succinctly in the first paragraph by stating your name, educational background, and any relevant work experience. Rather than introducing oneself, you may use an attractive hook to pique the reader's curiosity and urge them to continue reading. You could also explain why you want to apply for the programme or degree, as well as your passion for the subject. Remember to write in an open, honest, and concise manner.

Q. What is the word limit of an MBA SOP?

A. The length of a statement of purpose is dictated by the criteria of the programme and institution you are applying to. An SOP for an MBA should be no more than one page or one and a half long and written in a readable typeface with a font size of 11 to 12pt. Keep it between 1.5 and 2 pages in length, depending on the application. This means that, unless the University specifies differently, an SOP of 800-1000 words should suffice. If the university has specified a particular word limit, make sure that you adhere to it.

Q. How do I write an SOP for a master's in management (SOP for MIM)?

A. When drafting an SOP for MIM, divide the text into paragraphs. The applicant's history and academic/professional experience can be provided in the opening paragraph. The applicant's interests in the field and motivation to seek this degree should be explained in the second paragraph. Also, the candidate should explain why they have chosen this particular programme or university. A good MIM SOP should be brief, simple, and engaging. It should showcase the applicant's abilities, skills, and accomplishments while also providing insight into their personality and character. Finally, the SOP should demonstrate the applicant's ability to contribute to both the MIM programme and the management sector.

Q. What are the points to be avoided in SOP?

A. Dull introduction, talking too much about your childhood dream, writing at the last minute, not writing within the required word limit, not proofreading, etc. are the top mistakes to avoid in an SOP. However, the biggest mistake one can make while writing an SOP is not giving it a proper structure and flow. One should write an SOP in a way that the admissions committee can understand the bigger picture. There should not be any random events that might confuse the admissions committee. Hence, one should make sure that all the events in an SOP are connected with the help of logic and that there is a seamless flow from one idea to the other.

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About the Author
Written by
Aprant Agarwal
Study Abroad Expert

Aprant Agarwal is a seasoned study abroad expert at Shiksha Study Abroad, specializing in countries that include Canada, the Netherlands, UAE, and Finland. He holds more than 2 years of experience in the study abroa... Read Full Bio



Hello Ma'am, I have completed my graduation in Accounting & Information Systems in Bangladesh in year 2013 . I was a former finance manager for a mobile phone company vivo in Bangladesh . Before that I have had worked as a customer manager at Grameenphone LTD in its distribution and retail sales u


Reply to Tanzina Mahboob

I would like to mention that I have completed my post graduation also in Accounting and Information systems.


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a year ago

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a year ago

I already completed my graduation in logistic management 2019 and my current age is 22 and turn to be 23 in may month. I have 2.5 years experience also in shipping line. Now I want to do MBA or PGDM so what should I do now. Should I do it from India or out of India.


If you are ready to study abroad then you can apply to foreign universities. You can also refer to this:

Hello Ma'am, I have completed my graduation in Accounting & Finance from India. I want to apply for MBA in Finance in Ireland. Kindly help me out to write an appropriate SOP. Thank you !

Reply to Tanmay Gangishetty

Hi Mom, I'm Emmanuel: a recent graduate in Civil Engineer. Pls help me with some basics and advices on how to write an appropriate SOP for graduates program in Engineering.


Shilpa Saxena

2 years ago

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