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Writing MBA admission essay may have already taken a lot of your time. Preparing for MBA applications can take a toll from your time, effort and money. So is it worth while to write an optional essay? A vast majority of business schools offer applicants the chance to explain certain problematic aspects in their profiles. Applicants are free to add additional information through MBA optional essay to explain any irregularities or inconsistencies to make application officers understand the situations and circumstances around these issues.

Possible Irregularities and Inconsistencies for Optional Essay MBA:

  • Less than satisfactory academic performance in specific classes or in a whole semester
  • Differences in universities’ grading and scoring systems
  • GMAT scores with low verbal and/or quantitative aspect
  • Lack of professional reference
  • Period of absence from work or college
  • Gaps in the resume or curriculum vitae
  • Academic or work related suspensions, probations
  • Firings from work
  • Any criminal records

Things to consider when deciding to write an optional essay for an MBA application:

Relevant Explanations

You need to keep in mind that optional essays are for applicants that have a weakness or two in their application. Make sure you explain well why you have bad grades during a semester. The reasons may be a death in the family, a medical emergency like an unexpected surgery or you were a victim of a certain crime. You also need to explain why there are gaps in between jobs or school years in the MBA application essay. You need to indicate the reasons why you were jobless for a while  and what forced you to stop studying for a period of time.

Redeeming Factors

Make it a point that you keep your explanations short and straight forward. You need to indicate how you managed to cope and deal with the issues you have faced in the past that may affect your MBA application. You must elaborate the steps you have taken to make up for your difficulties and mistakes. Make it a point not to blame anyone or whine about your difficulties. Business schools will not accept applicants who cannot cope with difficult situations and cannot clean up their own mess. Remember that the business world is a tough field and you must be as tough as you can get.

Open-ended MBA Optional Essay

Most application optional essays must answer an open-ended question. This gives you a great opportunity to add anything you may not have included in your personal statement or other supporting documents like your resume. Since that it is optional, an optional essay is not required. Writing one though can spell success for your MBA application.

Like your MBA application essay, you also need to make sure that your optional statement is written professionally. It should be devoid of grammatical and spelling errors. It should also have a concrete structure, which means it should have a compelling and gripping introduction, a relevant and straightforward body or content, and a strong and memorable ending that wraps everything up and relates to the introduction. Do not forget to make your optional personal statement as neat and orderly as possible. Make it a point to use clean white paper printed with dark and crisp ink. Using a margin is highly advisable. Use a 1-inch margin format. Remember to use a readable typeface like Arial or Calibri.

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