Executive MBA Essay Examples: Learn from Successful Applicants -

Philippe Barr, PhD
8 min readAug 11, 2023

The Executive MBA application process is a daunting task. Every year, thousands of applicants across the globe apply for this prestigious program. In addition to the Executive Assesment test score, one of the most critical components of any EMBA application is the essay. It is your chance to showcase your personality, leadership skills, and professional achievements. But, how do you write a compelling essay that stands out from the crowd? The answer is simple: by learning from successful applicants who have already been through the process. In this blog post, we will provide you with some Executive MBA essay examples, tips, and tricks that can help you craft an essay that wins the hearts of admissions committees.

Tell your unique story:

Admissions officers read hundreds of essays every year. To stand out from the crowd, your essay should tell a unique and compelling story. This story should provide insights into your personality, values, and professional journey. It should also demonstrate how you have overcome challenges, learned from failures, and developed your strengths. To tell your unique story, you could use anecdotes, personal experiences, and examples from your professional and personal life that highlight your most significant achievements and challenges. Below are a few executive MBA essay examples that work!

Start with a clear introduction:

Your EMBA essay should begin with a clear introduction, detailing your motivation for pursuing an EMBA and the reasons why you are applying to this specific program. Be as specific as possible, highlighting areas of the curriculum that appeal to you, the research centers or faculty members you are interested in working with, and any other unique attributes of the program that you find attractive.

Your essay’s opening is crucial. It should grab the reader’s attention and make them interested in reading more. Start with a clear introduction highlighting your experience and the reasons why you want to pursue an Executive MBA. Let the reader know your goals, and ambitions, and how this program fits into your career objectives.

Take a cue from this opening paragraph: “I have always been passionate about healthcare, and since graduating from college, I have worked in various roles to gain experience in this field. I am seeking an Executive MBA program to sharpen my leadership and managerial skills to make a positive impact on the industry.”

Or, rather than simply stating that you are interested in the EMBA program at XYZ University, provide specific reasons such as “I am applying to the EMBA program at XYZ University because of its outstanding reputation for developing executives in the healthcare industry.”

Emphasize career goals:

The admissions committee will want to know what career aspirations motivated you to pursue an EMBA. Therefore, it is critical to emphasize your career goals in your essay. Outline your goals as they relate to your current position, your industry, and the overall job market. Additionally, explain how the EMBA program will help you achieve these goals.

Among many executive MBA essay examples that work, you could discuss how “A focus on leadership development in the EMBA program at ABC University aligns with my goal to become a Chief Operating Officer of a Fortune 500 company in the next five years.”

Showcase your personal attributes:

Your essay should also highlight your personal characteristics or attributes that make you a desirable candidate. Emphasize characteristics such as dedication, innovation, resilience, adaptability, and a willingness to learn. These qualities will help establish your readiness to engage with the EMBA program.

For Instance, you could discuss “ I possess a strong work ethic, quickly adapt to new environments, and welcome a challenge, which will lead me to succeed in the EMBA program.”

Emphasize your achievements

The admissions committee is interested in your achievements, both professional and personal. Highlight significant milestones in your career and any leadership roles that you’ve taken on. Use metrics to show how you’ve contributed to your organization’s success. You can include projects you’ve led, revenue growth, or any honors you’ve received. But keep in mind, it’s important not to boast or exaggerate your successes. Be specific and honest about your achievements, and back them up with evidence.

For example, you could introduce how “As the Director of Operations at LMN Inc., I have implemented production process improvements and saved the company over $1 million in costs.” It’s essential to demonstrate how these experiences will help you contribute to the EMBA class and how they have shaped you as a person.

Share challenges and how you overcame them

The road to success is rarely a smooth one. Share some personal and professional challenges you’ve faced and how you overcame them. It shows that you’re resilient and can adapt to changing circumstances. You can talk about how you learned from failure and how it helped you become a better leader.

For example, “One of the biggest challenges I encountered was managing a team with diverse personalities and working styles. Through collaboration and an open-minded approach, I learned how to better understand and work with each team member, boosting their morale and productivity.”

Showcase your leadership skills:

Leadership is one of the key qualities that Executive MBA programs look for in their applicants. Your essay should demonstrate your aptitude to lead, influence, and manage people and processes effectively. One way to do this is by highlighting your past leadership experiences.

For example, you could talk about a time when you led a team to achieve a challenging goal, resolved a conflict within a team, or took a tough decision that had a significant impact on your organization. Use these experiences to showcase your leadership style, your ability to communicate effectively, and your capacity to build consensus.

Demonstrate your passion for learning:

Executive MBA programs are rigorous and demanding. They require a high level of academic rigor, intellectual curiosity, and commitment. Your essay should demonstrate your passion for learning and your willingness to go the extra mile to acquire new knowledge and skills. One way to do this is by discussing your academic achievements, such as your GPA, any advanced degrees or certifications you may have earned, and the courses you have taken that are relevant to your field. You could also talk about your extracurricular activities, such as attending industry conferences or participating in professional development workshops. These experiences show that you are committed to lifelong learning and professional growth.

Highlight your fit with the program

To get accepted into the Executive MBA program, you need to show that you’re the right fit for the program. You need to highlight your strengths and skills that align with the program’s values and curriculum. Based on your research, write about the classes and professors you’re interested in and why. Share your interest in a particular industry or functional area and how the program can help you achieve your goals.

An excellent example of this is, “As someone who is passionate about sustainability, I am excited about XYZ school’s focus on developing leaders who are passionate about creating ethical and sustainable business practices. I am confident that this program will help me develop the skills needed to become a leader in this field.”

End with A strong conclusion

Lastly, your conclusion should summarize your main points and leave a lasting impression on the reader. End with a statement that shows your enthusiasm and commitment to the program. Emphasize how the Executive MBA program aligns with your long-term goals and how you’re excited to contribute to the program.

For example, “In conclusion, I am thrilled about the prospect of joining XYZ school’s Executive MBA program as it aligns perfectly with my long-term goals in the healthcare industry. I look forward to contributing to the school’s vibrant and diverse community of leaders, learning from their experiences and expertise, and making a meaningful impact on the industry.”

Write with clarity and precision:

Your essay is a representation of your communication skills. It’s essential to write with clarity, precision, and coherence. Use simple language, avoid jargon, and structure your essay logically. Remember to proofread your essay to ensure there are no grammatical or spelling errors. You could also ask a mentor or professional to review your essay and provide feedback and draw inspiration from executive MBA essay examples.

Edit and review your essay:

Finally, after writing your essay, make sure to edit and review it thoroughly. Take the time to read it aloud, correct grammatical errors, identify any inconsistencies, and refine your phrasing. Make sure your essay reflects a genuine and honest representation of yourself, and don’t forget to have someone else proofread your essay.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, writing an effective EMBA essay takes time, effort, and attention to detail. By following these tips and referencing the executive MBA essay examples shared in this blog, you will be better equipped to write a comprehensive, well-crafted essay that highlights your strengths, experiences, goals, and potential as an executive leader. Need help with your essays? The Admit Lab offers MBA essay service packages that help you with the entire writing process, or an hourly service that can provide you with feedback on your existing drafts. Remember that the essay is an opportunity to present yourself fully and differentiate yourself from other applicants — so take your time and put your best foot forward! Remember to stay true to yourself, align your goals with the program, and tell a unique and compelling story. Good luck with your essay! Got questions? Sign up for a consultation, or send us your draft for an estimate. It’s FREE!

With a Master’s from McGill University and a Ph.D. from New York University, Dr. Philippe Barr is the founder of The Admit Lab. As a tenure-track professor, Dr. Barr spent a decade teaching and serving on several graduate admission committees at UNC-Chapel Hill before turning to full-time consulting. With more than seven years of experience as a graduate school admissions consultant, Dr. Barr has stewarded the candidate journey across multiple master’s and Ph.D. programs and helped hundreds of students get admitted to top-tier graduate programs all over the world.

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Originally published at https://admit-lab.com on August 11, 2023.

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Philippe Barr, PhD

I am Philippe Barr, founder of The Admit Lab, a graduate school admissions consultancy that helps students get admitted into grad school: https://admit-lab.com/