How to write a Leadership Essay

More often than not, admission essays are asked by reputed MBA Universities abroad. The total number of essays may wary from 2 to 5. Also, while the actual questions may differ, they can be clubbed under broad categories or personality traits that the universities are looking for in their applicants. Universities abroad, especially for their MBA program, want to pick the people who are the best fit to their ideologies. As such, it becomes important for them to look at certain personality traits and markers. And one of the most often searched one is – Leadership.

Most of the top tier universities abroad look at people who are ready to take on important leadership role. As such, it becomes extremely important to find a candidate who has the right potential and abilities. The verbiage of the questions may wary but the idea behind the question remains the same – the intent to look for candidates with leadership abilities.

A few examples of leadership questions asked by universities abroad.

If we were to admit one more student to the class of 2012, make a compelling argument as to why that student should be you? (300 words max)

Describe an experience where, working in a team as a member or leader, you successfully managed to deal with a challenge posed by the diversity of the group. (Maximum 500 words)

Discuss why you are interested in pursuing an MBA at this point in your career (250 words), why this university — and the specific program to which you have applied — is the best fit for your MBA experience (250 words), and discuss how you will leverage both your professional and academic experiences thus far to achieve your post-MBA career goals (250 words).

Leadership and ethics are inevitably intertwined in the business world. Describe a situation in which you have dealt with these issues and how they have influenced you. (250 words)

Irrespective of in which form the universities ask you, there are few things that you must remember while writing the leadership essays:

  1. The situation need not be limited to your work. It could be a team issue. The focus is not how big or small the incident was – the motive is to know how you handled it.

  2. Stating your achievements as a leader, try to focus on your leadership style – lead by doing, setting an example, innovation – take your pick. But describe what kind of a leader you are.

  3. Negative words should be avoided.

  4. This is not the place to talk about your failures. They wish to know all about your success and how you look at it.

  5. Its imperative to give a situation and incidence because a leader is as a leader does.

The golden rule of leadership essay is not to fabricate it. Trying to sound like a stupendous leader might just ruin your chances with the admission committee.


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