Your MBA Statement of Purpose: How to Write with Impact

March 19, 2023

A statement of purpose (SOP) is a critical component of your graduate school application. It's a chance for you to showcase your passion, interests, and goals, as well as demonstrate why you'd be a good fit for the program. At Sonoma State School of Business and Economics, we provide applicants to our MBA programs with a set of suggestions and guidelines below as to avoid any confusion or stress about writing your SOP.

Not all personal statements are the same, so read all provided instructions carefully, and be sure you understand what’s being asked of you. You’ll be asked to write in a question-and-answer format, which means you should type each question into your statement and then provide your response beneath it. Treat it as an interview with yourself.

Developing your personal statement 1-3 hours

You must submit a personal statement that is one to two pages in length and addresses the following content:

  1. What makes you a strong candidate for our Executive MBA in global wine business or for our MBA in purpose driven business program?

  2. Why SSU?

  3. Why an MBA?

  4. What are your specific career and/or personal goals after earning your degree?

  5. Briefly name organizations for which you have worked and describe any relevant work experiences that you have had.

Here's a step-by-step guide to help you write an effective statement of purpose:

1.Please research the program: Start by thoroughly researching our graduate programs. We suggest reviewing our curriculum, schedule and facility members to make sure you are well informed about what program is right for you. 

2.Self-reflection:Reflect on your academic and professional experiences, as well as your personal interests and goals. This will help you identify your motivations for pursuing graduate studies and how the program aligns with your career objectives.

3.Outline your SOP: Create an outline to organize your thoughts and ensure that you cover all the essential elements in your SOP.

4.Explain your academic background: Provide a brief overview of your undergraduate studies, relevant coursework, research projects, internships, or any other experiences that have prepared you for graduate school.

5. Showcase relevant experiences: Highlight any professional, volunteer, or extracurricular experiences that demonstrate your passion, skills, and knowledge in your field. Be sure to emphasize how these experiences have prepared you for graduate school and how they relate to your research interests.

6. Describe your future goals: Explain your short-term and long-term goals after completing the program, and how the graduate degree will help you achieve them.

7. Address any weaknesses or gaps: If there are any weaknesses or gaps in your academic or professional background, address them in your SOP. Explain the circumstances and how you've taken steps to overcome them or demonstrate your commitment to succeeding in graduate school.

8. Conclude with enthusiasm: End your SOP with a strong conclusion that reiterates your passion for the program, your commitment to succeed, and your belief that you are a good fit for the graduate school.

9. Start with an attention-grabbing introduction: Begin with a strong, engaging introduction that immediately grabs the reader's attention. This could be an anecdote, a quote, or a question that sets the stage for your story.

10. Edit and proofread: Revise your SOP for clarity, coherence, and conciseness. Make sure there are no grammatical errors, typos, or inconsistencies.

11. Seek feedback: Ask friends, family members, or mentors to review your SOP and provide feedback. Incorporate their suggestions and revise your statement as needed.

Remember to always tailor your statement of purpose to the specific program you're applying to, and make sure it reflects your unique experiences, interests, and goals.

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