Writing a personal statement for the MBA-programme application

Basic information about the Personal Statement

  • The Statement should be written in flawless English. If appropriate, it will be sent to the University of Northampton for approval.
  • The Personal Statement is an essay with a clear structure, paragraphs and full sentences. It should give an accurate picture of your English proficiency, so do ensure proper spelling, grammar and phraseology. Feel free to use spelling and other tools found in your software to help you proofread your text.
    • You can structure your Statement as follows, if you wish: introduction, middle section and conclusion. You may use subtitles.
    • Always justify your claims with examples, such as: “I have substantial experience working in teams. In company X I was team leader in … I learned to give constructive feedback to others…”
  • The purpose of the Statement is to convince the reader about your motivation and aptitude to study in the programme and complete it successfully. You can consider, e.g., the following questions:
    • Why do you want to study a MBA-degree? Is there a particular experience that has led you towards this path? How will the degree benefit you in the future.
    • What expectations do you have about MBA-studies?
    • Are there particular areas or issues that you have encountered in your career that you wish to get knowledge and tools for through your studies?
    • You can also reflect on your hobbies, interests, volunteering or other experiences to describe your motivation and skills base.
    • How are you planning to manage your time during your studies?
    • Today’s views on learning emphasise collaboration and active engagement among peers. Describe your experiences in team work. What benefits can you foresee through team work? Do you have specific skills that could benefit other team members, such as visualising complex problems, analysis, or problem-solving.
    • What strengths do you have and how will these strengths support you to do well in your studies?
    • What plans and dreams do you have for the future after your studies are finished.
  • Do reserve enough time for reflection and writing the Statement.
  • Draft your Statement for example in MS-Word so that you can make use of spell check tools.

The length of the statement

  • The length of the Statement should be 3,000 – 4,000 characters, including spaces. This is normally equivalent to about 500 words, or one A4 of dense text. Aim to write at minimum 3,000 characters. If the Statement is shorter than this, it is likely that we will ask you to rewrite it, which may delay your admission.
  • If you first write your Statement on, e.g., MS-Word, the programme will calculate the number of characters used.

Don’t do this:

  • Do not list your professional experience like you do in your CV. Rather, be selective and describe what you have found important and motivating in your career, and what you have learnt.
  • Never copy statements written by other people or found on the internet. If such a breach is discovered, your studies may be terminated without warning. You must write the statement yourself.
  • Do not leave writing of the statement to the last minute!

Good luck for your application!