A vital component of the IIMB EPGP’s application is the Statement of Purpose (SoP) that is required to be submitted. An SOP is in essence, an introduction and background of your profile to the Admissions Committee. It is imperative to compose a good SOP as it is the only essay type question prompt in the application and drives the interview. Candidates may use it to highlight aspects they would like to be asked about in the interview. An SOP broadly comprises the following aspects, woven together to tell a compelling overall story.
- A brief educational, personal background
- Short- & long-term goals
- Professional experience, career highlights
- Reason for deciding to do an MBA
- Why IIMB EPGP?
- Personal/professional values
Let us now discuss how to go about composing the SOP, step by step.
Laying the groundwork
Before putting pen to paper, you must take a step back and think about your goals, your professional experience and how these fit into the IIMB experience. Take a few days to do this and draw up an outline of your SOP.
Think about your professional goals in terms of role, industry, function, companies and location. For this, you may speak to alumni of the school who may have a similar profile to yours or do your research online keeping in mind your interests and work experience.
Jot down the most impactful projects/initiatives you have undertaken in your professional life and note the skills you honed while you executed them or the core values they brought out in you. For example, if you were given charge of a client project in another geography and you had to upskill yourself as well as manage a team during it, you can say that it helped you hone your interpersonal and leadership skills and sharpen your business strategy acumen.
Why MBA & why IIMB
After you have a clear idea of your goals and the skills you have, you can think about how a business school can help you bridge the gap between your goals and your present state. Most importantly, you must explore how IIMB, specifically, could help you reach your goals, For this you must visit the school website, get in touch with current students/alumni/faculty. An important aspect of your research must be what values the school stands for and looks for in candidates.
Armed with these building blocks, you can now begin the process of putting them together in a manner that is interesting and convincing.
Writing the SOP
Format and word allocation
Before writing the SOP, decide upon a suitable format to best convey your story. Once that is decided upon, allocate a number of words to each part of the SOP. Make sure you cover all the aspects mentioned before. There must be a brief introduction that highlights your passions, interests and what you stand for as an individual. Do not pepper it with quotes/flowery words but rather keep it simple and concise. You must also have a brief conclusion, neatly summing up the SOP. The content between the introduction and conclusion could be arranged in the following manner.
Chronological – past experience leading to goals and then the IIMB EPGP.
The goals stated first, followed by past experience and then the IIMB EPGP.
Your goals, highlights from work and reasons for doing an MBA should be mentioned. Write your goals precisely highlighting both short- and long-term goals. A large part of the SOP should consist of your achievements, both professional and personal – what you learnt from them and what qualities you portrayed. These traits and values should align with the values the school stands for, in order to express that you are indeed a good fit to the school. Then write about the school and the program and how it would help you reach your goals. Here, do specific research and mention professor names, subjects, professional/social clubs, events, case competitions that would be of interest to you.
Your writing style should reflect you and sound authentic. Refrain from using complicated words but rather express yourself in a simple and lucid manner. Do check for grammatical errors as they take away from your candidature. Your SOP must come across as well-written and researched. Make sure, each word on the SOP justifies itself and that nothing is superfluous or redundant.
Hope this will help you in framing a compelling SOP for IIM-B’s EPGP.