Answering the “The Why an MBA?” question
The "Why an MBA?" question is the most commonly asked essay question when applying to do an MBA.

"WHY do you want to do an MBA at our business school at this point in your life? And what will you do if you are not offered a place?"

How you answer this question is crucial - essays are the key part of your application process because they are where you can differentiate yourself from other applicants and distinguish yourself in the eyes of the admissions committee. The “Why and MBA?” question is the core essay in any set.

Take the "Why do you need an MBA, why now and why from us?" question - there are five parts to this, covering past, present and future.

- What experiences have led you to this point?
- Why an MBA at this point in your career?
- What do you want to do with your degree, in the short &long-term?
- Why an MBA from this school particularly?
- Why an MBA?

Your essay needs to address all five points. The admissions committee is asking how your past connects to your future via business school. A versatile template would be to start with your immediate goal on graduation, then give a sense of your long-term goals, and say why an MBA is relevant to these goals, and why now.

Bolster this with what in the past has led you to this point. Finish with the aspects of the target school that are relevant
and attractive, given your goals.

Communicating your future aspirations is tricky; on the one hand you need to think big, but on the other you must demonstrate career-path realism. Concentrate on the aspirations that set you apart from the crowd. Have a single focus and show that you will do anything (legal) to realize your dream. If you don't back yourself 100 per cent then the admissions committee won't either.

Author's Bio: 

Avi Gordon is the author of 'MBA Admissions Strategy: From Profile Building to Essay Writing,” (McGraw-Hill Professional / Open University Press). He is the host of Business Week’'s Business Exchange (BX) forum on MBA Admissions, and has been admissions advisor for The World MBA Tour. Avi is accredited by the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC), and provides elite b-school admissions support to MBA applicants through The MBA Admissions Studio (