Your First Impression: The Statement of Intent
When you apply to a job, your cover letter is often your first impression. It not only introduces you to the organization, but demonstrates your interest in the company, draws attention to your resume and motivates the reader to interview you.
The statement of intent (SOI) included in your Alberta MBA application serves a similar purpose. Your other application materials, such as the GMAT score, English language proficiency score and transcripts, are quantitative in nature. The statement of intent, resume and references gives you the opportunity to demonstrate how unique you are compared to other applicants who may have a similar profile.
So what’s the secret sauce to writing a compelling statement of intent? Here are some tips:
- Get creative: The admissions team reads hundreds of SOIs each year and the most memorable ones show, instead of tell, important details. Don’t be afraid to incorporate storytelling or humour into your SOI. Capture our attention!
- Why this, why now: In your SOI, be sure to address why you want to enter the Alberta MBA program and why this is the best time to do so at this stage of your career/life.
- Be future focused: Clearly outline your short term and long term career goals in the SOI. Although you may not be 100% certain if it’s the right path for you at this point, a general idea of where you want to go allows the admissions committee to see if the Alberta MBA program can help you achieve these goals.
- Demonstrate alignment: How does the Alberta MBA align with your career goals and support you in achieving them better than any other program?
- Do your research: Show that you’ve looked into our program, University, city, province and country. This demonstrates that you’re excited about the opportunity to study here and are confident in your decision to apply.
- Clear up potential misunderstandings: Do you have a gap in employment on your resume? Did you not do so well in your undergraduate degree and it is impacting your GPA? Explain the situation to us in your SOI so we aren’t left with more questions after reading it.
- Value proposition: What can we expect from you as a student once you’re admitted? What makes you a good fit for the Alberta MBA program? We have a limited amount of spots available in our program, so let us know about how awesome you are!
- Revise: Edit your SOI multiple times to ensure it is error-free. In addition, ask a friend, family member or colleague to read it over and offer suggestions for improvement.
- Keep it concise: Only one to two pages in length is required. You do not need to re-outline your whole professional background and achievements in the SOI, as we can get this information from your resume. Use your few pages of SOI real estate wisely!
Applicants often wonder why they have been rejected when they have high GMAT, GPA and English language proficiency scores. The answer can sometimes stem from the statement of intent. The statement of intent helps the admissions team determine which candidates will contribute to and benefit the most from the MBA program. In short, it is how we assess the best “fit” for our incoming class. Taking the time to craft a comprehensive and captivating statement of intent should not be overlooked. After all, it is your first impression.
For more information on the Alberta MBA please click here.