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Top tips for writing your personal statement!

Putting together a personal statement can be tricky! Every year, we speak to lots of applicants about what we expect and what we are looking for in the finished piece – it’s something we get asked about a lot!

‘What should I talk about in my personal statement?’

‘How can I make my personal statement stand out?’

‘How long should my personal statement be?’

Fear not! The personal statement section on your application is broken down into 4 clear questions so you can write responsive answers, that offer us insight into the key attributes we look for! That being said, we do have our own tips and guidelines that we like to share, so read on for our full insight!

Why does Imperial College Business School ask for a personal statement?

Quite simply, we ask for a personal statement because we want to know about you. All aspects of your application are important, but many areas tend to be factual and to the point. The personal statement is your opportunity to expand and tell us more about who you are, and what your motivations are for applying to Imperial. Our programmes are hugely competitive, so we often rely on the personal statement to help us understand your profile and fill in any missing pieces from our assessment.

What questions are included in the personal statement section of my application? 

You will be required to complete 4 mandatory questions, which cover your motivation to study and contribution to the cohort, with an additional information section which offers you a chance to detail anything else you haven't mentioned as part of the application. The 4 questions are as follows:

  1. Please share your motivation for undertaking the programme?
    Treat this as a priority. Ideally, your CV and academic history should have already given us a good idea of your achievements to date, so be sure to tell us why you are pursuing postgraduate study and why you have chosen your programme of interest. You should be able to link your past experiences to your suitability for the programme and expand on anything else that is relevant.

  2. What is your proudest non-academic achievement?
    This could be professional, personal, or extra-curricular, but we want to know about your proudest non-academic achievement to date, and how it has helped shape you into the person you are today. We love to hear about all the interesting things that applicants have done and achieved, and this is a great way to differentiate yourself from other candidates.

  3. What would you contribute to the cohort and the Imperial community?
    This question is your opportunity to show us how you will enhance the college experience of those around you and how you will make the most of your time at the Business School. Think about how you will make the campus community a better place, whether this be through participation in extracurricular activities or interactions with staff and students across campus. 

  4. How would you use your degree to make a positive impact?
    We want to know how the programme will benefit you, both during your studies and in the future. Perhaps, you could use this section to tell us about how your programme fits into your long-term goals, or any long-term objectives you have relating to your chosen area of study.

  5. Additional Information
    Use this section to include any additional information you want to tell the Admissions Committee. 

Is there anything I should not write about in my personal statement?

Try not to get too caught up with university rankings or facts about the Business School – we want to hear about you, not us! It’s good to talk about the programme content but avoid simply relaying this information back to us. Focus instead on what interests you the most and how you plan to build on past study.

Don’t waffle - keep it concise! You have 1500 characters per section (including spaces!) so make sure your answers are clear and succinct.

Check, check, and check again! It’s the golden rule; make sure your personal statement is free from any spelling or grammatical errors. Copying and pasting from any other personal statements you have written, such as one to another institution, is a risky game – don’t reference another university and be sure to use the correct programme title!

Hopefully, we have given you some good guidance on what is expected from the personal statement and we wish you the best of luck if you are submitting an application, and we look forward to reading your personal statement soon!

Listen to our podcast Inside IB to learn more about creating a stand-out application


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