Writing your personal statement can be difficult as there is so much contrasting information available. The key thing to remember is that it needs to be specific to the programme and university that you are applying for – please don’t write one general statement and send it to all of your universities!
Remember: what is expected at one institution may be greatly different to the requirements at another university. We all have different requirements and focus on different aspects of an application.
What makes a good personal statement for Imperial College Business School?
- Tells us why you wants to study the programme and specifically at Imperial College Business School.
- Includes information about any previous studies that you have found enjoyable and would like to build on whilst studying at Imperial.
- Includes further details of any relevant experiences (eg: internships, volunteering or hobbies) which have developed your interest in your chosen programme and developed your career ambitions.
- Gives an insight into what you are like as a person and how you would be in class. All of our programmes include a strong group work element. In some modules you will be assessed as a team including via peer assessments where the others students will grade your contributions. This means we want students on the programme who will work towards the success of the team, share their ideas and who will make an impact during the year.
Your personal statement will also be:
- Spell checked, in a standard font with paragraphs and without grammatical errors.
- Around one page of A4 (approximately 500 words) in length.
What should I not write about in my personal statement?
- Paragraphs about how Imperial College London and/or our programmes perform in world rankings – we know how we’re doing, so you don’t need to tell us!
- The name of another university, a different programme title, or make a spelling error when writing Imperial.
- A copy of your career answers – if you’ve already written about something as part of your career answers then there’s no point putting it in your personal statement. This is the place to write about anything else that you feel is relevant but have not yet had the chance to include.
What should be included in my reference letters?
In addition to writing your personal statement you will need to decide who you would like to write your two reference letters. At least one of your referees must be academic, although you are free to decide whether the other one is professional or academic.
You also need to ensure you provide the academic or professional email address of your referees. We are unable to accept reference letters from personal email addresses (gmail, hotmail, 126, sina, qq, yahoo etc) in any circumstances. The Imperial College Business School policy for reference letters may differ from other universities or departments that you are applying to, so you need to ensure that the referee details that you are submitting meet our requirements. If they do not we will not be able to process your application until we receive a suitable reference letter, and with the upcoming deadlines for the finance suite this could mean that we are unable to consider you within the first round.
We pay close attention to these letters as they add context to a student’s application and exam results. Successful students at Imperial usually have excellent academic records, often performing at the top of their class. When deciding who to add as a referee, be sure to:
- Speak to your referee and let them know about your application before you apply.
- Let the referee know about any application deadlines and submit your request early. Some academics are very busy so it might take some time for them to submit your reference, especially when they have lots of students to support.
- Provide them with key details about you choices so that they know exactly which programme you want to do.
- Ask them to place your achievements in the context of the class and other students – if you’ve achieved the best results in your cohort then we want to know!
- Tell them about your non-academic achievements such as internships, volunteering or other hobbies if you would like this to be included in your reference.
- If you have extenuating circumstances that have affected your studies you need to choose a referee who is able to discuss how your studies were impacted.