How to use SWOT analysis in MBA Application

You are applying to a B-school for an MBA. You know you fit the school and have done enough research. When you start writing your essays, you are expected to write about yourself and you don't know why it is taking so much time just to write about yourself. Introspection, "a conscious mental and usually purposive process relaying on thinking/reasoning/examination of one's own thoughts and feelings" is probably you have to do and find it very difficult to express your own self.

SWOT analysis is something which can come in handy for a situation, personality or organization analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Although extensively used in marketing reports, one can use it to analyze a personality in a methodical manner.

Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors while opportunities and threats are potential external factors. Strengths can serve as a foundation for building a competitive advantage, and weaknesses may hinder it. By understanding these four aspects of yourself, you can better leverage your strengths, work upon your weaknesses, capitalize on golden opportunities, and deter potentially devastating threats. Thus with a successful analysis, you become clear in expressing yourself and thereby improving yourself.

Your Strengths can be:

  • Your academic record
  • GMAT Score
  • Quality work-ex
  • A unique leadership experience
  • A unique hobby
  • A unique skill
  • Community participation
  • Knowledge of a foreign language
  • An initiative taken at workplace to solve a complex problem
  • Enthusiasm, energy, imagination. Your qualities.
  • ... the list can go on. Just spend some time and make an exhaustive list.
Your weaknesses can be:
  • Poor undergrad grades
  • Low GMAT Score
  • Less work-experience (how was the quality?)
  • No managerial/leadership role (bad can you justify your abilities?)
  • A bad habit (procrastination, laziness, poor communication skills?)
  • No international work-ex.
Now when an internal analysis is done, we'll see how your strengths can be used to grab possible opportunities and how your weaknesses can be possible threats so that you can work on them before it is too late.

Some of the opportunities can be:
  • A perfect fit for XYZ school based on your experience (Your marketing stint in the IT company fits with your post MBA goals of marketing, etc.)
  • Your GMAT score is above the average GMAT score of the school.
  • Your international experience was considerable.
  • Increase in no. of seats this year. ;)
  • just research the school and fit yourself in, building up on your strengths.
In a similar fashion, corresponding to the weaknesses, threats can be identified:
  • average GMAT score is increased this year
  • More number of people have community involvement.
  • Many people have international work-ex which you do not.
  • You are part of a large applicant pool.
A SWOT analysis template is available which can be used. Remember that SWOT analysis is just one method which can be used for building up on significant achievements in your life and building a story. Apart from MBA application, it can also be used for within the company appraisals, although I have provided examples targeting MBA Application.

Hope this helps in bringing out your true self and writing a genuine application. Although I do invite other ideas from the readers which I might have missed out on.

11 comments:

Katie said...

I'm just loving how people apply SWOT analyses to just about anything. You can get really creative with it if you let yourself!

Thanks for that template. It will be very useful, I'm sure.

Here is one favorite SWOT article of mine:

http://www.coursework4you.co.uk/scenario.htm

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marion said...

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nancy john said...

Good post about GMAT it is very useful for students

GMAT Analysis

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Aedd Karston said...

Thanks for the helpful information!
Gramlee

mba essays said...

In the mba application process when you start writing your essays, you are expected to write about yourself and you don't know why it is taking so much time just to write about yourself.

Cris Mic said...

Thanks for sharing so useful information with us. I really need this help; actually I am going to get the admission in  full-time MBA so this article will help me lot in my studies.

Shalin Siriwaradhana said...

Great explanation. Hope you had post few swot diagram examples and drawing tools here. You can find both with creately. Its a good swot analysis software that you can use online and its free to try.

Ameli Amths said...

informative blog post for mba essay writing. When you Writing application for mba please insure about your college and university.