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SOP for MBA in Canada: Requirements, Format, and Guidelines at Top Universities

Sugandhi Sood Sugandhi Sood
Study Abroad Expert

A Statement of Purpose for the MBA program is not quite the same as an SOP for Computer Science or an SOP for Law program. Along with incorporating more in-depth information, you have to ensure that your essay perfectly entwines your academic qualifications, life experiences, and professional experiences.

An SOP for MBA in Canada must also be written on these lines, with the addition of a few major aspects which differentiate it from MBA essays for other countries.

  • Unlike an SOP for MBA in USA, majority of the Canadian universities ask for both a written essay and a video essay.
  • An SOP for MBA in Canada should be a perfect balance between a representation of your personality and achievements.
  • In the majority of top-ranking business schools in Canada, a written statement of purpose is expected in the format of questions and answers, instead of a single essay.

To Check a Sample SOP for MBA in Canada, click here

SOP for MBA in Canada: What Questions to be Addressed?

Some specific questions asked by the admission committee of Canadian Business Schools are:

  1. Special incidents in your life that shaped your personality or incidents influencing your goals.
  2. What stimulated your interests in the selected field and what insights have you gained about it?
  3. How your work experiences (if any) contributed to your personality development?
  4. What are your career goals?
  5. Explanation about any gaps or discrepancies in your academic records or writing about the reasons for a certain trend in your academic background.
  6. What skills and traits of yours will help you to stand apart from the crowd?

SOP for MBA in Canada: Requirements at Top Universities

As revealed, the majority of top Canadian Business schools require 2 sets of SOP- written essay/questions and video questions. The specific guidelines and requirements at top 5 business schools are mentioned below:

SOP for MBA at Rotman School of Management

UToronto’s Rotman School is quite rigorous in terms of MBA admission process and the same is reflected in their Statement of purpose requirements. While the set questions remain the same, the central theme changes annually.

For 2020-2021, the SOP must reflect Rotman’s “Creative Methodology”. The 1000 words essay question proposed to the students is, "Our admitted students stand out by doing interesting things with their personal and professional lives — something we describe as the ‘spike factor’; Drawing from different aspects of your life, elaborate on your experiences which demonstrate Passion/Resilience/Innovation/Drive and more.”

Explain your spike factor, which not just highlights your individuality, but also reflects your contribution to the Rotman community and University of Toronto.

Moving to the video essay, applicants are required to record a 10-minute video answering two undisclosed questions. The questions are revealed during the interview process only.

SOP for MBA at Sauder School of Business

Like the Rotman, Sauder School of Business also asks for SOP in the form of written answers and a video essay. However, what differentiates the requirements at two schools is that instead of a single essay, the applicants are asked to answer the following questions:

  1. What motivates you to do an MBA? (200 Words)
  2. What do you like about the UBC MBA Program? How do you plan to acquire the most from this journey? (200 Words)
  3. Given the opportunity to provide 1-piece of advice to the most important person in your life, personally or professionally, what would that be? Why? (500 Words)
  4. Describe a situation in which you created value either of professional or community settings for an organization or group. What was the outcome? (500 Words)

Sauder Business School is quite stringent when it comes to the word limit. Therefore, you are advised to stick to the maximum word count. Moving on to the video essay, UBC’s business school expects you to answer the following questions in videos ranging between 60 to 90 seconds:

  1. What is the biggest challenge with regards to the MBA journey?
  2. How do you plan to overcome the above-mentioned challenge?

The recorded video is either to be uploaded on YouTube or Vimeo. For the sample, students can check the following video submitted by a student in 2020:

SOP for MBA at Ivey Business School

The Ivey Business School’s SOP comprises a set of 3 questions to be answered in 250 words each. The questions asked in 2018-2019 are:

  1. What career plan does the applicant intend to pursue upon completing the MBA and why? How will the School help you to achieve the above-mentioned goals?
  2. Describe how the Ivey case study environment will help you to become successful.
  3. If you could choose anyone to teach a course at Ivey, who would you choose and why?

Remember your essays are the first opportunity to portray your individuality, talents, interests and everything else beyond your qualifications.

SOP for MBA at Schulich School of Business

Schulich School of Business asks for video essays and a 350-word written essay from MBA applicants. While the guidelines for the written essay are straightforward- Highlight your unique features.

The instructions for video essay at Schulich School of Business are mentioned below:

  • The 2 essay questions are not disclosed at the beginning. Once you login to complete the essay, you will get to know the question.
    • Question 1 will be related to your personality
    • Question 2 will address your professional experiences
  • You will be given 45 seconds to plan your answer and upto 90 seconds to record your answers.

Understanding an applicant’s position, the university offers a chance to record for a mock video essay.

SOP for MBA at Desautels Faculty of Management

Unlike other Canadian business schools, Desautels Faculty of Management answers to 3-essay type questions:

  1. Why do you want to do an MBA at this point in your life? Describe your short-term and long-term visions for your post-MBA career path and how will the Desautels MBA program add value to your future career?
  2. What qualities would you expect from your team partner while working on a team project and describe how your background and leadership skills will enhance the experience of others?
  3. Describe a difficult decision you made and the obstacles you faced while making it.

The word count for all three questions is 500 words.

SOP format for MBA in Canada should be short, simple, and clear. The applicant must try using simple English Language. The uniqueness and the intent of the application are the most important characteristics of the SOP. The chronological order of the SOP keeps the reader from the admission committee remaining intact or interested in your SOP.

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