SOP for MBA in Netherlands

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Srishti Chatterjee
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Jul 8, 2021 16:00 IST

Netherlands is fast becoming a sizzling study destination for international students who aim to pursue their MBA. One of the things to note about the Netherlands universities is that they emphasize practical and lived experiences. Thus, the application process involves a CV assessment first of all and then essays or written statement that focuses on experiences and skill assessment.

Read: Students Guide to Netherlands

Do note that not all universities or B-schools in the Netherlands will ask for a Statement of Purpose (SOP) as the application process is more inclined to be objective. Thus, a majority of the B-schools have essay questions or ask for a motivational letter. For instance, here are the top B-schools in Netherlands for MBA and the type of essay questions they ask. In this article, we will help you tackle these questions to help you write an impressive answer.

Rotterdam School of Management

Program: International Full-time MBA

Essay 1: Share how you've already been a force for positive change in your world. Your example can be large or small, global or local, but must highlight the positive impact you've had through your efforts. Tell us your story (500 words)


Essay 2: Discuss how the RSM MBA will prepare you to become a force for positive change, either in your personal or professional life. (500 words)

Option Essay: Please feel free to supply any additional information that you believe would be helpful to the Admissions Committee in making the final decision on your application. (50 words maximum).

Answer tips

  • Write a rough answer first, the word limit can be taken care of later on.
  • If you are confused about which one to answer, write an answer for both of them and see which one is more appealing and highlights your personality and skills.
  • Break down the essay question and pick out the key or focus words, such as ‘positive change’, ‘positive impact, ‘through your efforts, etc. Focus words will help you concentrate on answering what is asked and not waver away.
  • DO NOT LIE! Do not create a fantasy situation but be truthful about the situations that you describe.
  • Be genuine and highlight your contributions and discuss the impact it created.
  • As the question suggests, it be can be a minor positive change too so if you have a lot of situations to discuss, pick that change which is comparatively small in size but the impact was huge.
  • Although, this is the time to boasts about your skills, do not forget to highlight the contributions of your team or other members involved in that process (if any). This is where you can highlight your leadership and teamwork skills.
  • Before finalizing the essay, give it a thorough read and even ask for feedback from your family or friends. Another pair of eyes can do wonders to recognize the missing details.
  • Pick the optional essay only if you have anything additional to add that is not already discussed in your CV/resume. As the word limit is only 50, try to highlight your achievements or involvement in other activities such as social work, etc to strengthen your application.
  • Do not repeat details that have been already mentioned in your CV.
  • It is also a good medium to explain your gap years in study or professional life for genuine reasons (if any).

TIAS School for Business and Society

Program: Full-time MBA

This B-school expects the applicant to answer ALL the four short answer questions:

One: Give an honest description of who you are as a person. Put emphasis on the personal characteristics you feel to be your strengths as well as those that could be improved. In addition, describe the main factors, which have influenced your personal development. (75 words)

Two: Describe your short-term and long-term career aspirations and your reason for pursuing an MBA, and why now is the best time for you to join our MBA. Additionally, what is it about TIAS Business School you think will help you reach your goals (150 words)

Three: What can you contribute by means of your particular skillset and expertise to your MBA peer group? (150 words)

Four: Describe when you were part of a team and the process/intended outcome wasn’t what you expected. What was your role, what did you learn and what would you maybe do differently? (150 words)

Answer tips

  • All four essays need to be answered in a way that no situation or answer is repeated.
  • The first answer is wholly on personal development. Do not highlight weakness rather say that you are working on improving this quality and give an example of how you are managing it.
  • The second answer is a goals statement and how this school can help you achieve it. Be clear and specific with your answers. Explain your goals in detail and how or what change you would like to bring in.
  • The third essay should highlight your skillset and learnings to date and how it can help in enriching class interactions. What uniqueness you can bring to the class should be explained.
  • The fourth essay tends to draw out a learning experience from your past. It doesn’t need to be a failure per se but any minor setback that you faced. Explain your learning and what other methods you should have followed for a successful outcome.

Other universities like the Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences and the ESB Business School ask for a motivation letter or self-introduction letter during the application process. A Letter of Motivation (LoM) or Motivational Letter is a one-page essay or letter that explains your objectives, motivation, and goals related to the course/program. You can check out our article on How to write an impressive Letter of Motivation? for more information.

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About the Author
Srishti Chatterjee
Study Abroad Expert

Srishti has spent six years in the Education industry helping study abroad aspirants draft their application documents for their dream universities. Experienced in creating impressive SOP, LOR, and Essays, she knows... Read Full Bio


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