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How To Write a Motivational Statement

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We need to ensure that DBA applicants are more explicit, passionate about Critical Action Learning in the motivational statement. Management school has seen cases where applicants have just described what CAL is but not how they will apply it. Please read the below.

Motivational Statements  – There is now more focus on the applications, particularly applicants motivations for studying the programme. There is a large focus on Critical Action Learning for DBA motivational statements. Applicants must be able to express their understanding of CAL and how they currently/plan to implement it in their day to day business. Motivational statements where this is not evidenced will not be considered and the applicant will be asked to present a new motivation. This may also be the case if the motivation is too generic or is simply a standard definition of CAL. Do they understand CAL as a need to engage in projects?

There has been recent feedback from EAs and REMs suggesting that applicants are being asked to provide information, not currently included within the motivational statement guidelines (Attached) specifically referencing research. Applicants should be able to inform us of why they are passionate about studying what is essentially a research programme and why they believe they will be able to dedicate a minimum of 2½ years of their life to this. An explanation of a passion for research or previous research history in the applicants life will solidify what is essentially a representation of themselves via an OLA.

The statement should be written specifically for the programme being applied to.  Submission of a ‘generic’ statement will result in a request for a more specific statement to be written, therefore leading to delays in the application process.

It is suggested that the statement addresses the following questions:
  1. How is the applicant’s work and / or academic experience relevant to the programme of study – i.e. how does it addresses the entry requirements?

This section may be used by the applicant to:

  • Provide a high level overview of previous experience, addressing any specific elements laid out in the entry requirements – e.g. demonstrating an appropriate organizational context for the DBA, having ‘relevant’ or ‘specific’ work experience for the MBA and specific project management experience for the MPM
  • Demonstrate how they expect their experience to help them prepare for the Masters programme
  • Provide examples of how they have dealt with tasks at work relevant to the subject area and how they think this experience will be applicable to their studies
  • Describe their professional progression in their career to date and explain the skills they have gained throughout this period
  • Provide specific examples which relate to particular modules of the programme – please note, however, that it is not necessary to refer to every module
  1. What is the applicant’s motivation to study this particular programme?

This section may be used by the applicant to address:

  • Why this programme of study is important to them
  • What they hope to gain from the programme
  • What their career plans are and how the programme will help them achieve their career goals – especially if a change of career is planned as part of the application
  1. Word Limit of Re-submitted Documents – The word limit for DBA motivational statements is 1000 words. If an applicant is requested to present a new motivational statement for whatever reason, Nick is happy if they go over this word count, to a certain extent! The word count enables us to see if applicants can express themselves within a particular structure which will reflect them once on the programme. The word count enable us to see if the applicant is able to succinctly express themselves and is a good indicator of how they will academically write on the programme.
  1. Appeals Process/Re-applying – There is no official appeal process in place at the moment for online applicants. The focus is on the on campus appeals process. As per point 8.3 of the Programme Admissions Process (attached) “Following a rejected application, applicants are expected to wait for a minimum of six months before re-applying and shall be required to complete a new OLA. The future application is unlikely to be successful unless the applicant has improved their qualifications and / or work experience.” This applies with both Masters and Doctoral programmes.

Points that are required in a Motivational Statement for DBA:

  • Reasons for study
  • How the programme will benefit the prospective student
  • How their work experience has equipped them to undertake doctoral studies
  • How they will be able to contribute to the classroom
  • Demonstrate an interest in research/performing doctoral level studies
  • That they understand the nature of Critical Action Learning
    1. how they currently/plan to implement it in their day to day business– give an example of a current situation at work where this approach could be implemented
  • That they understand the need to engage in projects throughout the programme
    1. Must also demonstrate an affiliation with an appropriate organizational context allowing them to learn from their experiences to improve practice in an organizational context

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