How to Write a Biographical Sketch - Uddalak Banerjee, XLRI
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Uddalak Banerjee did his PGDHRM from XLRI Jamshedpur and BTech in Computer Science and Engineering from NIT Raipur. He cracked CAT (99.12 percentile), XAT , SNAP and secured final offers from MDI, NITIE, IIT B, IIT D, 6 IIM s, IMT G, SCHMRD, XIMB, GIM and TAPMI. He has written articles related to HRM and MBA in general.
Biographical sketch is currently something which most aspirants have to master and often don’t find adequate material in website regarding the same. When I was an aspirant, I too faced a similar situation. Hence knowing that I have crossed the barrier, I feel a moral responsibility towards all others like me (last night fighters) to get some readily available information regarding how to write Biographical sketches. Let’s look at it in terms of clearly defined steps because that would help while you write biographical sketch.
Basic things to remember while writing a Biographical sketch for MBA entrances (TISS, CAT, GMAT, XAT, NMAT, MAT) specifically Is as follows:
1) Include important and relevant points required by the institute as mentioned in its qualification and admission criterion.
2) For MBA in most colleges we need to fill academic history (10th, 12th, grad score), number of years of experience,reputation of college of graduation, certifications, extra academic passion in line with the course applied ( like say oration, story writing, sports, social work etc )
3) Introduce yourself,keeping in mind the requirement of the institute you are applying to.
4) Biographical sketch should be concise and content should cover the following:
- your family background, relevant points in upbringing and in general should have your parent's profession, their values (in about 1-2 sentences)
- brief background in academics ( school name, percentage, any extra award u might have got) [ preferably in 2-3 sentence]
- reasons behind choice of class 12 stream (science ,arts ,commerce) [ the reason should be analytical and not vague that my parents told me and hence being an obedient child I took it that is definitely not a trait of a future student !!! or else don’t mention it ]
- Also mention how those choices helped u learn and later decide for MBA. (Put some gas but it should be logically linked. If u say that u took commerce because environment of business and economy was what inspired you in your childhood as suggested by xyz prizes.. It is still ok but don’t say you took science because u felt u will take MBA later to learn about business even though your first love was business! That would be fatal!!!)
- Also state your values and aim of life (short term and long term) and both should be consistent.. It should not be that your value is honesty and integrity and aim is to go to any extent and even rob banks to be successful in business (values are something most B-schools just love!! I don’t know why! But then it is the way it is .So play it that way.)
- Reasons behind choosing the institute in case it is a specialized institute like MICA etc. You should support it via your past history of academic and extracurricular interests.
- Perennial question why MBA? (Put something reasonably linked with your history. There is no perfect answer for this but should show your reasonableness and rationality)
- Tell about your strengths and weaknesses ( 2-3 sentences) [ don’t tell anything,as your weakness negates your whole application ; like saying I can’t work hard or can t cooperate with individuals or don’t have much business sense)
- Lastly what you bring to the table from your side which can benefit the institute. ( like say you are captain of cricket team of school and hence are also looking forward to join the sports team and bring laurels for the institute and so on . It should be linked to your past achievements )
5) Check after writing the whole thing whether it is consistent throughout or not .
A sample biographical sketch would be:
(This is just on the first 3 points academic and family background and choices rest will vary based on your background and college in which u are applying . Ideally it should be 1 page in length. I am just writing the first Para)
As a five year old, when I first came to Kolkata, I aspired to be a cricketer. Like thousands others, Sachin Tendulkar was my icon. I wanted to be him and only him. I always dreamt about going to places which, my father being a branch manager in Union Bank of India, could never take me, owing to the paucity of holidays. At times I used to feel annoyed, but later understood from him the importance of duty and integrity. Mathematics always amused me and it reflected in 95+ scores in 10th and 12th for the same. It was mathematics that drove me to take science and that in turn opened up a whole new world of knowledge. Through my teacher, I learned for the first time that Newton was just not limited to theories but they have applications in our day to day life as well. I evaluated value of Pie and sent it to Indian Statistical Institute for revaluation. While the experiment did not work, it gave me some valuable insights and ingrained a desire to work harder to succeed. The short term publicity I got moved me and further initiated a desire within me to strive harder for success which was reflected in 99.6 percentile score in AIEEE and 99.12 percentile score in CAT, apart from a series of scores like 99.9 percentile in IBPS PO exam and so on. Every word of my schoolteacher seemed to find application in NIT even though the subject was computers, very distant from physics which I always loved. It was his inspiration that helped me secure 80 percent marks in engineering which was a distinct achievement in itself.
Now write a biographical sketch for yourself. All the best, Cheers!