How to write an excellent motivation letter

How to write an excellent motivation letter

An important part of the application procedure for the Bachelor programme in International Business Administration (IBA) is the motivation letter. However, for many applicants this part of the application can be very daunting. To help increase your self-confidence and relieve a bit of your application stress, we have put together this short article with background information and tips on how to write a solid motivation letter here below. For the format of your motivation letter (font, line spacing, max. pages etc), please read the general guidelines.

Why do we want a motivation letter?

The main goal of the motivation letter is to find out if you are the kind of student we are looking for in our IBA programme. Important programme characteristics are:

IBA is an international programme
IBA students are high performers

These characteristics are fundamental success factors of the IBA programme. It is therefore of vital importance that only students who have a real interest in studying in an international setting and are willing to actively contribute to the programme are admitted.

The international dimension

The importance of the international dimension of the IBA programme explains why the first of the four items covered in the motivation letter asks you to: “Tell us about your international background”: where were you born, where have you lived, what is your nationality, where did you go to school, in what kind of international activities have you participated. You can also write about what you feel you can add to the international dimension of the programme.
Students without an international background may find this question to be quite disheartening and worry that this will put them at a disadvantage. Our advice here is not to worry. If you do not have an international background, you don’t have it and you cannot be blamed for that. You may have participated in other international activities, like back-packing in Australia, a summer language course in Spain or maybe you attended an international or a bilingual secondary school. All of these types of activities can be used as examples of your “international drive.”

Why IBA?

The second item we would like you to address in your motivation letter is your ambition to study International Business Administration. Some questions to ask yourself are:
Why do you want to study a business programme (and not for instance Chemistry)
Why are you attracted to an international business programme? For our Dutch applicants it is very important to explain your motivation for choosing the International, English language programme as opposed to the Dutch language programme.

Why IBA at RSM?

In the third question you will be asked to elaborate on why you would like to be chosen to participate in the IBA programme at RSM as opposed to another university. We are interested in this because it has been proven that students who made a deliberate, well-thought out study choice, perform better and contribute more to the level of the programme. For RSM it is clear that ambitious and high-performing students influence each other in a positive way.

Your future plans

In the final question we ask you to tell us about your plans for the future. Honestly speaking, you cannot have a ‘wrong’ plan for the future and as a young person you are not to blame if you do not have any concrete ideas at this point in your life. However, we still like to trigger your imagination with this question.
In conclusion, the motivation letter for the IBA programma is an important part of your application package. It is something to be taken seriously, but also something to have fun with. Tell us who you are, what your dreams and motivations are and most importantly, why you think you should be selected for the most prestigious IBA programme in the Netherlands!