The Trinity MBA Blog

How to Make a Winning MBA Application

/ by Eoghan O'Sullivan

Trinity Business School receives a large amount of applications each year for its Full-Time and Executive MBA programmes. MBA Admissions Manager Eoghan O’Sullivan discusses how prospective MBA students can stand out from the crowd with a winning application.


Eoghan O'Sullivan, MBA Admissions Manager

My Background

Hi there, my name is Eoghan O'Sullivan and I am The Trinity MBA Admissions Manager at Trinity Business School. My role within Trinity Business School is to recruit a diverse, experienced cohort of students for both our one-year Full-Time MBA and also our two year part-time Executive MBA. We recruit students globally and as a result we receive a large volume of applications for a limited number of places, competition can be high especially in the summer months as we move closer to the programme’s start date in September each year.

Having worked in MBA student recruitment with Trinity Business School since 2015, I have gained great experience and knowledge in what makes an application standout to maximise a candidate’s chance of progressing to interview and ultimately receiving an offer.

Leave Yourself Enough Time to Apply for a Place

Timing is key, we purposefully recruit as diverse a class as possible and strive to ensure we do not have an overrepresentation from a particular sector or industry. Therefore, early applications are advised, aim to submit your application by the Spring ahead of a September start date. It is not uncommon for international candidates to apply a year in advance to give themselves ample time to prepare the logistics of moving to Dublin. Early submission will ensure you are not competing against a larger pool of candidates from a similar industry for a depleting number of places.


awardThe Atrium, Trinity Business School


Some of the more common professions and industries represented on our MBA programmes are engineers, finance professionals and candidates from the tech sector. As a result, those candidates need to be cognizant that they are competing against other candidates with similar experience and those that submit later applications are at a disadvantage. Similarly, early applicants also have a high chance of receiving a scholarship as scholarships, in addition to places, are awarded on a rolling basis.

Visit our Admissions Page.

Do Your Research

Researching the specifics of the Trinity MBA delivery model, modules and the programme’s structure will not only provide you with the information you need to confirm our MBA is of interest to you, but it will also confirm to the admissions committee what specifically attracted you to our programme.


67609098_2384249005165828_8808536208184442880_oThe Long Room, Trinity College Dublin


To begin, refer to our website, where the admissions and FAQ section will allow you to determine your eligibility and our MBA brochure will provide you with a detailed breakdown of our programmes. Attending one of our webinar open evenings is a great way to get a more in-depth understanding of the Trinity MBA as you will also hear from recent graduates at these events. Finally, I conduct regular 1-2-1 calls with candidates that may have unanswered questions.

When assessing applications, it is clear which applicants have taken the time to research our programme and those that have not. Our MBA Directors are most impressed by candidates that can map various aspects of the MBA to their personal and professional development goals as this provides clear motivation,


Make Sure You Submit the Necessary Documents

Once a candidate has decided to proceed with an application, the first step is to read through all sections of the application and list the documents to be collated and uploaded. Not all the documents listed on the Application and FAQ section of our website will be relevant to all candidates. For example, a non-native English speaker may not need an English proficiency test if she/he has studied and worked through English. A candidate with over 8 years of management experience may not be required to undertake a GMAT or GRE test. If you are uncertain as to which documents you are required to upload, please feel free to email me.


The MBA Application Process

In addition to the uploaded documents, we also assess two professional references. The candidate inputs the referee’s contact details and the referee is then emailed by the application platform with a short reference template which she/he completes and this is sent directly back to the application platform. Ideally, we would like at least one reference from a direct manager. If a candidate already has a written reference, we will gladly accept this in place of the reference template. In this case you can simply upload a copy of the written reference and include your own contact details in the reference section.

We also request candidate’s to answer three questions with a maximum of 400 words each. These essay questions are an integral part of the application form as they give our admissions team and MBA Directors an opportunity to learn more about the candidate’s personality and motivations. My advice is to take your time answering these questions and ensure your answers remain within the 400 word limit.


Submit Your Application!

Once you have completed your application and uploaded the relevant documents, please take the time to review your application for any spelling or grammatical errors before submitting it. Ensure all sections of the application have been completed fully and saved. A hastily completed application with errors can often mean the candidate does not progress to the final interview phase. 

Please bear in mind the application is your means of showcasing your experience and motivation for undertaking the MBA and it is these two factors which we deem of most value when recruiting our MBA cohorts. If you are unsure of any aspect of the application or have any questions please feel free to email me and I’ll be glad to help.

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Tags: MBA, Admissions Process, Application, tips

Eoghan O'Sullivan

Written by Eoghan O'Sullivan

MBA Admissions Manager