Category Archives: Indiana Kelley Advice
August 30, 2016
Kelley School of Business at Indiana University is a top-tier business school with an innovative program. From the moment you decide to attend Kelley you will be focusing on your career and leadership development. You’ll …
Kelley School of Business at Indiana University is a top-tier business school with an innovative program. From the moment you decide to attend Kelley you will be focusing on your career and leadership development.
You’ll receive personalized coaching, leadership training, and real-world industry projects within the first year of your MBA. Kelley’s program is unique and close-knit, so your fit with the program and your desire to participate fully will be important to the admissions committee.
Please discuss your immediate post-MBA professional goals. How will your professional experience, when combined with a Kelley MBA degree, allow you to achieve these goals? Should the short-term goals you have identified not materialize, what alternate career paths might you consider? (500 words)
Entering Kelley with a crystallized career vision and an idea of how you will accomplish your goals will help you take full advantage of the program. Kelley’s curriculum is tailored to help you reach your career goals.
For example, students can specialize almost immediately by choosing one of the first-year Academies in your industry area of focus. Think about these opportunities at Kelley when you answer this career goals question, and specifically how you see yourself using the tools available.
The second half of this question deals with your flexibility around your career goal and your ability to handle change. The business world changes constantly and your ability to recognize opportunity, even outside your anticipated career goals, will be crucial to success. Think about the core elements that are important to you in forming your career goals.
Perhaps you are passionate about a specific industry, but you could imagine pursing either a strategy role or a finance role in that industry. Or perhaps you love marketing and are more flexible about the industry where you practice your craft. Showing that you can capitalize on change and opportunity while staying true to your core values and interests will position you well in this set of essays.
Please respond to one of the following short essay prompts. (300 words)
a. My greatest memory is…
b. I’m most afraid of…
c. My greatest challenge has been…
d. I’m most proud of…
This essay seeks to understand your core personal motivations. Beyond career, what have been formative moments in your life? The story you choose to tell in this essay will be revealing to the admissions committee and will show your personality and values.
Think about the moments in your life when you have changed or matured. Was there an experience that led you to learn more about yourself? Perhaps you interacted with someone who challenged you, or inspired you. Or you may have traveled outside your comfort zone, either literally outside your home country, or in a transition like leaving home for college.
Option b, “I’m most afraid of…” is the one prompt that does not specifically call on a past experience. However, it’s likely that your fear has its roots in a formative moment in your life.
Once you have a story to tell, make sure you are explaining why this moment is important to you. You can either narrate your thoughts, reactions and opinions as you retell the story, or take time at the end of the essay to reflect upon what you learned and why it was important to you.
Please share with the admissions committee an interesting or surprising fact about you. (25 words)
The admissions committee has read your career goals, read about a pivotal experience and likely has reviewed your resume and application fact sheet. This fact is one that didn’t come up in any of those demographic or background data sheets in your application.
Perhaps you were a competitive swimmer in high school, but didn’t pursue it in college. Or your grandmother was from Sweden and taught you traditional cooking techniques that no one else in your life knows.
If you are struggling to come up with an interesting or surprising fact, this is a great question to poll friends and family about. You will want to use something that is unique about you, and that most other applicants would not be able to say.
Your friends and family likely know the elements of your background and personality that go far deeper than your resume or application fact sheet.
Is there anything else that you think we should know as we evaluate your application? If you believe your credentials and essays represent you fairly, you shouldn’t feel obligated to answer this question. (300 words)
Kelley’s optional question is open-ended, allowing you to add almost any story or additional background data you would like. Before you take full advantage of the extra space, make sure you are truly adding to your application. If you have done the work on a comprehensive resume, excellent recommendations and finely honed essays you likely don’t need this space.
If there is anything to explain in your application, definitely use this space to do so. That may be a poor grade in a quantitative course in college, academic probation, or the lack of a recommendation from a current supervisor. Whatever you need to discuss, make sure you are focused on explanations rather than excuses, and you provide solid, recent evidence that you have done better since the event.
Struggling with the Kelley MBA application? Stacy Blackman Consulting can help. Contact us to learn more.
October 7, 2008
The Kelley School of Business at the University of Indiana features a brief core and a significant amount of time where you can design your own educational experience. Continuing to rise in prominence, the program …
The Kelley School of Business at the University of Indiana features a brief core and a significant amount of time where you can design your own educational experience. Continuing to rise in prominence, the program attracts high achievers from around the world.
Kelley Business School’s set of essays offers the opportunity for you to demonstrate your personal, professional and extracurricular achievements and interests. Use your application strategy as a guide to choose the right set of essays to answer, and focus on demonstrating clear results and introspection.
Please discuss your post-MBA short- and long-term professional goals. How will your professional experience, when combined with a Kelley Business School degree, allow you to achieve these goals?
This is a fairly standard career goals essay, similar to that of Kellogg, Wharton and Columbia. When answering the question about your goals, be specific and draw in examples from your career progress thus far to illustrate your skill set and interests. In addition, linking your short and long term goals together will help you create a compelling and logical narrative thread.
Your need for an MBA in general should be very clear when linking your career progress thus far with your short and long term goals. Spend a fair amount of time on why you want to attend the Kelley Business School specifically. Research the program through studying the curriculum and understanding the specific classes you need. Do not limit your inquiry to facts and spend time reaching out to members of the Kelley Business School community either in person through visiting campus, or online through emailing club leaders in the areas you are interested in.
Choose two of the next three:
2. Describe an ethical dilemma that you faced in your professional career. How was it resolved and what did you learn from the experience?
Ethical dilemma questions can be quite tricky. If you choose to answer this question, make sure your example is both real and difficult, and something that will reflect favorably upon your own ethics. Situations that rest in the grey area are most effective with this sort of question, as those are the situations that require leadership, nuance and maturity.
Address clearly what you learned from the experience, and if you have time to illustrate how you used that learning in a subsequent experience you will have a compelling ending to your essay.
3. Suppose you had to choose three people””people alive now or people from another era””to travel with you on a cross-country automobile trip. Who would you choose and why? What would you hope to learn from them? (Think carefully about the company you want on those long stretches through Nebraska or Kansas.)
This is a fun question that allows you to bring in almost any area of your professional, personal or extracurricular interests. Choosing people who are interesting and well rounded will obviously result in the most interesting company on the long stretches through Nebraska or Kansas, but you certainly want to also choose people who will teach you something about yourself or your goals.
In a way, this essay gets to similar material as Stanford’s “What matters most” essay and could be used to paint a holistic picture of who you are and what you value. In discussing the people you choose make sure you are expressing as much about yourself and your motivations as you are about them.
4. Describe what there is about your background and your experiences that will contribute to the diversity of the entering class and enhance the educational experience of other students.
Similar to the Kellogg, Tuck and UNC essays, you have a gift in this Kelley Business School essay to differentiate yourself from other similar applicants. Explore anything that sets you apart from other people you know in your industry or demographic. In choosing the areas of diversity think carefully about what will enhance the educational experience of your classmates, not just the community or social life.
5. Is there anything else that you think we should know as we evaluate your application? If you believe your credentials and essays represent you fairly, you shouldn’t feel obligated to answer this question.
This is the area of your application to discuss any issues in your academic record, gaps in work experience or a lack of recommendation from a current supervisor. In all essays of this type it is important to be straightforward and offer explanations rather than excuses.
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