Category Archives: General

Goizueta Business School Fall 2017 MBA Application Essays

The Goizueta Business School at Emory University has announced the four required essay topics for the 2016-2017 MBA application season. Essay Questions Define your short-term post-MBA career goals. How are your professional strengths, past experience …

Emory MBA essay questions

The Goizueta Business School at Emory University has announced the four required essay topics for the 2016-2017 MBA application season.

Essay Questions

  • Define your short-term post-MBA career goals. How are your professional strengths, past experience and personal attributes aligned with these goals? (300 word limit)
  • The business school is named for Roberto C. Goizueta, former Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, who led the organization for 16 years, extending its global reach, quadrupling consumption, building brand responsibility, and creating unprecedented shareholder wealth. Mr. Goizueta’s core values guide us in educating Principled Leaders for Global Enterprise. Provide an example of your leadership – professional or personal – and explain what you learned about yourself through the experience. (300 word limit)
  • Complete one of the following statements. (250 word limit)
    • I am passionate about…
    • The best piece of advice I’ve received is…
    • The best day of my life was…
    • A personal goal I want to accomplish is…
  • Share with the committee and your future classmates a fun or noteworthy fact about you. (25 word limit)

Optional Essay: If you have additional information or feel there are extenuating circumstances which you would like to share with the MBA Admissions Committee (i.e. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, academic performance issues or areas of weakness in application). Please limit your response to 250 words.

For additional information about applying, please visit the Goizueta MBA admissions website.

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Show International Experience When Applying to Business School

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News. The ability to work well with people from other cultures has never been more critical. More companies than ever are conducting international business, …

study abroad

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.

The ability to work well with people from other cultures has never been more critical. More companies than ever are conducting international business, and business schools everywhere have spent the past few years deepening their own focus on globalization through coursework and study abroad programs.

Business school admissions committees look for applicants who are open-minded, curious, adventurous and eager to learn about the world at large. Though not an explicit requirement for admission, having meaningful work, study or travel experience outside your home country makes you more desirable as an MBA applicant.

These global experiences are especially appreciated – after graduation, they translate into marketable job skills, such as adaptability, leadership, cultural awareness and communication and language abilities. Here are two key reasons why international experience matters when applying to business school.

Diverse perspective: If you look at the demographics of any elite MBA program, you will see a considerable percentage of non-citizens enrolled. Having students from a wide array of backgrounds, cultures and languages strengthens and enriches everyone’s experience.

Whether you are applying to a program in- or outside your home country, having a broader perspective of global business issues in your arsenal means you bring a unique viewpoint to class discussions and team projects. It also expands your network as you tap into professional associations with your contacts in other countries.

MBA applicants should highlight any experiences traveling, studying or working outside their home country. The admissions committee wants to ensure these candidates can actually thrive – not just survive – in the program and work well with a diverse group of classmates.

• Adaptability and vision: If you have already logged significant international work experience or education prior to business school, you are three steps ahead of the game. Think about it: When you immerse yourself in another language or culture, you likely encounter some form of culture shock that ultimately becomes a valuable learning experience.

You are demonstrating real leadership skills when you break through communication barriers, learn how business practices work in the new environment, adapt to new social and business norms, work with diverse teams, solve problems or go beyond your comfort zone. These skills are a crucial differentiator in a competitive MBA applicant pool.

International travel and work experience can also offer a wealth of material for your MBA essays. Often such experiences will spur new career goals and a broader vision for your life.

Perhaps your travels shaped your views about health care or education, inspired a passion for Spanish literature, introduced you to the thrill of mountaineering or helped you become more outgoing and confident in unfamiliar situations. Whatever the effect, you can explain what you learned about yourself and others and in turn convey your uniqueness to the admissions committee.

Even if you haven’t traveled extensively, you can still highlight any applicable experiences you have had working with individuals from other countries and cultures. If you have the time and resources to travel in the months before applying, research international volunteer opportunities or continuing education study abroad programs. If these options aren’t feasible, consider taking on a project at work that puts you in contact with international offices or teams.

Rest assured, your application likely won’t be rejected due to a lack of international exposure if every other component is compelling and strong. In your essays, reference your enthusiasm for the school’s diverse culture and your plans to take advantage of study abroad programs, as well as your desire to participate in any clubs or student groups that will increase your cross-cultural awareness. As long as you can show your intent to expand your mindset and increase your international exposure during business school, you should be fine.

Image credit: Flickr user Fedecomite (CC BY 2.0)

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Tuesday Tips: Stanford GSB Fall 2017 MBA Essay Tips

Stanford Graduate School of Business continues to ask applicants to delve deep into their personality, values and motivations for this set of MBA essays. The classic “what matters most” essay should be your primary focus, …

Stanford GSB essay questions

Stanford Graduate School of Business continues to ask applicants to delve deep into their personality, values and motivations for this set of MBA essays. The classic “what matters most” essay should be your primary focus, and secondly you will answer why Stanford is the next step in your journey.

Total word count for the essays must not exceed 1,150 words, so be judicious in deciding how much or little to write for each prompt. As a general guideline, Stanford GSB suggests 750 words for essay one and 400 words for essay two. Check your deadlines before you get started to make sure you are maximizing the time on your essays.

Essay A: What matters most to you, and why? (suggested 750 word limit)
– Focus on the “why” rather than the “what.”
– Do some deep self-examination, so you can genuinely illustrate who you are and how you came to be the person you are.
– Share the insights, experiences, and lessons that shaped your perspectives, rather than focusing merely on what you’ve done or accomplished.
– Write from the heart, and illustrate how a person, situation, or event has influenced you.

This classic Stanford GSB MBA essay is your opportunity to demonstrate who you are, what motivates you, and why. Topics can range from personal history to grand visions of the future. While this topic should not be explicitly career related (and the strongest essays are likely not career oriented at all) it is possible that some of your themes will continue in your career essay.

Your accomplishments and achievements are part of why you have developed into the person you are today, however it’s far more important to explain your influences, lessons learned and motivations. Introspection and honesty should persist through the entire set of essays.

To generate ideas, try brainstorming over a period of a few days. Ask friends and family what values they see you demonstrating in your life and choices. Keep a notebook by your bed so you can record your first thoughts upon waking up, and mine your personal history for ideas. What keeps you awake at night? When you look back at your life what will you admire and regret about your choices? These are the kind of questions to ask yourself as you approach topics for this essay.

Though the essay question may seem open-ended, answering the question with vivid and specific examples will provide solid evidence that you have demonstrated or experienced “what matters most” throughout your life. Keep in mind as you select examples that Stanford GSB specifically advises focusing on people and experiences that have influenced you, rather than accomplishments or achievements.

Essay B: Why Stanford?
Enlighten us on how earning your MBA at Stanford will enable you to realize your ambitions. (suggested 400 word limit, 450 for applicants to both the MBA and MBx programs)
– Explain your decision to pursue graduate education in management.
– Explain the distinctive opportunities you will pursue at Stanford.
-If you are applying to both the MBA and MSx programs, use Essay B to address your interest in both programs.

After you have explained what is most important to you in life you need to explain why your next step is a Stanford MBA. The sub questions for this essay cover both why you are interested in pursuing an MBA at all, and why you specifically want to attend Stanford GSB. Stanford GSB wants to know your aspirations will be uniquely satisfied by the program at Stanford GSB, and research will help you determine what aspects of the academic program, community and students are crucial to your aspirations.

Be as specific as possible in your response to provide evidence that you have done your research. You should know everything about the aspects of the program that most appeal to you. Have you met current students and alumni? Who are the professors you are excited about? What are the unique programs?

When you discuss how Stanford will help you achieve your ambitions consider that Stanford likes to see applicants who dream big, and have the credibility to achieve their goals. Be bold with your aspirations. Don’t focus on what your parents or partner want you to do. Don’t think about the next job on the corporate ladder. What do you, with your own unique background and values, want for your life?

If the question seems too vast, take a few minutes to close your eyes and reflect. Envision your life in twenty years. Where do you live? How do you spend your days? What is your favorite activity? How does this vision fit into your career aspirations? Don’t be shy about your ambitions. Once you have identified your dream career, you also need to make sure an MBA is an important part of achieving your plans and explain that part in your essay.

Though you should think big, don’t make the mistake of acting as if you are already perfect with no development needed. Remember that MBA programs want to help promising candidates reach their goals and be a step on an ambitious career trajectory.

Finding the Stanford essays challenging? Contact Stacy Blackman Consulting for personalized guidance through the application process.

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IU Kelley MBA Program Fall 2017 Essays

The Kelley MBA program at Indiana University has posted the MBA essay questions for the 2016-2017 admissions cycle. They remain unchanged from last season, and are as follows: 1. Please discuss your immediate post-MBA professional …

Kelley School MBA essays

The Kelley MBA program at Indiana University has posted the MBA essay questions for the 2016-2017 admissions cycle. They remain unchanged from last season, and are as follows:

1. 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)

2. 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…

3. Please share with the admissions committee an interesting or surprising fact about you. (25 words)

Optional Essay:

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)

For more information, please visit the Kelley MBA program admissions website.

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IU Kelley School Fall 2017 MBA Application Deadlines

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