Tag Archives: Essay Questions

Northwestern Kellogg MBA Essay Tips

Fit is a crucial aspect to demonstrate in your Kellogg MBA application. The close-knit community values leadership and teamwork. At the same time, diversity in experience, background and thought is valued among the developing leaders …

Fit is a crucial aspect to demonstrate in your Kellogg MBA application. The close-knit community values leadership and teamwork. At the same time, diversity in experience, background and thought is valued among the developing leaders of Kellogg. Doing your research on the programs, activities, clubs, classes and professors at Kellogg will be important as you approach your essays. While you are reading and conversing with students and alumni, keep in mind how you envision your own background adding to the community.

This year, Kellogg has added a mandatory video interview to the application process. While it won’t replace the in-person interview for Kellogg, it is an opportunity for the admissions committee to see the person behind the accomplishments you will describe. Video interviews can be daunting, and Stacy Blackman Consulting has developed customized preparation to help you practice for this important component of the application and provide our expert feedback. Contact us to learn more about how we can prepare you for the entire Kellogg application.

Essay 1
What’s the greatest obstacle you’ve overcome (personally or professionally)? How has overcoming this obstacle prepared you to achieve success now and in the future? (350 word limit)

This essay question is designed to evaluate your character and how you handle adversity. Even if you have not faced a dramatic difficulty in your life thus far you have definitely encountered challenges. The obstacle is not as important as the lesson, so consider moments in your life when you changed perspective or learned how to solve problems as a result of a difficult situation.
No one has a completely smooth road to success, and it is often the obstacles that clarify your true passions and lead to growth. Leaders are not always perfect when difficulties arise, so even if you made mistakes along the way it is likely you learned from them. The bulk of this short essay should focus on how you overcame the obstacle and what you learned that has prepared you to solve problems or handle challenges. Consider how you would approach a similar difficulty now and what you might advise a friend in a difficult circumstance.

Essay 2
What have been your most significant leadership experiences? What challenges did you face, and what impact did you have? This is your opportunity to explain how you Think Bravely. (500 word limit)

The Kellogg MBA seeks to make “strong leaders stronger.”?Therefore, you will want to demonstrate that you are a strong leader, and that a Kellogg MBA can make you stronger. This question focuses on leadership experiences you have had and seeks to understand how you think and behave in challenging situations that may have tested your ability to work with others.
This behavioral question requires a very specific example to work effectively. The intention for this question is to see an example of a past experience that indicates how you will behave in the future, potentially when you must lead at Kellogg and in your future career. Make sure you include details about exactly what you did and said in your leadership story.

Essay 3
Part 1: What career/role are you looking to pursue and why? (250 word limit)
Part 2: Why are Kellogg and the MBA essential to achieving these career goals? (250 word limit)
(Please answer Part 2 in terms of your program choice: One-Year, Two-Year, MMM, JD-MBA).

This question has changed slightly from prior years and indicates you can approach it either as a long-term or short-term career question. Ideally your career vision is cohesive and both flow together. A career unfolds over time and can include many roles, so it’s most reasonable to consider both your long-term and short-term goals in answering this question.

Doing your research on Kellogg MBA’s academics and resources will help you answer the question about how Kellogg is essential to achieve your goals. Choose specific classes, professors and programs that fit into your career goals. Think about clubs and conferences that are unique to the Kellogg MBA and will advance your career. Your motivation to pursue an MBA at Kellogg should also show that you are interested in being an active part of the community if possible.

If you are applying to the MMM program, you’ll have to show how the MEM degree will prepare you more effectively for your career goals than the MBA alone. Be able to articulate what is different about the Kellogg MMM program as compared to the MBA and other joint degrees. Know the classes you want to take, the professors you hope to work for, and how the MMM experience will be an asset in your future career.
Similarly, the JD-MBA at Kellogg is a highly competitive admissions process and will require a very clear explanation of what you will do with both degrees after school. Consider the unique attributes of the Kellogg JD-MBA program as compared to others, and also why you specifically need both a JD and an MBA.

Re-Applicants Only
Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (400 word limit) Please note: re-applicants are required to answer this question in addition to #1-3.

In answering this question make sure you provide tangible evidence that you have improved the overall package you are submitting this year. Improvements like GMAT score or new quantitative classes are especially tangible, but a promotion, increase in responsibility at work, a job change or even a change of goals and mission can apply.

Additional Information (Optional)
If needed, briefly describe any extenuating circumstances (e.g. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, etc.) (No word limit)

If there are any areas of concern, this is the correct place to address them. Strike an upbeat tone here and avoid excuses. Explain your issue clearly and focus most of the essay on the correction for the issue. For example, if you had a disciplinary issue in college, spend most of the essay demonstrating that you learned from the experience and have been an ideal citizen ever since. Low GPA issues should be explained here, and if there is a grade of C or below on your transcript the admissions committee will want to know why and feel comfortable it is an outlier in your overall academic record. For academic questions make sure you emphasize your improved performance either later in your college career or in subsequent work or classes since college.

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Duke MBA 2013-2014 Essay Questions

The Fuqua School of Business has posted the essay questions for the Duke MBA program’s 2013-2014 admissions season. Three short-answer questions and two essays are required, and applicants should note that all essays are scanned using …

Duke MBA essays

The Fuqua School of Business has posted the essay questions for the Duke MBA program’s 2013-2014 admissions season. Three short-answer questions and two essays are required, and applicants should note that all essays are scanned using plagiarism detection software.

Required Short Answer Questions: Answer all 3 questions. For each short answer question, respond in 250 characters only (the equivalent of about 50 words).

  1. What are your short-term goals, post-MBA?
  2. What are your long-term goals?
  3. Life is full of uncertainties, and plans and circumstances can change. As a result, navigating a career requires you to be adaptable. Should the short-term goals that you provided above not materialize what alternative directions have you considered?

Required Essays: Answer both essay questions

  1. The “Team Fuqua” spirit and community is one of the things that sets The Duke MBA experience apart, and it is a concept that extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. When a new person joins the Admissions team, we ask that person to share with everyone in the office a list of “25 Random Things About Yourself.” As an Admissions team, we already know the new hire’s professional and academic background, so learning these “25 Random Things” helps us get to know someone’s personality, background, special talents, and more.
    In this spirit, the Admissions Committee also wants to get to know you–beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. You can share with us important life experiences, your likes/dislikes, hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are. Share with us your list of “25 Random Things” about YOU.
    Please present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 25. Some points may be only a few words, while others may be longer. Your complete list should not exceed 2 pages.
  2. When asked by your family, friends, and colleagues why you want to go to Duke, what do you tell them? Share the reasons that are most meaningful to you.
    Your response to this essay question should be no more than 2 pages in length. Please respond fully and concisely using 1.5 line spacing.

Optional Essay

If you feel there are extenuating circumstances of which the Admissions Committee should be aware, please explain them in an optional essay (e.g. unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, or any significant weakness in your application).

  • Do NOT upload additional essays nor additional recommendations in this area of the application.
  • The Optional Essay is intended to provide the Admissions Committee with insight into your extenuating circumstances only.
  • Limit your response to two pages.

* * *

Here’s a reminder of the Duke MBA deadlines; for more information, visit Fuqua’s admissions website.

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Texas MBA 2013-14 Application Essay Topics

The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business has posted the updated MBA application essays for the 2013-2014 admissions season. Essay Questions 1. Imagine that you are at the Texas MBA Orientation for the …

McCombs School of Business

The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business has posted the updated MBA application essays for the 2013-2014 admissions season.

Essay Questions

1. Imagine that you are at the Texas MBA Orientation for the Class of 2016. Please introduce yourself to your new classmates, and include any personal and/or professional aspects that you believe to be significant.

Select only one communication method that you would like to use for your response.

  • Write an essay (250 words)
  • Share a video introduction (one minute)
  • Share your about.me profile

2. In the Texas MBA program we value our tight-knit and highly collaborative culture. Outside of your professional goals, please discuss why you are a good fit with the Texas MBA program and how you intend to impact the Texas MBA community? (250 words)

3. What do you hope to gain from your Texas MBA experience? How do you expect to develop, both personally and professionally, during the Texas MBA program? (250 words)

4. Optional Essay: Please provide any additional information to the Admissions Committee that you believe is important and/or will address any areas of concern that will be beneficial to the Admissions Committee in considering your application. (200 words)

  • For example, if your standardized test scores are not exactly what you would like them to be or if you have not had coursework in core business subjects (i.e. calculus, microeconomics, statistics, financial accounting, or finance), please tell us how you plan to prepare yourself for the quantitative rigor of the MBA curriculum.
  • Discuss any unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, academic performance, or any significant weaknesses in your application or extenuating personal circumstances that you think may impact your candidacy.
The Fall 2014 application will be open by late August. Here’s a reminder of the UT McComb deadlines, and for more information, visit the Texas MBA’s admissions website.

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Judge Business School 2013-2014 Deadlines, Essays

The University of Cambridge Judge Business School has posted the application deadlines and essay questions for the upcoming MBA admissions season. Deadlines Round 1 Deadline: October 11, 2013 Notification: December 6, 2013 Round 2 Deadline: January …

Judge Business School essays

The University of Cambridge Judge Business School has posted the application deadlines and essay questions for the upcoming MBA admissions season.

Deadlines

Round 1

Deadline: October 11, 2013
Notification: December 6, 2013

Round 2

Deadline: January 10, 2014
Notification: March 7, 2014

Round 3

Deadline: March 7, 2014
Notification: May 2, 2014

Round 4

Deadline: April 25, 2014
Notification: June 13, 2014

Essay Questions

  1. What did you learn from your most spectacular failure? (200 words)
  2. What are your short and long term career objectives? What skills/characteristics do you already have that will help you to achieve them? What do you hope to gain from the degree and how do you feel it will help you achieve the career objectives you have? (please do not exceed 500 words)
  3. If you could change one thing about your current organisation, what would you make different? How would you overcome obstacles to this change, and what impact would this change have in the short-term and long-term? (300 words)

Need more information?  Contact the Judge MBA Admissions Team.

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Cornell’s Johnson School 2013-2014 MBA Essay Questions

The Johnson School of Management at Cornell University has announced the revamped MBA essay questions for the 2013-2014 admissions cycle. According to Christina Sneva in admissions, the change in direction for these essay prompts comes …

Cornell Johnson MBA essays

The Johnson School of Management at Cornell University has announced the revamped MBA essay questions for the 2013-2014 admissions cycle. According to Christina Sneva in admissions, the change in direction for these essay prompts comes straight from Johnson's interview questions.

"This doesn’t mean we skip over these sections," she explains, "but it will enhance the conversation and allow interviewers to dig further about your expectations and fit with our programs."

 

Essay #1 “Who you are”

We continue to ask the “chapter headings” essay because we really enjoy reading it and get great information about you that we cannot get anywhere else in the process, even the interview.

  • You are the author for the book of Your Life Story.  In 300 words or less please write the table of contents for the book.  Note: approach this essay with your unique style. We value creativity and authenticity.

 

Essay #2 “Who you turn out to be” 

Instructions:  Please answer the following three questions in abbreviated format. (Keep each answer in 150 words or less)

  • When did you decide that business school was the next step for you? (Was this an epiphany or an evolutionary process?  What was the catalyst that caused you to consider this next step?)
  • Johnson values people that make things happen for themselves.  Give an example of how you have initiated this for yourself.
  •  Please describe your immediate post MBA career goals. 

 

The new application is set to go live August 1, 2013. – See more at: http://www.stacyblackman.com/2013/06/16/cornell-johnson-2013-2014-application-deadlines/#sthash.6ZDf7M0q.dpuf

Johnson deadlines have already been announced, and the new application is set to go live August 1, 2013.

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UC Berkeley Haas School of Business MBA Essay Tips

Berkeley Haas admissions has been fairly consistent with prior years in this new set of essays for the 2013/2014 applicant. While many schools reduced the number of essay significantly this year, Haas has reduced only …

Berkeley Haas admissions has been fairly consistent with prior years in this new set of essays for the 2013/2014 applicant. While many schools reduced the number of essay significantly this year, Haas has reduced only slightly from five to four required essays. The set of essays for admission to UC Berkeley Haas School of Business covers a variety of topics – from the song that expresses you to your quantitative skills. In approaching these varied questions it will be important to remain focused on what you want to communicate to the admissions committee.

A clear understanding of your application strategy, particularly your career goals and strengths/weaknesses, will be key to put together a cohesive application. While challenging, this is also an opportunity to demonstrate several different aspects of your personality to the admissions committee. Remember when thinking about how to get into Berkeley, to not underestimate the importance of these essays in your application.

Stacy Blackman Consulting has successfully coached applicants to the Haas MBA program for over a decade, contact us to learn more about how we can help you set a winning application strategy.

Essay 1
If you could choose one song that expresses who you are, what is it and why? (250 word maximum)

This sort of essay can be intimidating because it calls for creativity, and the topic is entirely open ended. When approaching a question like this, consider what your personal qualities are that may be interesting to the Haas MBA program, and then consider a song you like that can express that quality. Try to focus on personal, rather than professional, aspects. Whatever song you choose, make sure you have an emotional connection with that song and can relate it to your own personal experiences. For example, perhaps you have a favorite song from childhood that your parents played for you that reminds you of a core value that has guided your choices since.

Essay 2
What is your most significant accomplishment? (250 word maximum)

Your accomplishment can be big or small, but it should be significant to you. While you have limited space, this is an opportunity to demonstrate what matters to you and to showcase one of your proudest moments. While you are asked only about the accomplishment, the best essays will use this limited space to demonstrate clearly what the accomplishment was (be specific!) as well as commenting upon the significance of the accomplishment.

Essay 3
Describe a time in the last three years when you overcame a failure. What specific insight from this experience has shaped your development? (250 word maximum)

This question asks you to think about a time you failed, and a time you learned from that failure. This essay is your opportunity to demonstrate your maturity, flexibility and leadership qualities. Leaders are not people who are always successful, rather they are people who are willing to admit to failure and learn from difficulty.

As you recount your failure it will be crucial to demonstrate what you have learned as concretely as possible. As a thought experiment, try thinking about a recent triumph. Trace your life events backwards until you find a failure, and think about how that failure directly led to your success. For example, perhaps you took a job immediately after college that was not a good fit for you. You may have felt like the job was a failure, but instead of despairing you took the time to think about what you really wanted, and subsequently found a job that led you success in your career. Perhaps your story isn’t career oriented but showcases learning from extracurricular or volunteer involvement.

Essay 4
a. What are your post-MBA short-term and long-term career goals? How have your professional experiences prepared you to achieve these goals?
b. How will an MBA from Haas help you achieve these goals? (750 word maximum for 4a. and 4b.)

This is a fairly typical career goals essay that asks for both short- and long-term goals and the background that led you to this juncture in your career. Think about what you hope to achieve with your MBA and the career opportunities it will reveal for you. You don’t need to recite your resume here – rather highlight the key experiences that will be relevant in your future career.

Be specific about why the Haas School of Business is the right program to pursue your goals as well. As you consider past experiences and your future goals you will be able to see what you want to gain from the Haas experience to fill any gaps. If you have an advertising background and want to become a brand manager you’ll likely need classes in operations and finance to understand the analytical side of brand management. Other goals will require specific skills gained from an MBA and your own unique background will inform how you take advantage of the Haas experience. Make sure you have determined exactly what courses make sense for your career goals and the programs and clubs that you will participate in to reach your personal and professional goals. Thorough school research will be invaluable in approaching this question.

Optional Essays
Please feel free to provide a statement concerning any information you would like to add to your application that you haven’t addressed elsewhere. (500 word maximum)

This question is entirely open ended, so you can either use it to explain anything you need to in your application, or add another aspect to your overall profile. If you need to explain something in your application like a low GPA or a recommender that is not your current supervisor, keep the explanation brief and factual. Focus on explanations, not excuses. If you felt that there are stories in your work, extracurricular, or personal profile that you did not have the opportunity to express in the prior essays, this is an opportunity to add that information.

If not clearly evident, please discuss ways in which you have demonstrated strong quantitative abilities, or plan to strengthen quantitative abilities. You do not need to list courses that appear on your transcript. (250 word maximum)

If you have a strong quantitative background like an engineering or hard sciences degree, or you work in a quantitative field like finance, this may not be a necessary essay. Otherwise, you may want to take one or two examples to demonstrate that you have an analytical mind and can take a quantitative approach to problem solving and evaluating data. As the question specifically asks you not to focus on the grades on your transcript, use this space to describe projects at work, additional post-graduate coursework, or your plans to strengthen your quant skills before you enroll at Haas.

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