Tuesday Tips: UNC Kenan-Flagler Fall 2018 MBA Essay Tips

UNC Kenan-Flagler essay tips
UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School is a flexible program that offers a full-time MBA in Chapel Hill, Executive programs outside of D.C., and even an online program.

With a world-class university offering resources beyond the MBA program, UNC is an excellent option. Kenan-Flagler touts a strong career focus and that students receive career advancement from each MBA option. There is a global focus and several global immersion opportunities with each program at Kenan-Flagler. This essay set has only one required question, and it is entirely career focused. Kenan-Flagler is focused on your career and attracting recruiters to the program, so this is a logical area of focus.

Essay One (Required)
Please describe your short and long term goals post-MBA. Explain how your professional experience has shaped these goals, why this career option appeals to you, and how you arrived at the decision that now is the time and the MBA is the appropriate degree. Additionally, please briefly address a backup plan should your short-term goal not come to fruition for any reason. (500 words maximum)

This is primarily a standard career goals essay. The question asks about your background, what your short- and long-term career goals are, and why now is the right time for you to pursue an MBA. The other part to this question is to describe your backup plan if you do not achieve your original career goals.

The first part of the question focuses on the short term, asking for a very clear link between your short-term career path and your MBA. Due to Kenan-Flagler’s focus on the perspective of recruiters and your career advancement, this focus on the short term will show that you have realistic ideas about your career trajectory. The long-term goals should flow naturally from your short-term goals and demonstrate that you can plan for your career.

Because everyone’s life takes twists and turns that may not have been planned, Kenan-Flagler wants to know if you have a Plan B that is as well thought out as your Plan A. If you want to work in consulting, but you aren’t able to land a job at the firm you prefer, perhaps you will pursue a role as in-house strategy in your target long-term industry. Finally, make sure that you have career goals that require an MBA and that you can cite specific classes, professors and programs at UNC that will help you achieve your goals.

Essay Two (Optional)
What personal qualities or life experiences distinguish you from other applicants? How do these qualities or experiences equip you to contribute to UNC Kenan-Flagler? (300 words maximum)

This question is a gift to any applicant who needs to differentiate his or her story. Think about what is unique about your background or perspective. If you have an interesting and diverse background you will certainly have enough material and the task will be to link your background clearly to a contribution you will make to the Kenan-Flagler community. Think about clubs or activities you will join and what you will bring that is unique.

If you are someone without a particularly unique background you will want to focus on personal qualities. What personality trait helps you stand out in a group? What do people often tell you about yourself? And how will this trait contribute to the community at Kenan-Flagler?

Essay Three (Optional)
If your standardized test scores are low, or if you have not had coursework in core business subjects (calculus, microeconomics, statistics, financial accounting), please tell us how you plan to prepare yourself for the quantitative rigor of the MBA curriculum. (300 words maximum)

This optional essay is straightforward and simply requires you to outline your preparation for the program. If you do not have the requisite coursework you may have gained training through work that will result in the same preparation. If you do not have the preparation through work or courses, it may be worth registering for continuing education classes and informing the admissions committee in this essay.

Essay Four (Optional)
Is there any other information you would like to share that is not presented elsewhere in the application? (300 words maximum)

This optional essay can be used to explain anything unusual or problematic about your application, from poor undergraduate GPA to choice of recommenders. In addition, because it is so open-ended, you may use it to communicate any additional information that may be beneficial to your candidacy. If you did not have the opportunity to communicate one of the areas of your application strategy, this may provide the space to do so.

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