Tuesday Tips: Tepper MBA Essays and Tips 2021-2022

Tepper MBA Essays

Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business has published the MBA application for this admissions cycle. Your resume, transcripts, recommendations, and other application data will tell the story of your career and academic accomplishments. Therefore, your Tepper MBA essays should showcase your character and personality.

CMU Tepper is an interdisciplinary program with centers like Sustainability, Architecture, and Technology, as well as a startup incubator.  The Tepper Quad delivers a campus with several interconnected parts.

Finally, as you prepare your Tepper MBA essays, keep in mind that Tepper is looking for diversity in all forms. Ideal candidates include those seeking a tight-knit community and analytical course structure.

Questions about your Tepper MBA essays? Contact us for a free analysis of your candidacy. To learn more about the CMU Tepper MBA program, visit the program website.

Tepper MBA Essays

Post-MBA Goals

From the CMU Tepper website: We ask you a question about your post-MBA career goal as well as an alternative goal as a plan B. Tepper MBAs believe in being prepared!

This question is part of the data form for your Tepper MBA application. Because you have limited space, focus on clarity as you explain your career goal after graduation. If you have room, you can provide context, but use the field primarily to detail your plans.

For example, if you are interested in consulting after graduation, explain the type of consulting, firm, and even industry. For the second part of the question, think about how your background and MBA can prepare you for multiple paths. What other options might you have? For instance, if you are preparing for a career in strategy, you can work in various industries. Many different companies require strategic focus.

Required Essay

The Tepper community is dynamic and unique. Each community member’s individual journey has shaped them into classmates who are collaborative, supportive, and inclusive. Describe how you have overcome adversity during your journey. What did you learn about yourself and how has that shaped who you are? (Maximum 350-500 words.)

CMU Tepper has a small and close-knit community. Because this factor is so important, the only required question in this set of Tepper MBA essays is about your character as a person. Especially over the past year, MBA programs have learned character matters.

The Tepper admissions committee is looking for the best fit. Therefore, your personality and background are essential. Think about the experiences that have shaped who you are. Everyone has faced challenges. What were yours?

For instance, you could have faced personal challenges like poverty or family loss. Or, you might have struggled in school or work. Most importantly, how did you overcome this adversity?

This essay allows you to describe your experiences. Also, explain how you have become a person who is collaborative, supportive, and inclusive. As a person who has faced challenges, how do you recognize and support others? Finally, consider how you will bring this support to the Tepper community.

Tepper MBA deadlines

Optional Essay

There also is an optional essay for additional information about your candidacy that you may wish to share with the admissions committee. Use this essay to convey important information that you may not have otherwise been able to convey. This may include unexplained resume gaps, context for recommender selection, etc. However, do not feel obligated to complete the optional essay.


If you are a re-applicant, use the optional essay to explain how your candidacy has strengthened since your last application.

This optional essay gives you the space to explain any gaps in your application. Some areas you could write about are academic issues or a recommendation that is not from a current or former supervisor.

Another area is gaps in work experience. Explain each issue clearly, and then describe how you have improved. For example, perhaps you were unfocused during undergrad but have since made great strides professionally.

Or, maybe you faced layoffs or a struggling industry that created resume gaps, but you now have career focus. In each case, highlight the positive. Stay future-oriented and explain why the issue won’t be ongoing. You can use this optional essay for other information not covered in the required essay or your resume.

However, make sure it is information that will genuinely enhance your application. That means it was not shared anywhere else and tells the admissions committee something important about your background.

Reapplicants should use the optional essay to describe how their candidacy has improved—for example, any promotions at work or increased responsibility. Or, you may have a better test score or a grade from a class you took. Finally, if you don’t have any tangible improvements, focus on goals that may have changed.

With deadlines around the corner, you may be interested in the world-famous SBC Flight Test. Once a full set of application materials for your initial school have been drafted, but not finalized, the application will be sent to a former admissions committee member for a one-time review, adcomm style. You’ll have the benefit of a true admissions committee review while still having the ability to tinker and change.  You will receive written feedback within two business days after submitting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.



Latest Blog Post

Safety Schools and Your MBA Application Strategy

The term safety schools gets thrown around quite a bit in MBA admissions. So, applicants need to clearly understand what that term means before they start the business school selection process. The rule when ...