Tuesday Tips: Tepper MBA Essays and Tips 2023-2024

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 and a startup incubator. The Tepper Quad delivers a campus with several interconnected parts.

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

Curious about your chances of getting into a top B-school? Contact us to talk strategy with a free 15-minute advising session with an SBC Principal Consultant. 

Tepper MBA Essays

Required Essay

The Tepper community is dynamic and unique with students who strive to be collaborative, supportive and inclusive. Please provide an example of when you experienced or created an inclusive environment and how you will use that experience to help members of the community reach their full potential. (500 words max.)

CMU Tepper has a small and close-knit community. Because this factor is so important, this essay question is about how you have helped create an inclusive environment. MBA programs have learned character matters and specifically being collaborative, supportive, and inclusive.

This is a behavioral essay question. Tepper is asking you to describe a time when you demonstrated the core value of inclusivity. Think about your actions as a team leader, whether formally or informally. Did you include diverse perspectives? How did you support team members if they were shy, uncomfortable, or felt excluded? If you have not led teams, perhaps you were an inclusive team member.

Finally, consider how you will bring this support to the Tepper community. For example, you might lead or start a club and try to include a diverse group of classmates. Or, you will engage all of your fellow students in classroom discussions. Remember to add your personality to this essay and ensure you come across as collaborative, supportive, and inclusive.

Video Essay: Goals

We know this is an important component of your decision to attend business school. We take it seriously as well. Please describe your post-MBA career goals.

It would be helpful to consider the following information in your response:

You have up to 2 minutes to respond to this question.
Please be as specific as possible. If you have not yet identified specific companies, that is okay. Just tell us what interests you for your next role or company. What about the industry, company, or functional role is appealing to you?
If you have any criteria you are using to evaluate career opportunities, please share those as well. We may have great opportunities to add to your list.
How does this post-MBA career goal relate to your long-term career plan?

The Tepper MBA application has added a required video essay on your goals. This video has a two-minute limit and therefore requires focus.

To prepare for the video, write your ideas about your future career. Consider your long-term career plan and what position you plan to seek immediately after graduation from Tepper. Focus on clarity and concise language as you explain your career goal after graduation.

Tepper suggests that specific companies are not necessary to mention, but you will want to explain the industry you are interested in and the function in that industry. For example, if you are interested in consulting after graduation, explain the consulting type and industry focus. You may be interested in a range of firms like McKinsey and Deloitte.

The second area to focus on for this video essay is why you are interested in this career path. What interests you about this industry and/or function? Tepper also suggests explaining the criteria that led you to choose this career path. The video format is ideal for conveying enthusiasm. Make sure you show the viewer that you are excited to pursue this path and know why.

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 reapplicant, 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.


For more information on applying, visit the CMU Tepper School of Business website. To talk to Stacy Blackman Consulting about your MBA plans, don’t hesitate to contact us!  We offer multiple services to meet your MBA application needs, from our All-In Partnership to hourly help reviewing your MBA resume.  Contact SBC today for a free 15-minute advising session to talk strategy with a Principal SBC consultant.

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.

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