Many schools reduced the number of required essays this season, and UCLA Anderson School of Management is one of them. With just one prompt—What are your short-term and long-term career goals, and how will an MBA from UCLA Anderson specifically help you achieve these goals?—applicants either feel relieved at what could be perceived as less work, or more stressed, as they ponder how to answer the question in a memorable and insightful way.
In the latest post on the MBA Insider’s Blog, the staff in Anderson admissions and financial aid attempts to explain the rationale for the single essay question, and offers tips on how to successfully approach the question. While the posted advice is targeted specifically for Anderson MBA hopefuls, the question is common to many schools and therefore pertinent to all b-school applicants.
Like other programs, UCLA Anderson has reduced the number of essays simply as an attempt to focus applicants’—and AdComs’— energies on what matters most. The question acts as a set-up for the face-to-face interview, and basically rounds out the admissions committee’s assessment of the information provided in the rest of the application, Anderson explains.
Remember, the program is asking for a clear set of career goals that will demonstrate the need for an MBA from UCLA Anderson. A key tip for applicants: identify the classes, professors, activities, clubs, tools and other extra curricular opportunities offered by the program and explain how they would help you achieve your goals.
It may be relevant to provide background that highlights your career passions and sets up your future goals. Briefly explain what you plan to do immediately after graduation, and then what you want to accomplish over the long-term with your career. A career path that focuses on demonstrated passions and interests throughout your life is going to be most compelling as you write this essay.
UCLA Anderson acknowledges that most MBA candidates aren’t professional writers, and many may not even be native English speakers, but that shouldn’t stop you from injecting your personality and style into the essay. Just make sure to have friends or family read through your draft before submitting to ensure your message is coming across clearly, the school advises. Also, UCLA Anderson checks essays for plagiarism, so be sure to submit only original work.
For more advice about the Anderson MBA essays, including what to say in the re-applicant essay and how and when to use the optional essay, read Stacy Blackman’s recent tips post here.