Tuesday Tips: Emory MBA Essays and Tips 2023-2024

Emory MBA Essays

The Emory MBA program at Goizueta Business School in Atlanta offers a variety of programs for maximum flexibility. Programs include a one-year MBA, a business analytics program, and a traditional two-year MBA. Emory also provides joint degree programs.

Designed to give students practical experience, the Emory MBA prepares students to be “day one ready” for their careers. Consequently, admitted students start working with a career coach before school. In addition to having high rankings with recruiters, Goizueta Business School is #17 in US News & World Report‘s 2023-2024 Best Business Schools ranking.

Would you like guidance on your Emory MBA essays? Contact Stacy Blackman Consulting to learn how our expert team of former admissions officers can help. 

Essay One: Post-MBA Career Goals

Define your short-term post-MBA career goals. How are your professional strengths, past experience, and personal attributes aligned with these goals? (300-word limit)

This Emory MBA career goals essay focuses on your short-term career goals. Also, the essay asks about your strengths, past experiences, and personal attributes. Instead of reciting your resume, think about the key moments in your career.

Also, think over what has formed your experience and accomplishments and shaped your goals. To get started, first, identify a few defining career moments. Then you can describe your strengths and experiences that prepared you.

Listen to B-Schooled Podcast Episode #166: Career Goals

This essay is most effective if you can show how your career so far fits with your goals. Show the connection from past experiences to your Emory MBA to your goals. For example, say you have been working in management consulting and want to move to internal strategy.

First, think about what you have learned. Perhaps your management consulting experience gives you comfort with presenting to executives. And, you enjoy variety and the different projects you have been exposed to. Finally, what core strengths does management consulting reveal? And how will you leverage those strengths after you graduate in your post-MBA career?

Essay Two: Leadership in Business

The business school is named for Roberto C. Goizueta, former Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, who led the organization for 16 years, extending its global reach, quadrupling consumption, building brand responsibility, creating unprecedented shareholder wealth, and demonstrating a commitment to values and positive impact on society. Roberto Goizueta’s core values guide us in educating principled leaders to have a positive influence on business and society.

Provide a specific example of your leadership and explain what you learned about yourself through the experience. (300-word limit)

This Emory MBA application essay is a behavioral question. The clue is that you are asked to provide a specific example. Therefore, the question is about how you think, act, and behave. The Emory admissions team knows that your past is the best predictor of future behavior. Therefore, this question asks about a past leadership example.

For example, use a specific leadership story and make sure you provide detail. A great strategy is to use the STAR framework. First, start with the situation. Then, explain the task in front of you. Finally, describe the actions you took and the result. Also, think about the lessons you learned. Remember that a recent leadership example is the most convincing.

In this question, Emory asks specifically about the school’s namesake. Keep a laser focus on the school’s leadership and values. Finally, include insights gleaned from thorough school research to customize your essay. To learn more about the Emory MBA program, take advantage of virtual admissions information sessions. Also, consider informal networking with current or former students.

Listen to B-Schooled Podcast Episode #69: The STAR Method for Organizing Stories

Essay Three: Why Goizueta?

What are you looking to gain from Goizueta’s MBA degree, and how do you see yourself contributing to the Goizueta community? (200-word limit)

This Emory essay question allows you to focus on why Goizueta. School research is key to answering this question. Consider visiting campus or speaking with current and former students.

When writing this essay, be specific. For example, you can describe specific classes that will help you achieve your career goals. Also, professional clubs at Emory may help you gain relevant industry experience and academic knowledge.

Finally, consider the personal and community aspects of your MBA experience. How will you contribute? This essay may be a place to describe volunteer and community experiences. Or, you can explain hobbies or interests that will be an asset to the community.

Emory MBA

Video Essay

Telling your story in the written essays is an important part of the application process, but we also want to hear you tell some of your story. The video essay lets every candidate talk to the MBA Admissions Committee, and we enjoy getting to know you through the “small talk” questions.

Goizueta’s admissions team gave us the following insight into this video essay: “Candidates will be provided a spontaneous question or prompt to reply to for the video essay. This will be randomly generated from a bank of questions we have developed to help us get to know candidates on a more personal level. We continue to use the video essay because it allows us to provide multiple types of platforms for candidates to express themselves, and it allows the admission committee to see a bit more of their personality. With our small-by-design classes, fit becomes very important, and the video essay helps us with that.”

In past years the video essay focused on Goizueta’s core values, personal stories, and your passions. Therefore, make sure you are familiar with Goizueta’s core values: Courage, Integrity, Accountability, Rigor, Diversity, Team, and Community.

Your resume and recommendations are about your career and accomplishments. In contrast, this video essay is more personal. Ideally, your personality will shine through the video. As the admissions team said, this essay is about fit.

To prepare for this video essay, make sure to practice, practice, practice. Take some time to think about what you want the admissions committee to know about you. Do you have any personal stories to tell here? Then, record yourself talking about these themes or telling your story. Practice several times until it feels natural.

For additional advice, read our blog post on prepping for video essays and long-distance interviews. You can also listen to B-Schooled Podcast Episode #20: How to Ace Your Video Essays for more tips.

Additional Information

If there is an important part of your story missing from your MBA application (e.g., unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, academic probation issues), please use this section to provide a brief explanation. Please use bullets if you need to address more than one topic. (200-word limit)

This essay is for anything about your Emory MBA application you need to explain. An example might be if you have gaps in your resume. Other issues include a low GPA or GMAT, few promotions, or a recommender that is not a current supervisor.

If you do have unexplained gaps in your resume, how do you handle it? The best explanation is that you were doing something productive. However, that “something productive” could be anything from traveling the world to taking care of a family member.

How you explain your time off is most important. Make sure you can tie your gap in employment to your goals in some way. For instance, taking care of a family member could have led to introspection about your personal and professional goals.


Stacy Blackman Consulting offers multiple services to meet your MBA application needs, from our All-In Partnership to hourly help reviewing your MBA resume. Contact us today for a free 15-minute advising session to talk strategy with a Principal SBC consultant. Meanwhile, here’s a snapshot of the caliber of expertise on our SBC team.

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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