Tuesday Tips: Cambridge MBA Essays and Tips for 2023-2024

Cambridge MBA

Are you getting ready to prepare an application for Judge Business School at Cambridge? The Cambridge MBA essays are out, and we have the latest tips! As part of a world-class campus and a location that is a center for technology and business, Judge Business School offers an excellent MBA program.

(Our post Getting a European MBA: A Unique Experience explains the many benefits of studying across the pond.)

To learn more about the Cambridge MBA program, you can chat with current students, read student blogs, and, for now, at least, attend virtual admissions events. The Judge admissions team seeks ambitious, innovative, and confident students with strong interpersonal skills.

International experience is another essential attribute for Cambridge MBA applicants. Although none of the Cambridge MBA essays specifically ask about it, you can work your global outlook into one or more essay responses.

Are you curious about your chances of getting into Cambridge’s Judge Business School? Contact us to talk strategy with a free 15-minute advising session with an SBC Principal Consultant. 

Cambridge MBA Essays

You must complete the careers objectives statement and 3, shorter essays:

Please provide details of your post-MBA career plans. The statement should not exceed 500 words and must address the following:

  • What are your short and long-term career objectives? How will the Cambridge MBA equip you to achieve these?
  • Looking at your short-term career goal, describe the research you have done to understand how this industry/role/location recruits MBA talent and what they are looking for in a candidate?
  • How confident do you feel about meeting your short-term career goal? What skills/characteristics do you already have that will help you to achieve them, and what preparation are you doing now?

As you write your Cambridge MBA essays, remember that Judge is seeking candidates who “are highly motivated and ambitious, thrive under pressure, and have already exhibited clear progression within their career.” The best essays will prove you are motivated and ambitious and have done your homework on your career goals.

This personal statement essay asks you to explain the details behind your career goals. This essay should address all of the questions posed in the question and demonstrate your research and thinking. Start by defining your short and long-term career goals. Why do you need an MBA to achieve these goals? And, what will you learn specifically through your Cambridge MBA to enhance your career?

Listen to B-Schooled Podcast #56: An Overview of European MBA Programs

This essay ideally demonstrates your research on your short-term career path and how recruiting works in the real world. Speaking with current professionals in your target industry, especially those with MBAs, would be most helpful.

For the last part of the essay, you should demonstrate self-awareness and evaluate your own confidence level in your plans. Then, describe what you have done thus far to prepare for employment in your short-term career and any experience that is already relevant.

If you have gaps in education or experience, use your research into Cambridge to describe how your MBA will fill those gaps. For example, describe the classes you will take if you need specific industry coursework. Or, if you need an internship for real-world experience, describe how you will obtain that internship at Cambridge.

Required Essay 2

Tell us about a time when you made a professional mistake. How could it have ended differently? (up to 200 words)

Mistakes are human, yet seem very stressful at the time. And they can also lead to growth and increased self-awareness. As you approach this question, reflect on what the professional mistake taught you. Make sure you consider what you would do differently next time.

This essay is mostly about what you learned and how you have changed and is an opportunity to demonstrate self-awareness. First, take a few sentences to explain the situation and the mistake. Then, dive into any results of the mistake. Consider describing how it was discovered, how you felt about it, and what you learned.

Though mistakes are unavoidable, how you handled the mistake matters. Did you take ownership and responsibility? How did you mitigate any negative results? More importantly, how did you ensure the mistake would not happen again? The best essays will show that you are resilient, learn from experience, and used the mistake as a learning opportunity.

Required Essay 3

Tell us about the best team you worked with. What made the team successful? (up to 200 words)

Cambridge Judge seeks students who are collaborative and innovative with strong interpersonal skills. This essay can show the admissions committee that you know how to work within a team to accomplish a common goal. Most importantly, what do you value in a team?

As you did in essay 2, take a few sentences to explain the situation where you worked with the team. Also, you can describe your style when you work jointly and how you collaborate. Don’t forget to mention how you help others do their best work and manage challenges.

If there were external circumstances that made the team successful, describe them. For example, perhaps you were working for a strong leader or in a growing industry. If there were factors that you identified that specifically helped the team perform, that is useful insight for your leadership development.

While the question focuses on how the team was able to perform, you can add a little information about your own style as a team member. For instance, if you have a particular role or skill within a team. If so, whether building consensus or taking a devil’s advocate position, explain that approach here.

Punting in Cambridge

Required Essay 4

Provide an example of when someone else positively impacted your life. What did you learn from this experience? (up to 200 words)

This essay could be an ideal place for a personal story if you have mostly described professional or extracurricular experiences in the other essays. Once again, this essay is asking you to be self-aware, to have the ability to appreciate others and to understand how other people have influenced you.

A positive impact on your life could be at any point in your development. Perhaps you had a teacher in school who encouraged your math skills, leading you indirectly to a career in finance. Or, you had a friend in college who showed you a difficult culture or lifestyle and opened your perspective. And, if you had a mentor in your career who encouraged you, that is another great example.

Finally, make sure you describe what you learned. Consider the impact of this person on your life. How have you changed since you met? What kind of ongoing influence has this person had on your life choices, career objectives or other goals? This is also an opportunity to think about how you may have been inspired to positively impact other people in your life.


For more information on applying to the Cambridge MBA, visit the school’s admissions page. To talk to Stacy Blackman Consulting about your Cambridge MBA essays, 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. 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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