Tuesday Tips: Georgetown MBA Application Essays, Tips for 2021-2022

Georgetown MBA application

The Georgetown MBA application is now live, and we have essay tips for the 2021-2022 season. You can choose from four essay prompts for the required essay, and there is a video as well. The Georgetown MBA program is in Washington, DC, at the center of government and public policy. Georgetown also has the Steers Global Real Estate Center and an entrepreneurship initiative.

Georgetown’s community is close-knit, intellectually curious, and diverse. When working on your Georgetown MBA application, keep in mind all of the academic and career benefits of the school.

Contact us for an evaluation of your Georgetown MBA candidacy and tips for your Georgetown MBA application. For more information about the MBA program, visit the program website.

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2021-2022 Georgetown MBA Application Essays

Notes from the school:
We want to hear your story. When responding to our required essays, be authentic and take time to reflect on your goals and past experiences. Craft a response that explains how these experiences led you to pursue an MBA.

Our goal at Georgetown McDonough is to craft a diverse class with people who have had varying personal and professional life experiences. As such, we want to give our applicants the opportunity to select one essay (from a list of four) that allows them the ability to best highlight their experiences, characteristics, and values that showcase the value proposition that they can bring to the McDonough community. Please select one of the following four essays to complete in 300-350 words and include the essay prompt and your first/last name at the top of your submission.

Essay Option One – Principled Leadership: Georgetown McDonough places a strong emphasis on principled leadership, providing both curricular and co-curricular opportunities to strengthen your leadership skills. Describe a time when you have led a team in a professional environment to implement a new idea or process. What leadership characteristics did you utilize? What could you have done to be more effective? And most importantly, what skills will you be able to bring to the teams you lead at McDonough?

Leading a team through a process or idea that is entirely new can be challenging. This experience is outside many people’s comfort zone. Also, inventing something altogether unique requires learning and development. Therefore, you probably needed to innovate during one of your best leadership experiences. If so, this is a great essay to show what you learned in that process.

Note that Georgetown is looking for “principled” leadership. Further, Georgetown defines principled leaders as those who operate with a “clearly articulated set of principles and values.” (Learn more on the Georgetown MBA website.) Therefore, defining your own set of principles and values in this essay will help you explain how you led the team. Georgetown wants to understand both what you did and how you did it.

Finally, as you write this Georgetown MBA application essay, make sure to include many details. Fully describe the situation, what you did, any challenges, and what you learned about yourself. Don’t be afraid to explore the difficulties in this leadership experience. Innovating is often messy, and it’s ok to turn to mentors or team members for help. One sign of a good leader is knowing your limits and using the resources you have.

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Essay Option Two – Hoyas for the Common Good: Georgetown McDonough embodies the ethos that people and organizations can and should contribute to the greater good. The admissions committee would like to better understand how you have demonstrated these values during uniquely challenging times.

Describe a time where you have put the needs of others ahead of your own or ahead of the bottom line. We look forward to learning more about the challenge you faced, what unique characteristics you brought to that scenario, and what you learned from it.

The second Georgetown MBA option also focuses on principled leadership. Over this past year, we have seen the importance of principled leadership more than ever. Therefore, you may have some great recent examples. However, this approach to the topic is about taking the risk to put other people ahead of profits or yourself. Similar to the question above, studying Georgetown’s idea of Principled Leadership will help you define the scope of this essay.

The essay here is also about challenges. Because many businesses put the bottom line first, you would be acting against that norm. Also, many professionals put their ambitions above the needs of others. If you acted from your principles, it might have been uncomfortable. Therefore, explain how your actions were a challenge and why.

First, demonstrate your specific mindset in this essay and show how you think. Second, describe what you did and how you decided to act. Finally, make sure you reflect a bit on your development and what you learned in the process.

Essay Option Three – Personal Brand: Think of a business leader or role model you admire or aspire to be. What are the defining characteristics of his or her personal brand that you see in yourself? Give an example of how you have been able to emulate these characteristics in your professional career and how your personal brand will enrich the McDonough community.

This Georgetown MBA application question is looking for your leadership qualities by describing a business leader or role model you admire. This could be a personal or a leadership question, depending on the person you choose and what qualities you admire. The second part of the question also allows you to write about the Georgetown MBA community.

Make sure you have a handful of vivid examples to support what you say about your qualities. For example, say you admire Jeff Bezos and believe that you are similarly entrepreneurial. Accordingly, you can provide an example of a time you started a business or enterprise. Or, on a more personal level, you can explain what personality and leadership traits you share with your subject.

Essay Option Four

The Georgetown Community: Georgetown McDonough is a diverse, global community. We look to understand the contribution that your personal background would make to our community. As appropriate, you may wish to address any obstacles or challenges you have overcome; any educational, familial, cultural, economic, and social experiences that have helped to shape your educational and professional goals; or how your background (e.g. first-generation student, resident outside the U.S.) or activities (e.g. community service and leadership) will contribute to our community.

The fourth essay option focuses on diversity. What will you add to the community from your background and experiences? This option is a great choice if you would like the admissions committee to be aware of a unique aspect of your background. Also, note that the question has a broad definition of diversity. As a result, you can either describe challenges arising from your background or describe strengths.

When brainstorming ideas for this essay prompt think about the experiences of your life. First, has anything in your family, economic, cultural, or social experiences had an impact of any kind? Second, determine if the impact was a challenge or an opportunity for you. Finally, describe that experience in this essay. Make sure you use detail and explain how you felt and behaved as a result.

In addition, this essay is an opportunity to use your school research to describe how you will contribute. Unique experiences can be an asset to many clubs and activities. Therefore, describe which activities or organizations at Georgetown you will contribute to.

Video Essay

What makes you unique? In a one-minute video, describe the most compelling aspects of yourself that you believe make you unique from other MBA candidates. (Hint: one minute goes fast! We already have your resume and goals – share something new!) Use this video as an opportunity to bring life to your application.

You may use your phone, computer, or other means to record the video, but please ensure all audio and visual components are clear. We recommend a well-lit room and minimal noise distraction.
The admissions committee would like for you to appear in person during part of your video.
We recommend unscripted, conversational videos – help us get to know the real you!

This Georgetown MBA application video essay specifically asks you to appear in a one-minute video and address situations outside your resume. In addition, Georgetown wants to see unscripted and conversational responses. You will have unlimited time to record and edit this video (unlike a video interview). You should appear on-screen and consider adding other elements, such as interviews with family or friends, photos or graphics, etc.

One minute seems like a short amount of time, but consider that television commercials are often only 30 seconds. A lot of information can fit into a one-minute video!

Like all video essays, the content is a vital part of this exercise. The admissions committee wants to get to know you and your dreams, background, and personality. Think about personal stories that you did not describe the rest of your Georgetown MBA application. Perhaps you have a hobby you are passionate about or a family story to tell.

This is also a great place to demonstrate your fit with Georgetown (unless you focused on option three of the previously required essays). Can you take your hobbies to school and share them with your classmates? Will your background add to the diversity of the class? Or, can you open doors for your classmates professionally? Always think about your contributions to McDonough.

Make sure to demonstrate enthusiasm as you speak to the camera and keep it casual and conversational. You can also add other elements to the video to make it compelling for the admissions committee to watch. However, keep in mind that content is the most crucial part of this video.

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Optional Essay

Please provide any information you would like to add to your application that you have not otherwise included. (300-350 words, approximately one page, double spaced).

This is an entirely open-ended optional essay. Most optional essays ask for an explanation for a gap in employment, the lack of a current supervisor recommendation, or academic issues. If you do need to address any of those elements to your Georgetown MBA application, this is the ideal place.

You could also use this space to highlight another aspect of your experience. Options include describing a situation at work or in your extracurricular activities. Perhaps you have a fantastic leadership experience you want to discuss. Or a learning experience not covered in essay one.

Re-Applicant Essay

Required for re-applicants. How have you strengthened your candidacy since your last application? We are particularly interested in hearing about how you have grown professionally and personally. (300-350 words, approximately one page, double spaced).

Many candidates can write about a specific improvement since your last application, such as a promotion, improved GMAT, or increased responsibilities or experience. Georgetown is also interested in the less tangible improvements, like a revised career goal, personal growth, or increased maturity. Make sure you can make the case that you are now ready for a McDonough MBA and that any new development has only strengthened your resolve.

If you have an interview coming up, you will want to review SBC’s interview prep services. The key to interview success is practice and we provide you with all the tools you need to do just that.

  • Leverage our video platform to practice, view yourself and improve
  • Work with our experts for live rehearsal and feedback
  • Download a guide for lists of practice questions, tips on how to prep and overviews of interview formats
  • Experience a real group interview before your big day

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