Tuesday Tips: Georgetown MBA Application Essays, Tips for 2022-2023

Georgetown MBA application

The Georgetown MBA application is now live, and we have essay tips for the 2022-2023 season. This year Georgetown has reduced the essay options from a choice of four to a choice of three essay prompts for the required essay. And, there is a required video essay along with an optional essay.

The Georgetown MBA program is in Washington, DC, at the center of government and public policy. 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.  For example, Georgetown has the Steers Global Real Estate Center as well as an entrepreneurship initiative.

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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2022-2023 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 three) 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 three essays to complete in 300-350 words (approximately one page, double spaced) 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 likely 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.” 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 and what you did. Also, describe any challenges, and what you learned about yourself. Georgetown is specifically asking you to explain how you would improve in the future.

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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 essay option also focuses on principled leadership. It has been a challenging few years in the world, and we have seen the importance of principled leadership more than ever. As such, you may already have some great recent examples. However, this 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. So, you’ll want to explain how your actions were a challenge and why.

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

Essay Option Three:  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 third 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. Has anything in your family, economic, cultural, or social experiences had an impact of any kind? Next, determine if the impact was a challenge or an opportunity for you. Now, describe that experience in this essay. Make sure you use detail and explain how you felt and behaved as a result.

In addition, this Georgetown MBA application 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. Make sure to describe which activities or organizations at Georgetown to which you plan to contribute.

Video Essay

Building a cohort of diverse and unique individuals is important to the admissions team. We want you to bring your whole self to Georgetown McDonough. Throughout the application, we’ve learned about what you would add as a professional and leader. Just as important is learning about your interests outside of work. In one minute, please describe a hobby, passion, or what you do for fun in your free time—and why.

You can find more information about the parameters of this essay here.

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 aspects that you did not describe in the rest of your Georgetown MBA application. Georgetown is looking for what you do for fun, specifically, and your enthusiasm should show through!

This is also a great place to demonstrate your fit in this Georgetown MBA application (unless you focused on option three of the previously required essays). Can you take your hobbies to school and share them with your classmates? Always think about your contributions to McDonough.

Make sure to keep this Georgetown MBA application video 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 assignment.

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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 in your Georgetown MBA application, this is the place.

You could also use this space in the Georgetown MBA application 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, can you share 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 their last application, such as a promotion, improved GMAT, or increased responsibilities or experience. This Georgetown MBA application 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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