Tuesday Tips: Emory Goizueta Business School Fall 2019 Essay Tips

Emory MBA essay tipsThe Emory MBA program at Goizueta Business School in Atlanta offers a variety of programs, including a one-year MBA, a business analytics program and the traditional two-year MBA. The program is designed to give students practical, hands-on experience to be “day one ready” for their careers. Emory also provides a wide range of joint degree programs, expanding options for the MBA. Prospective students start working with a personalized career coach before setting foot on campus, and Emory claims high rankings with recruiters.

Before approaching your Emory MBA essays, you may benefit from viewing some of the video tips posted by the admissions committee. One tip that is especially useful to everyone preparing MBA applications is to take some time to brainstorm and really think about each essay question. As the student in the video describes, sometimes your immediate reaction is not actually the essay topic you will end up with.

ESSAY ONE
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 career goals essay focuses on the short-term and asks about your strengths, past experiences and personal attributes in support of those goals. Rather than reciting your resume, think about the key moments that have formed your experience, accomplishments and shaped your goals. Once you have identified a few defining career moments, you can describe how they demonstrated the strengths and personal attributes that will help you achieve your goal.

This essay is most effective if you are able to clearly show the through line between your past experience, the Emory MBA program and ultimately reaching your short-term post-MBA goals.

For example, if you have been working in management consulting and want to use your Emory MBA to shift into a strategy roll internal to a company, you might talk about how your past experience will help you to understand advising company’s on strategy, and how your classes and clubs at Emory will help you gain the relevant industry experience and academic knowledge to contribute to your new company.

ESSAY TWO
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, and creating unprecedented shareholder wealth. Mr. Goizueta’s core values guide us in educating Principled Leaders for Global Enterprise.
Provide an example of your leadership – professional or personal – and explain what you learned about yourself through the experience. (300 word limit)

When you are asked to provide an example, the admissions committee is trying to understand how you think, act and behave in a specific circumstance. The best predictor of your future behavior is your past, and this question asks you to think about how the past has shaped your development as a leader.

Use a specific story as your example and make sure you provide detail about the situation, what you did, and what you accomplished. Think about the lessons you learned and the way you were able to grow as a result of the experience. To be thoroughly convincing, a recent example of a time that you used these learnings would be effective.

Because Emory is asking specifically about a leadership element based on the school’s namesake, this is also a great place to incorporate your research on Goizueta’s leadership programs and values. In researching the program you will want to take advantage of the formal programs available, from school visits to admissions information sessions, as well as informal networking with current and former students.

ESSAY THREE
Complete one of the following statements. (250 word limit)
• I am passionate about…
• The best piece of advice I’ve received is…
• The best day of my life was…
• A personal goal I want to accomplish is…

This essay is open-ended and provides an opportunity to express yourself. Starting with the topic you want to cover and then backing into the question you will answer is a more structured way to approach this essay if you are daunted by the options.

Think about what examples, stories and ideas you have communicated in the prior questions and fill in the gaps with this response. You have covered your career progress thus far and your goals, and you have described your leadership style. Your resume and recommendations will provide more insight along both angles. This essay is an opportunity to add something additional to your application and round out the admissions committee’s view of your profile.

Your passions can be from your personal life, community involvement or career. For example, if you have entrepreneurial plans you are most likely passionate about building a business or your specific business idea. The best day of your life might be when you ran a marathon, earned a promotion, or got married. The question about the best piece of advice you have received is similarly open. The last option, “a personal goal I want to accomplish is…” is the only option that limits you to a personal response.

ESSAY FOUR
Share with the committee and your future classmates a fun or noteworthy fact about you. (25 word limit)

This essay introduces a classic icebreaker as a way for you to set yourself apart and show another side of your candidacy. What is the most surprising fact about you? Or perhaps the largest accomplishment you have achieved thus far? Since MBA applications tend to focus mostly on recent events in your life, this might be a place to tell the admissions committee that you were a champion volleyball player in high school, or that you wrote and directed a high school play.

OPTIONAL ESSAY
If you have additional information or feel there are extenuating circumstances which you would like to share with the MBA Admissions Committee (i.e. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, academic performance issues or areas of weakness in application). Please limit your response to 250 words.

Ideally you have focused on your personal attributes and goals in the prior question, and can use this optional essay purely for anything you need to explain about your profile and application. For example, if you have periods of unemployment and need to describe how you spent your time, this is the place to do it. Other gaps might be a low GPA or GMAT, lack of advancement at work, or a recommender that is not a current supervisor.

To focus on one possible topic, if you do have unexplained gaps in your resume, how do you handle it? The ideal explanation is that you were doing something productive. That something productive could be traveling the world and learning more about yourself, volunteering, or even taking care of a family member or handling a family crisis.

Perhaps you were unemployed but wanted to be working and your job hunt took up most of your time. Even so, ideally you volunteered, pursued other hobbies, or took time to conduct informational interviews to learn about your career goals during the gap in employment. Think about how you can frame your activities to show that you are motivated and responsible.

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