Tuesday Tips – Georgetown McDonough MBA Essay Tips

The Georgetown MBA program has a unique international focus, exemplified by the International Executive MBA program and the Georgetown-ESADE MBA program. The Georgetown MBA program is seeking candidates who can fit in with the small and focused classroom experience, by demonstrating leadership qualities, cross-cultural awareness and diversity.

You have three brief essays and a list of activities to demonstrate your qualifications to the Georgetown MBA program. Be sure to choose examples that show your range of experience and personal qualities, as well as your knowledge of and interest in a Georgetown MBA.

Essay 1: Briefly state your short-term and long-term career objectives. How have your prior professional, academic, and personal experiences influenced your career plans? Specifically, how will your participation in Georgetown’s MBA Full-Time Program contribute to your career objectives? (750 words)

Georgetown MBA leads off this set of essays with a classic career goals question. The focus is on your goals, your past experiences and how a Georgetown MBA will help you achieve your objectives. The difference between this essay and other similar questions is the focus on your experiences, not just professional, but also academic and personal. To answer this question effectively in 750 words think about the pivotal points in your background that may have changed your direction, triggered an epiphany or crystallized an idea. Focus on these distinct points and relate them to your more general overall path – clearly linking your past, MBA education and goals.

Essay 2: In your own words, how do you define leadership? Please provide a specific example (professional or personal) of a time when you embodied the characteristics of a leader. Be sure to highlight the challenges you faced and the results you achieved. What areas do you wish to develop in order to become a more effective leader? (750 words)

This essay has three distinct parts, calling for your own definition of leadership, a leadership example, and a question about your plans for leadership development. When defining leadership, be sure your answer is based on your personal perspective and experiences rather than a stock response. Ideally your answer would tie in with the example you describe, and the areas you hope to develop.

The leadership example you choose should be specific and concise so you are able to discuss the challenges you faced in the situation, and the results. In addition, you will want an example where you can illustrate the third part of the question, when you are asked to illuminate the areas of leadership you plan to develop. If you can incorporate any specific attributes of Georgetown that will help you in your leadership development, they will be a great addition to this essay.

Essay 3: What is the most significant change you have made to any organization with which you have been recently affiliated? Please describe how you identified the need for change and how you managed the process of implementing change. What were the results? (750 words)

This essay focuses specifically on change within an organization. You can choose a professional or extracurricular example, likely depending on the type of example you choose for essay 2. If you are providing a professional answer and are part of a large organization, you may not have a dramatic example of a change you instituted. Even a small change can be appropriate here, what is most important is how you were able to identify the need for change and implement it.

Specific examples of your thought process and actions will be crucial here. This essay can demonstrate innovative thinking, clear judgment and leadership qualities, all important characteristics for a strong MBA candidate.


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