Tuesday Tips – IE Business School Essay Tips

IE Business School in Madrid, Spain is a top ranked international program that offers incredible flexibility in the curriculum and program options, as well as the ability to attend an exchange program. Like many European MBA programs, you will have the option to minimize your time away from work through a 15 month program. IE also offers an Online MBA option.

To learn more about the school, attend one of the many information sessions conducted throughout the world.

IE only asks three brief questions of its MBA applicants, and forgoes the typical “career goals” question entirely. Therefore, you will need to answer the question asked effectively, communicate your personal attributes, and provide any professional or personal information you think is necessary within the confines of these three short questions. Since it is a difficult task, make sure you are focused on your application strategy and are able to clearly articulate that you are a dynamic, professional and accomplished applicant who has the necessary interpersonal skills to interact with a diverse and international group of peers.’

The main objective of the following questions is to have more information regarding your candidature. Please answer each question on a separate sheet of paper with a minimum of 250 words, limiting each reply to one side of paper (1.5 line spacing).

All Applicants must answer the following essay questions:
A. If you had the opportunity, what would you ask the president or leader of your country, and why?

This question is straightforward on the surface, and requires you to have a fundamental understanding of your own country’s government, yet at the same time offers an opportunity to communicate something about yourself.

When choosing a topic you would discuss with your government’s leader, think about the core themes of your own life and career. Like Stanford’s “what matters most” this question may uncover the most important focus of your life.

Since IE does not ask the traditional career goals question, this is certainly an opportunity to raise an industry issue that is important to you, and will allow you to communicate a bit about your professional focus as you answer the question.

If your career is not the appropriate focus for this question, think about the pursuits of your extracurricular life. Is there an issue that is especially important to you? Even more effective would be an issue that feeds directly into one of your long-term goals.

Whatever topic you choose for this question, make sure you are communicating effectively about yourself and not solely focusing on the leader that you are posing the question to.

B. Cite the most difficult situation you have faced in your professional life and how your input helped to resolve it.

A clear example of a difficult situation, an explanation of why it was difficult, and an exploration of how you resolved it are the core questions for this essay. Similar to other situational questions you have encountered, this question is designed to reveal how you handle adversity and problem solving. Providing specific details will be incredibly important, and lessons learned from this situation will also be effective.

Applicants for MBA and General Management programs should also write an essay on the following topic:
C. Cite at least one example in which your leadership impacted or changed a situation and discuss how you think IE Business School will help you refine, focus, or enhance this skill.

This leadership essay is fairly standard and requires you to provide an example of a leadership quality that you excel at, and also would like to refine. A specific situation that you can explain concisely will be ideal. Make sure your situation clearly illustrates a distinctive aspect of your leadership style, and yet positions you to discuss how that aspect can be further refined through attendance at IE Business School.

This question also offers the opportunity to provide reasons that you want to attend IE. Ideally you will be able to cite specific classes or programs at IE that will help you deepen your leadership skills.

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