Tuesday Tips: UT Austin McCombs School of Business Essay Tips

UT Austin’s McCombs School of Business offers students a diverse community and world class academics. In addition, the school’s focus on the four key pillars of leadership (1. responsibility/integrity, 2. knowledge/understanding, 3. collaborative/communication 4. worldview of business and society) also provides students with opportunities like the Plus Program to connect their academics with real world projects and leadership training.

With only three core essays to communicate your candidacy to McCombs, you will want to remain focused on your application strategy and choose examples that demonstrate that you are well rounded and fit with McCombs’ focus on integrity, understanding, communication and a global perspective. Think about how you have demonstrated these qualities across your personal, professional and community life.

Fall 2009 Admissions Application Essay Questions
Please define your short- and long-term goals and objectives, your career progression to date, and how an MBA fits in at this time. What makes the Texas MBA the perfect fit for you? Limit: 900 words

This is a classic career goals question, and it will be helpful to refer to some of the advice provided for Wharton, Columbia and Kellogg. Note that McCombs is asking you to answer the question “Why Now” for your MBA, and you will need to have a solid reason to pursue your advanced studies at this point in your career and your life. In addition, spending a significant amount of time to answer “Why Texas?” will be important. As McCombs is often a back up school for programs that are a bit higher in the rankings, your sincere interest in the program is an important element to your application strategy.

Understand the curriculum, professors, programs and McCombs’ culture by visiting campus, interacting with current or former students, and by attending admissions events if possible.

The Texas MBA is built around four key pillars of leadership. Describe an experience that you have had that clearly demonstrates your leadership as it relates to one of our four pillars: 1) Responsibility/Integrity; 2) Knowledge/Understanding; 3) Collaborative/Communication; or 4) Worldview of Business and Society.

In choosing which of the pillars to focus on, think about your overall profile and what areas may need more explanation. You can use this essay to show that you are an expert in your field, that you are a strong team player, that you have a global perspective and that you are ethical in your dealings. Overall it will be important to demonstrate your impact on the community around you ”“ whether personal, professional or extracurricular.

This essay calls for a specific example that will relate to one of the pillars and illustrate your leadership style. In addition to describing the situation and what you did, you will want to comment on the pillar and it’s importance in your life. Be sure to involve McCombs in the commentary, and use this opportunity to reiterate your fit for the program.

At the McCombs School of Business, you will be part of an active and diverse community. How will you use your personal strengths and unique experiences to enrich the McCombs community during your two years in the program?
Limit: 500 words

This essay is quite similar to the Kellogg and Tuck essays on the same theme. This is an ideal essay to differentiate yourself from your fellow applicants. You can easily pull from personal, extracurricular and/or professional experiences for material, and be sure to weave in how you will use your experiences and strengths to contribute to the McCombs community.

Specific understanding of what clubs and activities you will be involved at when attending McCombs will be useful here, and provide a third opportunity to show your overall fit with the program.

Optional Essay
Please provide any additional information to the Admissions Committee that you believe is important and/or will address any areas of concern that will ultimately be beneficial to the committee in considering your application.
Limit: 350 words

As with all optional essays, use it if you have an area of genuine concern. Focus on explanations rather than excuses, and clearly demonstrate why this area of concern is not an issue for your candidacy at this point in your life and career.

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