Tuesday Tips: USC Marshall Application Essays, Tips for 2021-2022
The USC Marshall School of Business reflects the diversity and dynamism of the Los Angeles area. These USC Marshall application essays allow you the space to express how you will fit into the community.
According to Assistant Dean and Director Evan Bouffides: “What matters most to us is our learning community and how, through collaboration, we grow and learn together to collectively strengthen the Trojan Family.”
Because community is so vital to this USC Marshall application, the admissions office wants to know who you are as a person. As Bouffides explains, “We do not believe in the concept of the ‘perfect’ or ‘ideal’ candidate. In fact, there are more atypical candidates than typical ones, and everyone has a unique story.”
Though the USC Marshall School is a community of its own, the larger USC Trojan Family is an integral part of the school’s identity and offers additional academic opportunities for MBA students.
As you prepare your USC Marshall application, make sure to do your research. Remember to include talking to current and former students so that you can better understand the culture in depth. To learn more about the program, visit the USC Marshall website.
Need help with your USC Marshall application strategy? Contact us to learn more about what SBC can do for you.
Essay #1 (Required)
What is your specific, immediate short-term career goal upon completion of your MBA? Please include an intended position, function, and industry in your response. (word limit: 100)
With only 100 words to use here, stay brief, and focused in this USC application essay. Consider your plan when you graduate from USC. And make sure your resume and other application materials support this next step.
For example, if you are career switching, highlight any transferable skills in your resume. Another idea is to ask your recommenders to comment on your future plans. Further, as you craft all of these strategies, make sure you highlight how you will use your MBA to reach your goals.
What if your next job is a logical step from your prior experience to your MBA? Even if you think it’s obvious, it’s essential to be specific about your career goals. Describe the job you plan to pursue with as much detail as possible.
Essay #2 (Required)
Please draft a letter that begins with “Dear Admissions Committee” (word limit: 600)
This letter serves as your personal statement that provides the Admissions Committee with an understanding of your candidacy for Marshall beyond what is evident in other parts of your application.
This essay is purposely open-ended. You are free to express yourself in whatever way you see fit. The goal is to have an appreciation for and an understanding of each candidate in ways that are not captured by test scores, grades, and resumes.
Showing who you are as a person is essential to your USC Marshall application. Ideally, you can demonstrate that you understand the USC culture and values with your answer to this essay question.
First, start with your statistics and data. USC Marshall will see your GPA, your test scores, and your transcripts. Second, the admissions committee will see your career progress on your resume. Third, you will add some personal color to your application through the recommendation letters. These elements should show that you have leadership potential, academic promise, and a well-rounded personality. This essay is the place to fill any gaps.
Consider what you need to communicate to show all sides of your candidacy in this USC application essay. For example, if you are someone who has a standard career history, you might describe something interesting in your background. Perhaps you have an unusual hobby, have made an impact on the community, or have a unique family heritage.
Another aspect of your USC Marshall application that may not appear in your data is your passion for learning. For instance, if there is a professor you would want to work with, this question is an opportunity to discuss their work. Similarly, you may want to join or lead a club or community effort that isn’t obvious from the other data you submit.
Essay #3 (Optional)
Please provide any additional information you would like the admissions committee to consider. (word limit: 250)
This USC application essay offers an opportunity to add more information or to discuss a concern. Therefore, if you have a low GPA, a grade below a C in a quantitative subject, an employment gap, or any other issue in your background, this is the place to explain it.
However, if you want to highlight anything else about your career path, experience, or personal background, this essay allows you the space to do so. And, if you need to explain an area of concern, clearly explain what happened, and what you have done to improve or address the issue. Focus on the future in a positive manner to leave the strongest impression.