UT McCombs Offers MBA Essay Advice

new_mccombs_logoLike many schools, UT McCombs School of Business has updated and streamlined the MBA application essays for the upcoming admissions season. Associate director of admissions Brodie Reynolds took to the Texas MBA Insider blog this week with a few tips for approaching this year’s prompts so that you can convince the admissions team that McCombs is the right program for you.

The first required essay question asks applicants to imagine they are introducing themselves to their new classmates at the Texas MBA Orientation for the Class of 2017. Personal and professional aspects can be shared through an essay, a video introduction, or your about.me profile.

The operative word here is “imagine”, and Reynolds notes that many previous candidates have missed the mark by a mile with this one by submitting a generic paragraph about themselves, or by recycling an essay from another school.

Use some creativity with this prompt, and stick to the concept of providing an introduction to people who know nothing about you. Make sure to include both professional and personal information so AdCom gets a better feel for your candidacy beyond just one facet of your life, says Reynolds.

The format is up to you, but chose the platform where you’ll shine. Strong writers would do well to focus on the essay, while candidates with a flare for design might feel about.me best conveys their personality and accomplishments, the associate director notes. If you’re confident of your editing skills and think a video is the way to go, McCombs is excited to meet you that way as well, Reynolds says.

The second required essay question focuses on why McCombs is the right program for you and how you’ll contribute to your classmates’ experiences. With only 500 words for this prompt, you need to get down to brass tacks immediately.

We here at Stacy Blackman Consulting advise clients applying to McCombs to clearly answer the question, “Why Texas?” Specific understanding of what clubs and activities you will be involved at when attending McCombs will be useful here, and provide an opportunity to show your overall fit with the program.

“If you can’t outline in easy terms why you are interested in our program in particular, then you will not be competitive,” Reynolds warns.

The associate director goes further, suggesting applicants create a five and 10 year career plan and then see which classes, organizations and opportunities at McCombs specifically speak to that career plan. “We should not be left wondering why you, with your specific career goals, would want to come to McCombs.  This is your opportunity to convey in no complex language why we are right for your career growth,” Reynolds advises.

If you can speak succinctly to why McCombs, what your professional goals are, and how the Texas MBA will get you there, you should do fine. “Get started early and edit, edit, edit!,” Reynolds writes.  “Your essays can really send a strong application into orbit, so good luck, and happy applying!”

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