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Essay Questions for MBA Programs That Start In 2018

Important Note! On rare occasions, schools change essay topics after they have been published.
In addition, we may inadvertently make a mistake in copying content.
In such cases, it may be that the information presented here is not accurate!
It is essential that you visit the school website to be 100% certain about the exact essay topics.

Please note that for re-applicants, the essay topics are often different from those below.

 

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Essay Questions by School

One essay is required, in written form only. One optional essay may also be submitted to supply information on extenuating circumstances.

 

First Time Applicants — One Required Essay

We believe that the best results are achieved when you share success, think fearlessly and drive change. With this in mind, what are your goals at UCLA Anderson and in your short-term and long-term career? (750 words maximum)

 

Optional Essay

The following essay is optional. No preference is given in the evaluation process to applicants who submit an optional essay. Please note that we only accept written essays.
Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? Please use your best judgment. (250 words maximum)

 

Re-applicants — One Required Essay

Reapplicants who applied for the MBA program starting in 2016 or 2017 are required to complete the following essay:
Please describe your career progress since you last applied and ways in which you have enhanced your candidacy. Include updates on short-term and long-term career goals, as well as your continued interest in UCLA Anderson. (750 words maximum)

 

Please note:

Your essays are the primary way for you to share your perspectives and plans with the admissions committee. The best essays are introspective, genuine and succinct in directly answering our questions and responding to our topics.

» You should try to distinguish yourself by showing what makes you different from others who share similar profiles.

» Personal expression is what we are looking for, not platitudes.

» Making a strong case for your future plans requires you to first do research on career paths and find one that resonates. Even if this target will change during business school, your application essays should lay out a clear trajectory for short-term and long-term goals. Do this by demonstrating how you expect to build on skills from your past, and those you expect to gain from the MBA.

» Essays are more compelling if they include specific courses, programs, groups, opportunities, activities, etc. from which you would benefit, if admitted to UCLA Anderson. These references are best found through website research, personal discussions and a campus visit (if possible).

» Content and clarity are key elements, as we seek superior communication skills.

» Style is a consideration, too, although we understand that those who speak other languages may have different manners of expression in English. We do check your essays for plagiarism, so make sure you always submit your own work.

» Length does not equal strength. A well-written short essay can have even more impact than a longer essay. Please try to respect the word limits indicated above.

» All essay responses are to be entrered directly in the text box provided in your application.

View this collection of shared Booth moments. Choose the moment that best resonates with you and tell us why.

Presentation/Essay Guidelines:

  • Choose the format that works for you. Want to illustrate your response visually? Submit a slide presentation. Like to express yourself with words? Write a traditional essay. Use the format that you feel best captures your response, the Admissions Committee has no preference.
  • Determine your own length. There is no prescribed minimum or maximum length. We trust that you will use your best judgment in determining how long your submission should be, but we recommend that you think strategically about how to best allocate the space.

Technical Guidelines:

  • File Size: Maximum file size is 16 MB.
  • Accepted Upload Formats: Acceptable formats are PDF, Word, and PowerPoint. We strongly recommend converting your piece to a PDF file prior to submitting.
  • Multimedia Restrictions: We will be viewing your submission electronically and in full color, but all submissions will be converted to PDF files, so animation, video, music, etc. will not translate over.

Optional Essay:

Is there any additional information that you would like the Admissions Committee to know? If so, please address in an optional essay. (300 words maximum)

Re-applicant Essay:

Upon reflection, how has your perspective regarding your future, Chicago Booth, and/or getting an MBA changed since the time of your last application? (300 words maximum)

Additional open questions from the online application:

Post-MBA

What is your immediate post-MBA career goal? (250 characters or less)

What is your long-term post-MBA career goal? (250 characters or less)

Awards and Honors

Please list any collegiate academic or athletic awards or honors you have received. [text box, no limit]

Professional Awards

Please list any significant professional awards/recognition that you have received. [text box, no limit]

ACTIVITIES

Outside of the activities and professional experiences that you have already shared, please share hobbies and areas of interest that are important to you. [text box, no limit]

Applicants must complete one short answer question and three essays.

Short Answer Question:
What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters maximum)

Examples of possible responses:
“Work in business development for a media company.”
“Join a strategy consulting firm.”
“Launch a data-management start-up.”

Essay 1:

Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next 3-5 years and what, in your imagination, would be your long-term dream job? (500 words)

Essay 2:

The full-time MBA experience includes academics, recruiting, and networking. What are your personal priorities and how do you anticipate allocating your time at Columbia Business School? (250 words)

Essay 3:

Please select and answer one of the following essay questions: (250 words)

a. Please tell us what you feel most passionate about in life.

b. If you were given a free day and could spend it anywhere, in any way you choose, what would you do?

Optional Essay:

Is there any further information that you wish to provide the Admissions Committee? If so, use this space to provide an explanation of any areas of concern in your academic record or your personal history. This does not need to be a formal essay. You may submit bullet points. (Maximum 500 Words)

Knight-Bagehot Fellows:

Rather than answer Essay 1, current Knight-Bagehot Fellows applying to Columbia Business School should use the space allocated to the first essay (500 words) to complete the Wiegers Fellowship application essay.

Wiegers Fellowship Essay Question:

What are your career goals? How has the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship affected these goals? How will an MBA help you achieve these goals? (500 words maximum)

Additional open questions from the online application:

Employment

Please provide an explanation for any gaps in your employment history [text box, 1000 characters]

Education

Please list any professional credentials received (e.g. CFA, CPA): [text box, no limit]

Extracurricular Activities

Please list other activities or interests that you regularly engage in: [text box, no limit]

“When preparing for class at Darden, students formulate an opinion on each case before meeting with their learning teams and class sections. When encountering different views and perspectives from their own, opinions frequently shift. Tell us about a time when your opinion evolved through discussions with others.”
(500 words maximum)

Three short answer questions and 2 essays are required from all applicants.

Instructions for All Essays:

  • Responses should use 1.5 line spacing and a font size no smaller than 10-point.
  • Do not copy the essay question in the document you upload with your application.
  • Respond fully and concisely. Length requirements vary by question, and are detailed below.
  • Responses must be completed before submitting your application.
  • Prepare your responses carefully. The Admissions Committee considers your answers important in the selection process.
  • All essays are scanned using plagiarism detection software. Expressing your ideas by using verbiage from existing sources, including other applicants’ essays or materials, without properly crediting those sources constitutes an act of plagiarism. Plagiarism is considered a cheating violation within the Honor Code and will result in an application denial. Note: if you have worked with a consultant to complete your application materials, please ensure that the honor code policy is discussed and he/she will not share your essays with other potential applicants.

Required Short Answer Questions

Instructions: Answer all 3 of the following questions. For each question, respond in 500 characters only (the equivalent of about 100 words).

  1. What are your short-term goals, post-MBA?
  2. What are your long-term goals?
  3. Life is full of uncertainties, and plans and circumstances can change. As a result, navigating a career requires you to be adaptable. Should the short-term goals that you provided above not materialize what alternative directions have you considered?

First Required Essay: 25 Random Things About Yourself

Instructions: Present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 25. Some points may be only a few words, while others may be longer. Your complete list should not exceed 2 pages.

The “Team Fuqua” spirit and community is one of the things that sets The Duke MBA experience apart, and it is a concept that extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. When a new person joins the Admissions team, we ask that person to share with everyone in the office a list of “25 Random Things About Yourself.” As an Admissions team, we already know the new hire’s professional and academic background, so learning these “25 Random Things” helps us get to know someone’s personality, background, special talents, and more.

In this spirit, the Admissions Committee also wants to get to know you–beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. You can share with us important life experiences, your likes/dislikes, hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are. Share with us your list of “25 Random Things” about YOU.

Second Required Essay

Instructions: Your response should be no more than 2 pages in length.

Fuqua prides itself on cultivating a culture of engagement. Our students enjoy a wide range of student-led organizations that provide opportunities for leadership development and personal fulfillment, as well as an outlet for contributing to society. Our student-led government, clubs, centers, and events are an integral part of the student culture and are vital to providing you with a range of experiential learning and individual development experiences.

Based on your understanding of the Fuqua culture, how do you see yourself engaging in and contributing to our community, outside of the classroom?

Optional Essay

If you feel there are circumstances of which the Admissions Committee should be aware, please explain them in an optional essay (such as unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance).

  • Do NOT upload additional essays nor additional recommendations in this area of the application.
  • The Optional Essay is intended to provide the Admissions Committee with insight into your circumstances only.
  • Limit your response to one page.

 

Re-applicant Essay

It is not uncommon for it to take more than one try to achieve a goal. Please share with us the self-reflection process that you underwent after last year’s application and how you have grown as a result. How did it shape your commitment to Fuqua and inspire your decision to reapply?

  • Responses should be no more than 2 pages, using 1.5 line spacing and a font size no smaller than 10-point.
  • Make sure you address any gaps in your application and that you show progress.
  • You can access the re-applicant essay in the online application.

Essays help us learn about who you are as a person and how you will fit with our community. We seek candidates from a broad range of industries, backgrounds, and cultures. Our distinctive culture is defined by four key principles – Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself. We encourage you to reflect on your experiences, values, and passions so that you may craft thoughtful and authentic responses that demonstrate your fit with our program – culturally, academically, and professionally.

Below are the required essays, supplemental essays, and optional essays for Fall 2018.

Required Essays

Essay #1

Tell us a six-word story that reflects a memorable experience in your life-to-date. Elaborate on why it is meaningful to you. (250 words maximum)

Tip: A successful six-word story will pique the reader’s interest in the forthcoming explanation. Together, the story and explanation will share a specific and personal experience that helps the reader get to know you better, giving insight into your character, values, or how you would uniquely contribute to the Berkeley-Haas community. View sample six-word stories and video tips from the admissions committee.

 

Essay #2

Respond to one of the following prompts: (250 words maximum)

Describe a significant obstacle you have encountered and how it has impacted you.
Describe how you have cultivated a diverse and inclusive culture.
Describe a leadership experience and how you made a positive and lasting impact.
Tip: Responses can draw from professional or personal experiences. Through your response, the admissions committee hopes to gain insight into your achievements, involvement, and leadership footprint.

 

Essay #3

Briefly describe your immediate post-MBA career goals. (50 words maximum)
How have prior experiences motivated and prepared you to pursue these goals? (250 words maximum)
Tip: You are encouraged to reflect on both what you want to do professionally after business school and why this path interests you.

 

Supplemental Information

  1. If you have not provided a letter of recommendation from your current supervisor, please explain. If not applicable, enter N/A.
  2. List, in order of importance, significant community and professional organizations and extracurricular activities in which you have been involved during or after university studies. Include the following information for each using the format below:
    • Name of organization or activity
    • Nature of organization or activity
    • Size of organization
    • Dates of involvement
    • Offices held
    • Average number of hours spent per month
  3. List full-time and part-time jobs held during undergraduate or graduate studies indicating the employer, job title, employment dates, location, and the number of hours worked per week for each position held prior to the completion of your degree.
  4. If you have ever been subject to academic discipline, placed on probation, suspended, or required to withdraw from any college or university, please explain. If not, please enter N/A (An affirmative response to this question does not automatically disqualify you from admission).

 

Optional Essay

Use this essay to share information that is not presented elsewhere in the application, for example:

  • Explanation of employment gaps or academic aberrations
  • Quantitative abilities
  • For re-applicants, improvements to your candidacy

 

 

Essay
There is one essay question to be answered by all applicants:

As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA program?
There is no word limit for this question. We think you know what guidance we’re going to give here: don’t overthink, overcraft, or overwrite. Answer the question in clear language that those of us who don’t know your world can understand.

Please upload your document below. We have no preferences for font type or size. Note that we do not accept audio or video submissions in lieu of a written essay.  [Upload a Word or PDF document]

 

Additional open questions from the online application:

 

Additional Information

Please share additional information here if you need to clarify any information provided in the other sections of your application. This is not meant to be used as an additional essay. Please limit your additional information to the space in this section.
We’ll know you’ll be tempted, but please don’t send us any additional materials (e.g., additional recommendations, work portfolios). To be fair to all applicants, extra materials won’t be considered. [text box – 500 characters]

 

Employment
Please provide an explanation for any gaps in your employment history: [text box – 1000 characters]

 

Intended Post-MBA Information

Briefly tell us more about your career aspirations: [text box – 500 characters]

Essay questions for January 2018 intake:

JOB DESCRIPTION
1. Briefly summarise your current (or most recent) job, including the nature of work, major responsibilities, and where relevant, employees under your supervision, size of budget, clients/products and results achieved. (short answer) * [text box]

2. What would be your next step in terms of position if you were to remain in the same company? (short answer) * [text box]

3. Please give a full description of your career since graduating from university. Describe your career path with the rationale behind your choices. (short answer) * [text box]

4. Discuss your short and long term career aspirations with an MBA from INSEAD. (short answer) * [text box]

5. If you are currently not working or if you plan to leave your current employer more than 2 months before the programme starts, please explain your activities and occupations between leaving your job and the start of the programme. (optional)  [text box]

MOTIVATION ESSAYS

1. Give a candid description of yourself (who are you as a person), stressing the personal characteristics you feel to be your strengths and weaknesses and the main factors which have influenced your personal development, giving examples when necessary (approximately 500 words). * [text box]

2. Describe the achievement of which you are most proud and explain why. In addition, describe a situation where you failed. How did these experiences impact your relationships with others? Comment on what you learned(approximately 400 words). * [text box]

3. Describe all types of extra-professional activities in which you have been or are still involved for a significant amount of time (clubs, sports, music, arts, politics, etc). How are you enriched by these activities? (approximately 300 words) * [text box]

4. Is there anything else that was not covered in your application that you would like to share with the Admissions Committee? (approximately 300 words)  [text box]

Video Interviews (from September 2017 intake onwards)

Upon submission of your application form, you will receive a message requesting you to record video interviews through Kira Talent. You will also be able to access this from your online application dashboard. Please complete your video interviews within one week of submitting your application. Through the videos we hope to get a deeper insight into your background.

Additional open questions from the online application:
Please explain any time gaps since you left high school that have not been accounted for in either the education or employment sections. [text box – unlimited]

Essay question 1

What did you learn from your most spectacular failure? (up to 200 words)

Essay question 2

Describe a situation where you had to work jointly with others to achieve a common goal. What did you learn from the experience? (up to 200 words)

Additional information

Please provide information on any aspect of your candidacy that requires further explanation, or information that you would like the Admissions Committee to know (300 word limit).

Work experience

Do you plan to return to your current employer after completing your studies? (Maximum 100 words)

Previous roles/promotions at your current company – including dates (Maximum 150 words)

Describe your primary job responsibilities;

1. type and size of internal and external teams with which you work or supervise

2. type and number of clients or projects you manage;

3. size of budget or revenue for which you are responsible;

4. international experience or exposure (150 word limit)

What is your most significant challenge? [text box, no limit]

What is your most significant accomplishment? [text box, no limit]

Career objectives

Please provide a personal statement. It should not exceed 500 words and must address the following questions:

  • What are your short and long term career objectives and what skills/characteristics do you already have that will help you achieve them?
  • What actions will you take before and during the MBA to contribute to your career outcome?
  • If you are unsure of your post-MBA career path, how will the MBA equip you for the future?

For 2017-2018, the following two essays are required of all applicants:

  1. Kellogg’s purpose is to educate, equip & inspire brave leaders who create lasting value. Tell us about a time you have demonstrated leadership and created lasting value. What challenges did you face, and what did you learn? (450 words)
  2. Pursuing an MBA is a catalyst for personal and professional growth. How have you grown in the past? How do you intend to grow at Kellogg? (450 words)

Certain applicants will respond to additional questions:

  • Dual-degree applicants: For applicants to the MMM or JD-MBA dual degree programs, please explain why that program is right for you. (250 words)
  • Re-applicants: Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (250 word limit)

All applicants have the opportunity to provide explanations or clarification in Additional Information:

If needed, use this section to briefly describe any extenuating circumstances (e.g. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, etc.) (no word count)

Additional open questions from the online application:

Employer – Career Goals

What has been your most significant career accomplishment? [text box, 240 characters]

What is your desired position after Kellogg? [text box, 150 characters]

What is your long-term career goal after Kellogg? [text box, 150 characters]

What drives your interest in these short and long-term goals? [text box, 240 characters]

Education

If you held a paid part-time job or work study position during your undergraduate studies, please list the average number of hours per week spent working, and a brief description of your employment. Internships, summer positions, and other activities listed on your resume do not need to be included.

  • Brief description of employment: [text box, 200 characters]
Part 1: Short Answer Questions

Select one prompt from each group. Respond to your selected prompts using 100 words or fewer (

Group 1

I want people to know that I:
I turned an idea into action when I:
I made a difference when I:

Group 2

I showed my resilience when I:
I was humbled when:
I am out of my comfort zone when:

Group 3

I was aware that I am different when:
I find it challenging when people:
A valuable thing I have taught someone is:

Part 2: Essay

Please share your short-term and long-term career goals. What skills/strengths do you have that will be relevant to your career goals? How will Ross prepare you for your goals? (300 words)

Optional Statement

This section should only be used to convey information not addressed elsewhere in your application, for example, completion of supplemental coursework, employment gaps, academic issues, etc. Feel free to use bullet points where appropriate.

Cover Letter

MIT Sloan seeks students whose personal characteristics demonstrate that they will make the most of the incredible opportunities at MIT, both academic and non-academic. We are on a quest to find those whose presence will enhance the experience of other students. We seek thoughtful leaders with exceptional intellectual abilities and the drive and determination to put their stamp on the world. We welcome people who are independent, authentic, and fearlessly creative — true doers. We want people who can redefine solutions to conventional problems, and strive to preempt unconventional dilemmas with cutting-edge ideas. We demand integrity and respect passion.

Taking the above into consideration, please submit a cover letter seeking a place in the MIT Sloan MBA Program. Your letter should conform to a standard business correspondence, include one or more examples that illustrate why you meet the desired criteria above, and be addressed to Mr. Rod Garcia, Senior Director of Admissions (300 words or fewer, excluding address and salutation).

Resume

Please submit a resume that includes your employment history and academic record in reverse chronological order. Other information appropriate to a business resume is welcomed and encouraged, including extracurricular activities, awards, and achievements. The resume should be no more than one page in length.

VIDEO STATEMENT

Please introduce yourself to your future classmates via a brief video statement.

Videos should be a single take (no editing) lasting no more than one minute and consisting of you speaking directly to the camera. We recommend using an application such as QuickTime or iMovie to record yourself.

Upload Instructions:

  1. To upload media to your digital portfolio, add the files using the “Select Files” button below and click “Start upload.” Uploading may take anywhere from seconds to several hours depending upon the size of the media file and your connection speed. If your file is large, we recommend that you upload from a wired connection if possible.
  2. Once your file has been received, it will be displayed under the “Your Portfolio” tab. Your file will be processed and converted into its final form soon after uploading. Processing may take several minutes or hours depending upon the file size. You do not need to remain on this page after the media has been uploaded, as processing will occur automatically and independently.
  3. You may re-order your uploaded media at any time by dragging the slides around. Please supply title and media information by clicking Edit Details.
  4. Should you experience difficulties uploading your file, please ensure that you’re using a modern web browser (Chrome, Firefox, or Safari) on the fastest wired Internet connection available. An intermittent or slow Internet connection can cause uploads to timeout.

File Sizes and Types:

Although we technically support media files as large as 5 GB, please be advised that larger files will take longer to upload from your Internet connection and may stall if you are on a wireless connection or one that cannot sustain a connection for the necessary period of time. Uploaded documents may contain no more than 75 pages. We support the following file formats:

Video: .avi, .flv, .m1v, .m2v, .m4v, .mkv, .mov, .mpeg, .mpg, .mp4, .webm, .wmv

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (OPTIONAL)

Please provide any additional information you would like the Admissions Committee to know that may be helpful in evaluating your candidacy (i.e. choice of recommenders, areas of concern in your academic record, other extenuating circumstances, etc.). This information should be provided in a written format (200 words or less).

INTERVIEW ESSAY

Those invited to interview will be asked to answer the following question: The mission of the MIT Sloan School of Management is to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and to generate ideas that advance management practice. Please share with us something about your past that aligns with this mission. (250 words or fewer).  Details for submitting your essay will be included in the interview invitation.

Additional open question from the online application:

Employment Information – If there are any gaps in your employment history, please use the space below to explain. [text box, 1000 characters]

Essays help us learn about who you are rather than solely what you have done. Other parts of the application give insight to your academic and professional accomplishments; the essays reveal the person behind those achievements.

When writing your essays, our best advice is simple: answer the question. Resist the urge to “package” yourself into what you think Stanford wants to see. Doing so will only prevent us from understanding who you really are and what you hope to accomplish. The most impressive essays are the most authentic.

Essay Questions
We request that you write two personal essays. The personal essays give us glimpses of your character and hopes. In each essay, we want to hear your genuine voice. Think carefully about your values, passions, aims, and dreams prior to writing them.

Essay A: What matters most to you, and why?

For this essay, we would like you to:

  • Do some deep self-examination, so you can genuinely illustrate who you are and how you came to be the person you are.
  • Share the insights, experiences, and lessons that shaped your perspectives, rather than focusing merely on what you’ve done or accomplished.
  • Write from the heart, and illustrate how a person, situation, or event has influenced you.
  • Focus on the “why” rather than the “what.”

Essay B: Why Stanford?

Enlighten us on how earning your MBA at Stanford will enable you to realize your ambitions.

  • Explain your decision to pursue graduate education in management.
  • Explain the distinctive opportunities you will pursue at Stanford.
  • If you are applying to both the MBA and MSx programs, use Essay B to address your interest in both programs.

Length
Your answers for both essay questions combined may not exceed 1,150 words (1,200 words if you are applying to both the MBA and MSx programs). Each of you has your own story to tell, so please allocate these words between the essays in the way that is most effective for you. Below is a suggested word count, based on what we typically see.

Essay Suggested Word Count

Essay A 750

Essay B 400

Essay B (if applying to both the MBA and MSx programs) 450

Formatting

  • Double-spaced
  • Indicate the question you are answering at the beginning of each essay (does not count toward the word limit)
  • Number all pages
  • Upload one document that includes both essays
  • Be sure to save a copy of your essays, and preview the uploaded document to ensure that the formatting is preserved.

Additional Information

Through all of the elements of your application, we believe that we get to know you well. Complete this section only if you have critical information you could not convey elsewhere on your application (e.g., extenuating circumstances affecting academic or work performance). Do not include essays, and please be brief.

[Upload additional information document]

Editing Your Essays

Begin work on the essays early to give yourself time to reflect, write, and edit.

Feel free to ask friends or family members for feedback — especially about whether the tone and voice sound like you. Your family and friends know you better than anyone. If they think the essays do not capture who you are, how you live, what you believe, and what you aspire to do, then surely we will be unable to recognize what is most distinctive about you.

Feedback Vs. Coaching
There is a big difference, however, between “feedback” and “coaching.” You cross that line when any part of the application (excluding the letters of reference) ceases to be exclusively yours in either thought or word.

Appropriate feedback occurs when others review your completed application — perhaps once or twice — and apprise you of omissions, errors, or inaccuracies that you later correct or address. After editing is complete, your thoughts, voice, and style remain intact. Inappropriate coaching occurs when you allow others to craft your application for you and, as a result, your application or self-presentation is not authentic.

It is improper and a violation of the terms of this application process to have someone else write your essays. Such behavior will result in denial of your application or revocation of your admission.

Additional open questions from the online application:

Background

Tell us about a time within the last two years when your background influenced your participation at work or school. [text box, 1200 characters]

Professional Experience

Please write a sentence or two about what you aspire to do after graduating from Stanford GSB. (Limit 255 characters.)

Have you had any gap(s) of four months or more in your employment or educational history since secondary school? Let us know what you did during that period. (Limit 145 characters)

Activities and Interests

For your first (most significant) activity or interest listed, why did you become involved? (Limit 255 characters.)

Our Stern essay questions give you the opportunity to more fully present yourself to the Admissions Committee and to provide insight into your experiences, goals, and thought processes.

Please note the following details when completing your essays:

  • Written essays must be submitted using double-spacing and 12-point font.
  • Your response to Essay 1 should answer all parts of the question with a maximum of 500 words.
  • Your essays should be written entirely by you. An offer of admission will be revoked if you did not write your essays.

Uploading Formats
You may upload Word and PDF documents into the online application.

Essay 1: Professional Aspirations

(500 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

  • What are your short and long-term career goals?
  • How will the MBA help you achieve them?

[Upload] Essay 2: Program Preferences

NYU Stern offers a portfolio of MBA programs designed to meet the needs of our applicants. Your program preferences are very important as you may be admitted to only one program. You cannot switch your program option after receiving your admissions decision.

  • A. Primary Program Preference (250 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)
    • Please indicate the primary MBA program for which you would like to be considered, as indicated in the Primary Program Selection section of the application.
    • Explain why the program you have selected is the best program for you.
  • B. Alternative Program Preference(s) (250 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)
    • Please indicate any alternative program(s) for which you would also like to be considered, as indicated in the Alternative Program Selection section of the application and why you would also like to be considered for this/these program(s).
    • An alternate program does not need to be selected. If you have no alternate programs you do not need to complete this essay, just indicate “N/A”.

[Upload] Essay 3: Personal Expression (a.k.a. “Pick Six”)

Describe yourself to the Admissions Committee and to your future classmates using six images and corresponding captions. Your uploaded PDF should contain all of the following elements:

  • A brief introduction or overview of your “Pick Six” (no more than 3 sentences).
  • Six images that help illustrate who you are.
  • A one-sentence caption for each of the six images that helps explain why they were selected and are significant to you.

Note: Your visuals may include photos, infographics, drawings, or any other images that best describe you. Your document must be uploaded as a single PDF. The essay cannot be sent in physical form or be linked to a website.

[Upload] Essay 4: Additional Information (optional)

(250 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

Please provide any additional information that you would like to bring to the attention of the Admissions Committee. This may include current or past gaps in employment, further explanation of your undergraduate record or self-reported academic transcript(s), plans to retake the GMAT, GRE, IELTS or TOEFL, or any other relevant information.

[Upload] Additional open questions from the online application:

Activities and Achievements

Activities

List college and post-college extracurricular, professional, or community activities in the order of their importance to you. Include dates of involvement and any offices held (e.g., Activity – Dates of Involvement – Office Held). [text box – no limit]

Achievements

List any college and post-college awards, scholarships, or other types of recognition you have received (academic – for example, Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude; military; extracurricular; professional; community). [text box – no limit]

Professional Certifications

List any professional certifications you have received (e.g. CFA, CPA, PMP, Series 7, etc.) [text box – no limit]

The essay questions provide you with an opportunity to help the admissions committee gain greater insight about you as a potential member of the Tuck community. We do not allow substitution or replacement of essay responses after an application has been submitted. Please be clear, succinct, forthright, and thoughtful in your responses. Additionally, we ask that you share what you truly feel, as opposed to writing what you think the admissions committee would like to read. There are no right or wrong answers. Reapplicants should also complete the reapplicant essay. Tuck expects that the work contained in the essays is completely accurate and exclusively your own. Use of professional essay-writing services violates Tuck’s admissions policies.

Please respond fully but concisely to the following essay questions. There are no right or wrong answers. We encourage applicants to limit the length of their responses to a word count of 500. Please double-space your responses.

1. (Required) What are your short and long-term goals? Why is an MBA a critical next step toward achieving those goals? Why are you interested in Tuck?

2. (Required) Tuck’s mission is to educate wise leaders to better the world of business. Wisdom encompasses the essential aptitudes of confident humility, about what one does and does not
know; empathy, towards the diverse ideas and experiences of others; and judgment, about when and how to take risks for the better.
With Tuck’s mission in mind, and with a focus on confident humility, tell us about a time you:

  • received tough feedback,

  • experienced failure, or

  • disappointed yourself or others.

How did you respond, and what did you learn about yourself as a result?

3. (Optional) Please provide any additional insight or information that you have not addressed elsewhere that may be helpful in reviewing your application (e.g., unusual choice of evaluators,
weaknesses in academic performance, unexplained job gaps or changes, etc.). Complete this question only if you feel your candidacy is not fully represented by this application.

4. (To be completed by all reapplicants) How have you strengthened your candidacy since you last applied? Please reflect on how you have grown personally and professionally.

First-time applicant and re-applicants (those who applied to begin the program in the fall of 2017 or 2016) are required to complete both essays.

The Admissions Committee wants to get to know you on both a professional and personal level. We encourage you to be introspective, candid and succinct. Most importantly, we suggest you be yourself.

  • Essay 1:  What do you hope to gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (500 words) [text box, 7500 characters]
  • Essay 2: Teamwork is at the core of the Wharton MBA experience with each student contributing unique elements to our collaborative culture. How will you contribute to the Wharton community? (400 words) [text box, 7500 characters]

Optional Essay

First-time applicants can use this essay if you feel there are extenuating circumstances of which the Committee should be aware (e.g., unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, significant weaknesses in your application). (250 words)

All re-applicants (those who applied for Fall 2017 or 2016) are also required to complete the Optional Essay. Please use this space to explain how you have reflected on the previous decision on your application and to discuss any updates on your candidacy (e.g., changes in your professional life, additional coursework, extra curricular/volunteer engagements). You may also use this section to address any extenuating circumstances. (250 words) [text box, 7500 characters]

Additional open questions from the online application:

Personal Information – Awards

List your most significant community & professional awards as well as recognitions you have received. [text box, 2000 characters]

Work Experience

How many employees do you supervise? Please explain this number briefly (i.e. direct reports, matrix organization, dotted line). [text box, 500 characters]

Reason for Leaving [text box, 400 characters]

Academic Background

Academic Awards [text box, 1000 characters]

Test Information

If waiving due to professional environment, please provide a description here. [text box, 1000 characters]

Standardized test scores are not the only indicator of language skills, therefore, if you have submitted an English language test score, please use this section to describe how, when and where you are using English in your day-to-day life. This should include circumstances where you speak, read or write in English on a regular basis. (200 words) [text box, 1000 characters]

Our note to candidates, due to Yale’s ethics policy: if you are “recycling” an essay from another school to create a Yale essay, use the non-edited first draft that you created for the other school.

Required Essay

Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. (500 words maximum)

Optional Information

If any aspect of your candidacy needs further explanation (unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, academic performance, promotions or recognitions, etc.), please provide a brief description here. (200 words maximum)

Additional open questions from the online application:

Academic Record

Graduate Degree Information – If you have a graduate degree, how, if at all, does pursuing an MBA relate to your previous graduate studies? (100 words maximum)

Work Experience

Gaps in Work Experience – If you have had any post-undergraduate gaps in full-time employment greater than three months (other than for graduate study), or if you are currently unemployed, please use the space below to provide more information. (250 words maximum)

Post-MBA Career Interests

How did you arrive at these career interests? How have you or how will you position yourself to pursue them? (250 words maximum)

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