OK, so you love Chick-Fila-A, you insist on diet Coke and you only do your home improvement shopping at Home Depot. Clearly Atlanta is a good fit for b-school, but there is that one thing in your way — gaining acceptance to Emory. That is where Admit Advantage can help. These essays provide a real opportunity to express your personal, community and professional accomplishments, so take full advantage.
Please answer each of the following four questions in a short paragraph. (250 words each)
- Why have you decided to pursue an MBA at this time?
- What interested you in Goizueta Business School’s MBA program?
- What are your short term post MBA goals?
- What are your long term professional aspirations?
This is the standard why yMBA, why our school, why now, short term/long term goal essay. You generally need to answer this question in most MBA applications (or interviews), so the expectation is that you will have a good answer to the questions. The challenge here is that it is not one fluid essay, rather four mini essays of 250 words or less. Make sure that you address the specific question for each essay. Fight the urge to cut and paste sections of essays from other schools unless they specifically address each question.
Admit Advantage: Don’t regurgitate your resume in the answer set (especially the yMBA). Feel free to mention how your past experiences have led you to where you are today, but they are not looking for more information about your background per se.
Admit Advantage: Make sure to have a clear story mapped out before answering the individual questions as they should all fit together. Your background and passion should lead you to an MBA which leads you to your short-term and long-term goals. Your interest in Goizueta should fit with your overall career plan; the best yGoizueta essays will site specific offerings that attract you to the school.
Share one of your most significant professional accomplishments. Describe your precise role in this activity and how it has helped to shape your management skills. (1000 words)
Wow, 1000 words. That’s like a novel in the eyes of most business students, but it gives you an opportunity to truly elaborate on your professional accomplishment here. Make sure that you think long and hard about this one—if your most “significant” professional accomplishment is not very significant—“Houston, we have a problem” (I thought I would drop a commemorative space shuttle reference in).
Admit Advantage: One way to think of the essay is 1) the setup – describing the background of the accomplishmen; 2) the payoff – what actually happened and how did you exceed expectations; and 3) the takeaways – what did you learn from the experience. Make sure to be specific about what you, specifically, did, especially if it was a team accomplishment (i.e. we exceeded our financial goals and I contributed 60% to the bottom line).
Admit Advantage: If this accomplishment is something that your recommender(s) is aware of, make sure to prime him to let him know that you’ve highlighted this experience in your essay. Your essay argument is significantly strengthened if you have recommender confirmation of your role and performance.
Goizueta Business School takes pride in our Core Values: Courage, Integrity, Accountability, Rigor, Diversity, Team, and Community. These ideals drive principled, effective leaders in business, and are the values we seek to instill in all of our students, both during their education at Goizueta and beyond. Provide a specific example of how you have demonstrated one of these values in your professional experience. (500 words)
While the first two essays are focused on your professional accomplishments and aspirations, the next two essays want to dig deep into your personality and fit. Goizueta takes its core values very seriously and wants to find MBA candidates that truly exhibit these values. The core values are broad enough that you can incorporate experiences from professional, community or personal settings. Make sure to choose an example that truly demonstrates who you are as a person.
Admit Advantage: Think about your MBA brand (what it is that differentiates you) and plan essay #3 and #4 together. You should drive home two different points about yourself that you would like to get across in these next two essays. Think about the essays in the context of your career and show your unique traits vs. your peers. For example, if you are an investment banker, maybe you can talk about your community involvement (rare for a banker); alternatively, if you are in the non-profit space, you could talk about your rigorous focus that helped drive a new initiative.
Admit Advantage: Make sure to answer the question: Be specific and only choose one topic (we know you exhibit all of these traits, but they are only asking for one.
Complete one of the following statements. (500 words)
- I am unique because…
- My most memorable cross-cultural experience…
- I am passionate about…
- My personal brand is…
- I took a risk when I…
How nice of Goizueta to give you so many options to write about. Our hope is that you are not sure which one to pick; if you can’t think of anything to say on this one, maybe try a Masters in Physics instead of Business. For the record, I think “I am unique because” and “My personal brand is” topics are very similar except the latter does ask for more of your personal characteristics while the former is more broad. Make sure to coordinate your response to essay #3 and keep overlap to a minimum.
Admit Advantage: Once it’s all said and done, you should look at this set of essays and it should reveal the whole you. Essays 1 and 2 give you the opportunity to talk about work. Essays 3 and 4 give you the opportunity to dig deeper into your personality exhibited through work, community service or personal achievements. You should feel pretty comfortable that you’ve gotten your MBA brand across to the admissions committee; if not, take a look at essays 3 and 4 and consider changing topics as they are relatively broad.
If you have additional information or feel there are extenuating circumstances which you would like to share with the MBA Admissions Committee (i.e. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, academic performance issues, areas of weakness in application) (250 words)
This essay usually formulates in one of two ways: 1) a weakness essay or 2) an area of strength/perseverance that you couldn’t fit in one of the other essays. If you have a gaping hole (i.e. GPA, GMAT, long layoff, etc.), here is your opportunity to address it. If you have a special talent or circumstance, go for it! Keep in mind that this specifically asks for content that could not be addressed in the rest of the application.
Admit Advantage: Use your best judgment. If you are a 710 GMAT at a 720 mean school and have good credentials otherwise, you probably don’t have to write about a low GMAT score. Don’t feel compelled to write an essay here if you don’t need to, but don’t exceed the word limit.
Admit Advantage: Watch the tone of this essay. Don’t apologize and rant about how life is hard (frankly, MBA admissions committee members have heard it all and don’t care too much). Address the issue, talk about your mitigants and feel free to stop writing.
Admit Advantage: Don’t be afraid to talk about a positive characteristic that you couldn’t fit elsewhere. If you’ve done the work upfront and identified what you want to say, you should know what you didn’t get the opportunity to highlight in the previous essays. Do it here.
To see more school write-ups, check out Admit Advantage’s blog.