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Sample MBA Application Essays

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❶There are practice questions that you may complete as many times as you like to get comfortable with the format and technology.

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If you have difficulty explaining your immediate post-MBA plans in the space given, I think that is likely an indication that your plans are too complex, vague, or otherwise not well thought out. What you state here should be backed up by what you discuss in Essay 1 or the reapplicant essay for reapplicants and possibly in the other essays.

If you can be clever or catchy in formulating this response that is fine, but it is a completely secondary consideration to simply stating something that is very clear and that is completely consistent with what you write in Essay 1. Being clever is not critical here, being clear is. Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date.

What are your career goals going forward, and how will the Columbia MBA help you achieve them? The only thing that has changed from last year is that the length is now flexible as it was previously words.

Since I have found it necessary to make this clear to clients: Be strategic and thoughtful about why you are wanting a Columbia MBA now: Given the importance of being able to state your post-MBA goal clearly in 51 characters or less as well as the need in Essay 1 to explain why you want a Columbia MBA, it is critical that you be strategic and thoughtful in presenting your post-MBA plans and your reasons for wanting a Columbia MBA. The following image may not work for all browsers. Balance and integrate Goals and Why Columbia?

That is to say, the objective is not merely to discuss your goals and then extensively or briefly discuss Columbia, but to put together an essay that integrates and balances the two. Your objective is to write an essay that shows Columbia why it is the best possible place for you to achieve your career goals.

If your goals are not showing themselves to be particularly well supported by Columbia, you may need to either change your goals or decide to apply elsewhere. Most importantly, our students are taught by a combination of distinguished research faculty and accomplished practitioners. I just did again! I was recently talking with a potential client who did not quite get this value proposition because he was simply fixated on the classroom.

While classroom technology plays a role in selecting a school, a full-time two-year MBA program at a top American school is simply not reducible to the building. I think this is especially true of Columbia.

That said, at least in the class I visited in , the professor was great, the students were friendly but highly engaged, and even though the whiteboard was old school and hard to see, I was impressed. Of course, Columbia wants to claim that it is at the worldwide center of business. It is pure arrogance. I have always maintained that Columbia needs to feel loved.

This is especially true in the interview process. It is also true in the essays. Think about each of them to come up with topics for this essay. How will you use this research? In Essay 1, you are explaining why you need an MBA from Columbia now and would surely be addressing particular aspects of the MBA program in your answer.

The reasons might relate to your professional goals, but may very well be highly personal or most likely a combination of the two.

An effective answer here will provide the reader with greater insight into your personality, interests, and motivations. To surprise someone in a positive way is to give them a new reason to be interested in you. This essay should do that! The topic s you write about should be positive aspects of who you are. I actually like this question quite a bit because it is a great way for applicants to highlight some really unique aspect or aspects about themselves.

The focus may be on something very specific that you did or something about your character. Whatever it is, it should not simply be pleasantly surprising, but also relevant in some way.

It might be something that will add value to your Cluster. If it is highly personal, it should reveal a quality or aspect to you that is not merely interesting, but also something really worth knowing. A good answer here might involve an unusual hobby or experience but the possibilities are endless. Just keep it positive! One thing that is consistent about Columbia Business School is that they want to know that their school is your first choice. If you have an alumni interview you can be expected to be asked about that very directly.

Keep the following into consideration when explaining why the January Term program is right for you:. This tends to attract students who wish to remain in the same industry including sponsored students , entrepreneurs, and students in family businesses.

Please note that there is no early decision option for January entry and that, due to the timing of the application cycle, January term applicants are not eligible for merit fellowship consideration. The principal advantage of the month program is its accelerated format, which allows members of the smaller January class to network quickly and effectively and return to the workplace sooner.

Based on what former clients tell me, it is common for J-termers to do part-time internships in NYC while studying. Actually, this is often true for those attending August as well. These are not the same as summer internships but can surely serve the same function. Here are some common issues that arise when considering J-term: Next, analyze your present strengths and weaknesses for succeeding in your present career. In particular, some of your greatest strengths may have been demonstrated outside of work, so make sure you are accounting for them.

What are you good at? Where do you add value? What are you praised for? What are you proud of? What are you bad at? What are you criticized for? What do you try to avoid due to your own limitations? What do you fear? Next, analyze your situation in right now. What opportunities exist for your growth and success?

What threats could limit your career growth? If you cannot complete this step you need to do more research and need to think more about it. I frequently help clients with this issue through a process of brainstorming.

What skills, knowledge, and other resources do you need to close the gap between your present and future responsibilities, strengths, and opportunities? After completing Step 3, you now need to determine how an MBA will add value to you. How will the degree enhance your skills and opportunities and help you overcome your weaknesses and external threats?

If you can complete Step 4, then you should be ready to explain what your goals are, why you want a degree, and the relationship between your past and future career, as well as your strengths and weaknesses. The above table will also help you answer such common interview questions as: Where do you want to work after you finish your degree? Why do you want an MBA? What are you strengths? What are your weaknesses? What are your goals? Be informed about your goals.

Columbia Admissions needs to believe you know what you are talking about. If you are changing careers, no one expects you to be an expert, but you should come across as having a clear plan based on real research into your future. If you are not already doing so, read industry related publications and network. No matter whether you are changing fields or not, learn what is hot now and try to figure out what will be hot by the time you graduate.

Now, of course, this is just a plan and chances are that what is hot in your industry or field now may very well be cold in the future. Some other great general sources for learning what is hot: You may also want to do a search on iTunes for podcasts: Read magazines, websites, and books that relate to your intended field. While you may need to reference your past in order to explain your goals and why Columbia, this essay should be focused on the future.

Any statements you make about your past experience should be analytical rather than descriptive and for the sole purpose of explaining what you want to do in the future and why. The resources available at CBS and Columbia University are vast, so figure out specifically what you want from the school as you will need to discuss that. Learn more about eligibility for each program: Scholastic ability Personal character Motivations Leadership ability Interpersonal skills Career performance Management potential The committee assesses your: The interview provides an opportunity for you to learn more about our program.

It also allows the Admissions Committee to further evaluate your interpersonal and communication skills, career focus and motivations for the Kellogg MBA. All interviews are considered equally, regardless of the format. Please note all interview request locations are final.

On-Campus Interview On-campus interviews may be scheduled online through the applicant status page after you submit a completed application. Interview slots are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. Schedule your interview as soon as possible to secure your desired date.

On-campus interviews typically last minutes. Off-Campus Interview Request If you request an off-campus interview, you will be notified of your assignment or waiver via email within four to six weeks from the application deadline. Interview Waiver Due to the high demand for interviews and limited availability of interviewers, you may receive an interview waiver. Waivers will not have a negative impact on your candidacy. Phone or Skype Interview If your interview is waived, the admissions committee may contact you to schedule a phone or Skype interview.

If you receive a waiver, you may not request a phone or Skype interview. All Interview Requests are Final You may not change your interview request after submission. If you are unable to attend your interview, please contact the Office of Admissions at The office will issue an interview waiver, which will not have a negative impact on your candidacy. For , the following two essays are required of all applicants: Tell us about a time you have demonstrated leadership and created lasting value.

What challenges did you face, and what did you learn? How have you grown in the past? How do you intend to grow at Kellogg? Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy?

If needed, use this section to briefly describe any extenuating circumstances e. The Video Essay is one component of the application and provides you with an additional opportunity to demonstrate what you will bring to our vibrant Kellogg community — in an interactive way. You will respond to several short video essay questions. The questions are designed to bring to life the person we have learned about on paper.

After submitting an application and payment, you will be able to access the video essay through your application status page.

The second question will be an opportunity to describe your plans for the future and how Kellogg will help you on that journey. The other questions will be randomly generated questions that will be similar to interview questions. There are practice questions that you may complete as many times as you like to get comfortable with the format and technology.

The practice questions and experience will simulate the actual video essay experience, so this is meant to be a useful tool to help you feel prepared.

We encourage you to practice so you are comfortable with the format once it is time to complete the official questions. There is not an opportunity to re-do the answer to the official video essay questions. You will have 20 seconds to think about the question and up to one minute to give your response. We estimate the video essays will take minutes to complete — which includes time for set-up and answering all the practice questions. You will need an internet connected computer with a webcam, microphone and an updated version of Adobe Flash in order to complete the video essay.

Frequently Asked Questions Q: Why does Kellogg have a video essay? Student culture is hugely important at Kellogg. So we want to meet everyone. We use the video essays as additional information to the application. It is the last thing we review when reading an application. It gives us a sense of your personality and allows us to get to know you in a more personal way than we can through your essays.

What makes a good video essay? We don't want scripted answers - we want to get to know you and learn something new.

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The Essay Questions and the Immediate Post-MBA Goals Statement I have taken the essay questions from the website. If these change once the application is up, I will alter accordingly.

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Yale University – School of Management Full-time MBA program – Application essays Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. (Maximum words) VIDEO ESSAY The purpose of the video interview is to distinguish between polish and professionalism.

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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 . get your free copy: 5 fatal flaws to avoid in your mba application essays Get Expert Help With Your Business School Application Our world-class team helps .

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What’s New at Harvard for the MBA Application Cycle. The big news about the upcoming application cycle at Harvard Business School is that it is dropping its third round for all MBA applicants except 2+2 applicants. 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.