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From the Aringo Admission Consulting research team.

Writing effective MBA admissions essays

Effective MBA Admissions Essay Tips — By Business School


Berkeley MBA Essay Tips

  • Important to demonstrate innovative and creative leadership. Does not necessarily have to be something ground-breaking, can be “something as simple as a new process for doing something or a new way to think about clients or an untapped market”. Preferable to show it in professional context, if not can be in volunteer or personal context.
  • Should show proficiency in quantitative areas.
  • Possibly helpful to discuss experiential learning opportunities.

Chicago MBA Essay Tips

  • Essay questions are creatively designed to get a well-rounded picture of applicant’s personality, to see how they think, and to see whether they have a good sense of the school’s character.
  • In past the perception was that community at the school was weak. Therefore may be helpful to show that you are someone who will actively contribute to the community.
  • School very much values strength of its academic program – may be good to talk about how program will serve you and how you will contribute to it.

Columbia MBA Essay Tips

  • Like to see entrepreneurial mindset.
  • International orientation, multiple languages, openness to diversity, are plusses.
  • Like people who took part in activities and have actively contributed to the well-being of their communities.

Duke MBA Essay Tips

  • Fuqua has two leading motifs:
    o “Team Fuqua” – this is the slogan of the school and its mission – show in the application that you were and still are a part of a team and a leader of a team.
    o “Leaders of Consequence” – show how as a leader you look at the bigger picture and understand the consequences of you actions on classmates / business / society etc.
  • Want to see students who will be both collaborators and leaders. Believes that the two are not contradictory but rather complementary.
  • Make sure to directly answer the question asked – the admissions director advises to write essays in such a way that one could tell the question simply by reading the answer.

Harvard MBA Essay Tips

  • Harvard’s primary concern is leadership. The school is for leadership potential, and not necessarily leadership per se.
  • Harvard is particularly interested in ‘Leadership without Authority’- your ability to influence, motivate, initiate and convince others to effect change without being in a traditional leadership position.
  • Have a generalist viewpoint – it’s better to be good at many things than to be extraordinarily good at just one thing (unless that one thing happens to be leadership).

Kellogg MBA Essay Tips

  • Kellogg is looking for someone who ideates clear self reflection, speaks with conviction about goals, who they are, why they are interested in MBA, their role and fit with school. Not looking for one-dimensional people.
  • Be yourself, be confident, without arrogance. Think what your experience means for other students, what you can share and how you can contribute.
  • School emphasizes that essays should be insightful, reflective, authentic and honest – don’t write simply what think adcom wants to hear.

Michigan MBA Essay Tips

  • Exhibit team-play and collaboration skills.
  • Emphasize your interest in the action-based component, show that it’s the right study method for you. Show you are familiar with MAP and other unique aspects of curriculum.
  • School putting more emphasis on entrepreneurship- good to show entrepreneurial spirit.

MIT MBA Essay Tips

  • It is recommended that non-techies emphasize quantitative skills. In general, quantitative skills are very important to Sloan.
  • Essays are very behavioral, as is the rest of the application. Talk about feelings, emotions, motives, thoughts. Looking for very specific details and examples, above all.
  • Bad essays are mostly about situation and outcome. Good essays are mostly about process. All their applicants are successful – the school wants to see the process that led to the success.

Stanford MBA Essay Tips

  • Stanford wants to see applicant’s ideals, passions and aspirations. Looking for students who have been successful as a by-product of pursuing their passions and interests, as opposed to just pursuing success after success as a goal in itself.
  • They like community involvement and public-service-oriented people.
  • In essays, show insight taken away from experiences, not just experiences themselves. Discuss both specific entrepreneurial ambitions, and the way those ambitions will have a positive impact on society.

Tuck MBA Essay Tips

  • Value teamwork, especially because of their Study Group system.
  • Seems that they are looking to take more students who have a ‘global mindset’.
  • Like tangible anecdotes, examples and vignettes in essays.

UCLA MBA Essay Tips

  • Due to the program’s strength in entrepreneurship, it is recommended to discuss your own entrepreneurial spirit/ambitions, and how school’s resources will help you reach them.
  • Have strong emphasis on getting to know applicant through essays – essays ask how family or community influenced applicant and about important life experiences.
  • Looking for authentic, genuine and introspective essays – don’t be overly verbose.

Wharton MBA Essay Tips

  • Very important to show WHO you are (hobbies, community service, etc.), beyond professional accomplishments and stats. Be yourself and be candid.
  • Like to see international perspective.
  • Applicants should be very careful as to how they shape the group of essays: they are interrelated and will be taken together as a whole.

Yale MBA Essay Tips

  • Write clear, concise essays which clearly answer the question asked, paying attention to word limits.
  • Show interest in the school’s finance and marketing programs.
  • Show interest in business ethics and corporate social responsibility.


For additional MBA Essay Tips: http://www.aringo.com/MBA_Essay_Tips.htm