Emory / Goizueta MBA Essay Topic Analysis 2017-2018
Following up on the release of the Emory University’s Goizueta MBA essay topics for 2017-2018, we wanted to offer some guidance to applicants on how to approach these prompts.
As with last year, this year’s essay section comprises four required responses, with a continued focus on career goals, leadership experiences, a four-option short answer prompt, and a 25-word allotment for a “fun fact.”
Emory Goizueta MBA Essay Analysis 2017-2018
Let’s take a closer look at each of the Emory MBA essay prompts for 2017-2018.
Define your short-term post-MBA career goals. How are your professional strengths, past experience and personal attributes aligned with these goals? (300 words)
This inquiry is a fairly straightforward career goals essay, with an explicit emphasis on the short-term. Candidates should open the essay with a clear statement of their short-term post-MBA goal, i.e. the position they plan to seek immediately after graduating from Goizueta. Applicants should name a specific job title/functional role, and might even consider naming 1-2 firms that they plan to target. While a long-term goal isn’t explicitly requested, briefly commenting on how this position will support one’s longer-term career vision would provide some context for this choice.
Meanwhile, applicants should take care to include a discussion of how their experiences and strengths are aligned with this short-term goal. We recommend that candidates devote at least 2/3 of the essay to this part of the prompt, as the wording of this essay (taken with last year’s required response about a candidate’s backup plan) suggests that the adcom is interested in admitting students with focused and realistic post-MBA goals. Candidates should therefore ensure that they cover each of the items named in the prompt, explaining how their professional experiences to date have informed their goals and prepared them (to some extent) for this position, as well as how they see their professional strengths (functional skills such as communication or quantitative knowledge) and personal attributes (more global qualities like flexibility or perseverance) supporting them in handling the day-to-day demands of their target role.
This is a fair amount of ground to cover in a 300-word response, and applicants should make covering each aspect of the prompt their first priority. That said, it may also be worth commenting on how a particularly appealing element of the Goizueta MBA program or community would also support one’s work in his or her short-term role. Such comments should be limited to just 1-2 sentences, and should be highly specific (focusing on a specific course or student organization) in order to demonstrate the applicant’s knowledge of the program while making the most of these brief Emory-focused remarks.
The business school is named for Roberto C. Goizueta, former Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, who led the organization for 16 years, extending its global reach, quadrupling consumption, building brand responsibility, and creating unprecedented shareholder wealth. Mr. Goizueta’s core values guide us in educating Principled Leaders for Global Enterprise. Provide an example of your leadership – professional or personal – and explain what you learned about yourself through the experience. (300 words)
The primary task of this essay is to recount a personal or professional leadership experience and comment on what one learned in the process. In selecting a topic, however, it will be important to key in to the preamble and its emphasis on the concepts of large-scale global reach and principled leadership that involves both social and shareholder responsibility. We therefore strongly recommend that candidates aim to select an example that aligns with at least one of these two touch points. While few (if any) applicants will have held C-level positions in global firms as Mr. Goizueta did, the adcom seems to be hinting that they’re looking for applicants who can work across countries and markets, manage large-scale projects, effect shifts in a team’s culture or strategy, and keep their own values and fiduciary responsibility in mind as they carry out their role.
Note that the example in this essay can come from the personal or professional realm (though all things being equal, a professional experience will likely be preferable here). Your highest priority should be to identify an example that will allow you to showcase one of the global- or responsibility-oriented abilities mentioned above. And, based on the opening comments about Mr. Goizueta’s effectiveness and vision, the strongest responses to this question will likely recount clear leadership successes.
Once you have identified your example, we recommend a simple STAR structure for this response. Begin by describing the situation, the players, and stakeholders involved before moving into the task: what you needed to accomplish in your leadership role (as well as any challenges or barriers that you anticipated). You should then move into the action, providing a chronological account of how you moved through the project or process. Finally, you should comment on the result — the positive outcome of your leadership efforts and the resolution of the story. In a concluding section, applicants will then want to summarize the lessons they learned in the course of this leadership experience, and might also include a comment on how these lessons have served them since and/or how they position the applicant to add real value to the Emory MBA community.
Complete one of the following statements. (250 words)
I am passionate about…
The best piece of advice I’ve received is…
The best day of my life was…
A personal goal I want to accomplish is…
On the surface, the options for this essay solicit rather disparate information. At a deeper level, though, this prompt calls on applicants to share something that defines them, whether it’s a long-term passion or goal that has informed many of their priorities and decisions, or a single day or piece of feedback that stands out to them for an important reason. This prompt seems designed to help the adcom learn about the applicant — and about what kind of student, classmate, and colleague he or she will be. The most effective responses will be authentic and revealing (without venturing into TMI territory), and will give the reader a sense of why you would be a great addition to the Goizueta community.
As part of the brainstorming process, we recommend that applicants begin by identifying their honest answer to each of these responses. For the items about the best piece of advice and best day of one’s life, we recommend narrowing this down to a single answer. Meanwhile, you might generate 2-3 options for the “passionate about” and “personal goal” options. We then suggest that you step back and consider which option will add the most value to your application. That is, in addition to telling the adcom something about who you are and what you care about, consider which will also allow you to demonstrate some positive impact or contribution you would make to the school community.
Applicants should also note that it would be ideal to comment on this potential impact in concrete terms. For example, an applicant who writes that the best day of his life was the day his child was born might also want to comment about how he balances family with work/school and propose a leadership role in a campus organization supporting MBA students with children. Similarly, an applicant who names completing a marathon as an important personal goal might emphasize how the discipline and perseverance required to accomplish this has supported her in other areas of her life and would translate to her MBA studies. There are no wrong answers to this prompt, though the most effective essays will demonstrate sincerity and thoughtfulness about what matters most to the applicant, with an eye to how this will also benefit the Goizueta program.
Share with the committee and your future classmates a fun or noteworthy fact about you. (25 words)
With its narrow word count, this prompt asks applicants to share a piece of “bonus information” in just a few sentences. We encourage applicants to have some fun with this item and to share something not covered anywhere else in their essays. This could be anything from an impressive personal or professional achievement to a favorite recipe, travel destination or hobby (or anything in between).
In arriving at a fact to share, applicants should consider the overall balance of content across their other essays with the aim of providing a rounded picture of their candidacies; if the previous three responses have focused on the professional realm, a more personal detail may be best here, and vice versa. It would also make sense to consider something that would genuinely interest or excite one’s future classmates. On that note, given that one’s fellow students are identified as an audience for this prompt, it will be important to balance any accomplishment-oriented facts with humility, perhaps commenting on what you learned from the process of achieving something or how you intend to apply transferable skills or knowledge to your time in an MBA program.
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 or areas of weakness in application). (250 words)
The adcom is primarily interested in hearing about explanations or extenuating circumstances that might have a meaningful impact on their consideration of one’s application. Applicants should therefore take a conservative approach to this response, including only information that you believe warrants the extra item it will require for a reader to review.
Clear Admit Resources
Thanks for reading our analysis of this year’s Goizueta essay topics! As you work on your Emory MBA application, we encourage you to consider all of Clear Admit’s Goizueta offerings:
Posted in: Admissions Tips, Application Tips, Essay Topic Analysis, Essays
Schools: Emory / Goizueta
Emory Goizueta 2016-17 MBA Application Deadlines
Application Deadline Decision Notification
Round 1 October 14, 2016 December 1, 2016
Round 2* November 11, 2016 January 26, 2017
Round 3** January 4, 2017 March 3, 2017 (Domestic and One-Year Int'l)
March 10, 2017 (2 Year International)
Round 4 March 10, 2017
Rolling ( One-Year)
April 28 (Two-Year)
* Preferred deadline for One-year MBA applicants, international applicants, and applicants interested in consideration for top named scholarships
** Final deadline for general merit-based scholarships
The essay prompts for this year’s application remain unchanged from the prior year. Like last year, applicants are asked to respond to four brief required prompts. They can also write an optional essay. However, re-applicants are asked to answer three additional essay prompts (one more than last year).
These short essay questions cover a lot of ground: your professional path and goals, your alignment with the program’s core values, and who you are as a person. So you will need to do a lot of reflection to be able to choose the right stories/ examples to showcase your candidacy in the best manner. Make every word count and be as succinct, clear, and concise as you can.
Let’s take closer look at each of these questions:
Essay 1. Define your short-term post-MBA career goals. How are your professional strengths, past experience, and personal attributes aligned with these goals? (300 word limit)
This is pretty straightforward career goals essay question with emphasis on short term post MBA goals. You should begin the essay with a clear statement of your short term career plans. Please be specific about the position/ job title and industry that you plan to seek immediately after MBA. Also, consider naming 1-2 firms that you aim to join after MBA. Even though the question doesn’t ask you to discuss your long term, goals you may still briefly mention (if space permits) how you plan to progress from your short term goal to a long term vision.
Then go ahead and address the second part of the question explaining how your professional experiences and strengths are aligned with this short-term goal, Discuss how your professional experiences and the skills acquired have propelled you to your desired career path. While detailing your professional experience, make sure to focus on your specific professional strengths (quantitative skills, communication skills etc.) and personal attributes (cultural flexibility, perseverance, etc.). Then you can wrap up the essay with a comment on how the specific resources of Goizueta MBA program will help you achieve your post MBA aspirations.
How to structure your essay?
1. Short term goal (approximately 100 words)
2. How your professional experiences and strengths are aligned with these goals (approximately 175 words)
3. How will Goizueta MBA program bring you closer to your post MBA aspirations? (approximately 50 words)
“Post MBA, I wish to join a reputed Technology and Strategy consulting organization, such as Deloitte or Ernst & Young as an IT Strategy Consultant. My passion for technology, my experience in corporate and business leadership, my childhood vision to be a global business leader and continue my family legacy have defined my goal. They have also fueled my vision to lead my family business into the world of Technology and Consulting by opening a new division in technology & strategy firm. To realize my entrepreneurial dream, I need an MBA.”
Essay 2. The business school is named for Roberto C. Goizueta, former Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, who led the organization for 16 years, extending its global reach, quadrupling consumption, building brand responsibility, and creating unprecedented shareholder wealth. Mr. Goizueta’s core values guide us in educating Principled Leaders for Global Enterprise.
Provide an example of your leadership– professional or personal– and explain what you learned about yourself through the experience. (300 words)
Every year Emory’s leadership essay question centers round former Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company Roberto C. Goizueta’s leadership style. However, this question is tweaked a little bit every year. In 2013-14 application, through this essay question the applicants were asked to discuss their potential ‘contribution’ to Emory ‘as a student and as an alumnus’. Last year, they were required to explain the ‘good’ they have done to an organization and ‘the impact of their actions’.
This year, through this straight forward leadership question the Emory AD Com expect you to recount a personal or professional leadership experience and explain the learnings you have gleaned about yourselves through the experience. The prompt offers you a broad choice as you can choose your stories/ examples from your professional life, personal life or community involvement. Still, I would prefer a professional leadership experience, unless you think your example from personal realm or community involvement is really an outstanding one.
To select story/ experience, read carefully the first part of the essay prompt about Roberto C. Goizueta’s leadership and vision about extending his organization’s “global reach, quadrupling consumption, building brand responsibility, and creating unprecedented shareholder wealth” and identify an experience/ story that will allow you to showcase one of the above mentioned abilities. Look for examples when you stepped out of your comfort zone and took initiatives that brought about some change or resulted in the improvement of processes subsequently followed by an organization or group over a long term. Make sure to select recent experience where you made a clear impact.
How to structure your essay?
For structure, I recommend following the same 4 part structure:
1. The situation/ the challenge:
What was the context? Who were the players involved? What you needed to accomplish in your leadership role? What were the challenges? (approx. 60-70 words)
2. The action
What initiatives/actions you took? How did you deal with the challenges? How did you process your thoughts and took your decisions? (approx125- 130 words)
3. The outcome/result
What were the results of your efforts? What was the resolution of the story? (approx. 40-50 words)
4. The significance:
What did you learn about yourself? What lessons you learned during that leadership experience? How these lessons (1-2 only) have helped you since then? (approx. 60-70 words)
You may wrap up the essay with a final comment on how you are now in a position to contribute to the Emory community.
“Today, I recall this experience as one of the most meaningful life experiences. It helped me overcome my inability to collaborate. I now try to foster a positive collaborative environment within the teams. Also, this experience revealed to me my ability to take initiative, which has helped improve my productivity and develop solutions that have benefited the organization. Further, this experience has taught me the value of practicing a flexible approach while leading a team.”
Essay 3: Complete one of the following statements. (250 words)
I am passionate about…
The best piece of advice I’ve received is…
The best day of my life was…
A personal goal I want to accomplish is…
Before selecting one of these 4 options, first you should consider which option will add the most value to your application. Indeed, this essay question is an opportunity to provide the Ad Com additional information about who you are. It is also an opportunity to showcase that aspect of your candidacy that will enable you to add value to the school and make an impact. This question should best complement the rest for your application. If the first two questions showcase your professional excellence, let this question ,and the last one reveal your personal side- a hobby or interest you are passionate about or a personal goal you want to accomplish, or the best day of your life that has shaped your personality.
Here is an example of option #1 “I am passionate about….”
“I am passionate about community service as I believe that I have an obligation to give back to the community I live in. I belong to a family of radical thinkers who were pioneers in education and business. Inspired by them, especially my grandfather, a self-made man and a philanthropist, I championed causes of child education and the environment since childhood…….”
Here is an example of option #3 “The best day of my life was….”
“The skills I developed as a Boy Scout help me succeed at work. When my team risked losing an $80M partnership due to resource constraints, I immediately volunteered to research solutions. My proposal to contract resources was approved and we continued the partnership with minimal expense. Thus, becoming an Eagle Scout was the best day of my life because it signifies a decade of effort and is a tangible reminder of the foundation upon which I base my personal and professional success.”
Essay 4. Share with the committee and your future classmates a fun or noteworthy fact about you. (25 word limit)
Again, this short 25 words essay is also an opportunity to round out your profile. I encourage you to have some fun with this item and share something not covered anywhere else in their essays. You should consider something that would genuinely interest your future classmates. It can be about an interesting hobby (music, car racing, cooking, travel etc.). You can also choose some interesting work related fun or noteworthy fact, if you want. Please make sure that your tone is not too serious. Here are some samples fun facts.
My singing can be quite entertaining; I have been known to shamelessly sing at the top of my lungs during 3-hour karaoke session.
My future classmates will be delighted to learn about my excellent culinary skills which I will demonstrate in class parties with my specialty– Brazilian barbecue.
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 or areas of weakness in application). Please limit your response to 250 words.
This question provides you an opportunity to explore an important aspect of your candidacy, or other significant achievements/ strengths not mentioned in other essay responses. You can choose examples from your work (if you have more than one equally outstanding professional accomplishment or leadership story to share), community service, education, travels, or any other hobbies. You may also share a life- experience that has greatly influenced your personality or life.
As directed in the essay prompt, you should use this essay question to address a weakness in your profile, such as a gap in work or low GPA or GMAT. Your weakness may also bring out a positive aspect of your personality.
Please refer to the following example of a candidate whose grades dropped because of his military service.
“Although my leadership experiences in the military taught me many valuable lessons in teamwork, perseverance, and management, through all my responsibilities, it impacted my grades. Thus, I do not view my undergraduate performance as an accurate representation of my academic abilities. However, I hope the above reasons will assist you in understanding my particular situation. I grew from this experience and took a dedicated approach to professional education. I would respectfully ask the admission committee to consider this when reviewing my application.”
Re-applicant Essay 1:
What is your short-term career goal and why is an MBA from Goizueta an important next step toward that goal? (200 word limit)
This typical career goals essay is an opportunity for re-applicants to explain how they have refined their career plans and their understanding of the resources and offerings of Goizueta MBA. As a re-applicant, you can share the extra steps in articulating your future plans since your last application. For example, if you explain that you have attended career fairs, contacted target firms’ HR departments or reached out to current MBA students or alumni, it would add value to your essay. You may also mention how a specific course and club/ organization would help you achieve your goal.
]Re-applicant Essay 2:
If your initial career plans are not realized, what else are you considering? (200 word limit)
Through this question, Goizuieta wants to know your Plan B. What would do if Plan A (provided in Essay 1) doesn’t work out? Please note that your alternate plans should have some common ground with your initial plan to make the potential transition to a “Plan B” as smooth as possible. That is, your alternate plan should allow you to take some transferable skills from past experience, your personal strengths, and your learnings from Emory MBA.
Reapplicant Essay 3:
Explain how you have improved your candidacy for Goizueta Business School’s MBA Program since your last application. (250 word limit)
This is the key question for all MBA reapplicants. Goizueta just asks it explicitly. A response to this question should include the steps you have taken to be stronger candidate and the new skills and knowledge you have gained. You may also reflect on how you will better contribute to the student community at Emory. ( http://myessayreview.com/blogs/?p=2685 )
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