Looking at London Business School’s MBA Essays for the 2014-2015 admissions season, it appears that the school is in line with the essay-reduction trend we’ve been seeing across the leading MBA programs this season. This year’s application includes just two required essays totaling 800 words, in contrast with last year’s three required responses. The upside for applicants, meanwhile, is that the program has dropped last season’s challenging “What is the School’s responsibility to you and what is your responsibility to the School?” prompt, whereas the two responses that remain are fairly straightforward—though length restrictions may give some candidates a bit of trouble.
This year’s application essays reflect an interest in applicant’s professional background, post-MBA plans, reasons for interest in LBS, and plans to contribute to the school community: all very traditional essay topics. Let’s take a closer look at each:
Essay 1: What are your post-MBA plans and how will your past experience and the London Business School programme contribute? (500 words)
This is a fairly standard career goals/why MBA essay, asking applicants to specify their post-MBA plans and to discuss the ways their work experience to date prepared them, as well as the ways they see an MBA from LBS fitting into this picture. Given the amount of ground that needs to be covered in this response, there likely won’t be room to highlight the details of specific projects or large-scale accomplishments, though one might certainly touch on the skills gained in the process as part of a discussion of how one’s work to date has prepared him or her for elements of the target post-MBA position. Effective essays will provide all of the requested information in a straightforward manner, naming a job they wish to hold immediately after an MBA and perhaps alluding to the larger plan in which this position is a first step. Applicants should demonstrate thoughtfulness in discussing the ways their previous experience have provided skills and knowledge that will transfer to this new role and, of course, detailing specific elements of the LBS MBA that will facilitate this transition.
Essay 2: How will you add value to the London Business School community? (300 words)
Questions similar to this have appeared in one form or another on the LBS application for several years, and this latest prompt highlights the adcom’s continued interest in gauging candidates’ knowledge of London Business School and ability to reflect on their fit with its MBA programs. Applicants should not only discuss the clubs and events in which they would like to participate, however, but also be certain to draw connections between these involvements and their potential for bringing concrete value or improvements to these school offerings. This framing gives candidates a wide berth to discuss how their interests and experiences to date would translate to tangible contributions on several fronts. As with any essay of this sort, it would be ideal to link the program elements to an applicant’s established interests or components of his or her career goals, as these will help the admissions committee readily see how an applicant is poised to make a contribution. Taking the time to learn about the school’s special programs and extracurricular activities—whether through a visit to campus, conversation with alumni, or reading the Clear Admit Guide to London Business School—will pay dividends here.
Optional Essay: Is there any other information you believe the Admissions Committee should know about you and your application to London Business School? (300 words)
This is certainly an appropriate place for applicants to address weaknesses in their applications or anomalies in the backgrounds that may raise questions for the admission committee. While it may also be possible to share more general information about accomplishments or interests, applicants should pay attention to the “should” signifier in the question – a more closed wording than that of schools asking if there’s anything the applicant “would like” the adcom to know. Any information shared here should therefore be of material importance to one’s candidacy (as opposed to details falling in the “nice but not necessary to know” category).
For the first time in several years, INSEAD has made substantive changes to its MBA application essays, effective for the January 2015 intake. The program has reduced its number of required responses from seven to six, and has in several instances combined two of the previous season’s essays into a single response with a narrow word limit, meaning that applicants will need to be thoughtful about what information they include and careful with their language. That said, the program’s questions reflect an interest in the applicant’s present day job responsibilities and outside involvements, and feature an interesting broadening in its consideration of cultural difference and diversity.
Let’s take a closer look:
Job Description Essays
Essay 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. What would be your next step in terms of position if you were to remain in the same company? (350 words)
INSEAD has collapsed elements its two previous required job essays into one prompt this year, asking both about the applicant’s current position and the next step along their current trajectory. Even if an applicant has held a number of positions within the same organization, it’s best to limit the scope of this response to one’s current position and responsibilities. It would also make sense to provide the any background information or context that a reader will need to understand your place within your company’s organizational structure and the work that occupies your days. While there is some room to talk about “results achieved,” there’s no need to get bogged down in the specifics of certain projects or engagements – an effective essay will be composed of fairly general comments that are focused on the present, as well as the next position one would move into if not planning to leave for an MBA.
Essay 2: Please give a full description of your career since graduating from university. It should be written as if you were talking to someone at a social gathering detailing your career path with the rationale behind your choices. Discuss your short and long term career aspirations. (350 words)
This response is another combination of elements of INSEAD’s previous essay set; the first part of this response is identical to the school’s previous second essay, though the instruction that applicants style their narrative after a social conversation is new for this intake. More interestingly, whereas INSEAD asked previously asked applicants to devote 300 words to detailing their career goals, this prompt asks candidates to cover this topic—and their entire careers to date—in just 350 words.
Obviously, brevity will be an important consideration, given the amount of information being requested here. The school’s “social gathering” framework suggests that candidates should provide a straightforward narrative of the jobs they’ve held and the reasons they’ve taken each. Just as you wouldn’t boast about accomplishments at a party or networking event, you’ll likely need to omit them from this response, focusing instead on the facts of (and rationale behind) your trajectory. Similarly, applicants should provide a specific post-MBA objective and touch on the reasoning behind it before introducing their long-term plan and reasons for their interest in that path. Throughout, your descriptions should be accessible enough for a reader of any professional background to understand, assuming this hypothetical social gathering is attended by a fairly diverse group.
Essay 3 (Optional): 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.
This is the fourth year that INSEAD has included a question affording unemployed applicants the space to explain their situation, while adding a component this year that includes applicants who are planning to take a break of more than 2 months between the time they submit their applications and the time they would enter INSEAD’s program. In either scenario, applicants will do well to demonstrate that they are (or, in the case of those taking a leave, will be) actively developing skills, forging connections, and making progress toward their career goals. This essay is a great place to discuss increased involvement in volunteer work, attendance at conferences and professional development workshops, efforts to secure short-term pre-MBA employment, and other plans for making the most of one’s time between applying and beginning the program at INSEAD.
Essay 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. (600 words)
This is the only of INSEAD’s essay prompts that is completely unchanged since previous seasons, suggesting that the adcom values the information they get in response to this question. It’s important to address the question in full when responding to this sort of essay, but it’s also in one’s best interest to focus as much as possible on the positive. With this in mind, you might lead off with two or three positive qualities and then comment on one or two weaknesses – ideally ones that you’ve already taken steps to address. Whether discussing a strength or a weakness, though, it’s ideal to back up every statement about your character with a brief example to really “prove” that you possess the quality in question. By doing so, you’re effectively “showing” rather than “telling” the reader how you acted. Note that this response also calls for the candidate to reflect on the forces that have shaped his or her personal development; commentary on this topic could be built into the discussion of each personal characteristic introduced, or in an introduction or conclusion if there are themes that run throughout your examples. INSEAD’s framework gives applicants free rein to choose personal, professional or extracurricular subjects, and applicants would do well to select examples with an eye for presenting a balanced picture of their interests, skills, and experiences.
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. (400 words)
INSEAD has collapsed its success and failure essays (previously distinct responses of 400 words each) into a single 400-word essay, requiring applicants to cover quite a range of content in this short response. Moreover, the program has added a question about how both of the situations to be described affected the candidate’s interpersonal relationships, as well as the lessons they learned.
In detailing both items, applicants will need to provide sufficient context for a reader to readily understand the nature of the situation or project, the stakes involved, and the outcome. Between the need to provide background and the sheer volume of information being requested, this is a truly challenging prompt to address in just 400 words. Applicants will need to be thoughtful about how they organize this essay. If discussing unrelated examples, they may want to treat the achievement and failure within two 200-word mini responses to ensure that they fully address each element of the question. Or, if one experienced an achievement and a failure (not necessarily in that order) in the course of the same project or engagement, a chronological narrative may be more natural. Candidates should note that both the accomplishment and failure can be drawn from the professional or personal realms, so candidates have a fair amount of leeway in the subjects they select. Of course, applicants should think strategically about the examples that will add the most value to their files; given how little room there is to detail professional accomplishments in the job essays, for example, applicants may find that a workplace success of which they’re proud is a good choice for this response.
Essay 3: Tell us about an experience where you were significantly impacted by cultural diversity, in a positive or negative way. (300 words)
INSEAD has always included an essay focused on cultural differences, though this prompt represents an interesting broadening of their understanding of diversity; whereas the previous prompt was centered on crossing international borders, this response acknowledges the potential impact of diversity within nations, communities, and workplaces. As with the school’s other “motivation” prompts, this example can come from the professional realm, an outside activity, or one’s personal dealings.
Given the school’s emphasis on international business and the diversity of the student body, it would obviously be very unwise to adopt an anti-diversity stance in response to this question. That said, it’s absolutely fine to discuss a time when cultural differences led to discomfort, conflict or confusion – as long as you then detail how you worked through this and what lessons you learned. Of perhaps you’ll want to detail a conflict-free story about the way that a team’s diversity helped to facilitate a positive outcome and/or personal growth. No matter what the situation being covered, effective responses will reflect a high degree of respect for other cultures and value systems, as well as adaptability and empathy in the course of cross-cultural encounters.
Essay 4: 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? (300 words)
A new prompt for this year, this essay requests an inventory of the applicant’s past and present involvements and hobbies, as well as a statement about how these have been worthwhile and rewarding. While the prompt doesn’t specify a time limit, it’s likely that one’s activities since beginning college will be of interest to the admissions committee—though current involvements should likely take precedence over older ones if the word count becomes an issue. The most effective response to this essay will likely be a straightforward one, describing the nature and extent of one’s involvements outside of work and what kind of enjoyment or enrichment the applicant derives from each.
Optional Essay: Is there anything else that was not covered in your application that you would like to share with the Admissions Committee? (300 words max.)
This is a fairly openly worded optional essay, suggesting that applicants are free to share any information that they feel would add value to their file (in addition, of course, to explaining extenuating circumstances or acknowledging weaknesses in their applications). That said, INSEAD’s essays themselves cover a fair amount of ground, so candidates would do well to consider whether what they’re sharing in this essay could have been covered in response to one of the program’s required prompts.
UCLA Anderson’s MBA essay for 2014-2015 looks, at first glance, quite similar to last season’s prompt insofar as the program continues to require first-time applicants to respond to just one essay question in 750 words. On closer examination, though, one sees that Anderson is asking applicants to do quite a bit more with these words than the program required last year. While the previous season’s question was a fairly straightforward goals/why MBA prompt, this admissions cycle finds applicants being asked to comment on the synergy between their values and those of the school — while also providing information about their post-MBA objectives and interest in the Anderson MBA.
Let’s take a closer look:
Essay: UCLA Anderson is distinguished by three defining principles: Share Success, Think Fearlessly, Drive Change. What principles have defined your life and pre-MBA career? How do you believe that UCLA Anderson’s principles, and the environment they create, will help you attain your post-MBA career goals? (750 words)
This prompt asks applicants to begin by providing a brief list of defining principles that have driven their own personal and professional decisions up this point. In identifying these, it may help to think about whether there are values, broad objectives, or personal rules of conduct that have consistently factored into your decision-making; while Anderson has formulated their principles as two-word action statements (and applicants may ultimately wish to do the same to mirror the program’s format), these can also take the form of single words like “improvement,” “inclusion,” or “collaboration.” In the course of discussing their defining principles, it would also make sense for applicants to touch on aspects of their professional records and even examples from their personal lives that reflect how they have implemented these principles.
The second part of this prompt asks applicants to discuss the ways they see Anderson’s principles and broader culture facilitating their post-MBA career progression. Applicants will likely want to touch on their specific short- and long-term career plans before moving into a discussion elements of Anderson’s curriculum and other offerings that will prepare them. Taking the time to learn about the school’s curriculum, special programs and extracurricular activities – whether through a visit to campus, conversation with alumni or reading the Clear Admit School Guide to the Anderson School of Management – will pay dividends here.
Of course, applicants should note that beyond highlighting courses and clubs of interest, this part of the discussion should explicitly address Anderson’s identified principles and the way these would enhance the candidate’s experience while in the program and beyond. Indeed, effective essays will likely touch on the ways that the applicant would share success with colleagues, think fearlessly, and drive change while on campus and in their post-MBA careers—while also circling back to how their own defining principles would enable them to contribute positively to the school community and the experience of other students.
Optional Essay: Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? (250 words)
Given the narrow framing of the prompt, this response should only be used to address potential liabilities in one’s application.
Re-applicant 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)
A fairly straightforward and improvement-oriented essay, this prompt asks applicants to focus on their professional progress as they discuss improvements in their candidacy since the time they last applied to Anderson. It will still make sense to touch on accomplishments and new involvements outside of the office, though this discussion should likely be secondary to a comment on work-related developments. The school also asks candidates to comment on ways they’ve adjusted or refined their career goals, and to highlight the additional research they’ve done into the UCLA MBA program over the past months or year.
The 2014-2015 USC / Marshall essay topics have been announced. They are listed below:
Essay: What are your short-term and long term personal and/or professional goals following graduation from
USC Marshall? How will USC Marshall enable you to develop or improve your skills in order to reach your
goals? (500-700 words)
Optional Essay: Please provide any additional information that you believe is important and/or will address any
areas of concern that will be beneficial to the Admissions Committee in considering your application. (250
Re-application Essay: Please describe any significant professional, personal, or academic growth since your
last application to the USC Marshall School of Business. Discuss your specific professional goals and how the
USC Marshall MBA Program will help you achieve these goals. (500 – 700 words)
For more information, visit the school’s admissions website.
The London Business School admissions team has revealed the essay topics for the upcoming admissions season. Here they are:
1. What are your post-MBA plans and how will your past experience and the London Business School programme contribute? (500 words)
2. How will you add value to the London Business School community? (300 words)
3. Is there any other information you believe the Admissions Committee should know about you and your application to London Business School? (400 words)
For more information, check out LBS’s admissions website.
IESE have released their online application for the upcoming admissions season. They can be found within the online application form, and are as follows:
1. “Tweet” your post MBA goals (280 characters)
2. Describe a recent professional situation (1-2 years ago maximum) that demonstrates your fit with IESE’s mission and values (300 words).
3. I wish that the application had asked me… (200 word limit)
More information can be found at IESE’s admissions website.
Emory University’s Goizueta Business School has posted their MBA admissions essay questions for the 2014/15 admissions season. They are as follows:
- What is your short-term career goal and why is an MBA from Goizueta an important next step toward that goal? (200 word limit)
- If your initial career plans are not realized, what else are you considering? (200 word limit)
- 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. It is his legacy and the strength of his character that gives rise to our vision: Principled Leaders for Global Enterprise. Goizueta once said, “The cynics will tell you that the good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. I’m telling you, do it anyway.”
Provide an example of the good you have contributed to an organization and the impact of your actions. (300 word limit)
- Complete one of the following statements. (250 word limit)
- I am unique because…
- My most memorable cross-cultural experience…
- I am passionate about…
- The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is…
- Please share with the committee and your future classmates an interesting or fun fact about you. (25 word limit)
Optional Essay: 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.
UCLA Anderson has announced its essay for the 2014-2015 season. The required and optional essays follow:
FIRST-TIME APPLICANTS – ONE REQUIRED ESSAY:
- UCLA Anderson is distinguished by three defining principles: Share Success, Think Fearlessly, Drive Change. What principles have defined your life and pre-MBA career? How do you believe that UCLA Anderson’s principles, and the environment they create, will help you attain your post-MBA career goals? (750 words maximum)
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? (250 words maximum)
RE-APPLICANTS - ONE REQUIRED ESSAY:
Reapplicants who applied for the class entering in fall 2013 or 2014 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)
Essay 1 (Maximum 300 words):
Describe a defining moment in your life, and explain how it shaped you as a person.
Essay 2 (Maximum 300 words):
Based on your research and interactions with the Tepper community, please share why you are a good fit with the Tepper MBA program.
There are two questions to which your recommender will be asked to respond based on his/her experience working with you:
- If you were to coach this candidate with respect to how s/he works within a team, what would you advise that s/he does well? What would you advise the candidate to do differently? Provide specific examples that support your advice.
- If you were to coach this candidate on his/her professional development, in what areas would you suggest s/he focus? What are the areas of strength on which s/he can build? Provide specific examples that support your advice.
For more information, visit the Tepper admissions website.
Continuing our series of essay topic analyses, we’re now turning our attention to Oxford’s Saïd Business School’s 2014-2015 MBA essays. Bucking the larger trend of different and fewer required essays that we’ve observed this summer, Saïd’s essays remained unchanged between this year and last, with the program again requiring that applicants provide three essays of 500 words each. Oxford’s questions reflect an ongoing interest in learning about applicants’ expected contributions to the school, their career goals, and their reasons for applying to Oxford. The third essay, meanwhile, provides applicants with the opportunity to showcase their ability to make a compelling argument about the business world in general.
Essay 1: What should Oxford expect from you? (500 words)
Appearing on Oxford’s application for the third year in a row, this question gives applicants the chance to show the SBS adcom that they have done their research and know the ways in which they can make a positive contribution to the Oxford MBA program. Before approaching this essay, we suggest that applicants take some time to think about their strengths and the unique aspects of their backgrounds and personalities that would inform their contributions to SBS. In addition, having a strong grasp of Oxford’s academic offerings, clubs, special programs and extracurricular offerings will allow a candidate to draw conclusions about the circumstances under which he or she would display certain strengths and characteristics. Taking the time to learn about the school’s curriculum, special programs, and extracurricular activities – whether through a visit to campus, conversation with alumni, or reading the Clear Admit School Guide to Oxford – will pay dividends here.
Essay 2: How do you hope to see your career developing over the next 5 years? How will the MBA and Oxford assist you in the development of these ambitions? (500 words)
This prompt requests a fairly standard career goals essay, and thus the general advice we’ve offered in the past on how to tackle this sort of question applies here. The Oxford adcom looks for applicants who offer fully defined long- and short-term career goals, sound reasons for pursuing an MBA at this time, a well-informed rationale for their interest in SBS and specific plans to contribute to the campus community if they are admitted. Note that Oxford specifically asks applicants to discuss their five-year career plans; while it is certainly fine to explore longer-term objectives as well, it is at minimum essential to explore one’s next five years in depth.
The key to successfully tackling each of these components is specificity. In presenting their goals and explaining their motivation for seeking an MBA, it is crucial for applicants to present well-defined and feasible short-term and long-term career objectives, specifying the job title they hope to hold in their target industry and commenting on what they hope to accomplish in their target positions. Though not called for directly in the essay prompt, in most situations a career goals essay is more compelling when it includes a brief but coherent career history that summarizes the applicant’s work to date, revealing the continuity between one’s previous professional experiences and goals for the future.
Essay 3: Please choose and answer one of the two essays below:
- Sport is pure competition. What does it teach us about companies, individuals, and markets? (500 words maximum)
- The business of business is business. Is this true? (500 words)
Appearing on Oxford’s application for a second consecutive year, Essay 3 is one of the more unusual business school essays out there. While the open-ended nature of both options may initially appear intimidating, applicants should keep in mind that they are being assessed not on the actual answers they give, but rather on their ability to make a cohesive argument.
In the first option, applicants are asked to explain what business lessons can be extracted from the competitive nature of athletics. A variety of answers could apply here, such as the importance of adjusting to one’s competitors, drawing lessons learned in a team environment, staying aware of new trends in equipment and strategy, or learning from failure. Regardless of the direction applicants choose here, the key to crafting an effective response will be to not just state one’s answer, but to also provide compelling examples – either from one’s own experiences or from the realm of professional sports – that support one’s argument.
The second option, while perhaps enigmatically phrased, asks applicants to discuss whether businesses have inherent responsibilities (be they ethical, environmental, social, etc.) beyond commercial success. Again, it is important to remember that the adcom is less concerned with the answer a candidate gives than they are with his or her ability to choose a stance and convincingly argue a point. As with the first option, the most effective responses will illustrate one’s stance using concrete examples.
Reapplicant Essay: What improvements have you made in your candidacy since you last applied to the Oxford MBA? (250 words)
This straightforward prompt is asking about material improvements in the applicant’s candidacy since their last application. Given the narrow word limit, applicants should focus on detailing the steps they’ve taken to enhance their work experience, improve their level of involvement outside of work, and remedy areas of academic concern.
Today we’ll take a look at the Indian School of Business’s MBA essays for 2014-2015 and offer some thoughts about how applicants might approach this set of responses.
With the exception of the fourth and optional essay, each of these prompts is new for this admissions season. Whereas last year’s essays focused on applicants’ appreciation of the ISB program and potential to contribute to the community, this season’s prompts reflect a broader focus on what candidates have learned from their past experience, as well as their broader skills in critical thinking, persuasive writing, and self-awareness.
Let’s look at each of ISB’s prompts in more detail:
Essay 1: Innovation or doing things differently it is said is a key to future success. Could you substantiate or negate this idea based on your experience. Please provide examples from your own experience – either examples of your own innovation or examples of others whom you have worked with. (300 words)
This prompt calls on applicants to take a pro- or anti-innovation stance, and to explain their position using examples from their own personal or professional experience. While it’s a bit difficult for us to imagine a candidate arguing against innovation or change, the very fact that ISB is asking the question suggests that they’re open to either position, so long as the response is clearly written and well reasoned. Applicants will therefore want to reflect on salient examples from their own experience, and ideally select one in which they had an active role. For example, if taking the con position, it will likely be more effective to describe a situation in which one lobbied against a risky change—or even took a risk that didn’t pay off—rather than describing someone else’s failure of innovation that one observed from the sidelines. While the form of the response is important, this is also an opportunity to illustrate one’s skills and insight in the chosen example.
Essay 2: Applying to and enrolling in a Business School is an important career decision. Critically look at your career to date, the choices you have made, the key influences behind those choices, your goals for the future and how you expect to benefit from the ISB experience in achieving your goals. (300 words)
A career goals essay with a reflective twist, this prompts asks applicants to comment on the factors that have informed their major career choices to date, to detail their professional goals, and to comment on the ways that an MBA from ISB will support them in these future endeavors. With only 300 words to work with, applicants will need to be fairly efficient in covering each of these topics, with a focus on ISB-specific courses, programming, and student organizations in the latter section (consider consulting with students and alumni, visiting the school’s campus, or perusing the Clear Admit School Guide to the Indian School of Business for ideas here).
Essay 3: One of the following (200 words)
A) This experience completely changed my way of thinking. OR
B) An instance when you went out of the ordinary to achieve something significant, but in hind sight feel you could have done better. OR
C) Tell us about your role in a team that made a significant contribution to the organization OR
D) Contribution to peer learning and engagement with the ISB student body are important aspects of the ISB experience. What contribution do you expect to make in this direction during the one year at ISB.
ISB offers applicants four rather different options for the 200-word response, and it’s particularly unusual to see a response about one’s potential contribution to a program (often a topic of keen interest to admissions committees) lumped in with several other more situational options. Applicants will therefore need to consider which of these prompts will give them the opportunity to showcase the quality that they consider most valuable to their candidacy, whether this is their openness to changing their thinking, their ability to learn from non-optimal past performance, their capacity to work with others to accomplish an impactful goal, or their plans to make a difference on their colleagues as a student at ISB. Again, given that ISB is offering options for this response, there’s no “correct” choice of prompt. Given the narrow word count, effective responses will be focused and direct, and will demonstrate self-awareness, critical thinking, interpersonal skills and/or potential to draw on their experiences for the benefit of others.
Optional Essay: Please provide additional information, if any, that will significantly affect the consideration of your application to the ISB. (200 words)
Applicants should think carefully before utilizing a school’s optional essay prompt. Candidates with extenuating circumstances, such as a gap in work experience or lower than average GPA or GMAT scores, would do well to address those here. However, applicants with atypical aspects to their candidacy might take this chance to explore important elements of their profile not mentioned in their data forms, résumé, or other responses. The fact that this prompt is such a broad one allows candidates a high degree of freedom in wrapping up their essays with information that cannot be conveyed elsewhere in their applications.
Re-applicant Essay: How has your profile changed from the time you last applied to the ISB? (300 words)
This response provides an opportunity for candidates to outline developments in their work experience and improvements in other areas of their applications since previously applying.