News, advice and resources for business school applicants

Essays

Whether you’re looking for essay topics, or more guidance from our expert essay topic analyses, we’ve got it here at Clear Admit.


Yale SOM 2015-2016 Essay Topic Analysis

Yale_School_of_Management_Evans_Hall_frontFollowing up on the release of their Class of 2018 essay question earlier this week, we wanted to offer our Yale SOM Essay Topic Analysis for 2015-2016. As was the case last year, Yale MBA hopefuls are required to respond to one 500-word essay, and in fact, the Yale adcom has chosen to retain the very same prompt they used last admissions season. In his blog post announcing the topic, Admissions Director Bruce DelMonico commented that the adcom found this question to be a sound way of evaluating a candidate’s fit with the school’s founding mission of “educating leaders for business and society.”

Let’s take a closer look at Yale’s 2015-2016 essay prompt, and consider how to demonstrate the sort of leadership the adcom is seeking: Continue reading…

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Yale SOM Essay Topic 2015-2016

yaleFollowing up on the announcement of their application deadlines last week, Admissions Director Bruce DelMonico has released the Yale SOM Essay Topic for 2015-2016. The prompt is as follows:

The Yale School of Management educates individuals who will have deep and lasting impact on the organizations they lead. Describe how you have positively influenced an organization as an employee, a member, or an outside constituent. (500 words maximum) Continue reading…

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Columbia Business School Admissions Director Provides Insight into 2015-16 Essays

amanda_carlsonColumbia Business School (CBS) kicked off the application cycle for the Class of 2018, sending its application live in late April, before any other leading business school. Though this year’s essay questions aren’t hugely different from last year’s, the school’s admissions director took time to share her perspective on the subtle changes with Clear Admit and offer some guidance to applicants who may be preparing to embark upon the application process.

Speaking to Clear Admit yesterday, Admissions Director Amanda Carlson turned first to the school’s first essay prompt—the “career goals/why a Columbia MBA now” question. Continue reading…

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Admissions Tip: Crafting Strong Essays – The Rewards of Reflection

Admissions Tip: Crafting Strong Essays – The Rewards of Reflection

With several of the leading schools having already released their essay questions for this admissions season, we’re sure that quite a number of early birds are eager to get a jump on the process in order to complete as many applications as possible by Round 1.  As applicants find themselves brainstorming for essay topics, we wanted to offer a few tips on presenting yourself and your experiences as advantageously as possible. Continue reading…

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Michigan / Ross Essay Topic Analysis 2015-2016

Ross_School_of_Business_Building,_University_of_Michigan,_Ann_Arbor,_MichiganFollowing up on the announcement of Michigan / Ross’s essay topics for the 2015-2016 admissions season, we wanted to offer some thoughts about how prospective members of the Class of 2018 might approach this application.

The overall length of the essay component of Michigan’s MBA application is the same as last year’s: two 400-word essays. We can also see some consistency in the subject of these prompts. Last season, Ross asked applicants to comment on what they are most proud of professionally and personally, in two separate essays. The adcom retains one question on this subject for the coming year, framing the question such that applicants can select a personal or professional example. Meanwhile, the second question marks a return to more traditional topics of years past, with a fairly straightforward question about the candidate’s post-MBA career goals.

This calibration suggests that the adcom found an applicant’s selection of their proudest accomplishment to be valuable information in making admissions decisions. Meanwhile, as Ross Admissions Director Soojin Kwon mentioned in our interview earlier this week, the adcom found themselves wanting a clearer picture of applicant’s professional plans when evaluating applications last season.  Continue reading…

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Ross Admissions Director Provides Insight into New Essay Questions

soojin kwon 2The admissions director at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business weighed in on the school’s new application essay questions—announced this week—in an exchange of emails with Clear Admit. Read on to learn what she had to say.

On Wednesday, Ross Admissions Director Soojin Kwon posted the school’s new essay questions for the 2015-16 application season on her Admissions Director Blog. This year, she and her team chose to combine last year’s two essay questions (“What are you most proud of personally?” and “What are you most proud of professionally?”) into one, more open-ended question and ask a second question about applicants’ career goals.  Continue reading…

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Harvard Business School Essay Topic Analysis 2015-2016

HBS classroom

Harvard Business School’s 2015-2016 MBA application essay was announced last week. This is a new prompt for this admissions season; whereas applicants were previously invited to share something with the admissions committee that didn’t appear elsewhere in their applications, they are now asked to introduce themselves to their sections: the 90 students with whom they will take all of their first-year MBA classes. Further, whereas the HBS essay has been technically optional for the past two years (even though virtually every applicant chose to respond, according to a blog post from Admissions Director Dee Leopold), the adcom has reverted to a required response this season.

While the imagined audience for this essay is different from that of past year, there are some elements of the new prompt that are consistent with previous seasons. There is still no stated word limit for this response, and the program continues to urge applicants not to “overthink, overcraft and overwrite.” The program also asks that candidates take care to “answer the question in clear language that those of us who don’t know your world can understand.” This last directive makes particular sense in the context of addressing one’s section, the members of whom will come from a range of countries and industries. (Although, for the record, writing in accessible language will be a good idea for all of your MBA application essays). Continue reading…

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University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business Essay Topics 2015-16

Ross_School_Exterior editedThe University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business today released its essay questions for the 2015-2016 application season. They are as follow:

1. What are you most proud of and why? How does it shape who you are today? (up to 400 words)

2. What is your desired career path and why? (up to 400 words)

For more information about the Ross School of Business Essay Topics 2015-2016 or the 2015-2016 application, visit Ross’s admissions website.

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MIT / Sloan Essay Topic Analysis 2015-2016

300px-MITSloanE62FrontFollowing up on the release of MIT Sloan’s 2015-2016 application essay prompt (as well as our interview with Admissions Director Dawna Levenson), we thought we’d offer some suggestions about how Sloan MBA hopefuls might approach this year’s written materials.

While the school has reduced its number of required questions from two to just one prompt this season, the admissions committee’s core philosophy has remained constant. The Sloan adcom has long believed that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, and the program has been consistent in espousing and applying this concept over the past decade or so. Accordingly, the school’s 2015-2016 question is highly focused on the specifics of and the applicant’s behavior in a past situation, and is designed to elicit a fair amount of factual information by which the admissions committee can judge a candidate’s broader potential and competencies. The school has also retained its open-ended optional essay for the coming admissions season. And, in a new addition for this season, Sloan has announced plans to ask a second question required only of applicants who are invited to interview for the MBA program.  Continue reading…

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Stanford Graduate School of Business 2015-2016 Essay Topic Analysis

stanfordgsbSince the Stanford Graduate School of Business just released its essay questions for the 2015-2016 admissions season, we are following up with some advice for GSB applicants on how to approach Stanford’s essays. Stanford has asked applicants to respond to the same two questions it asked last year, but the school has increased the word limit slightly from 1,100 to 1,150 words, and it has set more specific guidelines as to how long each response should be.

Let’s take a closer look at each of Stanford’s required essays: Continue reading…

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Harvard Business School 2015-2016 Essay Topics

300px-Harvard_business_school_baker_library_2009a2Harvard Business School has released its essay topic for the 2015-2016 application season.

It’s the first day of class at HBS. You are in Aldrich Hall meeting your “section.” This is the group of 90 classmates who will become your close companions in the first-year MBA classroom. Our signature case method participant-based learning model ensures that you will get to know each other very well. The bonds you collectively create throughout this shared experience will be lasting. Continue reading…

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