Wednesday, December 23, 2009

MBA application essays

I've been speaking with many people who are seriously considering business school (B-school). I'm one of them. I've been researching some of the options in my area and I'm exploring various options based on my current status in life. I've been attending information sessions, listening to podcasts and business-related content on iTunes U, and networking with current students and alumni from local B-schools.

Over the past few days, I've been thinking about the essays that need to be written for B-school applications. Here are some essay question examples from a single application:
  • What is your career objective and what do you see as the next steps needed to achieve it?
  • How will this MBA Program for Executives contribute to your attainment of these objectives?
  • Why is this the right time for you to undertake this program?
  • Describe the most significant way, either in or out of your job, that you have demonstrated leadership.
  • In one of your MBA courses, you are given a case assignment to be completed in a study group comprised of six students. What is the most significant strength you would bring to the group process?
  • As 'The Ethicist' in the New York Sunday Times Magazine often demonstrates, many ethical dilemmas are fairly complex with gray areas making the decision path a challenging one. Give an example of one such dilemma and how you handled it.
  • While many factors (i.e. your academic background, the part of the semester you’re in) can influence the amount of time dedicated to the program, students have estimated that it’s approximately 20 hours/week. Given your already demanding job and the desire to remain committed to important family and personal obligations, how do you plan to handle this additional demand on you? (500 word limit)
How would you answer these?

If you're in the habit of blogging, then you may come up with answers very quickly. If you're in the habit of reading business journals and talking with business executives, then you may also have some good answers under your belt. However, if you're a typical physician and you've been in clinical practice for many years, then you may find yourself struggling to answer some of these questions unless you've been thinking about a non-clinical career transition for some time now.

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