Friday, May 14, 2010

Business school application: essay questions

As some of you know, I hope to enroll in an executive MBA program, so I'm filling out a few business school applications right now. Almost all of the applications require you to complete a few essays. They don't all require a GMAT, but they do want to see a sample of your writing. So, I decided to share a few of these essay questions with you so that you can get a sense of what business schools are looking for in executive MBA students.

Here are some essay questions from one application:
1. Essay #1 – Please provide a situation where your integrity has been challenged, what you did and what you learned from it.
2. Essay #2 – What are your short term and long term goals? Does an MBA help you attain them? How?

Here's another application:
a. Discuss personal goals, conditions, or career aspirations that motivate you to pursue an Executive MBA.
b. What are your most important accomplishments?
c. What do you expect to achieve through this program?

Here's a third business school:
1. Discuss your professional objectives, both short-and long-term, and indicate how your past experiences have contributed to these objectives. Why do you want to pursue an MBA?
2a. Discuss a recent business challenge in which you were forced to make a difficult decision with incomplete information. How did you approach the decision, and what was the outcome? In retrospect, would you have done anything differently had you been armed with more information?
2b. In addition to your professional accomplishments, what experiences and/or events in your life do you think are most significant?
2c. How do you define success? Do you feel you have been successful? How would you work to achieve greater success both professionally and personally?

If you've been thinking about business school, how would you answer these questions?


  1. Jairy C. Hunter, MD, MBA, SFHMMay 24, 2010 at 3:16 PM

    Dr. Kim...just stumbled across this exciting and interesting site. I'll make a pitch for the Physician Executive MBA program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. I can't say enough about how rewarding an experience it was (and will hopefully continue to be). It's generally regarded among the top Physician MBA programs in the country. Offers top-notch faculty (several of whom wrote the texts we use, and all of whom are well-networked), excellent networking and cameraderie, and business skills that are instantly applicable. Many of the projects assigned involved tackling a real-life situation (real-time!) from my own work environment. Better yet, it's one year, minimal travel/in-residence periods (4 weeks per year), and no GMAT. I still maintain contact with my classmates and share in their achievements, use them as resources, and recall particular discussions and assignments.

    Good job on the site--look forward to reading more.

  2. Thanks for the mention about the UT program. I've written about that program on this site and I've also met the program director at HIMSS.