Defining Moment Essay Mba Application

Georgetown McDonough School of Business’s location in Washington D.C. puts the school at the center of public policy and international business. The program requires all students to be part of the Global Business Experience, an international consulting project. Georgetown also has the Steers Global Real Estate Center and new entrepreneurship initiative.

Along with the academic and career benefits of the school, Georgetown’s community is close-knit, intellectually curious and diverse.

Essay One: Please answer the following essay question in 500 words or less: “Describe a defining moment when you were challenged and exceeded expectations.” The moment can be a professional or personal one. If personal, then please also include how it had an impact on your professional development.

Rather than a generic career goals essay, Georgetown would like to know how you have developed as a professional and the moments that were defining. Read about current students defining moments on the Georgetown McDonough admissions blog.

We all have pivotal moments in our careers, and often they were painful as they were occurring. Perhaps you were asked to take on a project in a subject area you knew nothing about. Or you managed an employee who was more experienced than you. You might have joined a team that did not welcome your contributions. How did you take those professional challenges and turn them around to success? What tools did you use or develop to do so? Make sure you reflect a bit on your own development and what you learned in the process.

Video Essay: Please introduce yourself to your future Georgetown MBA cohort in a one minute video. The Admissions Committee would like for you to appear in person during part of your video, and we strongly encourage you to speak outside of the experiences we can read on your resume. You may paste the link to your Youtube or Vimeo video in your application. Please note that we cannot accept private or password protected videos. For more instructions, view our Video Essay Guide.

Georgetown’s video essay guide specifically asks you to appear in the one-minute video and to address situations outside your resume. However, you will have unlimited time to record and edit this video (unlike a video interview). While you have been asked to show yourself in the video, you may add other elements aside from your talking head, including interviews with family and friends, photos or graphics and music.

Like all interactive MBA admissions essays, the content is the most important aspect of this exercise. The admissions committee wants to get to know you and your dreams, background and personality. Think about personal stories that would not come through in your resume, recommendations or your written essays. Perhaps you have a family story to tell, a hobby you are passionate about or a significant extracurricular responsibility.

This is also the ideal place to demonstrate your fit with Georgetown. Can you take your hobbies to school and share with your classmates? Will your background add to the diversity of the class? Or can you open doors for your classmates professionally? Always think about your own contributions to Georgetown.

If you can demonstrate enthusiasm as you speak to the camera and add other elements to the video it should be compelling to the admissions committee.

Optional Essay One: If you are not currently employed full-time, use this essay to provide information about your current activities. (250 words or fewer)

This essay is specifically for those who are not employed full-time when submitting this application. This is not meant for any past gaps in employment, low grades, GMAT issues or any other element to your profile.

If you are not currently employed full-time you can explain what you are spending your time on here. Ideally you are volunteering, engaging in an entrepreneurial activity, or another professional pursuit. If you are taking time to help care for a family member or children, that’s legitimate too. Whatever the situation, make sure you are able to talk about how you plan to transition back to school and full-time employment post-MBA.

Optional Essay Two: Please provide any information you would like to add to your application that you have not otherwise included. (500 words or fewer)

This is an entirely open-ended optional essay. Most optional essays ask for an explanation for a gap in employment, the lack of a current supervisor recommendation, or academic issues. If you do want to address any of those elements to your application this is the ideal place.

If you do not have anything to explain about your overall application you may want to use this space to highlight another aspect of your experience at work or in your extracurricular activities. Perhaps you have an amazing leadership experience you want to discuss. Or a learning experience that was not covered in essay one.

There is no obligation to use the space, however, so do not write an essay just to add more for the admissions committee to read. If you do use this space to elaborate on your application profile, do not recycle essays from other schools that ask specific and recognizable questions.

Re-Applicant Essay: Required for re-applicants. How have you strengthened your candidacy since your last application? We are particularly interested in hearing about how you have grown professionally and personally. (500 words or fewer)

Many candidates can write about a specific improvement since your last application like a promotion, improved GMAT, or increased responsibilities or experience. Georgetown is also interested in the less tangible improvements like a revised career goal, personal growth or increase in maturity. Make sure you are able to make the case that you are now ready for a Georgetown MBA and that any new development has only strengthened your resolve.

Need assistance with your Georgetown MBA application? Stacy Blackman consulting can help. Contact us to learn more.

This entry was posted in Application Tips, General, Georgetown Mcdonough Advice and tagged application, application deadlines, application tips, applications, Essay Questions, Essay Tips, Fall 2018 MBA Essay Tips, Georgetown MBA, Georgetown McDonough, Georgetown McDonough School of Business, MBA application, MBA Essays, MBA program.
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Rice / Jones Essay Topic Analysis 2016-2017

With the announcement of the Rice MBA essay topics for the 2016-2017 admissions season, we wanted to offer our Essay Topic Analysis for the Class of 2019. Let’s take a closer look at each prompt:

Essay 1: Describe your short-term and long-term goals, and how the MBA will help you to achieve those goals. Include in your discussion: Why is now the appropriate time to pursue an MBA and why are you interested in obtaining a Rice MBA? (750 words)
This is a straightforward career goals essay, asking applicants to articulate their post-MBA career objectives, define why they need an MBA, and to comment on why business school—particularly Jones Graduate School of Business— makes sense for them at this point in their careers.

While on one hand, it could work to directly address each prompt in order, establishing your long-term goal first would lend meaning to your short-term plans, interest in an MBA and Jones from the outset. Think of it like having a map with the end destination already established—the reader will know where you are heading from the start and, therefore, have a foundation to understand the richer reasoning behind the path. You may therefore begin with a brief mention of long-term plans, as these would lend meaning to your proposed short-term goals. Then, identify the function or job title you plan to pursue after business school, as well as your target industry and perhaps one or two target organizations. This position should be a logical first step toward a longer-term role that you hope to hold 10 or so years after your MBA.

It would also make sense to include a few sentences about how your work experience has prepared you for these future roles, as well as the skills and knowledge that you still need to gain in order to move successfully along this path. With this “why MBA” piece established, candidates will then want to offer an assertion about the timing of pursuing an MBA—perhaps you have made as much progress in your current role as you can, or perhaps an MBA is the only way for you to gain the necessary skills for your future goals. Detailed treatment of the ways specific elements of the Rice MBA program would help you to bridge the gap between your current skill set and their future plans.

To get as much mileage as possible out of this essay, you should aim to develop a very detailed response that explains how lessons from key classes and participation in certain student organizations will position you to accomplish your professional objectives. The adcom will also be interested in hearing about how you see yourself contributing to the community and enhancing the experience of other students, so naming some events that you would like to help organize or a club you would hope to lead will also bolster your case. An in-depth review of the program website, conversations with current students and alumni, or visits to campus, are all viable sources of the information you’ll need here.

This is a good deal of information to pack into a 750-word essay for any applicant, but introducing the central elements of one’s candidacy is definitely achievable, provided that applicants take their time to compose well-crafted and concise responses.

Essay 2: Applicants to the Rice / Jones Full-Time MBA must choose one of the following three options:

  • “Describe a defining moment or event that changed your life.” (300 words)
  • Tweet: “If you had to tweet something to the world for the first time about yourself, what would you tweet?” (140 characters)
  • Video: “Introduce yourself to your classmates in a 90 second video.”

In deciding which option to address, applicants should consider what format would best align with their strengths—writing a response or making a verbal presentation.

In regards to the first option, no matter if you pick a personal or professional moment, you’ll want to spend the first part of the essay detailing that experience. Explain when and where it happened, who was involved, and what the larger context was before discussing what transpired and why it rates as a “defining” moment or event for you. In terms of topics, it’s understandable that meeting one’s spouse or having a child would be a defining moment; however, the content should be relevant to MBA admissions. Therefore, evidence of leadership, management, teamwork or other business skills should be present in the essay. Moreover, as Essay 1 allows for a thorough account of one’s interest in an MBA, candidates should consider events that showcase more about their strengths. Not to mention, honing in on the path to an MBA will not really help you stand out, as everyone in the applicant pool is going through the same process.

For applicants who choose to discuss a non-work experience, this discussion should likely be limited to half of the response in order to make room for a full discussion of its implications. Meanwhile, candidates who select a defining professional moment might spend 200-225 words recounting the experience, as the career implications will likely be a bit more self-evident. Keep in mind that a truly defining moment will likely have a broad impact. Effective essays will therefore introduce at least two ways this defining moment has influenced how the writer behaves, approaches decision-making or problem-solving, or has since approached his or her professional or personal life.

Of the options presented, the “Tweet” may be the most challenging because of the imposed brevity. With a limit of only 140 characters—approximately 20 words—applicants will need to be extremely concise in their writing.  Luckily, the ability to use “tweet format” means that, within reason, applicants can use abbreviations and acronyms that are common to the social media site. This may make sense for those with a background or future plans in social media; however, the other two options provide room for the substantive details that will showcase more about one’s candidacy.

Finally, the video option is a chance to literally show the adcom who you are, where you come from, and what you care about. Candidates should consider what they would truly want their classmates to know about them, while also being mindful of the balance of content with the other required essay. Applicants will want to think reflectively about their values and personality, as well as strategically about what makes them unique with respect to other applicants. Naturally, you’ll also want to communicate your enthusiasm about meeting and working with your fellow students and comment on any ways you would engage with them that aren’t covered in your first essay.

Optional Essay: You may use this essay to discuss anything else that you would like the Admissions Committee to know about you, or to provide information or clarification on any aspect of your application. (Maximum 750 words)
This is a relatively lengthy optional essay and, therefore, may seem more inviting. However, you’ll want to consider some questions before launching into a response. Applicants should take a conservative approach to this response, including only information, e.g. gaps in employment, a misrepresentative academic record, etc., that you believe warrants the extra item it will require for a reader to review.

Reapplicant Essay: Think about the time that has elapsed since you last applied to the Jones School. What actions have you taken to improve your candidacy? (Maximum 750 words)
It would help to review your last application to reflect on any potential weaknesses—did you have enough leadership experience? Were your goals clearly defined? Did you improve your GMAT score or take quantitative courses to balance your weak undergraduate record? This prompt is focused on proactive improvement in one’s candidacy since the time one last applied. This response should therefore be fairly action-oriented, with a focus on describing the steps that one has taken to become a stronger applicant to Rice since being denied, as well as the results of these efforts in terms of new knowledge and strengthened skills. There should also be room to account for how one has refined career goals and an interest in Rice’s program itself. It’s also important not to repeat material verbatim from your prior application; the adcom wants to see that you have approached the application process freshly and with new information.

Clear Admit Resources
Thanks for reading our analysis of this year’s Rice / Jones essay topics. As you work on your Rice / Jones MBA essays and application, we encourage you to consider all of Clear Admit’s Rice / Jones offerings:

Posted in: Essay Topic Analysis, Essays

Schools: Rice / Jones


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