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Rochester / Simon MBA Essay Topic Analysis 2017-2018

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We’re following up the Rochester / Simon Business School essay questions with our essay topic analysis for the applicant pool seeking entrance in 2018.

Rochester / Simon MBA Essay Topic Analysis 2017-2018

Let’s take a closer look at each prompt.

Essay 1

Describe your short-term and long-term goals for post-MBA or post-MS. Given the fluctuation of economic and industry hiring trends, identify a back-up plan should your short-term goal not be immediately attainable. How does your past education and experience support your career objectives? Lastly, what aspects of your intended Simon Business School program make it a good choice for your graduate study? (250-500 word limit)
This prompt is a standard career goals essay that touches on one’s educational and career history, career goals, as well as one’s interest in the Simon MBA.  The main nuance here is that the admissions committee also asks for an alternate short-term plan (as is increasingly common in the MBA admissions process). The most direct structure for this response will be to address each of these items in the order in which it appears in the prompt. You may therefore begin by identifying 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. Your long-term plans should lend meaning to your proposed short-term goals and also support reasoning behind an alternate short-term path.  In regards to your alternate plan, it may be established best briefly in conjunction with the initial statement of your short-term goals.  You may also feel that your original short-term goal leads to the long term so clearly that you keep those together, but then conclude your opening paragraph with your alternate plan and why it is feasible.  Structurally, it should be tailored to the flow of the introduction, but also appear before you discuss past experiences and pending skills.

It would then make sense to include a few sentences about how your educational and work experience to date has influenced (and 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 a detailed treatment of the ways specific elements of the Simon MBA program would help you to bridge the gap between their current skill set and their future plans. We recommend that candidates aim to devote at least 200 words to this section of the essay, if not a full half of their response.

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. Covering all of this ground within a 500-word essay is no easy task, so zeroing in on the aspects of the Simon MBA program that are most closely aligned with your goals will be important to developing an effective response; 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.

Essay 2

In 25 words or less, provide us with an interesting fact about yourself not expressed elsewhere in your application. (25 word limit)
This question asks applicants to reveal an interesting and unknown element of their backgrounds. Though there are myriad potential items to highlight here, you should consider the balance of subjects you have covered in your application forms, résumé, and the main essay and choose a fact that provides new insight into your overall candidacy. The first essay, recommendation letters, and résumé will give the adcom a very clear picture of your past professional experiences and future goals.  As such, this short-form prompt is designed to reveal something truly interesting about you.  In terms of where you should go with this, it could make sense to highlight a unique hobby or passion (like your obsession with summiting the tallest peaks on each continent), a quirk in your background (like those two years you lived in Guam during high school), or some talent (your role as lead clarinet in your town’s classical orchestra), etc.

Optional Essay

Share additional information you think is important in the evaluation of your application, including any concerns you think the Admissions Committee may have regarding your candidacy. (500 word limit)
While the opening of this prompt sounds rather inviting, this is not a mandatory essay. Applicants should, therefore, 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.

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

Lauren Wakal
Lauren Wakal has been covering the MBA admissions space for more than a decade, from in-depth business school profiles to weekly breaking news and more.