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The following essay topic analysis examines Emory Goizueta’s MBA admissions essays for the 2019-2020 admissions season. You can also review essay topic analyses for all of the other the leading MBA programs as well as general Essay Tips to further aid you in developing your admissions essays.
Define your short-term post-MBA career goals. How are your professional strengths, past experience and personal attributes aligned with these goals? (300 words)
This inquiry is a fairly straightforward career goals essay, with an explicit emphasis on the short-term. Candidates should open the essay with a clear statement of their short-term post-MBA goal, i.e. the position they plan to seek immediately after graduating from Goizueta. Applicants should name a specific job title/functional role, and might even consider naming 1-2 firms that they plan to target. While a long-term goal isn’t explicitly requested, briefly commenting on how this position will support one’s longer-term career vision would provide some context for this choice.
Meanwhile, applicants should take care to include a discussion of how their experiences and strengths are aligned with this short-term goal. We recommend that candidates devote at least 2/3 of the essay to this part of the prompt, as the wording of this essay (taken with last year’s required response about a candidate’s backup plan) suggests that the adcom is interested in admitting students with focused and realistic post-MBA goals. Candidates should therefore ensure that they cover each of the items named in the prompt, explaining how their professional experiences to date have informed their goals and prepared them (to some extent) for this position, as well as how they see their professional strengths (functional skills such as communication or quantitative knowledge) and personal attributes (more global qualities like flexibility or perseverance) supporting them in handling the day-to-day demands of their target role.
This is a fair amount of ground to cover in a 300-word response, and applicants should make covering each aspect of the prompt their first priority. That said, it may also be worth commenting on how a particularly appealing element of the Goizueta MBA program or community would also support one’s work in his or her short-term role. Such comments should be limited to just 1-2 sentences, and should be highly specific (focusing on a specific course or student organization) in order to demonstrate the applicant’s knowledge of the program while making the most of these brief Emory-focused remarks.
The business school is named for Roberto C. Goizueta, former Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, who led the organization for 16 years, extending its global reach, quadrupling consumption, building brand responsibility, and creating unprecedented shareholder wealth. Mr. Goizueta’s core values guide us in educating Principled Leaders for Global Enterprise. Provide an example of your leadership – professional or personal – and explain what you learned about yourself through the experience. (300 words)
The primary task of this essay is to recount a personal or professional leadership experience and comment on what one learned in the process. In selecting a topic, however, it will be important to key in to the preamble and its emphasis on the concepts of large-scale global reach and principled leadership that involves both social and shareholder responsibility. We therefore strongly recommend that candidates aim to select an example that aligns with at least one of these two touch points. While few (if any) applicants will have held C-level positions in global firms as Mr. Goizueta did, the adcom seems to be hinting that they’re looking for applicants who can work across countries and markets, manage large-scale projects, effect shifts in a team’s culture or strategy, and keep their own values and fiduciary responsibility in mind as they carry out their role.
Note that the example in this essay can come from the personal or professional realm (though all things being equal, a professional experience will likely be preferable here). Your highest priority should be to identify an example that will allow you to showcase one of the global- or responsibility-oriented abilities mentioned above. And, based on the opening comments about Mr. Goizueta’s effectiveness and vision, the strongest responses to this question will likely recount clear leadership successes.
Once you have identified your example, we recommend a simple STAR structure for this response. Begin by describing the situation, the players, and stakeholders involved before moving into the task: what you needed to accomplish in your leadership role (as well as any challenges or barriers that you anticipated). You should then move into the action, providing a chronological account of how you moved through the project or process. Finally, you should comment on the result — the positive outcome of your leadership efforts and the resolution of the story. In a concluding section, applicants will then want to summarize the lessons they learned in the course of this leadership experience, and might also include a comment on how these lessons have served them since and/or how they position the applicant to add real value to the Emory MBA community.
Please select ONE of the following topics to share with us using the video essay feature. Your comments should last no more than 60 seconds and you have the option to re-record until you are satisfied, before submitting.
Before beginning to brainstorm topics, we recommend reviewing Admissions Tip: Video Essays.
On the surface, the options for this essay solicit rather disparate information. At a deeper level, though, this prompt calls on applicants to share something that defines them, whether it’s a driving value or passion that has informed many of their priorities and decisions, or a piece of feedback that stands out to them for an important reason. This prompt seems designed to help the adcom learn about the applicant — and about what kind of student, classmate, and colleague he or she will be. The most effective responses will be authentic and revealing (without venturing into TMI territory), and will give the reader a sense of why you would be a great addition to the Goizueta community.
As part of the brainstorming process, we recommend that applicants begin by identifying their honest answer to each of these responses. For the items about a core value or best piece of advice, we recommend narrowing this down to a single answer. Meanwhile, you might generate 2-3 options for the “passionate about” option. We then suggest that you step back and consider which option will add the most value to your application. That is, in addition to telling the adcom something about who you are and what you care about, consider which will also allow you to demonstrate some positive impact or contribution you would make to the school community.
Applicants should also note that it would be ideal to comment on this potential impact in concrete terms. For example, an applicant who talks about the best day of his life was the day his child was born might also want to comment about how he balances family with work/school and propose a leadership role in a campus organization supporting MBA students with children. There are no wrong answers to this prompt, though the most effective responses will demonstrate sincerity and thoughtfulness about what matters most to the applicant, with an eye to how this will also benefit the Goizueta program.
Should you feel there is an important part of your story missing from your application (e.g., unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, academic probation issues), please use this section to provide a brief explanation. We ask that you limit your response to 100 words; responses in bullet point format are preferred.
The adcom is primarily interested in hearing about explanations or extenuating circumstances that might have a meaningful impact on their consideration of one’s application. Applicants should therefore take a conservative approach to this response, including only information 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 Goizueta essay topics! As you work on your Emory MBA application, we encourage you to consider all of Clear Admit’s Goizueta offerings:
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