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Manchester / AMBS Essay Topic Analysis

Manchester Business School Essay Topic Analysis

The following essay topic analysis examines the University of Manchester / Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS) MBA admissions essays for the 2018-2019 admissions season. You can also review essay topic analyses for all other the leading MBA programs as well as general Essay Tips to further aid you in developing your admissions essays.

Manchester / AMBS Essay Topic Analysis 2018-2019

Let’s take a closer look at each prompt.

Essay 1

Your professional experience and achievements (minimum 500 words)
Please describe your professional experience and career progression to date including the dates of any promotions and salary increases. We would like to learn about the companies you have worked for, the breadth and depth of the knowledge you have acquired in the workplace, your key achievements, your management and international business experiences and the impact you have made in your different roles. Particularly highlight the parts of your career that demonstrate any of the following:

  • Managing people (team, business area, department, company)
  • Managing client relationships
  • Leading significant projects
  • Managing budgets, resources or processes
  • Defining/influencing strategy
  • International exposure
  • Entrepreneurial experience

The adcom is looking for an applicant who can present his or her career as a coherent whole, and demonstrate that he or she has been on an upward trajectory since the outset. While it would be ideal for you to include some comments on lessons learned and skills gained over the course of your career, the primary focus should be touching upon each full-time post you’ve held, explaining each move you’ve made, and commenting on increases and changes in responsibility.

It would make sense to start at your graduation from university and walk the adcom through your roles and responsibilities to date.  Once you get the details down in your draft, go back to see where you can pull in the particular skills and strengths AMBS asks for.

Essay 2

Your aspirations (minimum 300 words)
To address the following questions:

  • What are your professional and personal aspirations and why is an MBA important in your plans?
  • What type of industry sector(s), organisation(s) and location(s) would you ideally like to work in?
  • How do you think your current experience combined with the Alliance Manchester Business School MBA will help you to achieve your aspirations?
  • If you aren’t able to reach your primary goal immediately do you have a plan B?

Manchester poses a fairly straightforward career goals essay question, asking applicants to discuss both their short- and long-term career plans. The “plan B” is an interesting twist, and seems to hint that the school is looking for candidates who will be able to adapt.

Candidates will want to identify the position that they hope to hold immediately after graduating from an MBA program, naming both a job title and 1-2 organizations for which they would most like to work. They will then want to discuss their longer-range 5-10 year plan, explaining not just what role they hope to occupy but also commenting on the broader impact they hope to have in this position. You should touch on the ways an MBA would facilitate progress toward these goals, and the factors that make Manchester / AMBS an especially good next step. To underscore this fit, it would make sense to name some curricular or programmatic offerings that are relevant to these objectives. Conducting thorough research on the program will help you achieve maximum impact with this brief response. 

Presentation

Tell us about you. Taking into account what we currently know about you from your CV and application, we would like you to send us a presentation to share anything else that you would like us to know. Your presentation will be printed and reviewed by the MBA Admissions Committee.

There is no right answer to this question. The presentation is a blank canvas to paint a picture that will help us to know you better. We hope to learn about your personality, what makes you stand out, what motivates and interests you and why you are the ‘right fit’ for our transformational MBA. Your presentation will be evaluated not on technical expertise but on the content, creativity and your ability to express your ideas. 

Presentation format:

  • You can choose the software that works best for your creativity – PowerPoint, PDF or Word
  • Maximum 4 pages/slides
  • Check that your presentation is effective and the formatting preserved when printed. Please do not include motion images, videos, music or hyperlinks etc

All of this “white space” might be daunting to some, but an easy way to approach this process is to ask oneself a few simple questions. What new and important information about yourself can you introduce to the adcom through this slide presentation? In terms of organization, are there four separate topics to which you would like to devote a slide/page each? Or would you prefer to use the four frames to create a sense of progression through a current activity, past experience, “day in the life,” etc.? We’re hesitant to provide too much guidance given the free-form nature of the task; the best advice we can offer is to think about who you are (and how this might be of interest to the AMBS adcom), consider how you could translate this into words and images, and then give it a try. Showing the initial result to someone who knows you well could be a great way to determine the effectiveness of a working draft.

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