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Arizona State / W.P. Carey MBA Essay Topic Analysis

Arizona State / W.P. Carey MBA Essay Topic Analysis

The following essay topic analysis examines the W. P. Carey School of Business MBA admissions essays for the 2019-2020 admissions season. You can also review essay topic analyses for all other leading MBA programs as well as general Essay Tips to further aid you in developing your admissions essays.

Arizona State / W.P. Carey MBA Essay Topic Analysis 2019-2020

Let’s take a closer look at each prompt.

Essay 1

Describe your career path both immediately upon graduation, and five years post MBA.  How will the W. P. Carey MBA help you accomplish these goals?  (500 words or less; required)
This is a straightforward career goals essay. Applicants are asked to provide information about their immediate post-graduation and longer-range career plans, and to comment on how W.P. Carey will help them get there.

With respect to structure, it will probably make the most narrative sense to open this response by introducing one’s career goals, as well as a few sentences about the professional experiences that have informed (and helped prepare one for) these objectives. Candidates can cover this content in either order: chronologically outlining their short- and long-term plans, or opening with the long-term and then explaining how their target short-term position is a logical first step along that trajectory. Either way, applicants should identify the specific position they hope to obtain after graduating from the MBA program, and may even want to identify 1-2 target organizations for which they would particularly like to work. In describing their long-term goals, meanwhile, candidates should aim to comment on what draws them to this role as well as the larger impact they hope to make on an organization, category, sector, or region.

This opening section about one’s career goals will then provide some context for a discussion of the applicant’s goals at W.P. Carey. This should include comments about how specific courses and student clubs will help the applicant to bridge the gap between their current skill set and the demands of their post-MBA roles, as well as ways the applicant would enhance the experience of other students and contribute to the MBA community. While many of these comments should be career-focused, applicants would also do well to introduce additional interests and planned involvements related to established hobbies, athletic pursuits, and broader community involvement. This will help to round out one’s candidacy in the eyes of the adcom and provide a fuller picture of your interests and potential contributions.

Essay 2

Based on your unique personal and professional experiences, what specific contributions do you plan to make both in and outside of the classroom while a member of the W. P. Carey learning community? (500 words or less; required)
Given the length, it is likely that you will be able to fully develop two specific experiences, possibly a short third one, and then connect them directly to specific contributions you would make at W.P. Carey.

This response has the potential to reveal a side of an applicant that the admissions committee cannot find elsewhere in the application. That may feel like a tall order, but there is a simple exercise that can help you pare down your options and focus on a core example. So, try the following:

  1. Write down the 10 to 15 most important events, accomplishments, interests, or experiences in your life. Include the good, the bad, the astounding, the ugly, etc.
  2. Look at the list you have generated and try to determine the themes that unify the important events, interests, and ideas in your life.
  3. Select a personal and professional experience from the list that best showcase your strengths and translate to contributing to the b-school community. Use them to define your approach and kick off the drafting process for the essay.

As you approach the second half of the prompt, think about how you can translate your experience and related lessons into involvement on the Carey campus, and indicate specific contributions that you would like to make. Creating a link between your past and your potential future at the program will enable you to present a consistent and clear picture of your candidacy, as well as your professional and personal interests. The more information you can provide about how exactly you would contribute (playing a certain role in organizing a particular annual event, for example), the more reason you’ll give the adcom to admit you.

Essay 3 

Please provide any additional information you would like to bring to the attention of the admissions committee. (250 words or less; optional)
This will be an appropriate place for applicants to address potential concerns with or liabilities in their candidacies, to explain unusual recommenders or gaps in employment, or to comment on extenuating circumstances that affected past performance.

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