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Babson / Olin Essay Topic Analysis

The following essay topic analysis examines the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business of Babson College (Babson / Olin) MBA admissions essays for the 2021-2022 admissions season. You can also review essay topic analyses for other leading MBA programs as well as general Essay Tips to further aid you in developing your admissions essays.

Babson / Olin Essay Topic Analysis 2021-2022

Let’s take a closer look at each option.

Short Answer 1

Babson College educates entrepreneurial leaders who create great economic and social value everywhere. Using Babson’s mission, describe your short-term and long-term goals and how your goal(s) align with this mission. How do you intend to leverage Babson’s resources to support your ambitions? (300 words or less)
This is a fairly straightforward career goals essay with some nuances that will need to be addressed to show the Olin adcom that you are not simply recycling content from other career goals essays.  With Olin’s mission in mind, applicants are asked to provide information about their immediate post-graduation and longer-range career plans. It will be important to emphasize the value you hope to create in your career accordingly.

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 explaining how these align with Olin’s mission.  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.

Following the description of your goals, you can then walk the adcom through why Babson is an important next step for you, identifying courses and clubs that would enhance your skill set.  You will also want to conclude with how you would contribute to the school community.  Remember, Olin seeks leaders who make an impact—so show the adcom how you will impact your classmates.

Short Answer 2

Share one thing that you have learned about yourself since starting your most recent job/college. How has this learning impacted other decisions or actions? (150 words or less)
The Babson adcom wants to know that you can put what you learn into practice. You may consider an impressive achievement to discuss beginning with personal reflection and winding through actions that, ideally, had a positive impact on a person, group or organization.  It will be important to comment not only on the results, but also on the actions and thought process by which you brought them about.  Another potential avenue could relate to your decision-making process in regards to your career or goals. Perhaps you discovered a new field of interest in your most recent job, and that has steered you toward more clearly defined career goals or additional community involvement.

Short Answer 3

Tell us about a mistake you have made either personally or professionally, and how you learned from it. Looking back, what would you do differently now? (150 words or less)
This prompt about learning from a mistake represents a fairly conventional b-school essay topic, with the added challenges of conveying all of the pertinent details in just 150 words.  As is common practice for this sort of response that requires candidates to introduce negative information, applicants would be wise to summarize the situation and the mistake itself in relatively few words, reserving the bulk of the essay for a treatment of the insight they gained from this experience and the ways it has shaped their development and experiences since.  You can then quickly comment on what you would have done differently, ideally reflecting the lessons you learned.

Short Answer 4

What are three fun facts about yourself that you would like to share with the Admissions Committee? (150 words or less)
With its narrow word count, this prompt asks applicants to share three pieces of “bonus information” in just a few sentences. We encourage applicants to have some fun with this item and to share factoids not covered anywhere else in their essays. This could be anything from an impressive personal or professional achievement to a favorite recipe, travel destination or hobby (or anything in between).

In arriving at a fact to share, applicants should consider the overall balance of content across their other essays with the aim of providing a rounded picture of their candidacies; if the previous responses have focused on the professional realm, a more personal detail may be best here, and vice versa. It would also make sense to consider something that would genuinely interest or excite one’s audience. On that note, it will be important to balance any accomplishment-oriented facts with humility, perhaps commenting on what you learned from the process of achieving something or how you intend to apply transferable skills or knowledge to your time in an MBA program.

Optional Essay

Please use this space (150 words max) if you would like to voluntarily share with the admissions committee any extenuating circumstances that have impacted an aspect of your application (e.g. your undergraduate GPA, a gap in your work experience, etc.).
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. Given the word limit, it is best to keep this essay short and to the point, if addressed at all.

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