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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 2019-2020 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 2019-2020

Applicants may choose from one of two prompts listed below and respond in 500 words or less.

Let’s take a closer look at each option.

Essay Option A

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. We encourage you to highlight your strengths, any recent accomplishments, or future ambitions.
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.  Olin also invites reflection on your strengths and accomplishments; these may be incorporated when you discuss your career history.

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 your career history, emphasizing your strengths and accounting for a few recent accomplishments where possible.  Explaining your career allows you to show your strengths, how you have already been living Olin’s mission, and where you have room to grow.  The latter part, in particular, sets the stage for why you need an MBA—especially from Babson / Olin.  As you wrap up this essay, be sure to comment on 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.

Essay Option B

Babson educates entrepreneurs of all kinds. Some students will seek to start businesses, others will seek to grow an established business with innovative approaches and solutions. What kind of entrepreneur will you be? How do you intend to leverage Babson’s resources to support your ambitions?
This may also be considered a nuanced career goals essay with more emphasis on entrepreneurship and Babson / Olin’s offerings than Option A.  You may approach this as a typical career goals essay—starting by explaining your goals, then touching on your career history, why you need an MBA and why you need an MBA now.  If you choose to address this option, you will need to ensure that your goals fit the criteria—i.e. you will be launching a business, or have plans to innovate.

At least 200 words should be dedicated to how you would leverage the resources at Olin to enable your goals. This should include comments about how specific courses and student clubs will help you to bridge the gap between your current skill set and the demands of your post-MBA roles, as well as ways you would enhance the experience of other students and contribute to the MBA community. While some of these comments should be career-focused (after all, this is presumably one’s primary reason for pursuing a business education), 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.

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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