Cambridge / Judge MBA Essays: 2023-2024 Analysis
The following essay topic analysis examines the Cambridge / Judge MBA admissions essays for the 2023-2024 admissions season. You can also review essay topic analyses for all of the other leading MBA programs as well as general Essay Tips to further aid you in developing your admissions essays.
Cambridge / Judge Essay Topic Analysis 2023-2024
Let’s take a look at each of this year’s prompts:
Please provide details of your post-MBA career plans. The statement should not exceed 500 words and must address the following:
- What are your short- and long-term career objectives? How will the Cambridge MBA equip you to achieve these?
- Looking at your short-term career goal, describe the research you have done to understand how this industry/role/location recruits MBA talent and what they are looking for in a candidate?
- How do you meet the requirements of your short-term career goal? What preparation are you doing now?
Cambridge once again includes a fairly standard career goals essay of the sort featured in many MBA programs’ applications. Applicants are asked to outline their immediate post-MBA professional objectives, as well as their longer-term plans. Then, as is the case with most schools, demonstrating an understanding of the unique merits of Judge’s program is crucial to an effective response to this question. You’ll need to make concrete, illustrative connections between the Cambridge MBA offerings and how they will empower you to reach your goals. Taking the time to learn about the school’s curriculum, special programs, and extracurricular activities—whether through an online admissions event, or conversations with alumni—will pay dividends here.
In regards to the second part of the prompt, discussing research, such as reviewing employment reports, career services offerings, or networking via LinkedIn, would best support Judge’s request.
Meanwhile, given the explicit request that applicants inventory how they are already prepared for the short term and describe their current related actions, candidates will need to reflect on their qualifications and take care in addressing this element of the prompt. This can stem naturally from a brief career summary, as one would be able to point to one’s past actions as proof of their current abilities. If you’ve taken on extra responsibilities at work or have signed up for an industry-relevant course, this would be the place to highlight it.
Tell us about a time when you made a professional mistake. How could it have ended differently? (up to 200 words)
The key to this essay is to quickly provide the context that the reader needs to appreciate your story, and then elaborate on how you handled the professional situation and grew because of it. Given the tight word limit, you’ll want to establish the mistake—and not a veiled strength such as “I tried to perfect the report and wound up missing the deadline”—within a couple of sentences. Be sure to own what you do, as the adcom will want to see accountability and not excuses. While it is very tempting to cite an external factor in altering the outcome, the adcom want to see reflection on your skills and actions. If you were fortunate enough to fix your mistake, you can account for how a different approach actually helped. Otherwise, reflect on how you could have made a different decision to avoid the mistake. Space allowing, you may conclude with how you applied what you learned in a future project.
Tell us about the best team you worked with. What made the team successful? (up to 200 words)
Candidates should be sure to choose a situation with successful results here. With such a tight word limit, context will have to be established concisely by defining one’s team and the objective that defined success. Working with others can take on many forms—coordinating with teams overseas, collaborating directly with a colleague for a challenging consulting project, or directing teammates to develop solutions. What’s important is how you worked together and the challenges you overcame to achieve success. Given the focus on teamwork, it would make sense to highlight communication, motivational or leadership skills as contributing to it being the “best.” Consider your team projects throughout your career and which ones stood out—both for the results achieved and growth earned.
Provide an example of when someone else positively impacted your life. What did you learn from this experience? (up to 200 words)
Applicants can approach this essay by first establishing the relationship and identifying how the person impacted you. Consider your personal relationships—perhaps you have a mentor at work who has inspired you, or you’ve met someone through your community involvement that has informed a better sense of who you want to be. Of course, if you’re passionate about a certain career path like impact investing and you’ve drawn influence from someone who has made significant strides in that area, you could make it work. The key will be in the connections to influencing who you are and aspire to be.
Parents can easily be the most influential figures in a person’s life, but should generally be avoided discussing in admissions. On one hand, Judge is looking for people who display innate maturity and leadership capacity. If your chief role model is your mother or father, this may indicate that you haven’t fully “left the nest,” and it could raise questions about your ability to think independently. On the other hand, there are exceptions to every rule. Consider what your relationship allows you to tell about your own story. If you grew up in a single parent home and that parent sacrificed a lot to get you to university or enable your opportunities, there’s a chance to shed light on your unique background and experience here.
While you need to highlight how the person has influenced you, ensure that most of the content is shedding light on who you are or aspire to be. At the end of the day, the Judge adcom is trying to get to know you. When sharing the requested examples, be sure to include how you have acted as a result of their influence. Show the adcom the values you embody as a result of this relationship.
Clear Admit Resources
Thanks for reading our analysis of this year’s Cambridge / Judge MBA essay topics! As you work on your Judge MBA essays and application, we encourage you to consider all of Clear Admit’s offerings: