The following essay topic analysis examines Emory Goizueta’s MBA admissions essays for the 2020-2021 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.
Emory Goizueta MBA Essay Topic Analysis 2020-2021
Define your short-term post-MBA career goals. How are your professional strengths, past experience and personal attributes aligned with these goals? (300 words)
This inquiry is a fairly straightforward career goals essay, with an explicit emphasis on the short-term. Candidates should open the essay with a clear statement of their short-term post-MBA goal, i.e. the position they plan to seek immediately after graduating from Goizueta. Applicants should name a specific job title/functional role, and might even consider naming 1-2 firms that they plan to target. While a long-term goal isn’t explicitly requested, briefly commenting on how this position will support one’s longer-term career vision would provide some context for this choice.
Meanwhile, applicants should take care to include a discussion of how their experiences and strengths are aligned with this short-term goal. We recommend that candidates devote at least 2/3 of the essay to this part of the prompt, as the wording of this essay (taken with last year’s required response about a candidate’s backup plan) suggests that the adcom is interested in admitting students with focused and realistic post-MBA goals. Candidates should therefore ensure that they cover each of the items named in the prompt, explaining how their professional experiences to date have informed their goals and prepared them (to some extent) for this position, as well as how they see their professional strengths (functional skills such as communication or quantitative knowledge) and personal attributes (more global qualities like flexibility or perseverance) supporting them in handling the day-to-day demands of their target role.
This is a fair amount of ground to cover in a 300-word response, and applicants should make covering each aspect of the prompt their first priority.
The business school is named for Roberto C. Goizueta, former Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, who led the organization for 16 years, extending its global reach, quadrupling consumption, building brand responsibility, and creating unprecedented shareholder wealth. Roberto Goizueta’s core values guide us in educating Principled Leaders for Global Enterprise. Provide an example of your leadership and explain what you learned about yourself through the experience. (300 word limit)
The primary task of this essay is to recount a leadership experience and comment on what one learned in the process. In selecting a topic, however, it will be important to key in to the preamble and its emphasis on the concepts of large-scale global reach and principled leadership that involves both social and shareholder responsibility. We therefore strongly recommend that candidates aim to select an example that aligns with at least one of these two touch points. While few (if any) applicants will have held C-level positions in global firms as Mr. Goizueta did, the adcom seems to be hinting that they’re looking for applicants who can work across countries and markets, manage large-scale projects, effect shifts in a team’s culture or strategy, and keep their own values and fiduciary responsibility in mind as they carry out their role.
Note that the example in this essay can come from the personal or professional realm (though all things being equal, a professional experience will likely be preferable here). Your highest priority should be to identify an example that will allow you to showcase one of the global- or responsibility-oriented abilities mentioned above. And, based on the opening comments about Mr. Goizueta’s effectiveness and vision, the strongest responses to this question will likely recount clear leadership successes.
Once you have identified your example, we recommend a simple STAR structure for this response. Begin by describing the situation, the players, and stakeholders involved before moving into the task: what you needed to accomplish in your leadership role (as well as any challenges or barriers that you anticipated). You should then move into the action, providing a chronological account of how you moved through the project or process. Finally, you should comment on the result — the positive outcome of your leadership efforts and the resolution of the story. In a concluding section, applicants will then want to summarize the lessons they learned in the course of this leadership experience, and might also include a comment on how these lessons have served them since and/or how they position the applicant to add real value to the Emory MBA community.
What are you looking to gain from Goizueta’s MBA and how do you see yourself contributing to the Goizueta community? (200 word limit)
This is the place to explain how particularly appealing elements of the Goizueta MBA program or community would support one’s work in his or her short-term role. These points should be highly specific (focusing on a specific course or student organization) in order to demonstrate the applicant’s knowledge of the program while making the most of these brief Emory-focused remarks. Then, be sure to address just as specifically how you would contribute. Perhaps you would continue some of your pre-MBA community involvement in your new b-school setting or draw on your professional experience for a particular project opportunity. Whatever the case, the more specific you can be, the easier it will be for the adcom to envision you as a student there.
Telling your story in the written essays is an important part of the application process, but we also want to hear you tell some of your story. The video essay lets every candidate talk to the Admissions Committee and we enjoy getting to know you through the “cocktail” questions.
Before pressing the “record” button, it would be worth reviewing our advice on video essays to understand the broader goals of a video prompt. As this is a visual presentation that will be recorded live, ensure you are dressed in appropriate professional attire. In terms of a background, clean and steady may work best—you do not want to make the adcom dizzy by taking them on an unsteady walking tour with your laptop. While many applicants will be tempted to introduce props into their video, such as signs, souvenirs, or any prized possessions, we would like to urge caution in this domain. A focused response to the question (while looking your audience in the eye) may be far more effective than a distracting string of props, signs, charts—each requiring valuable time to make transitions—not to mention careful attention to readability/visibility on screen. As the question can change and because the adcom is looking for an unscripted view of you, you will not want to be hampered by trying to work in materials that may or may not be relevant to the prompt. Take the preview period to gather your thoughts and then speak genuinely and clearly.
If there is an important part of your story missing from your application (e.g., unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, academic probation issues), please use this section to provide a brief explanation. Please use bullets if you need to address more than one topic.(200 word limit)
The adcom is primarily interested in hearing about explanations or extenuating circumstances that might have a meaningful impact on their consideration of one’s application. Applicants should therefore take a conservative approach to this response, including only information that you believe warrants the extra item it will require for a reader to review.
Clear Admit Resources
Thanks for reading our analysis of this year’s Goizueta essay topics! As you work on your Emory MBA application, we encourage you to consider all of Clear Admit’s Goizueta offerings: