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IESE MBA Essay Topic Analysis

IESE Essay Topic Analysis

The following essay topic analysis examines the IESE MBA admissions essays for the 2020-2021 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. 

IESE MBA Essay Topic Analysis 2020-2021

Let’s take a closer look at each question.

Essay Question 1

If you had to come up with a motto for your life, what would it be and why? Please give an example of how you have demonstrated it. (word limit 300 max)
In the opening prompt, IESE applicants are asked to encapsulate their lives in a motto, or in other words, define the essence of what has mattered most to them. This is a chance to showcase your creativity and, in a way, give the adcom a sense of your personal brand. Keep in mind, however, that it should be relevant to your candidacy for the MBA program.

Applicants can approach this essay by opening with their chosen motto.  While it may feel like a tall order to substantiate such a profound statement in 300 words, there are a couple of approaches you may consider.  For example, perhaps you have a quality (or two) you wish to highlight, such as kindness or creativity. You could simply assert this quality, e.g. for creativity, “Think Outside the Box,” and then include an anecdotal example that demonstrates it. The follow-up example could be from work or outside of work—perhaps you had a creative solution to a recent client project, or influenced outreach in your local community with a creative idea. When describing the example of how you have demonstrated your motto, be sure to include your actions and results.

You may also take a more grounded approach.  Consider the impact you have had in your career and also wish to have with your long-term goals—these could very well tie together in a motto.  Not only could this work in addressing this topic, but also set the stage for the next essay.

Essay Question 2

Describe your short and medium term post-MBA goals? How will the IESE MBA help you achieve them? (word limit 300 max)
While this question is a version of the standard career goals essay required by many business schools, IESE’s 300-word limit is a bit tighter than that of some programs.  Applicants will need to clearly and concisely state what their future plans are for both immediately after business school and in the medium term, being sure to illustrate how their goals relate to their work thus far and the skills they would gain from an MBA.  Then, connect to your interest in IESE’s MBA program, perhaps naming some key courses and clubs, to support why you want to earn your degree at IESE specifically.

Optional Essay

What would you like to highlight about yourself or your journey which may have not been captured in your application? (word limit 300 max)
This question provides candidates a chance to briefly explore an important aspect of their candidacy not mentioned in their data forms, résumé, or other essay responses.  It makes sense to complete this essay in order to round out your application or explain any issues such as a low GPA or test score, work experience or choice of recommenders.  For applicants from oversubscribed groups in the applicant pool, this essay could offer a great opportunity to truly stand out from the crowd by sharing an unusual hobby or an interesting anecdote.  Potential topics could be a time you demonstrated leadership, ethical behavior, entrepreneurial spirit, or persuasion skills, as these are all topics that are often of interest to admissions committees.  In the case of explaining a worrisome issue about your candidacy, be brief and to the point.  Avoid making excuses and simply explain the situation.  For example, perhaps you’ve taken coursework to mitigate a weak academic record, or you chose a recommender who was not your direct supervisor, but could still attest to your leadership skills.  Whatever topic you select, it would be ideal to link this quality or fact to some element of your intended experience in the MBA program and/or future career.

 Clear Admit Resources
Thanks for reading our analysis of this year’s IESE MBA essay topics. As you work on your IESE MBA essays and application, we encourage you to consider all of Clear Admit’s IESE Business School offerings:

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