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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 2019-2020 admissions season. You can also review essay topic analyses for other the leading MBA programs as well as general Essay Tips to further aid you in developing your admissions essays. 

IESE MBA Essay Topic Analysis 2019-2020

Let’s take a closer look at each question.

Essay Question 1

What do you want to be remembered for? (word limit 300 max)
In the opening prompt, IESE applicants are asked to think about what they want to be remembered for, or in other words, the impact they wish to have on others.  IESE, however, does not specify a setting or timeline—you could consider the impression you wish to make as a student at IESE, or reflect on the long term, or even both.

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 be remembered for, such as kindness or creativity.  You could simply assert this quality, and then include a few anecdotal examples that demonstrate it.  In the context of being a student at IESE, creativity could come in the form of launching a new club or event; in the longer term, perhaps you anticipate addressing a global challenge with a creative solution.

You may also take a more grounded approach.  Consider the impact you wish to have with your long-term goals—it could very well be something you hope to be remembered for.  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? (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.  Though not explicitly asked, it would also be wise to include 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

I wish the admissions committee had asked me… (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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