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Minnesota / Carlson MBA Essay Topic Analysis 2023-2024

Minnesota / Carlson MBA Essay Topic Analysis

The following essay topic analysis examines the University of Minnesota’s Curtis L. Carlson School of Management (Minnesota / Carlson) MBA admissions essays for the 2023-2024 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.

Minnesota / Carlson MBA Essay Topic Analysis 2023-2024

Let’s take a closer look at each prompt.

Personal Statement

We want to admit a diverse, intellectually curious, and interesting group of students who will contribute to and benefit from the Carlson MBA Program. The personal statement helps the admissions committee get to know you better as an individual, and allows the committee to evaluate the extent to which your skills, interests, values, and career goals are well suited for the program. Your personal statement should be no more than 1200 words (3 pages), that address the following questions:

  • Why are you choosing to pursue an MBA at this time in your career? What are you hoping to accomplish by doing so? Briefly describe your short-term (upon graduation from the program) and long-term (5-10 years after the program) career goals. Please be as specific as possible with roles, companies and/or industries.
  • What excites you about being part of the Carlson School MBA program? Do you have an enterprise program that you are currently interested in and why?
  • Carlson MBA programs are looking for diverse voices and experiences to add to classroom discussions. Can you tell us about how you have participated in and/or advocated for building more inclusive communities in your career?

The beginning of the personal statement is a fairly straightforward career goals essay, asking applicants to explain their post-MBA career objectives and how an MBA would support these plans. Carlson also requests that applicants discuss an enterprise program. So, before beginning, it would behoove you to review Carlson’s specific offerings. Then to start, applicants should explain the specifics of their post-MBA plans. Establishing your long-term vision first would lend meaning to your short-term plans, as it can help the reader to know your destination before the path. So, explain your broader 5-10 year plan, even going beyond the “what” and the “where” to the “why”—in other words, the impact you hope to make on an organization, sector, consumer base, or region. Then, applicants should outline their short-term plans very specifically, including both the position the candidate hopes to hold immediately after an MBA, along with 1-2 companies one plans to target. This short-term goal should lead naturally to the long term.

In regards to your timing and reasons for an MBA, it would make sense to comment on your work experience to date to establish the skills you already possess; this sets up the gap in your skill set that a Carlson MBA would fill. This phase of your discussion should establish the skills and knowledge you hope to gain from a Carlson MBA while integrating details about the program. Forging specific connections between the skills you hope to gain (whether in class or outside of it) and your future plans will show the adcom that you have a sound understanding of how a Carlson MBA will prepare you for success and convey your excitement about the program.

As you then explore an enterprise program, be sure to use grounded, vivid details and establish the connection between this choice and your career goals. You will also need to cover how you could enhance an enterprise program for your fellow students; so, consider how your past experience or your current vision for the future may be relevant, or another strength you could bring to the scene. For instance, perhaps your leadership skills could help in the small team environment, or perhaps you have experience presenting that could come in handy for interactions with executives.

When you turn to explaining how you have been an inclusive leader in your career, begin by thinking about your related impact. Perhaps you worked on an international project recently and your engagement with different cultures drove your inclusive leadership, communication or another action. Consider how you resolved related challenges and galvanized a team through inclusivity – then, account for your positive results. Be sure to think beyond comments or campaigns shared on Facebook, and reflect on advocating actively. Once you select your anecdote, you’ll want to pull the main themes and forge direct connections to how this experience will translate to contributing to Carlson – whether through a club, class, or other outlet. The more specific you can be in your connections to the program, the easier it will be for the adcom to envision you as a student.

Clear Admit Resources

Thanks for reading our analysis of this year’s Minnesota / Carlson MBA essay topics! As you work on your MBA essays and application, we encourage you to consider all of Clear Admit’s Carlson offerings: