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Rice / Jones Essay Topic Analysis

Rice / Jones Essay Topic Analysis

The following essay topic analysis examines Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business (Jones) MBA admissions essays for the 2021-2022 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.

Rice / Jones Essay Topic Analysis 2021-2022

Let’s take a closer look at each prompt.

Short Answer 1

In 100 words or less, please share your short-term goals.
Identify the position you hope to obtain immediately after school — down to the job title and 2-3 dream employers. You may address why this is your goal, whether for impact, skills, or as a stepping stone to your future.

Short Answer 2

In 100 words or less, please share your long-term goals.
Identify the role you wish to occupy in the long term. You can also enhance the answer by accounting for the larger impact you hope to ultimately have in your career.

Required Essay 1

Please choose to answer one of the following prompts:

  • Prompt #1: “What movie, song, or book has most influenced your life and the way you view the world? Why?”
  • Prompt #2: “A picture is worth a thousand words. Choose a picture from your life that you value and tell us the story of that picture – but only in 500 words or less. Feel free to share the photo!”
  • Prompt #3: “Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the United States, and food is a large part of these cultures. If you had to design a 3-course menu to prepare for your future MBA core team, what would be on the menu that showcases more about who you are?”

Please choose only one method of communication that you would like to use for your response (you can only submit one video – either for Essay #1 or Essay #3):

  • Write an essay (500 word limit)
  • Share a video (one to three minute time limit)

In deciding which option to address, applicants should consider the content covered in the other essays, as you’ll want to present new information here. It’s also important to approach this essay from a strategic standpoint and write about something that is relevant to your business school candidacy. While your hobbies and interests are certainly of interest to the adcom, it’s important to avoid getting too personal. For instance, choosing a picture of and writing about one’s family can make an applicant sound immature (as though he or she hasn’t fully left the nest), and it’s difficult to predict how a reader will react to comments on potentially sensitive topics like politics or religion.  The best topics for this essay are activities and interests that you can connect to some contribution you would make to the school community, ideally those in which you are currently active and to which you have a long-standing commitment. Although it is good to keep in mind that more unusual activities are advantageous, you don’t need to have something that is really rare for this essay to succeed. It is more important to discuss what you do in a compelling and personal manner that conveys the depth of your enthusiasm for your topic by exploring your individual experiences. Finally, remember that specific anecdotes will make a greater impression on your reader than a broad discussion.

No matter which prompt you settle on, it would be wise to connect how your experience would translate to involvement at Jones, or how you could become a part of their community.

Optional Essay

If you have any additional information for the admissions committee or if you wish to clarify any aspect of your application (including breaks in employment, your choice of recommendation providers, your past academic performance, etc.), you may submit an additional, optional essay. (750 word limit)
This response will be an appropriate place to address any elements of one’s application that need further explanation (e.g. recommender choice, expected promotions, etc.). The wording of this essay is fairly open and inviting, and so it may be an appropriate place to share an additional anecdote or highlight an impressive accomplishment. Applicants should aim to demonstrate good judgment in deciding whether to respond to this prompt, and should take care not to introduce information that appears elsewhere in their materials or that could have been covered in response to the above essay.

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