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Home » MBA Admissions: Essay Topic Analyses 2022-2023 » Carnegie Mellon / Tepper Essay Topic Analysis 2022-2023

Carnegie Mellon / Tepper Essay Topic Analysis 2022-2023

The following essay topic analysis examines Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business (Tepper) MBA admissions essays for the 2022-2023 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.

Carnegie Mellon University Tepper Essay Topic Analysis 2022-2023

Let’s take a closer look at each prompt.

Required Essay

The Tepper community is dynamic and unique. Each community member’s individual journey has shaped them into classmates who are collaborative, supportive, and inclusive. Describe how you have overcome adversity during your journey. What did you learn about yourself and how has that shaped who you are? (Maximum 350-500 words.)
This is a chance to tell the adcom who you are, where you come from, and what you care about. It is also a good place to highlight instances of resourcefulness and persistence, and to provide insight into one’s personal and professional maturity and collaborative nature over the course of a narrative. An effective approach might be to describe the initial adversity and its broad implications in a few sentences, followed by a discussion of how you dealt with it – along with a brief illustrative example – before concluding with a reflection on the lessons you’ve learned and how those lessons have shaped who you are today.

The adcom also wants to know that you’ll be supportive, inclusive and collaborative while on campus at Tepper and be a good addition to the student community. Applicants should aim to connect their history with potential future contributions to Tepper. Whether you choose to draw on your professional, personal or academic life, it’s important to create context before connecting to how you would contribute to Tepper. As you approach the contributions, specifically, think about how you can translate your experience and related lessons into involvement on the CMU campus. Creating a link between your past and your potential future at the program will enable you to present a consistent and clear picture of your candidacy, as well as your professional and personal interests. The more information you can provide about how exactly you would contribute (playing a certain role in organizing a particular annual event, for example), the more reason you’ll give the adcom to admit you.

Optional Essay

Is there anything else that you would like to share with the Admissions Committee as we evaluate your application? If you believe your credentials and essays represent you fairly, you should not feel obligated to answer this question. This essay is intended to provide a place for you to add information that you think is important but is not covered elsewhere in the application. This could include clarification of your employment or academic record, choice of recommenders or helpful context for the admissions committee in reviewing your application.

If you are a re-applicant, explain how your candidacy has strengthened since your last application.
While there is no set word limit for this essay, it would be wise to keep this under 350 words, given the length of the required essay. Optional materials also create more work for the reader, so it’s important to keep that in consideration while being concise in one’s explanations.

For first-time applicants, this optional essay should be reserved for addressing potential liabilities in one’s application. Such discussions should be direct and to the point, providing an explanation and pointing to mitigating factors without being defensive or making excuses. This essay is optional, so should not be used if there are no issues to explain.

Meanwhile, reapplicants should detail the steps they have taken to become a stronger applicant and learn more about the Tepper MBA program since their last application. Candidates in this situation should comment on how they have spent the past year, taking particular care to highlight improved quantitative records, new professional skills and responsibilities, progress toward their ultimate career goals, and/or increased community involvement.

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