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UCI Merage Essay Topic Analysis 2023-2024

UCI Merage MBA Essay Topic Analysis

The following essay topic analysis examines University of California, Irvine, Paul Merage School of Business (Merage) 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.

UCI Merage Essay Topic Analysis 2023-2024

Let’s take a closer look at each prompt.

Essay 1 

Applicants are required to provide a link to a 1 minute (60 second) video as part of their application.  In your video, please introduce yourself to the admissions committee, telling us about your professional experience, including a brief overview of your short-term career goals and how an MBA from UCI’s Merage School will positively impact that direction.

Most applicants use websites such as YouTube, Vimeo, Dropbox, or Google Drive to upload their video essays. On all these platforms, be sure to mark the video as “Unlisted” rather than “Private”.  Unlisted means only people with the link will be able to see it. Just click “Get Shareable Link” in your privacy settings and paste into the FTMBA application. If your video is listed as private, we will not be able to view it and your application processing will be delayed.
First, review our Admissions Tip about video essays. This inquiry is a straightforward career goals essay. Briefly establishing where you are headed at the outset of the response can help create context for your short-term goals; hence, we’d recommend that applicants open with their five- to ten-year target position. Then, you can touch on the position you hope to obtain immediately after school — down to the job title and 2-3 dream employers. Be sure to address why this is your goal, whether for impact, skills, or as a stepping stone to your future.

Next, summarizing your skills/strengths based on your background—and explaining how they would enable or have inspired your career plans—will help to set up the gap in your skill set that an MBA would fill. Allot remaining space to addressing why the UCI MBA program and student community are a particularly strong fit with your objectives. If there’s a programmatic offering or elective course that seems particularly relevant to your professional plans, it would be worth mentioning to show the adcom how you see UCI as an important part of your desired career path.

Essay 2

Our students enjoy a wide range of student-led organizations that provide opportunities for leadership development and personal fulfillment, as well as an outlet for contributing to society. Our student-led government, clubs, centers, and events are an integral part of the student experience and to the development of leaders. Based on your understanding of the UCI Merage culture, what are 3 ways you expect to contribute? (500 words or less)
Applicants should aim to balance reflections on their past and connect their history with potential future contributions to UCI Merage. Adcoms are interested in people who make an impact, whether at work, or in other avenues of their lives. They want to know you’ll make an impact while on campus and then as an alum, as you pursue your career and life goals. 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 UCI Merage.

Based on the details in the question, you should aim for variety in your answer, considering leadership development, personal interests and external contributions. For instance, instead of talking about 3 ways you would contribute to the Finance Club, consider the variety of offerings beyond clubs, including the mentioned government, centers and events. Learning about the school’s special programs and extracurricular activities–whether through a visit to campus or conversations with alumni–will help you craft a response that really stands out.

As you approach the contributions, specifically, think about how you can translate your experience and related lessons into involvement on 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

At the Paul Merage School of Business, we are ambitious. We are intellectually hungry. We have a calling to deliver educational excellence valuing diversity, collaboration, inclusivity and respect. In an effort to better understand the context of your achievements, is there any other information about your background, family or experience that you would like to share with the Admissions Committee? (300 words or less)
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, especially discussing how far you’ve come, if you were a boostrapper or first generation in your family to attend college. You can provide insight into your personal and professional maturity and collaborative nature over the course of a narrative. An effective approach might be to describe the initial experience and its broad implications in a few sentences, followed by a brief illustrative example before concluding with a reflection on how the experience has shaped who you are today.

It may also be necessary to use this space to address any weaknesses in your candidacy, such as gaps in employment, academic concerns, etc. In which case, the comments in this essay should be straightforward and fact-focused, offering explanation without making excuses and humbly suggesting other areas of your candidacy that might compensate for identified weaknesses.

Clear Admit Resources

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