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UCI Merage Essay Topic Analysis

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 2020-2021 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 2020-2021

Let’s take a closer look at each prompt.

Essay 1 

Applicants are required to upload 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.
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

We must adapt both ourselves and our businesses for the disruption inherent in the digital environment. With this in mind, please identify an emerging trend in your stated industry or function of interest. How will the impact of technology and the skills you develop at Merage help you navigate this trend and be a value-add to a future employer? (500 words or less)
You may consider this a career goals essay with a twist—you are explaining your future career; however, you have to posit an influential tech trend to which you will respond. For example, how is cryptocurrency going to influence finance? How are artificial intelligence and smart devices going to possibly affect operations?  How will energy be affected by tech advances in renewable processes? Once you figure out a potential trend, you then need to examine how it would influence your role in this hypothetical landscape.

In terms of structure, we recommend opening the essay by establishing your target industry or function. Then, identify the trend that you see emerging. Though it may be tempting, try not to run with too many side effects of your selected trend—and ensure the trend you choose doesn’t happen to make your future job obsolete.  Instead, stay focused on a few things that could happen, as opposed to what will not happen.  This will allow you to set up situations that you will have to respond to—and apply skills you gain at Merage. You could even address your past experiences that have helped set you up for the challenges of the future.

Think of the above content as setting the stage for the skills you will need to address these challenges.  So, you can then move into why you need an MBA and why you specifically need one from Merage.  Talking to current students and alumni, as well as conducting research about Merage’s courses and clubs would help you add some rich material here to show that you are interested in their program specifically.  Per the structure of the prompt, you can directly connect Merage’s offerings to how they would apply in your future role.

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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:

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