The following essay topic analysis examines University of California, Irvine, Paul Merage School of Business (Merage) MBA admissions essays for the 2019-2020 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 2019-2020
Let’s take a closer look at each prompt.
Describe your career goals upon graduation from the Merage MBA program. Please be as specific as possible including a desired position, function, industry and/or target companies. (150 words or less)
This inquiry is a straightforward request for your grounded plans post-MBA. Candidates should open the essay with a clear statement of their short-term post-MBA goal, i.e. the position they plan to seek immediately after graduating from Merage. Applicants should name a specific job title/functional role, and might even consider naming 1-2 firms that they plan to target. While a long-term goal isn’t explicitly requested, briefly commenting on how this position will support one’s longer-term career vision would provide some context for this choice.
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.
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 not a typical optional essay asking for clarifications of issues such as gaps in employment, recommender choices and academic record. Given that, it would behoove candidates to address it—provided the information you have to share truly adds depth to your profile. Perhaps you were the first in your family to attend college, perhaps you have dealt with the fallout of recent U.S. immigration policies, or simply want the adcom to understand your motivation and commitment to your career goals. The opportunities are endless here—just be sure what you reveal relates to your potential skills as a future business leader and ability to contribute to life at UCI Merage.
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: