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UMD Smith MBA Essay Topic Analysis 2023-2024

um smith mba essays

The following essay topic analysis examines the University of Maryland R.H. Smith School of Business (UMD / Smith) 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.

UMD Smith MBA Essay Topic Analysis 2023-2024

Let’s take a closer look at each prompt.

Essay 1

The application essay allows the admissions committee to get to know you better both professionally and personally. Additionally, the essay is used to assess writing skills, which are critical in the program.

How will this program help you achieve your professional endeavors? (300 words)
This Smith MBA essay question is a fairly straightforward career goals essay, asking applicants to explain their career goals, why they’re interested in pursuing an MBA at UMD Smith in particular.

Given the tight word limit, applicants will need to address these elements directly and concisely.  For your career goals, be as grounded and direct as possible—identify a position and target industry, and explain what draws you to this role. Remember to include your long-term goals as well. If you have space after drafting your response, you may also want to highlight the impact you hope to have through your work.

Then, consider what skills you need from an MBA; this can inform what you need from Smith and how this program will help you accomplish the growth you’re seeking. The final phase of your discussion should establish the skills and knowledge you hope to gain from a Smith MBA while integrating details about the program. Forging specific connections between the skills you hope to gain (whether in the classroom or through involvement in student clubs or other outlets) and your future plans will show the adcom that you’ve researched the program and have a sound understanding of how a Smith MBA will prepare you for success. 

Optional Essay

Please use this optional essay only to discuss anything additional about your candidacy that you have not yet addressed elsewhere in your application. Examples of reasons to submit an optional essay include low undergraduate GPA and/or gaps in your resume.
The admissions committee provides some clear examples for this essay, indicating that it will be best used to address liabilities in one’s application. It’s possible that there are other elements of one’s background that would be appropriate and not covered elsewhere in one’s application—for example an anticipated promotion or an element of one’s identity not covered in the program’s data forms—though the wording of this prompt suggests that it should be used sparingly (i.e. that applicants should make an effort to fully represent their candidacies within the required elements of the application).

Clear Admit Resources

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