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Washington University / Olin Business School Essay Topic Analysis 2023-2024

The following essay topic analysis examines Washington University’s Olin Business School (WashU / Olin) 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.

Washington University / Olin Business School Essay Topic Analysis 2023-2024

Essay 1

Share with us one of your strongest values. Help us understand how that value connects to your career aspirations. Please include the following in your response: Target function and/or industry; Desired company or organization; Skills you will need to develop; Necessary connections and/or experiences (350-500 word maximum)
A variation of the typical career goals essay, this question asks applicants to consider their values and connect their professional goals to the Olin MBA.  While you should define your value and try to offer a brief explanation of why you selected it or why it’s important to you, the priority should be covering your goals and skill-based needs.

Once you check all the boxes for your immediate post-MBA career goals (function/industry/target companies), applicants should explain their long-term career goals and the broad impact they hope to have on their industry, community, country or region. Your descriptions should also connect to the value you select. Then, a brief career summary can naturally lead to the gaps in one’s professional skill set that the Olin MBA would fill.

Of course, to craft a truly compelling essay, applicants must also display a strong and specific understanding of how Olin’s program would enable them to accomplish their goals.  Taking the time to learn about the school’s curriculum, special programs and extracurricular activities—whether by seeking out alumni or current students to engage, or connecting with resources through the Olin website—will pay dividends here.

Optional Essay

Is there anything else you would like to share? If so, please provide any additional information not previously addressed in the application that would help the admissions committee assess your candidacy. (250-word maximum)
Consider these five questions before providing additional information (and extra reading) to the adcom.  If you need to address glaring weaknesses or liabilities (as opposed to offering “bonus information” about one’s candidacy), keep responses brief and to-the-point. Offer explanations without making excuses and humbly bring mitigating factors to the reader’s attention. That said, it’s possible that there are other elements of one’s background that would be appropriate and not covered elsewhere, for example an anticipated promotion or an element of one’s identity not covered in the program’s data forms. While applicants should make an effort to fully represent their candidacies within the required elements of the application, this leaves a bit of room for short exceptions.

Clear Admit Resources

Before you start writing your responses to the Washington University / Olin essay topics, check out some of our Olin resources: