Duke Fuqua 2015 MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines

Want to learn more about Duke Fuqua? Click here!Leadership, teamwork, ethics, and a global approach to business are essential elements of the Duke Fuqua MBA, which is why you’ll need to make sure you express your passion for these ideals in your application essays. Impress the Fuqua adcom by positioning yourself as an innovative leader and team player, as someone who can see the big picture, work collaboratively, and shape global business.

My tips are in blue below. 

Three short answer questions and 2 essays are required from all applicants.

• Responses should use 1.5 line spacing and a font size no smaller than 10-point.
• Respond fully and concisely.
• Responses must be completed before submitting your application.
• Prepare your responses carefully. The Admissions Committee considers your answers important in the selection process.
• All essays are scanned using plagiarism detection software. Plagiarism is considered a cheating violation within the Honor Code and will not be tolerated in the admissions process.

Application Tip: Check out Fuqua’s section criteria.

Short Answers

Answer all 3 of the following questions. For each short answer question, respond in 250 characters only (the equivalent of about 50 words).

1. What are your short term goals, post-MBA?

State what you see yourself doing in terms of function and industry. If location or geography are important to your goal, include them.  If you know the type of companies you would like to work for, you can include that information too, but don’t say you want to work for Company X, unless Company X is sponsoring you. That’s probably too narrow.

2. What are your long term goals?

Your long term goals should flow logically from your short-term goals. They can be fuzzier and both in terms of direction and timing. But you should have them. They can, but don’t have to, include larger aspirations and present a broader perspective on where you are headed. But please don’t go so general and say something like “I aspire to be a good person” or “I strive to leave a lasting impact on my community.” Nice sentiments, but way too general.

3. Life is full of uncertainties, and plans and circumstances can change. As a result, navigating a career requires you to be adaptable. Should the short term goals that you provided above not materialize, what alternative directions have you considered?

What’s your Plan B? If you can’t get a job at a leading strategy consulting firm, what do you want to do? If Plan A is investment banking, what’s Plan B?


1. Answer the following question — present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 25. Some points may be only a few words, while others may be longer. Your complete list should not exceed 2 pages.

The “Team Fuqua” spirit and community is one of the things that sets The Duke MBA experience apart, and it is a concept that extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. When a new person joins the Admissions team, we ask that person to share with everyone in the office a list of “25 Random Things About Yourself.” As an Admissions team, we already know the new hire’s professional and academic background, so learning these “25 Random Things” helps us get to know someone’s personality, background, special talents, and more.

In this spirit, the Admissions Committee also wants to get to know you–beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. You can share with us important life experiences, your likes/dislikes, hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are. Share with us your list of “25 Random Things” about YOU. 

Have some fun with this list. It certainly allows a more creative approach than permitted by most essay prompts. Note that the questions asks you to go “beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript.”  So you can list your Pez collection or perhaps your brief membership in a rock band or the fact that you took violin from age 6-18 or your membership in a gospel choir or your volunteer work in a hospital, your needlepoint, your favorite recipe or photo. Gosh the list is endless. Just let it reflect you. Think of this list as an introduction to potential friends.   For more insight into this question and the  motivation behind, please read Megan Overbay’s, the former Director of Admissions’, advice. I believe you will find it helpful. And very friendly.

2. Choose only 1 of the following 2 essay questions to answer. Your response should be no more than 2 pages in length.

Choose to the prompt that will let you reveal something important to you and impressive about you. Write the essay that you will be able to draft most enthusiastically and easily.

1. When asked by your family, friends, and colleagues why you want to go to Duke, what do you tell them? Share the reasons that are most meaningful to you

Why Duke? But you’re not talking to the admissions committee, whom you just may be a tad less than candid with. You are talking to your family, friends, and colleagues, people you know and like (at least the friends).  The Fuqua admissions staff really wants to get to know you. Authenticity is the goal. The admissions readers want to be able to imagine you as a part of Team Fuqua — their family — as a friend or colleague. Will you be real stiff and formal? Of course not. You will be friendly in a professional way. Don’t take this as an invitation to be inappropriate, coarse, or rude. Just friendly.

What appeals to you at Duke? What about its program, culture, and professional opportunities propels you to apply and would compel you to accept an offer of admission? Maybe address a letter to a close friend and tell her why you want to go to Duke.  That letter may morph into this essay.

2. The Team Fuqua community is as unique as the individuals who comprise it. Underlying our individuality are a number of shared ideas and principles that we live out in our own ways. Our students have identified and defined 6 “Team Fuqua Principles” that we feel are the guiding philosophies that make our community special. At the end of your 2 years at Fuqua, if you were to receive an award for exemplifying one of the 6 Principles listed below, which one would it be and why? Your response should reflect the research you have done, your knowledge of Fuqua and the Daytime MBA program and experience, and the types of activities and leadership you would engage in as a Fuqua student.

1. Authentic Engagement: We care and we take action. We each make a difference to Team Fuqua by being ourselves and engaging in and supporting activities about which we are passionate.
2. Supportive Ambition: We support each other to achieve great things, because your success is my success. The success of each individual member of Team Fuqua makes the whole of Team Fuqua better.
3. Collective Diversity:  We embrace all of our classmates because our individuality is better and stronger together.
4. Impactful Stewardship: We are leaders who focus on solutions to improve our communities both now and in the future. We aren’t satisfied with just maintaining the status quo.
5. Loyal Community: We are a family who looks out for each other. Team Fuqua supports you when you need it the most.
6. Uncompromising Integrity: We internalize and live the honor code in the classroom and beyond. We conduct ourselves with integrity within Fuqua, within Duke, and within all communities of which we are a part.

Do your homework about Fuqua (and yourself) before responding to this question. What activities and groups appeal to you? How do you see yourself participating? Making a difference? Then look at the list of six principles above. Which do you most identify with? Imagine how you would exemplify that principle in your activities. The story of that role and how would see yourself earning an award is your essay.  While you can reference similar activities in the past, keep the focus of this essay on what you would do at Fuqua and why you would earn recognition for exemplifying one of these six principles.

Optional Essay Question:

If you feel there are extenuating circumstances of which the Admissions Committee should be aware, please explain them in an optional essay (e.g. unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, or any significant weakness in your application).

• Do NOT upload additional essays nor additional recommendations in this area of the application.
• The Optional Essay is intended to provide the Admissions Committee with insight into your extenuating circumstances only.
• Limit your response to two pages.

Why isn’t your current supervisor writing your rec? Why is there a six-month gap on your resume? Why did your grades dip during the first semester of your senior year? What are your responsibilities while working for a family business after having left a prestigious investment bank, and why did you make the change? Answering any of those questions (but not all) could be the topic of your optional essay.

If you would like professional guidance with your Duke Fuqua MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our  MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Duke application. 

Duke Fuqua 2015 MBA Application Deadlines:

Application Deadline Decision Notification
Early Action Sept. 17, 2014 Oct. 29, 2014
Round 1 Oct. 20, 2014 Dec. 19, 2014
Round 2 Jan. 5, 2015 Mar. 13, 2015
Round 3 Mar. 19, 2015 May 6, 2015

MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Great Tips - Download your free copy!


Linda Abraham By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.


Related Resources:

• What I Wish I Knew Before Entering the Duke MBA
• Culture, Location, and Support: A Duke MBA Speaks
• 2015 MBA Application Essay Tips


  • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

    If any readers would like a profile evaluation for Duke Fuqua, please provide the following info:

    1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
    2) Your GMAT or GRE. Percentiles preferred.
    3) College info: The name of the college, your GPA or grade average, your major, year of graduation. For any graduate degrees, please provide the same info. If you grades are low, please indicate if there were extenuating circumstances.
    4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
    5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
    6) Your post-MBA goal.

    Or if you just have a question about MBA admissions, I’ll do my best to answer it.

    • Jason

      Please evaluate my profile for acceptance to Duke’s MBA program. Also, please suggest alternative schools for me to consider
      1. 3 1/2 years as a financial analyst for a Fortune 50 company–two different positions.
      2. GMAT–700, verbal–37 (83rd %); quantitative–48 (74th %)
      3. Brigham Young University. 3.4 BS Economics
      4. Served two year church mission in Europe. Fluent in Spanish and French
      6. long-term goal–international corporate finance

      • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

        I’m expecting to hear that Duke’s average GMAT and GPA went up this year in light of it’s BW rankings win. You may be a tad low, but still in the ball park and your mission work and multi-lingual ability will appeal to Duke. If you can show progression at work, that will help.

        Also consider Yale, London Business School, UCLA, Cornell Johnson, and Georgetown.

        Linda Abraham

  • PS Panwar

    Please evaluate my profile for Duke – MBA please also suggest other University where scope for me.
    1. Three year work experience as Senior / Business Analyst and responsible for data analysis of world’s largest retail chain.
    2. GMAT- 690
    3. B.Tech in computer Science and engineering GPA -3.4
    4. Soccer and Chess player, managed cultural events in School and college, member of an NGO- Youth for Seva.
    5. B. Tech in CSE then one 2 credit online certificate in Managing Big data from MIT (US)
    6. I want to start an Analytic, consultancy company and would like to run an voluntary organisation to work for preserving Tiger in Ranthambhore National Park ( India)

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      Duke is a stretch, but not impossible. (I’m assuming your GMAT is fairly balanced. If it was a lop sided score, for example if your verbal is much lower on a percentile basis than your quant, the verbal could be a red flag and reduce the likelihood of acceptance.)

      Also consider UNC, Vanderbilt, CMU Tepper, and UT Austin.


      • PS Panwar

        Thanks for reply. My V-35 and Q-49

        1. What should I do for my dream NYU-Stern
        2. Where is the better admission possibilty CMU Teeper or UT Austin
        Please reply

        • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

          Your score is pretty balanced, and that’s good.

          Regarding NYU, if it’s your dream school, apply. Give it your best shot, Show what’s exceptional about you and you’re a perfect fit for NYU and vice versa. I’m not optimistic, but it’s certainly worth a try.

          There is not significant difference that I can discern between the competitiveness of CMU and UT. Also realize that they are not sure things. Just programs where you are more competitive than at NYU Stern.



    1) 2.5 years work experience as an Operations analyst at large investment bank (think big name) and 1.5 years work experience in consulting at a big 4 firm (including a promotion to manager in my first year)
    2) 690- (63%Q, 94%V)
    3) Providence College: 3.72 GPA (in honors program and full academic scholarship to attend)
    4) 4 year Division 1, Big East varsity soccer player, currently on the board of start-up non-profit, spent time after college volunteering as a soccer coach
    5) PMP (not really that important
    6) Short term- I plan to utilize my MBA to move into the private
    equity group of a top three management consulting firm, such as Bain & Co and focus on deals in consumer products. I grew up working in my father’s consumer products business and would eventually like to apply my knowledge learned in Operations, technology, and strategy consulting to operate and own a consumer products distribution business.

    Target schools: Duke, Kellogg, Tuck, HBS

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      Your quant score will be a concern at any of these programs. If you have good grades in quant classes and since your work must be quantitative, they may overlook. You have a competitive profile for Duke, but HBS, Kellogg, and Tuck are stretches.

      Look into CMU Tepper, UNC, Vanderbilt, Cornell Johnson, Yale, Darden, and Ross.

      And if you believe you can raise your GMAT quant score, consider a retake.


      • USMNT

        Thanks for the prompt reply Linda- so just to confirm-

        the only real ding on my profile is my GMAT Quant/overall score and that’s what makes the other 3 schools a stretch?

        • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

          That may be a little overstated, but that is the most obvious. Providence College isn’t exactly Ivy League. Your experience on and off the job is good.

          Also realize that many elite strat consulting firms use the GMAT as a screening tool, and they want to see a 7 in first digit of the overall score.

          Can you raise your quant score?


          • USMNT

            Hi Linda-

            I retook the GMAT and scored 710- 92% (Q-48- 74% V-40- 91%)

            Does this raise my chances at my target schools?


          • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


  • cary

    Would love to get your profile evaluation:

    1. Legislative Director for Congressman on Capitol Hill.
    2. 750 (48Q 74%, 44V 98%)
    3. Graduated top tier liberal arts school in 2007 (think Amherst, Williams, Swarthmore). 2.85 GPA, political science. Bad sophmore year due to death in the family. Other than that, probably 3.3 GPA.
    4. Some outdoor leadership experience and political campaign volunteering.
    5.nothing of interest. I do have an EMT however
    6. Looking to leverage my public policy skills to go into consulting in the public sector.

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      That GMAT certainly will help. I don’t have a good sense of whether Duke will bite given the GPA, but I think you have a decent shot at acceptance. Also consider Georgetown and Yale.


  • suj89

    Hello Linda, Please evaluate my profile for Duke MBA

    A Singaporean female
    1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
    4 years of work experience in Singapore as an Automotive Software Engineer. for car manufacturers. Worked in Germany for one year on a delegation. Trained over 50 employees all over Europe and APAC. Ramped up a team for our China office.
    2) Your GMAT or GRE. Percentiles preferred.
    700 (89%) Q48 V37
    3) College info: The name of the college, your GPA or grade average, your major, year of graduation. For any graduate degrees, please provide the same info. If you grades are low, please indicate if there were extenuating circumstances.
    National University of Singapore, Computer Engineering, graduated in 2010 GPA of 3.3/5.
    4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
    A dancer – lead performer & Marketing Manager of the dance group in the university.

    In Singapore
    Marketing/Logistics Manager in family welfare community projects catering to crowds of 1000 to 8000 people.
    Lead the publicity team of a football tournament organized by the People’s Association.

    In India
    Developed an organic fruit farm.

    5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
    6) Your post-MBA goal.

    Start up in learning/ agriculture technology + open a dance studio.

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      I am not familiar with the Singaporean grading scale. If your grades were good , then you have a competitive profile for Duke. Also consider Haas, USC, and UCLA.

      • suj89

        Thank you Linda. The grades translate to about 2.7 on 4 point scale. So, I wouldn’t call them good. I had to work during college to support myself financially.

        • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


          hmm. I would say you still have a chance. Your work experience is distinctive and frankly they want to increase the percentage of women in the class. Your GMAT is competitive. They will look the international aspects of your experience. Also consider USC Marshall, UT, and Kelley.

          Please see 3 Steps for Handling a Low Undergraduate GPA.


          • suj89

            Thank you Linda.

  • Rajan Seth

    Hi Linda,
    My profile as below
    1) 4.5 year of business Analyst experience into IT and Change Management in top 3 banks across India and Singapore. Domain: Portfolio managment, Finance and Reference data
    2) GMAT: 770 (VA: 44, QA: 51)
    3) IIT Bombay, CGPA: 7.41/10 (top 25% of my class)
    4) General Secretary of my department, Volunteering in a Teach for India for 6 months
    5) CFA Level 3 cleared. Certified FRM
    6) Asset management roles

    I want to evaluate my chances in Duke, Darden, Sloan. Please suggest what else can be achievable targets.
    Rajan Seth

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


      You have a competitive profile for all three schools. You may also want to consider Wharton, Columbia, and NYU Stern.


      • Rajan Seth

        Hi Linda,

        Thanks for the reply.

  • Manan1988

    Hi Linda, Please let me know your assessment of my profile:
    1) 5.5 years of work experience, currently working in insurance industry. Earlier experience in M&A due diligence with Big4.
    2) GMAT score is 720, V-41 (93%) and Q-48 (76%).
    3) Undergrads in Commerce from University of Mumbai, passed 1st class (top 25%). Converted GPA is 3.5
    4) Member of Soka Gakkai International, provide counselling and tutoring for young students, especially CA students
    5) Professional Qualifications – CA and CFA (US)
    6) Post MBA looking to get into management consultancy, focus on McKinsey, Bain, BCG.
    I am looking at Tuck, Duke, Darden and Yale as possible options. Any other suggestions from you would be helpful.

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


      You have chosen your schools well given your goals and qualifications. Good work! You may also want to consider Cornell Johnson and Ross.


      • Manan1988

        Thanks Linda, I was also thinking about NYU Stern as an option. Do you think it’s good for consulting and whether I have a competitive profile for it?

        • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

          You certainly have a chance at it, but I would say that it is more of a stretch than the other schools you listed or than those I suggested.


  • SecondMBA_aspirant

    Dear Linda,

    Please evaluate my profile for Duke – MBA please also suggest other University where scope for me.

    Indian – Male

    1) 5 years of work experience as a Credit Rating analyst and Team Leader with Moodys Investors Service in India. 1.5 years of work ex prior to that as Manager – Business development (corporate) at the largest private sector group in India.
    2) GMAT – 700 (Q47 70%, V39 88%)
    a. B.Tech (Electronics & Communication), GPA 8.3/10 (Top 25 percentile), Graduated in 2006 from NIT, Allahabad
    b. MBA (Finance), GPA 3.33/4 (Top 10 percentile), Graduated in 2008 from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai
    4) Head of Annual Cultural Festival Organizing Committee – involved in getting sponsorships, planning, conceptualising events, etc.
    5) NA
    6) Looking to get into management consultancy, with a leading strategy consulting firm – McKinsey, Bain, BCG.

    Also, could you let me know if going for the second MBA is an issue with some of the schools?

  • Kumar Dipankar

    Dear Linda

    Please evaluate my profile.

    1) 4.5 years as a Merchant Navy Officer in a Japanese Shipping Company. For past 1 year working as Operations Superintendent(Operations Manager) in a Ship Management Company in India.

    2) GMAT: 740 (97%) – Q 50 (88%) V 40 (91%) AWA: 6.0 (92%) IR 8 (92%)

    3) Bachelor of Science in Nautical Science from Mumbai University. The college is the most reputed in merchant navy training – but people from conventional industries may not be aware of the name.
    Grades: 70% First Class,
    4) Leadership Experience: Led small teams regularly at sea in difficult circumstances. In my current job have led teams in Malaysia and Singapore where I have led projects.
    5) No CFA etc
    6) Want to pursue a career in Operations and Supply Chain Management.

    Schools looking at: Duke, Ross, Kenan Flagler, Olin and WP Carey

    Anticipatory Thanks


    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      You have a competitive profile for the schools on your list. Also consider CMU Tepper and if you want to add a stretch program, consider Wharton, Kellogg, or MIT Sloan. You may want to consider substituting Kelley for Olin or WP Carey.


  • Hal Baseman

    Hi Linda. Please evaluate my profile for Fuqua as well as other schools

    1) 3 years of economic and policy research with the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, 3 years of economic litigation consulting.
    2) 750 (47Q (70%), 47 V (99%))
    3) Magna Cum Laude, Carleton College (Economics), 2009. Extensive mathematics coursework (linear algebra, econometrics, probability, time series analysis)
    4) 4 year varsity starter men’s golf (senior captain), elementary school reading tutor with Reading Partners, career mentor to low-income adults with StreetWise Partners
    5) N/A
    6) In the short-run, I want to transition into management consulting. In the long-run, I want to move into a strategy role with a major corporation

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      You have a competitive profile for Duke and other top MBA programs. Given your goals, I suggest you consider HBS, Wharton, Tuck, Kellogg, and Columbia.


  • TRP

    Hello Linda, could you please evaluate my profile.

    Worked for 2 years as a political consultant in a leading political consulting firm in India. Worked with leading national party and former Prime Minister of India among many clients. Will complete 3 years just before matriculation.

    GMAT – 730

    IIT Roorkee. Integrated M Tech in Geological Technology. CGPA – 7.4

    – Recipient of MHRD scholarship in final year.
    – Had an Apparels startup in college.
    – Won Bronze Medal for Squash at Inter IIT sports level.
    – Was Finance coordinator for my college literary magazine
    – Set up a grievance redress system for an MLA (public representative) in – Bangalore, potentially impacting 200,000 people.

    Post MBA short term – Found my own political consulting firm in India
    Post MBA long term – Scale it up to become top consultant in next 15 years.

    Planning to apply to Kellog, Yale, Duke, Tuck, Darden, McCombs UT, Emory.

  • keshav

    Please evaluate my profile for Duke MBA, also suggest other universities where I should apply

    1. Three year work experience as Associate Consultant/Associate in a global marketing and sales consulting firm
    2. GMAT- 720 (V-36, QA- 51, IR – 8, AW – 6)
    3. IIT Roorkee (India) – B.Tech in Mechanical engineering GPA -3.2
    4. Led an Initiative for Solar Energy on Campus, Won several national level awards in B-Plan & Paper Presentations
    5. Short term goal is to grow further in the field of consulting – based on data analytics, long term goal is to lead a business analytics firm to help companies make business decisions based on discernible data insights

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      You have a competitive profile for Duke. You may also want to consider Kellogg (stretch), NYU Stern (stretch), CMU Tepper, Darden, Ross and Cornell Johnson.

  • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

    You have a competitive profile for Duke. Also consider Haas, UCLA, MIT Sloan, Booth, and Stanford, admittedly a stretch, but it’s right up your alley.


  • FutureCEO

    Hi Linda

    I would appreciate your help on the following:

    1)Since graduating college, I have worked in the research department of the largest hedge fund in the world as a data analyst(3.5 years)
    2) 690 GMAT(Q48/V36/IR8) – 87%/74/81/92. I will be retaking in a couple weeks, as I am sure my true score is roughly 730(very bad test day)
    3) Got both my undergrad and master’s in econ from Clemson university. 3.52 undergrad GPA(2009), 4.0 masters(2010)
    4) Started a poker ring at Clemson where I tutored/mentored others. Coach/team leader on various sports teams. Volunteer helping teach/babysit kids at a local church(relatively minimal)
    5) none
    6) short term goal is to break into venture capital world, but consulting would also be acceptable. Really just trying to get a bunch of hands on experience WRT how businesses operate, so that I can achieve my long term goal which is to become a CEO of a Fortune 500 company


    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      Future CEO,

      Let’s assume you get that 730.

      HBS and Stanford are stretch programs, mostly because they are Harvard and Stanford and Clemson isn’t one of the schools they accept a lot of applicants from. But you certainly have a shot at both. You are competitive Duke, UVA, and Chicago.


  • Jay

    Hi Linda, would you please evaluate my profile for Duke.
    Chinese, male
    1) 4 years in US Fortune 500 Company as a research scientist and project manager; Hold a Phd in technology and have been in telecom industry for about 10 years.
    2) GMAT 730 – balanced score.
    3) Undergraduate at China (2004, EE) with converted GPA ~3.3. Master (2007, telecom) and PhD (2011 telecom) at leading European institutes (GPA ~3.5).
    4) Toastmasters, Chinese community involvement at work.
    5) None
    6) Post-MBA goal: strategy, product mangement in technology corporate.
    Thank you Linda!

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


      You have a competitive profile for Duke and are applying appropriately. You may also want to consider MIT Sloan, Stanford, Haas, and Kellogg.


  • Jin M

    Hi, Linda.
    Please evaluate my profile for Duke Daytime MBA, and also suggest other schools where suggest for me.

    I am 27 years old, Korean woman

    1) 2.5 years of work experience as an Assistant Brand Manager(Marketing role) at the biggest consumer goods company in Korea

    2) 710(Total 92%) (88%Q, 76%V)

    3) College info: The best university in South Korea (Rank #1), GPA is 3.6/4.0 (On a dean’s honors list twice, academic scholarship for 3 terms), major is Business Administration & English, year of graduation is 2012

    4) Volunteered more than 1000 hours since college to help underprivileged students, Amateur bowling player

    5) No

    6) Short term- I plan to be a global strategist in a Korean consumer goods company. (I am not sponsored.) I want to help Korean companies expand their markets globally and strategically.

    Long term – I plan to work at a consumer goods company in the States or South America as a CSO (Chief Strategy Officer.) With the experience and expertise that I will gain from Asian consumer market, I hope to lead global consumer goods company in a executive level.

    Target schools: Duke, Tuck, Michigan, Darden, HBS

    (I already applied for Columbia Early but didn’t get in.)

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      Jin M,

      Your work experience is a little on the low side for all your target programs, but it is good experience. Your GMAT and GPA are competitive at your target program with the possible exception of HBS; your GMAT is a bit below average. HBS is a stretch. You have a competitive profile for you the other target programs on your list.

      You may also want to consider HEC Paris.


  • Rk

    Hi Linda,

    Could you please evaluate my profile for Booth,Kellogg MMM,MIT LGO,YALE and Duke

    1.) 3.5 years experience in Continuous Improvement and Industrial Engineering roles ( Lead a variety of projects at both) in VA , 1.5 year experience as an Business Development Manager in an entrepreneurial setting in India
    2.)740,97% (92%,89%V)
    3.) 3.3 ( 3.0 for last 60 credits) ,Purdue University,Industrial Engineering-While working 12+ a week every semester
    4.) Board member for 2 Student Organizations including IE honors society and actively involved in 3 other student organizations at Purdue
    5.) Certified Supply Chain Professional (APICS)
    Certified Six Sigma Green Belt
    6.) Post-MBA Goal, Work as a Strategy Consultant focussing on ops and sustainability. Long term – Same as Post MBA but as an entrepreneur in India.
    Lead Sustainability projects at Job 1 with very positive results and my interest in the topic ever since.
    7) Extensive International experience having lived in India for 18 years , US for about 8 and traveled to over 20 countries around the world . Basic Mandarin language skills -Spent a month in Beijing learning the language as well, currently taking my intermediate level course


    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      Your GPA is a little low for these programs, especially MIT, but it’s still in range. Your GMAT is strong. Your experience seems competitive. You’ve chosen appropriate schools given your goals and qualifications. You may also want to consider Haas or Ross, especially the Erb Institute


      • Shruti

        Hi Linda,
        I am an Indian female doctor,
        1.Total 4 years of experience- 3 years of experience-rural hospitals in India. 1 year doing research work and providing consultations for setting up hospitals.
        2. GMAT- 640
        3. My GPA is too good as per Indian standards. In top 20% of my university. Was a Scholar. MBBS- Dr S.N. Medical College Jodhpur, India.
        4. Was part of college committee. I am the founding member of a non profit organisation in rural India which is working in 67 villages and arranging 8-9 health camps every year from last 8 years. Worked with several other NGO. Basketball player and also Won several academic awards.
        5. none
        6. Entrepreneur- setting up chain of advanced rural healthcare centers with urban regional centers in India. Then replicating the model in various developing nations.
        Which schools should I focus on?
        What are my chances for duke?

        • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


          Duke is a stretch. Your GMAT is quite low for Duke. Consider Johns Hopkins (Carey) and Rutgers.


          • Shruti

            Oh, I thought I had a chance. Last year, the doctors entering the top schools had a gmat score of 600-640. One African doctor got admitted to duke with 640. Healthcare is growing business with a few healthcare specialists in field.

          • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


            I would be delighted if you apply and write me in a few months that you got in and that the stretch paid off. But my experience is that a 640 would be very low for an Indian doctor. Africans are under-represented in the applicant pool. Indians are not.


        • Tushar Jain

          Hi Shruti . Can we connect? similar profile :)

  • Akshat Jain

    Hi Linda,

    Please evaluate my profile for full time MBA @ Tepper, Ross and Duke. Also suggest other universities based on my profile –
    1. Total 6.5 years of experience; 2.5 years of experience as Business Analyst @ Deloitte Consulting and 4 years as Strategy formulation, Business planning and Business Developer for a new manufacturing venture.
    2. GMAT – 640 (Q 49/ V 27)
    3. Graduated in 2008 from IIT Bombay. Major was Mechanical Engineering. GPA – 7.86/10.0.
    4. Organized employee related fun activities after work hours to reduce stress, successful by starting 2 such groups.
    During graduation, held position of responsibility for cultural activities and led hostel to victory in such events.
    5. No certifications
    6. Post-MBA wants to join Management consulting firm.

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


      With your current GMAT, your chances at your target programs are low.

      Can you raise that verbal score? It’s a red flatg. Would you consider a retake?


  • Tushar Jain

    Hi Linda,
    Indian Doctor, MBBS
    4 years of work-ex by Aug 2015
    Have worked in diverse settings – from rural hospitals to corporate hospitals, from primary care to tertiary care.
    GMAT 760 (Q50, V44, IR 7, AWA 5)
    GPA 3.22
    Helped organized events in Rotary Club and in my college
    Leader of Music Club in my college, play guitar, table tennis
    Post-MBA want to go in strategic planning roles in corporate sector in healthcare industry.
    Which schools should I aim for?

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


      Wharton HCM, Haas, Columbia, MIT Sloan, and NYU Stern.


      • Tushar Jain

        Linda, I have financial hardship too. I want to get full scholarship. Considering that on which schools should I focus more or any other school that you would suggest?

        • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

          you could have a chance at a scholarship at these programs, but if you really need the money to attend b-school, then also consider programs like Johns Hopkins (Carey), Rutgers, and Duke. Basically apply to a mix of programs so that you have options. Perhaps apply to the more competitive programs R1 and if you are not offers admission or if you do not receive the scholarships you need, then apply R2 to programs with somewhat less competition.

  • generalist

    Hi Linda,

    Thanks for creating this wonderful forum.

    I’m looking for some advice regarding the business schools I should apply to for pursuing a 2nd MBA (I’ve checked with many schools including Duke Fuqua about my eligibility, so the schools on my list are those willing to accept applications for 2nd MBA).

    As of now, my profile looks like this:

    Age: Currently 27.5, plan is to apply in Round 1 this year. So age at Matriculation expected to be 28.5-29 depending on the school

    Degrees: Engineer from a decent institute of the State University of Delhi, MBA from a Top-5 Business School

    Joint Secretary/Treasurer for Fest & Conventions of both Engineering Institute and Business School
    Coach of a Local Power lifting team (all individuals belonging to underprivileged groups)
    Guest of Honor at State Level Power Lifting Competitions
    Personal Fitness Trainer (Leading Teams in Fitness/Aesthetics Competitions for free)
    Entrepreneurial Experience of running own Gym (unorganized) for 3 years

    GPA: Not Sure as India has a percentage system. If it is of any help, I was among Top 3% of my Engineering batch and Top 15% of my MBA Batch

    Work Experience: 4 years till date – 1Yr IT + 1Yr Business Analyst (Financial Services) + 2 Years Management Consulting (present) in a major Feeder Company that recruits across all top business schools in the US (1 promotion in the current job after 1Yr of Joining); Experience at matriculation: Total 5.5 years, Management Consulting 3.5 Years. A 10 week internship with a boutique investment banking firm.

    Sectors of Work: Public Sector – Airports, Railroads, Mass Transit and Logistics

    Extracurricular: Fitness Modeling; Several awards won in Debating, Stage Plays, Singing, Technical Paper Presentations, Finance Events, Consulting Events, Youth Parliament, etc at local as well as national level

    Community Service: Mostly voluntary, but substantial (>100hr/year) for many years – in Environment and Education. Leadership experience in coaching youngsters from villages for fitness in general (free personal training) and in state level power lifting competitions, free of cost (Repeat, i know; but i’m really proud of it :))

    International Experience: None physically; but substantial experience of working for International Clients and interacting with them regularly for projects as well as business development

    GMAT: Not taken yet (expected 740-760 based on mocks); Let’s say 740 to be safe (Q50-51, V39-41)

    Other: Certifications in Financial Modeling and Valuation (My present work involves a lot of financial modeling), strong quantitative and analytic ability substantiated through high marks in concerned subjects during Engineering and MBA.

    Post MBA Concentration: Management Consulting

    Request: For now, i’m looking for some advice on the choice of schools – Which schools am I competitive for? Which are stretches? And any kind suggestions for improving my profile.


    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      Here are my assumptions:
      1. The GMAT comes out as you anticipate.
      2. Your work history reflects growing responsibility and some leadership.
      3. You’ve confirmed that the schools will consider someone with an MBA.
      4. You have a very good reason why you need a 2nd MBA even though you haven’t articulated it here.

      I suggest you consider MIT Sloan, HBS, Kellogg, Wharton, Darden, Ross, and Duke.


      • generalist

        Thanks for your response Linda, really appreciate it.

        I have some good leadership experience of managing on-site consulting projects involving primary interaction with a wide range of stakeholders including those in the government.

        Besides, my reasons for pursuing a second MBA are primarily related to coursework, learning, and the whole MBA experience. There is a huge gap (w.r.t. these reasons) between an Indian MBA and a US MBA.

        I have checked with Duke, Tuck, Stanford, and Kellogg regarding the 2nd MBA. I know of some cases who have pursued second MBA from MIT Sloan, Ross and Darden. Do you suggest I check with HBS too? I was hesitant contacting HBS without finding out about some cases myself. Do you know of any cases who have pursued a 2nd MBA from HBS?

        Again, i really appreciate the time taken by you to answer questions here on this forum. It’s a great forum.

        • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


          Thanks for the feedback. I’m glad you find it useful.

          Regarding the 2nd MBA, the reasons you mention are somewhat general. And almost lead me to question why you got the first one. I think you need to focus on what you want to do post-MBA that you can’t do now and believe you will be able to do with the 2nd MBA.

          Definitely check with HBS if they will consider an application from someone who already has an MBA. Frankly, if they haven’t previously, they may be willing to now. And if they did so previously, they could change their mind now. Talk to the HBS admissions staff to find out what the policy is today.


  • SEFocus

    Hi Linda,

    I’m considering applying EA to Fuqua this coming fall:

    1) -1 year in a rotational mgmt. development program at publicly traded company;
    -2 years middle market investment banking analyst;
    -2 years (at matriculation) associate at middle market venture capital firm in FL

    2) 700 GMAT: 45V (99%); 42Q (60%); 6.0 AWA (2nd attempt)

    3) University of Florida: BS in Business Administration – Marketing: 3.5 GPA; 3.7 Major GPA

    4) -President of 100 man social fraternity in undergrad;
    -Founded philanthropy on-campus benefiting MDA;
    -Post-grad: volunteered in at-risk elementary and middle schools tutoring on basic financial literacy topics (4 years);
    -Worked w/ Metropolitan Ministries – shelter & support center for homeless families (2 years);
    -Guest lecturer at University of South Florida and University of Tampa on VC/PE industry to undergrad and graduate classes (2 years)

    5) None

    6) Remain in the Southeast and invest in regional businesses at a Venture Capital or Private Equity fund; long-term I’d like to run a fund that has a Southeast or Florida investment focus

    Thanks for your help!

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      I concerned about that quant score, but you have lots of other evidence that you can do the math. Duke may be a stretch, but also consider UNC and Emory. And do apply to Duke because you have a lot of strong points too.


  • Pedro Gatvelz

    Please evaluate my profile:

    1) 2 years working as operations manager at a sustainable energy services company.
    2) GMAT 640
    3) The University of Sydney, GPA 3.3, B.Eng in Aeronautics, graduates in 2012
    4) Worked for a year with Rotary International building toilets and other amenities in rural India.
    5) None
    6) Post MBA: Short term: Consulting for sustainable energy solutions at a major consultancy.

    • Pedro Gatvelz

      Target Schools: Duke, Haas, UCLA

      • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

        You’re on the tough side to assess, but I think you’re stretching a little too much with these schools. Consider programs like UT Dallas, Mays, and maybe UNC.

        Or raise your GMAT.