CMU Tepper 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

 Check out the rest of our school-specific application essay tips!

CMU Tepper

The key to admissions success here is to exhibit your keen analytical capabilities through your essays—that and your strong passion for learning and your desire to expand your role as an innovative leader. Get those points across to the adcom members and you could be well on your way to the tech-savvy business education that only Tepper can provide. 

Tepper has tweaked its application this year, changing slightly question #1 under the Post-MBA Goals, replacing the #2.  and dropping one of the other essay questions. 

Post-MBA Goals:

1.  What is your professional goal immediately following graduation from Tepper? (Maximum 1500 characters)

What do you want to do immediately after you get your MBA and in which industry do you want to do it? If geography is important to you, then include that information too. 

Since Tepper is giving you more room than is necessary to simply state what you want to do and where you want to do it, you can give Tepper background on the development of your goal. What experience convinced you this career path was right for you?  When did you demonstrate the skills or qualities this role requires?

2. If you are not successful in your first choice of role after graduation, what other role would you consider? In other words, what is your Plan B? (Maximum 1500 characters)

This is a easy question to answer — if you have a Plan B. If you don’t have one, thoughtfully create one.

If you don’t get the job you describe in #1, how would you take advantage of your past experience and your new Tepper MBA? Would you slightly change long-term goals and go down a different path? Or would you stick with the long-term goals and attempt to achieve them in a different way?  Either option is possible. Choose the one that best reflects you. 

Essays:

1. Describe a defining moment in your life, and explain how it shaped you as a person. (Maximum 300 words)

This question is an attempt to get to know you, the person. The previous questions are professionally focused. Use this essay to present a different side of you. Don’t write about work and your professional goals here.

In any case, tell a succinct story of that defining moment.  What happened and what was the impact on you? How has that event influenced you going forward? How is your behavior, your life different because of that moment?

2. Based on your research and interactions with the Tepper community, share why you are a good fit with the Tepper MBA program. (Maximum 300 words)

Again do your homework before you respond to this question. If you can, talk to current students or recent alumni from Tepper to get a feel for the culture. If you can visit, even better. Review the information on the Tepper web site to get a picture of student and alumni life and research those activities you would like to participate in, initiate, or lead. Then write about one or two clubs or events that you would love  to throw yourself into.

Optional Essay. Is there anything else that you would like to share with the Admissions Committee as we evaluate your application? If you believe your credentials and essays represent you fairly, you should not feel obligated to answer this question. This essay is intended to provide a place for you to add information that you think is important but is not covered elsewhere in the application. This could include clarification of your employment or academic record, choice of recommenders or helpful context for the admissions committee in reviewing your application. (Maximum 500 words)

Use this optional essay, or lose an opportunity to provide even more reasons for Tepper to admit you. Just don’t rehash information found elsewhere. That’s a waste of time — yours and your reader’s.

If you would like professional guidance with your CMU Tepper 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 CMU Tepper application. 

CMU Tepper MBA 2015 Application Deadlines:

Application Deadline  Decision Notification 
 Round 1  October 5, 2014  December 15, 2014
 Round 2  January 4, 2015  March 25, 2015
 Round 3  March 15, 2015  May 15, 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:

Best MBA Programs, A Guide to Selecting the Right One
2015 MBA Application Essay Tips
• Top 10 B-Schools with the Most Satisfied Graduates

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

    If any readers would like a profile evaluation for CMU Tepper, 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.

  • SP

    Hi Linda,

    I would like to apply for MBA programs with concentrations in business analytics or big data. CMU has one of those options
    1. I have 3+ years of experience in consulting, software application development and data analysis in large companies as well as tech start-ups.
    2. 710 (V38) (Q49)
    3. MS in software engineering : 3.4 CGPA in 2011, Bachelors in CS
    4. I have some experience in volunteering experience for events during my school and college days.
    6. My post MBA goal is to work in finance or marketing (digital marketing etc) .

    What other programs could be interesting for my profile

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

      I’m assuming your undergrad grades are competitive.

      You have a competitive profile for CMU Tepper. I believe NYU Stern also has a program in this area.

      Best,
      Linda

  • AP

    Hey Linda!
    1. I have 3 years work experience in My family business of Import and export of bearings and industrial products. i am primarily concerned with the overall strategy of the organisation with respect to increasing profitability,new product range, and overall productivity.
    Completed a 6 month internship with JM FINANCIAL ARC
    Was one of the 10 kids to get campus placement at JP Morgan.
    2. have given the GMAT multiple times with the highest score of 660(Q45 V36)
    3.Completed my Masters in Commerce with a specialisation in accountancy with an aggregate of 63.5%. Scored 70.5% in the second year and was fourth in college for the same(first year grades were low as i had fractured my hand). Graduated in Bachelors of Management studies from University of Mumbai.
    4. Volunteered in The finance dept of the college fest and managed to raise 150$ for the same.
    Won the second prize for a case study competition in National Seminar held on CSR.
    Run a private NGO with my family members,in which we help terminally ill individuals with medicines and necessities, we help under privileged kids with supplies for school and their education.
    Volunteering with Make A Difference, where in we teach Kids spoken English and Maths.
    Volunteering with Make a Difference in the Finance Dept. Primary responsibilities include Reconciliation/Budgeting etc.
    6. My post MBA goal is to change my current field and get into consulting,primarily with SME’s.

    Which other programs should I target?

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

      CMU Tepper is a stretch. Also consider Babson, Kelley, Purdue.

      Best,
      Linda

  • KMalik

    Hi Linda,

    1. I have 3+ years work experience. A year and a half as an Account Executive at and advertising agency and the rest as a product and content manager with the website of a media company. I’m now focused on search engine optimisation, data analytics and product design.

    2. I gave the GMAT once and got a 650.
    3.I completed my graduation in Journalism and Communication with a GPA of 3.2 and then an Msc in Media Management from the University of Glasgow.
    4. I’ve worked with television, print and now digital media. I’ve worked only with media companies so I’m completely new to the world of business. I want to combine my strength of working with brands (CG, durable goods, health care) and digital media with an MBA to and be able to work as a business manager in any internet media company of my choice.

    Target schools – Kelley, Tepper, UCLA, Emory

    What do you think are my chances at these schools? Any other schools I should consider.

    Many thanks in advance.

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

      KMalik,

      Tepper, UCLA and Emory are stretch programs for you. Your GPA is average for your target programs (except Kelley) and your GMAT is quite low for these 3 programs too. It’s only a little below average for Kelley.

      Your work experience appears competitive, but I think you need to improve your GMAT score and perhaps supplement with a few recent A’s in business -related classes to improve your academic profile. (I am assuming that your graduate grades are similar to your undergrad grades.)

      Best,
      Linda

      • Kriti Malik

        Thank you so much for the reply Linda.
        Can you suggest some other colleges I should consider?

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

          Kriti,

          Consider Pepperdine and USC Marshall, the latter is a stretch). I’m not sure of the other programs that have good ties to media and that you would be competitive with.

          Best,
          Linda

  • sumant

    Hey Linda,

    First of all , thanks for the opportunity.
    Few details about me:

    1) 3.6 years of experience in IBM, continuous career progression from associate system engineer to system engineer next to system administrator and currently acting as Change Manager.
    Awards and accolades throughout the tenure for excellent work
    2) 3.8 GPA in BTECH, Amrita University – my university already has international collaboration with carnegie mellon university , graduated in 2011
    3) GMAT 660
    4) Event Manger and event coordinator for events in college techfest
    Volunteer at CRY along with work, active part of Rajabazar Action Group
    Swimming champion in school and also a pivotal member of university team
    House Captain in School
    Dance in various events – at IBM cultural events, performed and organized events at external auditoriums as a band,
    5)Post MBA goal is to be a Business Analyst for high growth e-commerce business area for technical industries with skills from Supply chain management and Operations management. Long term goal is to setup my own business setup and help developing countries to encourage entrepreneurs and spread their business.

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

      Sumant,

      Your GMAT is low for Tepper and I am not optimistic about the likelihood of your acceptance there. Given your goals, consider Kelley, Penn State, Broad, and Purdue. You have a competitive profile for these programs.

      Best,
      Linda

  • anand9889

    Hi Linda,

    1) I have 3+ years of working as a Business Analyst in a Top Indian IT company.
    Domains: Treasury, Regulatory Banking and Capital Markets
    Have Lead a team of 7 for over a year and half, received Best team
    awards,etc.
    Interaction with individuals/Clients from South East Asia,England,Middle
    East.
    2) GMAT attempt one=>660 (Q51;V28;AWA=5;IR=5)
    GMAT attempt two=>670 (Q44;V38;AWA=5;IR=6) (Have no idea how I got
    that low Quant score) L
    GMAT attempt three =>670 (Q49;V33;AWA=don’t know yet;IR=6)
    3) GPA = 3.5 , Mumbai University, one of the Top Colleges in Mumbai.
    Bachelor in Engineering, Electronics and Telecommunication, Year of
    passing=2011
    4) Posts held in colleges:
    Organized over 200 events in 4 years of college
    Held posts on treasurer and Executive Manager in student bodies
    Team Mentor:Imagine Cup india Finals,2010
    Won Cricket competitions
    Volunteering for NGOs since 2010.
    Post college:
    Pro Bono consultant in a medical venture ( wasn’t successful)
    Co founder of a social venture for NGOs since June,2013 planning to
    launch website in January,2015
    5)
    6) Post MBA goal is to work as a Sr.Business Analyst or In the Risk Management Team of leading Financial Institutions.

    Queries:
    GMAT score!! Will I even be considered in any of the Top schools?
    Which Schools you think I have a shot at?
    If you observe my highest in both the sections are pretty decent, does any school consider sectional scores?

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

      Anand,

      They all see everything so it’s possible that some individual readers will consider the top scores in each section. However, Tuck and INSEAD (I believe — not positive) do take the highest scores in each section.

      Give the 3 tests, I think you are aiming high if you aim for schools like CMU Tepper. It is a stretch school for you. Consider programs like Rochester Simon and Georgetown.

      Best,
      Linda Abraham

      • anand9889

        Hi Linda,
        Firstly, thank you for your reply.
        Again few queries :)
        What would you suggest, should I give gmat again and apply in round 3?
        One more thing baring the gmat score how would you rate my profile? Any weakness? Any thing I can highlight more?

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

          The rest of your profile is competitive for Tepper and other higher ranked programs, but that GMAT is a killer.

          I don’t recommend a round 3 application for you. Consider taking the GRE if you think you can get a high score on both sections of the GMAT in one sitting, take it again. In either case, reapply R1 of next year.

          highlight your international exposure.

          Best,
          Linda

          • anand9889

            Hi Linda,
            Few things I missed out the last time :D
            1)Have Lead team of 7-9 for almost 1.5 years and have spent 2+ years working at client site (Huge Indian Client)
            2)Would getting a recommendation from a client I have worked closely with help?
            Thanks :)

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

            1) That’s good, but does’t really change my recommendation.
            2) Depends what the clients says. :-) In general if the client will provide a different perspective from your current supervisor and you’ve had a lot of interaction with the client, it sounds like a good idea. It still doesn’t change my overall recommendation.

            Linda

  • Guest

    Hi Linda,

    I had a question – with a GMAT score of 620 and work-ex for roughly 3.5 years (with two really big Indian Multinationals) do you think I can apply for any of the top 30 schools? Are there any decent schools that will actually overlook the low GMAT?
    I am an engineer and i have many extra-curriculars to my credit.
    It is the GMAT score that is putting everything into question for me. Are there any schools that would be a possibility according to you?

    Thanks a lot.

    • Guest

      Just another point – I am looking at Rice, McCombs, Duke and Haas(although I know that is an impoosible stretch) simply because these universities do offer specialized attention to the energy sector. I have work-ex in the same.

      • Guest

        ·
        Hi Linda,

        I would like to apply for MBA programs in Finance or consulting. CMU is one of
        my dream colleges:

        1. I have 4+ years of experience as Applications engineer which involves
        customer interaction, building reference circuits for customers and silicon
        validation.

        2. GRE 324(Quant 167/Verbal 157)

        3. BTech in Electronics and Communications Engineering- 86% and third topper in
        college.

        4. I was head boy in school, organised and participated in various events
        and activities.

        ·
        5. I am active member of
        company’s cultural committee and participated in events like blood donation,
        marathon charity events, dance competitions.

        6. My post MBA goal is to work in finance or consulting.

        What other programs can I aim at with my profile?

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

          CMU Tepper is a stretch. Consider Rochester Simon, UNC, and Tulane.

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

        Guest,

        I can’t really reply because all you’ve given me is that you are an Indian engineer with a 620, many extra-curriculars to your credit and a desire to work in energy. You didn’t provide a grade percentage at all. You don’t say what difference you’ve made or where you’ve had an unusual impact.

        But let me ask you, why should the schools you are aiming for admit you before an Indian engineer with similar goals and lots of extra curriculars and a GMAT that’S 50+ points higher?

        Linda

  • Vinod R Bableshwar

    ·
    Hi Linda,

    I would like to apply for MBA programs in Finance or consulting. CMU is one of
    my dream colleges:

    1. I have 4+ years of experience as Applications engineer which involves
    customer interaction, building reference circuits for customers and silicon
    validation.

    2. GRE 324(Quant 167/Verbal 157)

    3. BTech in Electronics and Communications Engineering- 86% and third topper in
    college.

    4. I was head boy in school, organised and participated in various events
    and activities.

    ·
    5. I am an active member of
    company’s cultural committee and participated in events like blood donation,
    marathon charity events, dance competitions.

    6. My post MBA goal is to work in finance or consulting.

    What other programs can I aim at with my profile?

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

      CMU Tepper is a stretch. Consider Rochester Simon, UNC, UT Austin, and Tulane.

      Best,
      Linda

      • Vinod R Bableshwar

        Hi Linda,

        Many thanks for the reply. Is my profile good enough for Chicago Booth, Kellogg, Columbia, Penn State, Michigan(Ross)?? Also, how is university of maryland for finance/consulting??

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

          You have a competitive profile for Penn State. I do not believe you have a competitive profile for the other programs you just listed.

  • Rsheth

    Hi Linda, for the first question for CMU, (defining moment) is it preferable to talk of a work experience or a personal experience if both experiences have equally shaped my personality?

    Please evaluate my profile:
    1. I have worked for one year in capital markets and 1.5 at Ernst and Young in advisory for Bank Treasuries.
    2. GMAT score – 700 (89%) V 40 (91%) Q 45 (63%) AWA 6 (92%) and IR 5 (52%)
    3. Foundation for liberal and management education – BBA with a major in Entrepreneurship. GPA 9.0/10
    4. Community Service – teaching children of construction workers spoken english on college campus. Post college founded an NGO for women empowerment.
    5 –
    6. Post MBA goal – grow my family business – a stock broking firm – to new markets and new demographic groups by providing investment advisory services.

    I wish to pursue a major in Analytics at CMU.

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

      Rsheth,

      All other things being equal and assuming that your other answers focus on professional, I recommend non-professional.

      Best,
      Linda

      • Rsheth

        Thanks Linda, please could you evaluate my profile?

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

          Rsheth,

          Oops sorry.

          you have a competitive profile for CMU Tepper and it would be an excellent program considering your interests.

          Best,
          Linda

  • Krish

    Hi Linda,
    1) I work as a Senior Business Analyst in one of the data analytics companies in India. I have a 2.5 yrs work experience during which I have worked on projects over various domains with multiple clients. I have won two awards for my performance. I currently lead a team of 6 members working on the research of a data analytics tool that my company is planning to launch.

    2) GMAT score 720 (Q 50, V 38)
    3) SASTRA University, India. Btech: Computer Science Engineering. GPA 9.0/10 Year of grad : 2012

    4) Was the media coordinator for a national level tech fest organized by my college.
    Won 2nd prize in a national level tech fest in college for a marketing event

    Won 3rd prize at a company event for presenting a valuable business idea and business model to implement the idea
    Won 1st prize in group singing competition in Horlicks Fest, 2007

    5) Did not do any such certifications. Participated in Inplant training in one of the leading IT companies in India

    6) My post-MBA goal is to work as a consultant for a reputed firm. Also explore better opportunities in Big data analytics and consulting firms.

    Current I am targeting Tepper, Kelly and Kenan-Flagler . Please let me know my chances and also suggest me where i can apply with the above mentioned profile.

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

      Krish,

      You have a competitive profile for these 3 programs. If you want to consider a stretch program, consider Cornell Johnson, Ross, Darden, or NYU Stern.

      Best,
      Linda

      • Krish

        Thanks a lot Linda. That was really helpful.

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

          You’re welcome!

  • Grant_0518

    1. 1 year manufacturing operations, 3 years sales operations at mid-sized tech start ups
    2. GMAT: 680 V35 Q48
    3. Utah Valley University 3.87 BS Major: Interdisplinary Studies (Emphasis in Leadership and Economics), 2011
    4. 2 years religious service abroad, developed community recycling programs in several cities with a small recycling promotion company that I started, wrote and was awarded $7500 grant, took 2nd place in Social Venture Competition for a micro-franchise startup in Africa raising and harvesting giant land snails, taught free piano lessons, coached youth soccer, Small claims court and high school student mediation
    5. None
    6. Technology industry, operations/information systems role, mid-large sized company

    I am applying at CMU, BYU, and Duke.

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

      Grant_0518,

      You have a competitive profile for the programs you are applying to and are applying appropriately. You may also want to consider UCLA, Ross, and for a stretch, MIT.

      Best,
      Linda

      • Grant_0518

        Thank you Linda

  • David Starks

    Hi Linda,

    Not sure if you’re still monitoring this post, but I thought I’d see if you would weigh in on my profile:

    1) Process engineer and then product engineer for 3M (manufacturing of consumer cleaning products) for 6 years, then applications engineer for Swagelok (designing fluid systems) for 2 years.
    2) GMAT: IR/AWA 92%, Q 88%, V 89%, Total 96% (730)
    3) Iowa State University, B.S. ME 2.5/4.0, M.S. ME 3.4/4.0. No extenuating circumstances in u-grad, I just wasn’t a very good student, and didn’t get my act together until grad school.
    4) In college I was on the leadership team for the ballroom dancing club and I would provide free after-school dance lessons to the local middle and high school. Post-college, I have done the same at local colleges, but activity has tapered off lately.
    5) No business related certifications.
    6) Goal is to be marketing or product manager for a consumer or industrial products company.

    My school of choice is CMU for their hybrid MBA program. I briefly covered topic 3 in one of the required essays. Do you think I should submit the optional essay to expand on topic 3, or write on topic 4 and/or about growth lessons post-graduation? Thanks for taking the time.

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

      David,

      CMU Tepper is a stretch because of the undergrad GPA. On the other hand your work experience, grad GPA, and GMAT are competitive so definitely do apply. You have a chance.

      Regarding the essays, I really can’t comment without seeing what you wrote about the low GPA in the required essay and frankly without knowing more about you.

      Best,
      Linda

      • David Starks

        Linda,

        I appreciate the feedback. I realize the ugrad GPA will probably take some explanation; at least there was some optimism regarding the remainder of my ‘resume’.

        Thanks again.

  • Jbolt2622

    Hi Linda,
    1) Work experience: Professional soccer player (4 years), Director of Business Development/Acquisitions for a private REO firm (4 years), Business Operations Specialist for an industrial supply company (1 year and current role).
    2) GMAT: 710 (V38, Q49)
    3) Williams College: 3.2/4.0
    4) Captain for various soccer clubs. Active participant in my local neighborhood HOA.
    6) I plan to pursue a career in real estate finance with a private equity firm.

    Thanks in advance!

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

      Jbolt2622,

      You have a competitive profile for CMU Tepper.