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. 


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 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

  • 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

    • 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.


  • 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?

    • Linda Abraham

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


  • 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.

    • Linda Abraham


      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.)


  • 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.

    • Linda Abraham


      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.