HKUST 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

HKUST aims to educate global leaders with cultural insight and strong Chinese business understanding. HKUST prides itself on the large percentage of career function and industry changes that its graduates are able to make: 77% of grads switch job functions and 67% change industries from their pre-MBA role after HKUST. Its essay questions aim to understand your goals and what you can contribute to the class. My tips are in blue below:

Essay Questions: 

1. Tell us about your short-term and long-term career goals after the MBA, and why you think HKUST MBA would be a good fit for you. (max 7500 characters, ~500 words)

To answer this question well, you need to know what direction you want to take your career in after the MBA. While a career change is likely, applicants need to convey how their career and experiences until now have prepared them for these ambitions. They must also explain how the HKUST MBA will complement those experiences to enable them to succeed in reaching and performing well in their target roles. To explain why HKUST’s curriculum is a good fit for you will require an understanding of HKUST’s three-tiered core curriculum and insight into some of the areas you will want to explore in the 40+% of the HKUST MBA that are electives. And it will almost certainly require some discussion of why the Chinese context, global perspectives, and management insight that HKUST offers will be critical to your advancement.

2. Our mission is to inspire and transform individuals to be future business leaders for Asia and the world. We embrace diversity, and are looking for ambitious and open-minded candidates with a passion to contribute. With your background and professional experience, what unique values can you bring in to enrich the learning experience at HKUST MBA? (max 7500 characters, ~500 words)

With just 100-120 students each year, HKUST aims to include a diverse range of backgrounds and industries in the class. You don’t want to be pigeon-holed as a generic consultant or financier: you need to demonstrate in this essay that you are a worldly candidate with experiences that your classmates will be eager to hear about and learn from – and that you have the personal qualities that will allow you to share those experiences. The best essays will include two or three examples of values adhered to, experiences gained, and/or achievements accomplished that demonstrate that you are ambitious, possess a wealth of experience, and are personable.

Application form:

Keep in mind that HKUST does not have a place to upload your current CV/resume. The only area of the application where you may describe your work experience is in the Work Experience section of the application, which requests data about dates of employment and salary and allows 1000 characters to describe each position (that’s approximately 150 words to describe each role). This is actually a fine amount of space; just be sure to use it to describe your work and impact. Don’t make the mistake of simply filling in some general responsibilities and losing the opportunity to share details about your initiatives and impacts.

If you would like professional guidance with your HKUST 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 HKUST application.

The HKUST MBA program intake 2015 will start in August 2015.

Below is the admissions timetable:

Application Deadline Decision Notification
 Round 1  November 13, 2014  January 9, 2015
 Round 2  January 13, 2015  March 13, 2015
 Round 3  March 13, 2015  May 8, 2015

*International students requiring student visa to study in Hong Kong are strongly recommended to apply for the first or second round to allow sufficient time for visa application once they are admitted.

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Jennifer Bloom By Jennifer Bloom who has been helping applicants to the top MBA programs draft their resumes, application forms, letters of recommendation, and essays for 15 years. She is happy to serve as your personal coach and hand-holder throughout the entire process. There’s no time like the present to begin!

Related Resources:

• Why MBA?
• 2015 MBA Application Essay Tips
• 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your MBA Application Essays

  • Linda Abraham

    If any readers would like a profile evaluation for HKUST, 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.

    • Peter Law

      Dear Linda, could you evaluate my Profile for HKUST? Many thanks in advance!
      1. I have 2y exp. as a corporate lawyer in a top Tier law firm and 1.5y as a Clerk in big City district court.
      2. GMAT 760 (79%Math and 97% Verbal) TOEFL 109
      3. A graduated magna cum laude from law School in Switzerland incl. one Exchange year abroad
      4. Not too much (Moot Court and Model United Nations?)
      5. Admission to the bar
      6. Applying Business principles to take the delivery of legal Services to the 21st century
      Many thanks and Kind regards

      • Linda Abraham

        Your GMAT are highly competitive at HKUST and the grades are also competitive. Your chances are good, especially if there is an Asian angle to your ambitions.


    • Daniel Ng

      Dear Linda,

      I will appreciate if you can evaluate my profile, many thanks!

      1. 4 yrs experience in a Hong Kong based commercial bank and 3 years experience in a Chinese investment bank, specializing in corporate and structured finance

      2. GMAT 650, (Quantitative 94% , Verbal 43% )

      3. The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Bachelor degree in Engineering and Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Accountancy. Grades in undergraduate is not satisfactory, I admit I have no talent in computer science.

      4. Chairman of a science society in university

      5. CFA level III passed, membership application in process

      6. Being a successful investment banker and a investment professional

      Daniel Ng

      • Linda Abraham


        Your work experience is strong, I’m concerned that an average GMAT and below average grades will be a problem. The CFA should help as should the work experience. I can’t say more without knowing how bad the grades were.