Notre Dame Mendoza 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

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Notre Dame Mendoza

You need to clearly convey to the Mendoza adcom that you have what it takes to be an effective leader—an integrated mind, a broad perspective, tenacity, and heart. Use your career experiences, your career goals, and your personal values to help you demonstrate these key elements.


Your response to the essay questions is extremely important in the selection process. Create a file for your essay and include your name on each page. Your essay should be typed, double-spaced, and no longer than 2 pages.

1. Your responsibility as a lifelong member of the Mendoza community is to Ask More of Business – to exemplify individual integrity, organizational excellence, and a concern for the greater good. How do you plan to do this in your professional career?

This is a question asking you to show that you belong in the Mendoza community with the emphasis that it puts on service and ethics, as well as organizational leadership. There are different ways to approach this question. Here are two possibilities:

1. Present an experience that shows you demonstrating managerial ability, integrity, and a concern for the greater good or a commitment to service. Tell that story and then analyze what you learned from the experience. How did your understanding of these essential (for Mendoza) values evolve as a result of this event. How do you intend to apply that understanding and those lessons in the future?

2. Use three different experiences to show each of the qualities that Mendoza is looking for and weave them together with a unifying themes. Then again, take the lessons you learned from these different experiences and show how you intend to use them going forward.

With the first the first approach is you can go into greater depth, both about the experience and what you learned, but you may have trouble defining such an experience. With the second approach, you risk a travelogue type of approach, but it may work better in terms of the three values.

In both cases, make sure you answer the question about how you intend to fulfill your responsibility as a member of the Mendoza community in the future.

2. Slideshow Presentation

• Effective business communication is a central skill for managers and visual presentations are an important and frequent method of communication. Demonstrate your ability to clearly, concisely and persuasively communicate important information by telling us about yourself using a short slide presentation.

• Please consider the following guidelines when creating your presentation.

• You are free to cover any material about yourself that you think would be of value to the Admissions Committee.

• Please use whatever software programs you like to develop your presentation but note that the only acceptable formats for upload in the online application system is Adobe PDF.

• There is a strict maximum of four slides, though you can provide fewer than four if you choose.

• The slides that you submit will be printed and added to your application file for review by the Admissions Committee. As a result, only text and static images will be seen. Videos, music, hyperlinks, etc will not be conveyed and should not be included. Color may be used.

• Your goal is to clearly, concisely and persuasively convey key information. Slides will be evaluated on these dimensions and not on graphic or presentation elements.

• Notes pages will not be accepted. You should plan to convey your entire message on the actual slides themselves.

• To assist MBA Applicants with the development of their slide presentation, please consult this PowerPoint Guide.

Think strategically here. What do you want the admissions reader to know about you that isn’t found elsewhere in the application and can be presented well visually. Usually hobbies and non-professional experiences are good topics for this kind of question, but the key is that the experience or achievement can be presented graphically in four slides.

3. Supplemental Essay Instructions

The Notre Dame MBA Admissions Committee will accept supplemental essays from applicants who wish to provide additional information that has not been captured within other areas of the application.

For example, applicants with low undergraduate GPA’s may address any circumstances surrounding their performance or applicants who have been dismissed from school may want to consider addressing that issue. Also, if you want to explain your work history in greater detail, please use the Supplemental Essay to provide us with a chronology of your work history.

If you are a re-applicant, you must complete a Supplemental Essay outlining your activities since you last applied.

Ultimately, we will accept supplemental essays on any topic that you feel is important to the Committee and not explained fully within other portions of the application.

Please keep all submissions to one page, typed and double-spaced.

Again, the response to this MBA essay should complement the other essays and information found in your application. In my view, this essay is optional in name only. If you are impressive enough to get into Notre Dame, you should have more to say than can be captured in the required goals essay and the slide presentation.

If you are a reapplicant, the key question to address: How has your candidacy improved since you last applied?  An improved GMAT is easy to point to, if you have it, but don’t limit it to that. Be sure to discuss increases in responsibility on and off the job, a sharpened career goal, a community service initiative, or anything else that reflects well on you and hasn’t been discussed in the other essays.

If you would like professional guidance with your Notre Dame Mendoza 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 Notre Dame Mendoza MBA application.

Notre Dame Mendoza 2015 MBA Application Deadlines:

 Application Deadline Decision Notification 
Early Action  September 8, 2014  October 10, 2014
1  October 13, 2014  December 5, 2014
2  January 12, 2015  February 20, 2015
3  February 23, 2015  April 2, 2015

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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:

How to Prove Character Traits in Essays
Leadership in Admission
• From Music to MBA: IV with a Notre Dame Mendoza Student

  • Linda Abraham

    If any readers would like a profile evaluation for Notre Dame Mendoza, 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.

    • Sarah

      4 years of work experience and a PMP good enough for Notre Dame 1 year MBA?

      • Linda Abraham


        Sorry, I can’t even give a guess with so little info.


    • steve dassani

      Hello Linda,
      I am starting the process of preparing myself for MBA admissions for the 2016 Year. I want to get an early start to maximize my chances for success. My goal is to get accepted to a highly regarded 1 year program such as this one. Here is the Info you requested.

      1) I have been with Sherwin Williams since August 2011 and have been promoted twice since then. I started my career in Internal Audit, then being promoted to Financial Operations Analyst and most recently Senior Financial Analyst. I have gained very valuable experience holding important roles in some of the companies major initiatives such as the acquisition of Comex and the implementation of Oracle in our no domestic facilities.

      2) I just took the GMAT for the first time and received a score of 670, that will be improved upon before I apply and am aiming for a score of at least 700.

      3) I graduated from Bowling Green State University with a business degree and a triple major in Accounting, Finance, and Business Management. My GPA was 2.9 total but was brought down by my first 2 years at the school. This was due to a lack of focus and direction ( did not know what I wanted to do in my career) as well as much of my time being consumed by being a member of the BGSU Baseball team. My grades improved drastically once I began in the business school and specifically when I began taking courses in my majors.

      4) In college I was a part of the Baseball team as well as the Deans Advisory Council and part of the Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity ( held various leadership positions). I currently volunteer as a big brother.

      5) I just completed my CPA. and have been certified in Six Sigma (Greenbelt and Blackbelt).

      6) My goal is to get in with a top Management Consulting firm and surround myself with the best and brightest in order to maximize my own potential. I currently am fielding offers from some smaller firms to get some more experience prior to pursuing my masters.

      I know that my GPA will be an inhibiting factor, but i hope that it can be outweighed by my personal trajectory and other experiences.

      Thanks in advance for your feedback!

    • Anvit

      1) Brief description of your full-time work experience: Im into general management of my family business since 2011. We are a 6 million us dollar company.
      2) Your GMAT or GRE. Percentiles preferred.
      verbal 40(91%)
      Quant 49(78%)
      total 720 (94%)
      3) College info: Maharishi markandeshwar engineering college, ambala, india.
      Bachelors of technology with 64.26 %
      4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
      volunteer with a charitable hospital since 2008
      5) Your post-MBA goal.

      short term goal is to be an operation manager in a manufacturing firm.
      Long term goal is to apply the learnt things in my family business and break into international markets.

      • Linda Abraham

        You have a competitive profile for Notre Dame and are applying appropriately.

  • Vincen Mathai

    “Your goal is to clearly, concisely and persuasively convey key information. Slides
    will be evaluated on these dimensions and not on graphic or presentation

    I have a doubt about this.

    If I make a slide where I list down all my characteristics but presented it as a Infographic , instead of the boring bullet points, will the college dismiss that image even though it has content ?

    • Linda Abraham

      No. to the contrary. If it is well presented and good, solid, competitive content. they will not dismiss it at all. Just don’t think that a slick presentation will outweigh mediocre content.

      • Vincen Mathai

        Thanks for the quick reply.

        So do you think it is wise that I spent time trying to embellish the presentation , when I could devote more time to making bullet points? Since they are concentrating on content do you think cramming in as much info about myslef in those 4 slides is wise?

        The questions clearly says that making one’s point concisely and persuasively is a good aspect of managers.. Funny thing is making too many bullet points is not a good practice for presentations. Presentor will lose the attention of the audience before the presentation is done.

        • Linda Abraham


          Don’t confuse quantity with quality. More bullet points is not necessarily better either in terms of content quality or presentation quality.

          Beyond that, I really can’t comment on your options without seeing them. Sorry.


          • connie

            hi linda.can i use images of myself doingwhat i like to represent me instead toovmuch words.

          • Linda Abraham

            yes for slideshow presentation. Sure.