Georgetown McDonough 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

Check out the rest of our 2015 MBA application essay tips!Georgetown McDonough, the top MBA program at the intersection of business and government, takes advantage of its Washington D.C. location, its connections to the greater Georgetown University community, and its Jesuit roots while at the same time focusing on the global nature of twenty-first century business.  Your application should show that you need the education provided by McDonough to achieve your goals and that you wholeheartedly embrace its values.


Create your essays in separate documents and upload them into the appropriate application fields. Please adhere to word limits, and label each page with your name. Re-applicants will be prompted to submit a specific essay question. Dual degree applicants and Georgetown MBA re-applicants will be prompted to submit specific essay questions.

(Essays should be double-spaced using a 12-point font.)

1. Why You? (Hint: we are looking for an answer that cannot be found from research on our website) (750 words or fewer)

This question is all about fit. It is an attempt by Georgetown to learn about you and why you think you belong at Georgetown and why Georgetown should admit you.  Georgetown wants to see how you think and come to a major decision. It also wants you to make a coherent case for your own acceptance to McDonough.

There are lots of different ways to approach this essay. Clearly you shouldn’t spit back the McDonough web site. If you can, talk to current students about the culture and distinctive elements of the program to gain a deeper understanding of it. You also need to reflect on the reasons Georgetown should choose you? While your reasons for wanting to attend are a factor, the big question will be what do you intend to contribute. What will you add?

You could start with a highly influential experience that molded your decision to pursue an MBA, go into more depth about what you hope to achieve and why you believe Georgetown is the best place for you to achieve it.

Alternatively, you could start with a day in the future where you attain your goal and then circle back to discuss the development of that goal and McDonough’s role in helping you achieve it. You can also discuss how you intend to contribute to McDonought’s community.

In short, why should McDonough accept you? How will you make the school proud that they did?

Optional Essays:

1. If you are not currently employed full-time, use this essay to provide information about your current activities. (250 words or fewer)

Show them that you are using this period of unemployment to acquire new skills, contribute to your community, or grow in some way.

2. Please provide any information that you would like to add to your application that you have not otherwise included. (500 words or fewer)

Please see The Optional Essay: To Be or Not to Be.

Re-Applicant Essay:

How have you strengthened your candidacy since your last application? We are particularly interested in hearing about how you have grown professionally and personally. (500 words or fewer)

This is a key question (whether asked explicitly or not) for all reapplicants to any MBA program. What has changed? How are you “new and improved” since last year — when you were rejected? Georgetown does you the favor of providing this explicit prompt so you can address this question while retaining the ability to address the main essay.

If you would like professional guidance with your Georgetown McDonough School 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 Georgetown McDonough MBA application.

Georgetown McDonough 2016 MBA Application Deadlines:

Check out our other school-specific MBA Essay Tips

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.

Download our free special report: Best MBA ProgramsRelated Resources:

2016 MBA Application Essay Tips
Optional Essays: When and How to Write Them [Short Video]
The Georgetown McDonough MBA: Everything You Need to Know

  • Pit Gonzalez

    Hello Linda, I am from Mexico and am considering Georgetown for an MBA full time program

    1) My total work experience is 2 years and a half but by the time of tentative admissions, I would have a little over 3 years and a half of experience. I work as a sales excecutive where my direct customers are in the Oil and Gas business. I sell parts that get assembled into the equipment that is used for drilling. This is a new branch of the company I work in and I have been participating in developing new markets and new producs to expand our amrket share.
    2) I am about to take the GRE but my goal is to be at Q164, V154 at a minimum. I am not sure about the percentiles but I am pretty sure that Q is around the 88% while V is close to 65%
    3)I attended the most prestigious university back home and received a 3.0 GPA in Chemical Engineering Administration, graduating in late 2012
    4) I have been involved in student council at college, as well as multiple social service activities. I have taken two certifications: One involving the case methond and the other one in business ethics. I am also a marathon runner

    With this basic information, is it a competitive profile?
    thank you!

    • Linda Abraham


      Assuming that you have a goal that will take advantage of Georgetown’s strengths, you have a competitive profile for Georgetown.

      If you’d like help with your application, please let me know.

  • disqus_EXB7k65G6h

    Hi Linda,

    1. Currently in global business development for a Fortune 200 power and utilities company (7 months exp. at time of R1 application in Oct 2015). Current focus on Latin America. Spanish fluency.

    Formerly in a 3-person startup fully-owned by that same company, focused on expediting supply chain in emergencies (4 years).

    Prior to that at a defense and aerospace consultancy (1 year).

    I’ll be highlighting a theme of being nimble and entrepreneurial in government-driven / heavily regulated industries.

    2. 710 GMAT (91% V, 74% Q, 92% AW, 52% IR)

    3. University of Chicago, 3.00 GPA, Political Science (lots of econ classes, but average grades across the quant and stat courses), 2009

    4. Entrepreneurship Advisory Council, monthly meetup of UofC business school alumni and friends focused on advising startups – three years

    5. N/A

    6. International Development, preferably at an organization like the World Bank / IFC, or at a for-profit consultancy like Dalberg

    I think I have a compelling arc of why an MBA is right for me and where I want to go with it. I’d like to hear your comments on how competitive my profile would be at Georgetown, and if there are other programs that you’d suggest I target as well.

    I’d also like your take on some potential red flags / issues:
    – GPA (offset by competitive school?),
    – 6 months unemployment between consulting firm and next job (offset by lots of quality work exp. after that?)
    – the IR component of the GMAT – do AdComs look closely beyond the V/Q split?
    – short time in new position and a very flat org structure means little time with who I officially report to; great relationship with person I’m unofficially reporting to, who’s also a G’town Exec MBA graduate; any suggestions on recommendations?


    • Linda Abraham


      Your GPA is an issue, but I think it pays for you to give Georgetown a try. Also consider Maryland Smith, UT Austin, and Darden. I’m not concerned about the unemployment gap from roughly 5 years ago. The IR score won’t help anything, but I wouldn’t retake for that alone. Get a rec from the person you unofficially report to.


      • disqus_EXB7k65G6h

        Thanks Linda.

  • 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) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.: N/A
    6) 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 Georgetown. Also consider CMU Tepper, Ross, Michigan State, and Kelley.