Two major changes to Georgetown McDonough’s application this year
1. A new essay prompt: A little more focus and 250 words shorter than last year’s question.
2. A one-minute video.
I recently interviewed Georgetown McDonough’s Dean of Admissions, Shari Hubert for our Admission Straight Talk podcast. While the main topic of the podcast is the evolving nature of the MBA job search, Dean Hubert did discuss both these changes and the reasons for them in the podcast. I highly recommend you listen to the entire interview. However, if you don’t have time for the 40-minute interview, make time for the portion discussing this year’s application, which starts at 28:30.
My comments are in blue below.
We want to hear your story. When responding to our required essays, be authentic and take time to reflect on your goals and past experiences. Craft a response that explains how these experiences led you to pursue an MBA.
We would like to learn more about you. Please answer the following essay question in 500 words or less: “What matters to you? Please share an experience from your past that illustrates why this matters to you and how it will enable you to contribute during your MBA Program (note: this does not necessarily need to be related to your professional goals).”
If you listen to the podcast mentioned above or the earlier one with Dean Hubert, it will quickly become clear that giving and contributing are important values at Georgetown. So choose an experience that shows you as a contributor or giver to a cause or value that matters to you. It does not necessarily need to be “what matters to you most” as in Stanford’s Essay A, but something that matters enough to you so that you took action.
Then relate your initiative to a need or opportunity at McDonough. How does what’s important to you show that you will contribute at Georgetown? How will you choose to leave your mark at this business school guided by its Jesuit heritage?
A possible structure: Start with an anecdote that illustrates why this issue matters and then define what exactly does matter. Then relate it to events, groups, or activities at Georgetown.
The required video essay is an opportunity for you to bring life to your application. Please introduce yourself to your future Georgetown MBA cohort in a one minute video.
This is one of those questions when you are not supposed to think about the fact that your essay is being read by admissions people. You are supposed to address your peers, your professional network to-be, and your future friends i.e. your classmates.
What would you want them to know about you?
They’re looking for more than just spreadsheet skills or professional mojo here, although that might creep in. Balance personal and professional. As Georgetown says, “bring life to your application” with this video.
Take the time to sketch out what you want to say in these 60 seconds. I don’t recommend that you write it out and memorize it, but definitely have a plan. And then practice. It’s really strange to speak to a camera. The camera gives no feedback, has no affect, and is completely wooden in responsiveness. You may be tempted to behave similarly. Bad idea. Either practice by yourself and view the videos of your practices so that you improve, or ask an encouraging friend to film you so that at least you have your friend’s reactions to respond to.
What is the Georgetown admissions committee looking for in this video? They are trying to imagine you as a member of their community. They also want to see how you present yourself without going to the trouble and expense of an interview. They want to assess your presence: How are you going to appear to a potential employer?
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 “Optional Essays: When and How to Write Them”
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, check out 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.
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***
By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.