UPDATE- THE TIPS FOR DUKE FUQUA’S 2009 MBA APPLICATION ARE NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE. PLEASE POST QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS TO THE NEW BLOG POST.
Application Deadline Decision Release
Round 1 Nov. 1, 2007 Jan. 18, 2008
Round 2 Jan. 3, 2008 Mar. 7, 2008
Round 3 Mar. 3, 2008 Apr. 21, 2008
My comments below are in red.
Two short essay answer questions and two long essays must be completed before submitting your application. Prepare your essays carefully. The Admissions Committee considers your responses to the following questions important in the selection process. Please respond fully and concisely using 1.5 line spacing.
For the short answer questions, please restrict your response to a single page each. For the long essay questions, please select only one question to answer from the three choices given for the first question, and then you must answer the second question. There is no restriction on the length of your response for the two long essay questions. Applicants typically use between 500 and 750 words for long essays one and two.
Candidates who applied to Fuqua between September 2006 and April 2007 are considered reapplicants. Reapplicants are asked to complete the Reapplicant Essay in addition to the Applicant Essays.
All applicants have the opportunity to submit an optional essay to explain any extenuating circumstances of which the Admissions Committee should be aware.
Short Essays – Answer both short essay questions.
- Why are you interested in The Duke MBA and how will it help you achieve your goals? Please also discuss your career path, including your short and long-term professional goals. If you are interested in the Health Sector Management concentration or a joint degree program, please address in this essay.
Duke has condensed last year’s two short answer question into #1 above and gone back to its 2006 formulation in this classic goals question. Connect the dots between your past experiences your future goals and show how Duke’s MBA program will bridge the gap between the two. (For different ideas on structuring goals essays, click on the link.)
I don’t think I can overemphasize the importance of this essay in establishing your credibility as a serious candidate. I know I have harangued you regularly about the importance of goals in MBA admissions and I am doing it again. Just keep in mind that this essay will reveal to the reader whether you have done your homework — personal introspection, career networking, and school research — or not, as the case may be.
What are you going to add to Team Fuqua? Is it an enthusiastic commitment to Habitat for Humanity, a local environmental cause, your church, or a hobby, sport, or art form? Is it an unusual personal background? Perhaps, overcoming distinctive challenges? And then how will this unique facet cause you to contribute at Duke? Will it lead to involvement in a specific club or Fuqua project? Interest in a particular program? Again show your knowledge of Fuqua as well as fit between you and the program.Note the note.
Long Essays – For essay 1, please answer only one of the three essay options provided. All applicants should answer question 2.
- Please respond fully and concisely to one of the following three essay topics. Clearly identify which question you have selected.
- Describe an example of where you were challenged to lead in a team-oriented context. What was the challenge you faced, how did you address it, and what takeaways or lessons learned have you successfully applied in other leadership situations?
- Describe a situation in which your ability to perform ethically was challenged. What was the issue, how did you handle it, and what did you learn from it?
- Describe a significant leadership failure in your life. What did you learn from this failure? How has it impacted who you are today and the kind of leader you would like to be?
These are almost the same questions as last year’s #1.Choose the question that allows you to write an essay that will complement the other essays and bring out other facets, achievements and distinctive elements in your background. Note that the question asks for a complete but concise response and that each of the questions has multiple parts. Each part requires a response.
- How has your personal history and family background influenced your intellectual and personal development? What unique personal qualities or life experiences distinguish you from other applicants? Note: The goal of this essay is to get a sense of who you are, rather than what you have achieved professionally.
Similar to UCLA’s #1 in previous years, this question asks about your personal background and history. Choose 1-3 important elements of your background and youth to discuss in this essay. You can focus on your family life, vacations, mealtime, seminal experiences or events that were formative. The key is to highlight particular topics and not write the sweeping (and superficial) bio. Avoid “I was born in Timbuktu and when I was 4 we moved to Outer Mongolia and then when I was …” or the equivalent.
Make sure you tie this event(s) to your development. Although this question is closely related to #2 above, it is not the same. As always the essays should complement each other.
In addition to the Applicant Essays listed above, please answer the following question. There is no restriction on the length of your response. Reapplicants typically use between 500 and 750 words for this essay.
- Write an essay describing how you are a stronger candidate for admission compared to the previous year’s application.
This is the question that adcoms want MBA reapplicants to answer. It is self-explanatory and critical.
If you would like help with your Duke Fuqua MBA application, please consider Accepted.com’s MBA essay editing and admissions consulting or a Duke Fuqua Comprehensive Package, which includes essay editing, interview coaching, consultation, and a resume edit for the Fuqua MBA application.
BTW, Accepted.com’s prices are going up September 1. Order by August 31 to beat the price increase and get started on your essays in time for the Round 1 deadline.