UPDATE- The tips for Duke Fuqua’s 2010 MBA Application are now available online. Please post questions or comments to the new post.
Early Action Oct 15, 2008 Nov 14, 2008
Round 1 Oct 27, 2008 Dec 19, 2008
Round 2 Jan 7, 2009 Mar 10, 2009
Round 3 Mar 16, 2009 Apr 23, 2009
My comments are in red.
Three short answer questions and one long essay question 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 question, please restrict your response to two pages. Please avoid using a font size smaller than 10-point.
Candidates who applied to Fuqua between September 2007 and April 2008 are considered reapplicants. All reapplicants are required 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.
Duke is very proud of its community: Team Fuqua Consequently, it carefully chooses team members. The questions below are an opportunity for you to introduce yourself as an individual, a member of your community or team, and as a professional and future leader. As the questions show, all facets are important to Fuqua.
Duke has shuffled the essay deck this year. It is asking for three short essays (as opposed to two last year) and one long essay (as opposed to two last year.) It is asking two new questions and has removed the element of choice that was part of last year’s application.
Short Answer Essays – Answer all short answer essay questions.
1-What do you hope to gain from The Duke MBA? How does it fit into your short- and long- term goals? If you are interested in a joint degree or the Health Sector Management program, please address in this response.
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 whether you have done your homework — personal introspection, career networking, and school research — or not, as the case may be.
2-How will you contribute to the overall experience of your peers at The Duke MBA?
Very similar to last year’s #2. 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.
3-Discuss a person, event or experience that has significantly shaped your life and explain why. Note: The goal of this essay is to get a sense of who you are, rather than what you have achieved professionally.
New question: What or who has had profound, lasting impact on you? Describe the person or event and its impact. Please don’t limit your description of impact to the emotional or intellectual. How does it influence your behavior? This essay probably will reflect a non-professional facet of your life.
Long Essay – Answer the long essay question below.
1-Today, companies must navigate through complex and interdependent issues. They must deal with health and security matters, environmental impact questions, and diversity and cultural concerns. Leaders need adaptability, imagination, and emotional intelligence as well as business acumen.
Upon graduation, a Duke MBA will be a leader of consequence – able to deal simultaneously with complex matters and engage skillfully with colleagues, clients, and community. What impact do you hope to have as a leader of consequence?
New question. What role in the world would you like to assume? Where would you like to have impact? What cause is important to you? Where have you contributed in the past?This is more about vision, values, and life goals than strictly professional goals.
The best essays here will be connected to past involvement so that your goals for the future seem plausible no matter how grand.
Optional Essay (not required)
1-If you feel there are extenuating circumstances of which the admissions committee should be aware, please explain them here (e.g. unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, significant weakness in your application).
Why isn’t your current supervisor writing your rec? Why did your grades dip during the first semester of your senior year? Why is there a six-month gap on your resume? What are your responsibilities while working for a family business after having left a prestigious investment bank and why did you make the change? Answering any of those questions (but not all) could be the topic of your optional essay. And of course an infinite number of similar subjects could be worthwhile discussing in the optional essay.
All reapplicants are also required to complete the Reapplicant Essay below. Please limit your response to two pages.
1-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.