UPDATE- The tips for Duke Fuqua’s 2011 MBA Application are now available online. Please post questions or comments to the new post.
My comments are in red.
Three essay questions 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. Your response to each question should be no more than 2 pages in length, with a font size not smaller than 10-point.
Candidates who applied to The Duke MBA between September 2008 and April 2009 are considered re-applicants. All re-applicants are required to complete the Re-applicant 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 a professional and future leader. As the questions show, all facets are important to Fuqua.
Duke has once again re-shuffled the essay deck this year. It is asking for three long essays (as opposed to one last year) and no short essays (as opposed to three last year). Last year’s long essay question introduction is now the introduction for the three required questions.
Applicant Essays: Answer all 3 essay questions.
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, emotional intelligence, as well as business acumen. Thus, Duke is in the midst of an ambitious global venture that will embed and connect us around the world, and we are seeking future leaders of consequence, those who value diversity and collaborative leadership, and who aspire to impact the companies and communities of which they are a part in a lasting and positive way.
In an effort to identify, engage, and foster the development of future leaders of consequence, the Admissions Committee would like to get to know our applicants in a more holistic manner. We would like to know who you are, what has shaped you into the person you are today, and how you hope to impact both Duke and the communities of which you will be a part in the future. The essays are your opportunity to convey that to us. Please be open, genuine, and passionate. Share with us what makes you a dynamic, multi-dimensional person.
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? When answering the essays below, keep in mind that this is more about vision, values, and life goals than strictly professional goals. Also keep in mind Duke’s “globally distributed” campus and its emphasis on the connections between business and non-business disciplines.
1. Describe your vision for your career, your inspiration for pursuing this career path, and the role of The Duke MBA in achieving your goals. If you are interested in a specific concentration or joint degree program, please discuss in this essay.
Similar to last year’s first short question, Duke is asking you to connect the dots between your past experiences your future goals and show how their 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. Discuss a person, event, or experience that has significantly shaped your life and explain why.
Almost identical to last year’s 3rd short essay question, but now you have more room to elaborate. 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 this person or event influence your behavior?
This essay probably will reflect a non-professional facet of your life. Although not specified this year, the question originally appeared with the following caveat: The goal of this essay is to get a sense of who you are, rather than what you have achieved professionally.
3. Individuals choose a business school for many different reasons. Through your research, what attributes or characteristics of The Duke MBA program have most resonated with you and why? How do you plan to contribute to the strengthening and enhancement of those attributes and characteristics during your time at Duke and beyond?
This is a more detailed version of last years 2nd essay with the added request regarding your research on Duke. Based on your research, 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.
Optional Essay (not required)
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 re-applicants are required to complete the Re-applicant Essay. Please limit your response to two pages. Write an essay describing how you are now a stronger candidate for admission compared to the application you submitted the previous year.
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. Purchase before August 31, 2009 to take advantage of our August MBA special.
|Early Action*||Oct 6, 2009||Nov 24, 2010|
|Round 1||Nov 12, 2009||Jan 19, 2010|
|Round 2||Jan 7, 2010||Mar 8, 2010|
|Round 3||Mar 9, 2010||Apr 22, 2010|
*The Duke MBA Early Action option is ideal for applicants who have completed their MBA research and have decided that The Duke MBA is the best program for them. Applicants admitted in the Early Action round must submit the non-refundable $3,000 tuition deposit along with official transcript(s) by December 10, 2009. In addition, any applications submitted to other schools must be withdrawn upon an offer of admission from The Duke MBA.
**Scholarship and Visa Recipients must deposit by April 16, 2010.