Round 1: November 1, 2006
Round 2: January 8, 2007
Round 3: March 21, 2007
My comments are in red; Duke’s are in black.
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 you must answer the first question and for the second essay you may select from one of three essay options. 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 essays one and two.
Candidates who applied to Fuqua between September 2005 and April 2006 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.
- Please discuss your career path, your short and long-term goals.
- Why are you interested in The Duke MBA program and how will it help you achieve your goals? If you are interested in the Health Sector Management concentration or a joint degree program, please address in this essay.
Duke has broken last year’s first question into two separate shorter, but critical questions. #1 is a classic goals question. Connect the dots between your past experiences and your future goals. (For different ideas on structuring a goals essays, click on the link.)
For #2, show how Duke’s MBA program will bridge the gap between your past and your future.
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. These two essays will reveal whether you have done your homework — personal introspection, career networking, and school research — or not done it as the case may be.
Long Essays – Answer essay question 1, and for essay question 2 please answer only one of the three essay options provided.
- How has your personal history and family background influenced your intellectual and personal development? What unique personal qualities or life experiences might distinguish you from other applicants? How will your background, values and non-work related activities enhance the experience of other Duke MBA students and add to the diverse culture we strive for at Fuqua? Note: The goal of this essay is to get a sense of who you are, rather than what you have achieved professionally.
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 usual 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 the program AND your ability to contribute to the school.
2. Please respond fully and concisely to one of the following essay questions, identifying clearly which question you have selected.
- To be a good team player, one needs to be an effective individual leader and vice-versa. Describe an example of where you were challenged to become a leader in a team-oriented context. What was the challenge you faced, how did you address it, and what did you take away from the experience for your future development as a leader?
- 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?
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. All require a response.
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 Ross MBA application. BTW, Accepted.com’s package 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.