The Global EMBA has 2 program options: EMBA-Global Americas & Europe which combines the strengths of Columbia University and London Business School; and EMBA-Global Asia, with Columbia University, London Business School, and University of Hong Kong.
Of course, all EMBA applications are about “fit.” The Global EMBA is too – just more so. This adcom really focuses on fit because the program is so intense. And the concept of “global leader” is a critical part of that fit. How to demonstrate it will be unique to each applicant; ensure that your essays reflect your own mindset and vision of global leadership. In addition, the culture of the programs features a high degree of entrepreneurial energy, so entrepreneurship-related qualities like fresh thinking and initiative will also enhance fit.
These adcoms also look for applicants who truly understand and will make productive use of this distinctive educational opportunity, which comprises multiple campuses and schools, each with its own focus and areas of excellence.
The three essay questions vary in approach, requiring you to present yourself effectively from different angles to create a holistic picture. There’s a classic goals essay, a “story” (behavioral) essay, and an open statement. The challenge is to employ a consistent individual voice while
EMBA-Global application essays
EMBA-Global essay #1
Why do you wish to participate in the EMBA-Global programme? What do you hope to experience and how will participation in this programme help you to achieve your objectives? (maximum 500 words)
Here’s that goals question. First a note about the nuance of the question: notice the words “wish,” “hope,” “experience,” and “participate/participation.” These words imply an immersive, personal, community-minded, collaborative orientation. In the essay (and indeed throughout the application), show how you fit with this culture and these values.
Structure: I’ve found that it’s intuitive and logical to start the essay by discussing your goals – the objectives noted at the very end of the question. And indicate what motivates them. You can then naturally move into what you hope to experience from the program, because your professional goals create your need for the program. This part can (indeed should) include a personal component as well. To address participation, discuss elements both in and beyond the classroom where you will learn and contribute, including clubs, social interactions, etc.
EMBA-Global essay #2
Please describe a professional situation where you faced a particular challenge. What was the outcome and what did you learn from the experience about your own strengths and personal development needs? (maximum 500 words)
This is the behavioral or “story” essay I referred to in the introduction. Approach it as you would in relating an interesting work experience to a friend or acquaintance – straightforward narration with some expression of your feelings and/or thoughts at key points in the narrative. I suggest selecting a topic that’s relatively recent. Make it a situation with some significant stakes, and one that yielded meaningful insight, growth, and/or change for you.
Structure: Jump right into the story. Avoid preambles that give away the ending! This approach grips the reader and frees up space for detail, which will keep the reader engaged and let her get to know you more through the story. As you walk through what happened, highlight your actions and weave in those thoughts and feelings. Conclude with a short paragraph reflecting on what you learned about your strengths and development needs – tie these points back to the story.
EMBA-Global personal statement
Please tell us about yourself and your background. How do you embody the characteristics of a future global leader? The objective of this statement is to get a sense of who you are, rather than what you have achieved professionally. (maximum 500 words)
First, think. Selecting content is not easy when faced with such an open question. There is no one formula that will work for everyone. Some people might most effectively focus on aspects of their cultural milieu and its formative influence on their values and perspective. Others might focus on pivotal experiences during university, others yet on influential role model(s) or relationships. Many people will appropriately discuss more than one topic.
The adcom knows that every leader on the world stage will uniquely manifest the qualities that make him/her a “global leader.” There is no formula. So, rather than trying to fit your experiences to the concept of global leader, work the other way around: show how a singular global leader will grow from your experiences – which are inherently unique. In other words, these individual experiences will form the foundation of your future global leadership.
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