To prepare for “The Asian Century” – Asia’s expected growth and ascendancy in the 21st century – in 2010 the National University of Singapore opened a new state-of-the-art building to house its business school. NUS seems to be ascending in other ways too, all the way to 23rd best MBA program in the world in 2011 according to the Financial Times.
The 17-month program includes time for students to hold an internship and enroll in a student exchange program to one of over 40 MBA programs around the world. After completing the program, a full 40% of the class enters the finance industry, 17% enter consulting, and 13% join the technology industry – and the average salary according to the Financial Times research for graduates in the past 3 years is over $100,000.
All applicants to the NUS MBA Program must complete three essay questions via the online application system. The word limit for each essay is 300 words. My tips are in blue below.
Choose one of the two questions below:
A. Describe your most valued accomplishment and explain why you view it as such
B. Describe a time when you failed. What did you learn from that failure? How has that failure made you better equipped for the future?
Whenever you’re given a choice between two topics, your first step has to be to brainstorm about examples for each. Then, choose the topic that demonstrates your actions and achievements best. How could a failure essay possibly demonstrate that better than an accomplishment essay, you ask? By illustrating your risk-taking nature and ability to recover and learn from your mistakes.
Name one current issue (economic / social / political) that Asia is facing and identify a couple of strategies that you feel may adequately address the issue.
Human rights, market reform, monetary policy, labor markets, sustainability – the list of potential issues to discuss is a long one! Choose an issue that is important to you and use this essay to demonstrate your ability to strategically problem solve and make a clear argument.
“Rampant consumerism (seeking material goods without the ability to afford them) is one of the main causes for the current global economic crisis. Restraining consumerism remains a key task for developed countries like the US and Western Europe.” What are your views?
The classroom at NUS is dynamic and interactive. To create a class of students that bring diverse opinions and perspectives to the classroom, the admissions committee wants to hear yours. Share your opinion and how you arrived at it in this essay, present your analysis and recommendations cogently, and let the admissions committee hear your voice.
Why is it important for you to embark on your MBA now? (max 300 char)
This is a very brief (300 characters is less than 4 lines of typical text) opportunity for you to explain what is happening in your professional and personal life that make now the right time to pursue this education.
If you are a re-applicant to the NUS MBA Program or its Double Degree programs, please highlight your progress since your last application. (max 300 char)
You don’t have room for a detailed explanation here. Instead, emphasize your promotions, new areas of responsibility and impact.
Briefly describe your post MBA career plans and the course of action you intend to take in order for you to meet your goals successfully.
There is no specific word limit for this question since it is not one of the “essays” limited to 300 words, but their guidance to “briefly” describe your plans should be heeded by concisely describing what path you plan to pursue. I recommend including your goals for immediately following graduation and your path beyond that. You may choose to include specific milestones you hope to achieve in time or a way that you plan to shape a company, industry, or economy. I recommend linking this path with what you are hoping to learn at NUS.
NUS Application Deadlines
Round I: 01 October 2011 – 31 January 2012
Round II: 01 February 2012 – 31 March 2012
Scholarship qualifying period for the full-time program: 01 October 2011 – 31 January 2012
If you liked this advice for NUS, check out our other 2012 MBA essay tips.
Jennifer Bloom has been successfully helping applicants demonstrate their readiness for the top MBA programs for 13 years. She would be happy to help you create your best applications.