National University of Singapore offers a 17-month MBA program offering specializations in 5 distinct areas (Finance, Marketing, Healthcare Management, Strategy & Organization, and the recently added Innovation & Entrepreneurship). If you are looking for an Asian-focused program with strong placement in the Technology (29%), Financial services (23%), and Consulting (21%) industries in Singapore (50%), China (13%) or other Asia-Pacific countries, then NUS may be a great program for you. This is a small program of fewer than 100 students, but 93% of those students hail from over 30 countries outside of Singapore.
My tips for completing the NUS MBA application are below in blue.
1. Please answer ONE of the following short essay prompts. (300 words)
a. I am passionate about…
b. My greatest challenge has been…
c. My biggest failure was ….
All three of these questions are opportunities to share an interesting experience from your life. Passion comes through with differentiating details (did you compete in 10Ks every weekend? Did you turn $500 in high school summer earnings into an investment portfolio worth thousands?). Challenges are overcome with drive, tenacity, and commitment. Failures are learning experiences and launch pads for subsequent successes. Share an example here that will help the admission committee see your individuality come alive.
2. Briefly describe your immediate post-MBA career goal including your industry, function and country of choice and how have your prior experiences motivated and prepared you to pursue these goals? (300 words)
All MBA programs want their students to be pleased with the employment they find and the career trajectory ahead of them after graduation. Applicants must demonstrate in this essay that they know what they can expect to achieve within five years of graduating so that the admissions office will believe you are realistically driven.
If you do not know any NUS MBAs personally, you may find LinkedIn searches for NUS alumni very useful to see what a wide range of MBA alumni have succeeded in doing within around five years of graduating. Go to NUS’s LinkedIn page and then use the Search Alumni button, then restrict your search to alumni who graduated around 2012 or 2013 to get a sense of their five-year progress. This isn’t foolproof: you must check that you are looking at MBA graduates (and not undergraduate degree holders or exchange students), but this will offer you wider insight than your own small circle of acquaintances. Go ahead and reach out to alumni through LinkedIn and through your personal network to discuss how they reached the advancement that they did to add depth to your own plans for this essay.
3. If there is anything else you would like to share with the Admissions Committee that was not covered in your application, please include here. (300 words)
The first two essays were short, so there is almost certainly more in your background: additional areas of leadership, influence, and impact, for example. While this optional space may certainly be used to explain a weakness or flaw in your background, I highly recommend shining the spotlight on an area of strength in the process: poor grades do not have to stand on their own when you can demonstrate that you spent your undergraduate education in significant extracurricular leadership roles, for example.
4. (Only applicable to re-applicants) Please provide an update on any new aspects of your professional, international, academic or personal profile that would not have been included in your previous application. Please also explain your motivation for re-applying to NUS. (Maximum: 300 words)
Reapplying demonstrates your sincere interest in this program, so don’t assume that the admissions committee is biased against you. Instead, use this space to show that you have used the time since you applied to take on new challenges, expand your leadership experience, and build insight in areas that will interest your NUS classmates and future recruiters. The final aspect of the essay prompt – about your motivation for re-applying to NUS – also offers you the opportunity to show that you’ve done your research about the NUS MBA: what students have you spoken to and what have you learned about how this program will help you on your path? What makes NUS special? Those details will further demonstrate your readiness for the program.
If you would like professional guidance with your NUS MBA application, check out Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the NUS application.
The application window: Now – 31 March 2018
Admissions is rolling: applicants will be notified of their admissions decision within between 6 and 10 weeks of submitting the completed application.
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***
Jennifer Bloom has been a consultant with Accepted for 19 years and is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW). She is an expert at crafting application materials that truly differentiate you from the rest of the driven applicant pool. If you would like help with your application, Jennifer can suggest a number of options that work with any budget. Want Jennifer to help you get accepted? Click here!
• Why MBA?, free guide to writing about your post-MBA goals
• Stand Out! A Critical Goal for Your Application [Episode 181]
• How to Stay Within Essay Word Limits by Reducing Verbal Verbosity