My administrative assistant returned from maternity leave and reminds me that I failed to post tips for USC Marshall’s application. It’s still not too late, so here goes. My comments are in red.
Deadline Earliest Notification Date
Round 1 December 1 February 2
Round 2 January 15 March 30
Round 3 February 15 April 27
Round 4 April 1 May 25
USC Marshall 2007 Essay Tips
1) Describe in a brief essay (do not exceed 250 words per section – 750 words maximum):
b) your post-MBA long-term goals (3-5 years after graduation), and
c) how your professional experience, when combined with an MBA degree, will
enable you to achieve these goals.
This is a straight-forward goals question with a little more guidance on length than most schools give. As always with this type of question, connect the dots. Let’s the reader see that your goals stem organically from your experience and are achievable given your experience and an MBA. from Marshall
2) Complete one of the following three statements. Do not exceed 250 words.
b) "People may be surprised to learn that I…"
c) "I am considered a leader because…"
Take a step back and look at the application as a whole. How are you going to answer #3. You want #2 to complement #1 and #3, bringing out aspects of your experience, personality and background not found in other parts of yoru application. Before you choose a topic, look at the question strategically. Then pick the topic that will add most to your application and that excites you the most.
3) Answer two of the following questions. Do not exceed 500 words per question.
b) USC has garnered national acclaim for its emphasis on community outreach and service. How have you impacted your community?
This question gives you a little more direction than #2. But not a lot. In these last two questions, USC is giving you lots of room to present yourself in the best light. For #3, if international experience is your strong suit, answer a; if community service is your middle name, respond to b. If you have some other event or experience you wish to shine a spotlight on, go with c. Choose the two that present you at your best.
4) Optional Essay: Please add any additional information that you would like the Admissions Committee to consider in evaluating your application. Do not exceed 250 words.
Please see "The Optional Essay: To Be or Not to Be"