1. Describe how your professional and personal experiences have led you to pursue an MBA at this time. Please share with us your short and long term goals and why the Texas MBA at McCombs is the program best positioned to help you achieve them. (Limit: 800 words)
This question is a classic MBA goals question — with a Longhorn twist. How have your past experiences molded your goals? The response should highlight achievement while illuminating your clear, realistic goals, which happen to require an MBA.
The Longhorn twist is “how will a Texas MBA help you achieve [your goals]?” McCombs’ location in Texas puts it in the midst of one of the fastest growing economies in the US and at a gateway to Latin America. Does its location have anything to do with you wanting to attend UT? Say so! Perhaps location is not the driver for you, and its elements of McCombs program that appeal. Reveal how those elements will help you achieve your goals. Finally McCombs is very proud of its four core principles: Knowledge and Understanding; Responsibility and Integrity; Communication and Collaboration; and a Worldview of Business and Society. How are they a part of your reasons for applying to UT Austin?
2. At the University of Texas at Austin, our motto is “What starts here changes the world.” Here at McCombs, we are looking for students who share this vision. We believe that the MBA experience is a transformative one and that our students are able to have a positive impact, not only on their own lives, but also in their workplaces, their local communities, their professional industries and/or the world generally.
- In your life to date, please tell us about an instance when you felt that you had the most positive impact and why you believe it to be significant? (Limit: 200 words)
- How do you intend to positively impact the MBA community while you are an MBA student at McCombs? (Limit: 200 words)
- After graduation from business school, what kind of positive impact would you like to have? (Limit: 200 words)
With these three short essays you can share three different arenas of your life where you have had or would like to “have impact.” Obviously don’t repeat the material you used in #1, but do elaborate on achievements mentioned in other part of the application.
For the first question, what was the situation you were addressing? What did you do? What was the result and why was that important? The incident could be important because of its impact on an individual, an organization or group, or on you. A combination is also possible.
For the second question, do you homework on McCombs. Connect with current students or alumni. Attend school receptions. Read admissions and student blogs. Comb the website so that you know what is available to you and where you may want to have impact. Then lay out in a focused way two to three programs you would like to launch or events you would like to enhance or organizations you would like to contribute to. Remember it’s only 200 words. You probably don’t have room for more than a total of three and that could even be pushing it. If you have one really great idea that you want to explore more fully and perhaps tie back to a previous experience, that could work well too.
And for the third part of question #2: What is your greater vision for yourself in the future? Yes, I know you want professional advancement and a wider network, but for what purpose? How would that purpose lead to a greater good and demonstrate the wider impact that UT would like its alumni to have. For more on the concept of vision, please see “The Parable of the Three Stone Masons.”
Please provide any additional information to the admissions committee that you believe is important and/or will address any areas of concern that will be beneficial to the committee in considering your application. (For example, if your standardized test scores are low or if you have not had coursework in core business subjects (i.e. calculus, microeconomics, statistics, financial accounting), please tell us how you plan to prepare yourself for the quantitative rigor of the MBA curriculum.) (Limit: 200 words)
I encourage you to write the optional essay. Just make sure you are submitting an informative optional essay that complements the required essays and adds to the reader’s knowledge of you and your qualifications. If you do not have “an area of concern to address,” this optional would be a great place to explore in depth a non-professional interest or commitment of yours not addressed in your application. As always, if you have nothing to say, don’t say anything.
|Round||Application Deadline||Decision Notification||Response Deadline|
|1||October 16, 2012||December 14, 2012||February 7, 2013|
|2||December 4, 2012||February 15, 2013||April 8, 2013|
|3*||January 23, 2013||March 29, 2013||April 8, 2013|
|4**||March 26, 2013||May 10, 2013||May 31, 2013|
*Round 3 is the final application deadline for international applicants.
**Round 4 is the final application deadline for domestic applicants.
By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.