Q: How do you aspire to shape India’s future?
Suggestion: How do you think, do you love your country enough to come up with an approachable yet radical plan of progression, are you skilled enough to do the job – these are few questions that this grand question wants you to evaluate on. You have lived in India these 20+ years and you are familiar with the flaws in the core systems. Now, is the opportunity to give words to your ideas and vision to make a close perfect system. You have that meaningful vision and you want to give back to your country – it is all the more relevant amidst current political vibes in India. The task, however, is to be crisp and yet evoking reader’s interest in your response. You need to highlight your motivation, the issue you want to address and give the message that you are a ‘doer’.
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1. Short Answer Essays:
Please respond to the following two essay prompts:
a. My favorite part of my work is… (250 words maximum)
It will be worth checking out the admission criteria at Booth while you are sharing what engages you at work and takes you to office each day. Don’t get tempted to write about your accomplishments at work. You might want to freeze one or two skills/traits that you want to highlight and tell a story around that. Read more about Booth’s culture and let the school know how you are a good fit, given your work profile and interests.
b. I started to think differently when… (250 words maximum)
Booth likes applicants with intellectual curiosity and ability to think critically. While keeping this in mind, think about why do you stick to your thoughts and what takes you to change? The school wants to know how you think and what influences your thought process. It would be nice if you can outline the factors that changed your thinking and how that change made a difference to your personality/vision/company…
2. Presentation/Essay: The Chicago experience will take you deeper into issues, force you to challenge assumptions, and broaden your perspective. In a four-slide presentation or an essay of no more than 600 words, broaden our perspective about who you are. Understanding what we currently know about you from the application, what else would you like us to know?
This is the kind of flexibility an applicant needs – one can chose the format, the message, the story/ies and hence the impact.
First thing first – you have to decide if a presentation would work for your message or a written essay. Also consider your strengths – either you an effortless writer or your forte is creativity and engaging presentations. You have already said things in your application, which you do not want to repeat here. You have to think and re-think to find the pieces which you think are interesting enough to appeal the adcom and showcase the aspects of your candidacy which need to be conveyed but have not been captured yet.
Essay 1: What are the 2 or 3 strengths or characteristics that have driven your career success thus far? What are the other strengths that you would like to leverage in the future?
Don’t get tempted to create a wish list here. Identify three strengths that you have leveraged upon, in your professional life. What is equally important is, that you are able to weave a story highlighting the impact. If you are an action oriented manager, then talk about the magnitude of a particular situation and how your skills had saved a critical client for your company. In the ‘other’ strengths part, limit your selection to one or two strengths and try to accommodate them in your existing flow. Please note that whatever you wish to share, you should be able to support with examples.
Essay 2: Please describe your short and long term goals post-MBA. Explain how: your professional experience has shaped these goals; why this career option appeals to you; and how you arrived at the decision that now is the time and the MBA is the appropriate degree.
Too many questions in a question, right! The school wants you to be specific – what do you want to do immediately post MBA and what is your vision after 12 years? How has your performance at work aided your decision making and how have you grown over the years? The school also wants to understand your underlying reasons for the chosen career path and your motivation for an MBA. Now is the time to talk about Kenan Flagler and its role in helping you meet your goals. Try to be personal and specific by talking about your campus visit, discussions with alumni and students or participation in MBA fairs. You can talk about Dr. B and your interest in marketing, RTP and its relevance to opportunities…and make a compelling case.
Essay 3: What personal qualities or life experiences distinguish you from other applicants? How do these qualities or experiences equip you to contribute to UNC Kenan-Flagler?
Think about this – what makes you an interesting addition to the class of UNC? You have some strength/s and some weakness/es. School should like you for your strengths so much that your weakness/es would no longer matter. What do you care about outside your office hours? What your friends/family appreciate you for? Which life experiences do you think are unique to you? Tie them all in an engaging story so that you are able to showcase your understanding about Kenan Flagler and highlight your participation in the school’s community. Tell the adcom that you have done your research about the school and here you are, applying to the school that ‘fits’ the most – keeping in view your personality, interests, strengths, goals and school’s avenues of engagement.
Essay 1: What do you aspire to achieve, personally and professionally, through the Wharton MBA? (500 words)
A little variation to the usual goal’s essay which makes you do a lot more introspection – such is this year’s Wharton’s goals essay. The school needs to know how Wharton fits in your personal as well as professional aspirations. Ask yourself – what do you want to do and can’t do without going to Wharton? What do you want to become and why is Wharton an indispensible tool in that endeavor? You need to discuss your short term as well as long term goals.
Do as much background work as needed, to understand Wharton’s courses, offerings, faculty, and programs. Connect with students and alumni or visit the campus and attend classes, and see how can you benefit from the premier offerings and realize your grand dreams.
Essay 2: Academic engagement is an important element of the Wharton MBA experience. How do you see yourself contributing to our learning community? (500 words)
You have already talked about your need to go to Wharton, here is the opportunity to share with the school that they can find in you a potentially valuable member.
Identify your key characteristics, map with the clubs/events/opportunities at Wharton, cite examples, show their impact on Wharton community. The school wants to select a positive contributor for its community and this essay is a place to check if your unique skills, attitude and experiences can enrich Wharton’s hugely diverse community.
It is best that you finalize 2-4 qualities and emphasis with examples, your strengths and demonstrated skills.