The advice that UCLA Anderson provides below is excellent, not just for Anderson’s essays, but for most MBA essays. Read it carefully.
My tips are in blue below.
Your essays are the primary way for you to share your perspectives and plans with the admissions committee. The best essays are introspective, genuine and succinct in directly answering our questions and responding to our topics.
• Essay questions are listed below for both first-time applicants and re-applicants.
• You should try to distinguish yourself by showing what makes you different from others who share similar profiles.
• Personal expression is what we are looking for, not platitudes.
• Making a strong case for your future plans requires you to first do research on career paths and find one that resonates. Even if this target will change during business school, your application essays should lay out a clear trajectory for short-term and long-term goals. Do this by demonstrating how you expect to build on skills from your past, and those you expect to gain from the MBA.
• Essays are more compelling if they include specific c, etc. from which you would benefit, if admitted to UCLA Anderson. These references are best found through website research, personal discussions and a campus visit (if possible).
• Content and clarity are key elements, as we seek superior communication skills.
• Style is a consideration too, although we understand that those who speak other languages may have different manners of expression in English.
• We do check your essays for plagiarism, so make sure you always submit your own work.
• Length does not equal strength. A well-written short essay can have even more impact than a longer essay. Please try to respect the word limits indicated below.
• All responses to essays must be on double-spaced pages that are uploaded as a document. We do not accept essays in any other media but written form.
What are your short-term and long-term career goals, and how will an MBA from UCLA Anderson specifically help you achieve these goals? (750 words maximum)
UCLA’s is a pretty straightforward MBA goals question. What are you professional goals? Define your short-term goal by function and industry. What do you want to do after you earn your MBA and in what industry. If location is an important factor, like emerging economies or Wall Street, include it. If it isn't important, omit.
Make sure you answer the entire question. How will UCLA Anderson’s program and strengths help you realize your goals? As Anderson advises, reference specific aspects of the program: courses, programs, groups, opportunities, activities. Generalities and platitudes that apply to most top MBA programs will not work.
Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? Please use your best judgment. (250 words maximum)
If there are extenuating circumstances that would add perspective on or “explain” a weakness, you can discuss them here. A few years ago, UCLA added the following: “Please do not submit redundant information in the Optional Essay.” Good advice for all optional questions. For more suggestions, please see The Optional Question: To Be or not To Be.
Required Re-applicant Essay:
Reapplicants who applied for the class entering Fall 2012 or 2013 are required to complete the following essay. Please be introspective and authentic in your response. We value the opportunity to learn about your aspirations and goals.
Please describe your career progress since you last applied and ways in which you have enhanced your candidacy. Include updates on short-term and long-term career goals, as well as your continued interest in UCLA Anderson. (750 words maximum)
This the key question in every MBA reapplication: How have you enhanced your candidacy? Career progress is an obvious place to start and something you must address, but if academics were a weakness, then what have you done since you last applied to show you can excel at Anderson?
If you would like professional guidance with your UCLA Anderson application, please consider 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 UCLA application.
UCLA 2014 Application Deadlines:
||October 22, 2013
||January 28, 2014
||January 7, 2014
||April 2, 2014
||April 15, 2014
||June 3, 2014
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.
Accepted.com's experienced admissions consultants can help you create the most impressive application possible with comprehensive packages, or provide targeted assistance from picking perfect programs to designing a dazzling resume, constructing engaging essays, or preparing for intense interviews…and more! Accepted.com has guided thousands of applicants to acceptances at top MBA programs since 1994 – we know what works and what doesn't, so contact us to get started now!
This article originally appeared on the Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog, the official blog of Accepted.com.