One of last year's topics:
How has your personal history and family background influenced your intellectual and personal development? What unique personal qualities or life experiences might distinguish you from other applicants? How will your background, values and non-work related activities enhance the experience of other Duke MBA students and add to the diverse culture we strive for at Fuqua? Note: The goal of this essay is to get a sense of who you are, rather than what you have achieved professionally.
Looks like they just split it apart. One focuses on what your background means to you and one focuses on what it would add to Fuqua.
Good call, Dukes. When I wrote this one last year, it had two parts. First I talked about my crazy family background, then I talked about what that meant for me as a Fuqua student. So one option is to think of it that way.
Background: I am an alien and grew up on Mars.
Result: There are few Martians in your class, which will add to diversity. Business and culture are very different on Mars, so I will bring a new perspective to the class discussion. In addition, I can read minds and stop time by snapping my fingers, a skill I am sure will benefit my team.