Emory Goizueta Business School MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

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Taken together, these essay questions cover a lot of ground: your professional path and plans, your alignment with the program’s core values, and your unique individuality. Moreover, this vast ground is covered in few words – these essays are short, requiring tough decisions about what key points and anecdotes to include and what to leave out. Write simply and directly to pack as much meaning and impact as possible into each word. Most important: the three key questions require thoughtful reflection.


Answer all essays, following the directions indicated in the questions. NOTE: Applicants who apply to more than one MBA program will only complete the essay question requirement related to their first-program preference.

Essay 1.

Define your short-term post-MBA career goals. How are your professional strengths, past experience and personal attributes aligned with these goals? (300 word limit)

This question invites you to define your short-term goals in three dimensions: your past experience, your skills, and your unique character. Yet, with only 300 words, you can’t give a comprehensive, detailed delineation of those elements. I suggest discussing one point from each category that is relevant to your goals. The key to making this part of the essay work is specificity, detail, and anecdote – e.g. don’t just explain how you have a charismatic personality that brings people together; show through a brief anecdote how it lets you be the “glue” in a rough-and-tumble team. Then discuss directly the relevance of this quality to your short-term goal. The question’s emphasis on short-term goals suggests practicality and concreteness: what (type of) position and in what industry, to achieve what, and why (and, sometimes, where).

Essay 2.

The business school is named for Roberto C. Goizueta, former Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, who led the organization for 16 years, extending its global reach, quadrupling consumption, building brand responsibility, and creating unprecedented shareholder wealth. Mr. Goizueta's core values guide us in educating Principled Leaders for Global Enterprise. Provide an example of your leadership - professional or personal - and explain what you learned about yourself through the experience. (300 word limit)

I suggest addressing this question as a story (a very succinct story): describe a time you led in a situation of some significance. Walk through it straightforwardly, focusing on your actions. In a final, brief paragraph reflect on what this leadership experience taught you about yourself; don’t list ten things, but rather focus on the one to two most meaningful.

To select the best topic or experience to portray, look for something that is fairly recent and that has a clear impact. While most people will want to grab this opportunity to showcase their impact at work, it may make sense to select a non-work story if, for example, it reflects a situation or experience that truly distinguishes you in a relevant way and illustrates substantial leadership as well. Think strategically in selecting the topic and choose one that enhances your overall application and adds to the information found elsewhere.

Essay 3.

Complete one of the following statements. (250 word limit)

• I am passionate about...

• The best piece of advice I've received is...

• The best day of my life was...

• A personal goal I want to accomplish is...

First, which question should you respond to? The one you will find easiest to answer in an engaging, enthusiastic, and authentic way. The one that will best complement the rest of your application by illuminating something fresh about you. It wouldn’t hurt to select something that might surprise the reader a bit; e.g., you’re a total tech nerd and your great-aunt urges you to take up knitting. Ideally your answer to this question will leave the reader with a little smile on her face.

Essay 4.

Share with the committee and your future classmates a fun or noteworthy fact about you. (25 word limit)

Align this short essay with essay three above – it’s another opportunity to round out your profile. This one can be work or non-work related.

Be natural in your tone – don’t strain to sound “fun” if it doesn’t come naturally to you in writing, and don’t hold back if it does.

Optional Essay.

If you have additional information or feel there are extenuating circumstances which you would like to share with the MBA Admissions Committee (i.e. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, academic performance issues or areas of weakness in application). (Please limit your response to 250 words.)

You can of course use this essay solely to address an extenuating circumstance. If you don’t need it for that purpose, if there is something you believe would add to your case for admissions that is not covered in the rest of the application, write about it here. Focus on one facet of your life or an experience that is important to you, reveals the human being you are, and isn’t described in other parts of the application.

Re-Applicant Essays.

Applicants who have applied to Goizueta Business School in the past are required to answer the following questions:

1. Define your short-term post-MBA career goals. How are your professional strengths, past experience and personal attributes aligned with these goals? (300 word limit)

See tip for Essay 1 above. If your goal has changed since the previous application, explain why.

2. Explain how you have improved your candidacy for Goizueta Business School's MBA Program since your last application. (250 word limit)

This is THE key question for all MBA reapplicants. Goizueta just asks it explicitly. See MBA Reapplication 101 for more advice.

You may also submit the optional essay if you wish.

If you would like professional guidance with your Emory Goizueta 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 Emory Goizueta application.


Check out more school specific MBA essay tips!

***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***

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Related Resources:

Why MBA?, A Guide to Writing About MBA Goals
Optional Essays: When and How to Write Them, short video
School Specific MBA Essay Tips

This article originally appeared on blog.accepted.com.

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