Tuesday Tips: Georgetown MBA Application Essays, Tips for 2019-2020
The Georgetown MBA application is published, and we have tips for the new essays. The Georgetown MBA program is in Washington, DC, at the center of government and public policy. Also, Georgetown has the Steers Global Real Estate Center and an entrepreneurship initiative.
When working on your Georgetown MBA application, keep in mind the academic and career benefits of the school. For instance, Georgetown’s community is close-knit, intellectually curious, and diverse.
Please select one of the following three essays to complete in 500 words or less.
Essay Option One: It can be said that life begins outside your comfort zone. Describe a situation when you were asked to lead outside of your comfort zone. What leadership characteristics did you exemplify in this situation that allowed you to succeed?
Leadership experts believe that stretch assignments are the best way to develop high potential employees. The definition of a stretch assignment is something outside your comfort zone. In addition, a stretch goal requires learning and development. You may find that you were outside your comfort zone in your best leadership experiences. If so, this is a great essay to show what you learned in that process.
One of our clients found herself out of her comfort zone when her boss was on maternity leave and she was asked to cover the work. Suddenly, she was responsible for answering questions and managing clients as the sole representative for the company. This was a change from depending on her boss as a sounding board. She discovered that she really enjoyed making decisions and that she grew as a leader. Specifically, she enjoyed finding her own answers to difficult questions.
When her boss returned from leave, our client was in a position to ask for a promotion and more responsibility. You may have faced a similar situation, whether planned or impromptu. Perhaps you also discovered that you had new leadership skills through this stretch assignment.
As you write this Georgetown MBA application essay, make sure to include details. Fully describe the situation, what you did, any hiccups in the plan, and what you learned about yourself.
Essay Option Two: “Failure is not something to be ashamed of, it’s something to be POWERED by. Failure is the high-octane fuel your life can run on. You’ve got to learn to make failure your fuel.” -Abby Wambach.
Describe a situation when failure has been your fuel. What was your failure (or when did you not succeed to your full potential), and how did you use this as motivation to move forward and be successful in a future situation?
If you are the kind of person who thrives in the face of adversity, this is the question for you to answer. Take the time to reflect upon a moment in your life when things did not go smoothly. We all have pivotal moments in our lives, and often they felt like failures as they were occurring.
Perhaps you were asked to take on a project in a subject area you knew nothing about and it did not go well. Or, you managed an employee who was more experienced and did not respect your authority. You might have joined a team that did not welcome your input. How did you take those professional challenges and use the failure to fuel you to eventual success? What tools did you use or develop to create success in a future situation?
If this question appeals to you, you might have the personality type that thrives in adversity. To describe your personality, use specific examples. First, it will be helpful to demonstrate your specific mindset in this essay and show how you think. Second, describe what is appealing about a challenge and how you overcome it. Finally, make sure you reflect a bit on your own development and what you learned in the process.
Essay Option Three: Think of the business leader or role model you admire or aspire to be. What are the defining characteristics of their personal brand that you see in yourself, why would you highlight those qualities, and how will those characteristics enrich the community at McDonough?
Through describing a business leader or role model you admire, this Georgetown MBA application question is looking for your personal leadership qualities. This could be a personal or a leadership question, depending on the type of person you choose and what qualities you admire. The second part of the question also gives you an opportunity to write about the Georgetown MBA community.
Make sure you have a handful of vivid examples to support what you say about your qualities. For example, say you admire Jeff Bezos and believe that you are similarly entrepreneurial. Therefore, provide an example of a time you started a business or enterprise. Or, on a more personal level, you can explain what personality and leadership traits you share with your subject.
We ask that you introduce yourself to your cohort in one minute or less. The Admissions Committee would like for you to appear in person during part of your video, and we strongly encourage you to speak outside of the experiences we can read on your resume. Use this video as an opportunity to bring life to your application. For more instructions, view our Video Essay Guide.
The Georgetown MBA application video essay guide specifically asks you to appear in the one-minute video and to address situations outside your resume. You will have unlimited time to record and edit this video (unlike a video interview). You should appear yourself, and can add other elements. For example, interviews with family and friends, photos or graphics, and music.
One minute seems like a short amount of time, but consider that television commercials are often only 30 seconds. A lot of information can fit into a one-minute video!
Like all interactive MBA admissions essays, the content is the most important aspect of this exercise. The admissions committee wants to get to know you and your dreams, background, and personality. Think about personal stories that you did not describe the rest of your Georgetown MBA application. Perhaps you have a family story to tell or a hobby you are passionate about.
This is also the ideal place to demonstrate your fit with Georgetown (unless you focused on option three of the previous required essays). Can you take your hobbies to school and share with your classmates? Will your background add to the diversity of the class? Or can you open doors for your classmates professionally? Always think about your own contributions to McDonough.
Make sure to demonstrate enthusiasm as you speak to the camera. You can also add additional elements to the video to make it compelling for the admissions committee to watch. However, keep in mind that content is the most crucial part of this video.
Please provide any information you would like to add to your application that you have not otherwise included. (500 words or fewer)
This is an entirely open-ended optional essay. Most optional essays ask for an explanation for a gap in employment, the lack of a current supervisor recommendation, or academic issues. If you do want to address any of those elements to your Georgetown MBA application, this is the ideal place.
You could also use this space to highlight another aspect of your experience. Options include describing a situation at work or in your extracurricular activities. Perhaps you have an amazing leadership experience you want to discuss. Or, a learning experience that was not covered in essay one.
Required for re-applicants. How have you strengthened your candidacy since your last application? We are particularly interested in hearing about how you have grown professionally and personally. (500 words or fewer)
Many candidates can write about a specific improvement since your last application like a promotion, improved GMAT, or increased responsibilities or experience. Georgetown is also interested in the less tangible improvements like a revised career goal, personal growth or increase in maturity. Make sure you are able to make the case that you are now ready for a McDonough MBA and that any new development has only strengthened your resolve.