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UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [2019 – 2020]

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New post 06 Aug 2019, 04:51

Are you a team leader? Are you committed to sustainable enterprise? Are you seeking resources and intellectual capital needed to shape both business and government? Are you a motivated, goal-oriented, innovative individual? UNC Kenan-Flagler adcoms are interested in seeing your multidimensional personality and capabilities. Your challenge: Prove that your goals mesh with the school’s goals and that your talents will contribute to the program’s collaborative nature.

UNC made some changes to its application this year:

    1. Essay 2 is entirely new. It gives you three options to choose from, whereas last year there was only one prompt.

    2. They’ve shortened the optional essay and only give you 150 words this year to provide additional information, if you need to do so. Last year, the optional question had a 300-word limit.

How should you respond to these changes as well as the questions themselves? Read on!

My tips are in blue below.

UNC Kenan-Flagler 2019-2020 MBA application essays

The Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina has two required essay and one optional essay.

UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA essay #1

Please respond to the questions below that will assist us in learning more about you: (500 words)

    * Tell us what your immediate career goals are and how you will benefit personally and professionally from earning an MBA at Kenan-Flagler Business School.

    * As the business world continues to evolve, circumstances can change and guide you in a different direction. Should your goals that you provided above not transpire, what other opportunities would you explore?

What do you see yourself doing immediately upon graduation and why? Perhaps include the most influential experience that convinced you to go down this path? And then the critical: Why do you need an MBA from UNC with its approach to business education to realize your dream?

UNC also wants to know your Plan B. If you are aiming for Goldman Sachs and a career in investment banking, would your backup plan be a similar position with, let’s say, Bank of America or would it be a position in corporate finance or with a startup? If you are aiming for McKinsey, Bain, or BCG, what would your Plan B be? Perhaps a position in a leadership rotation program? Or would it be working for a company like Deloitte or A. T. Kearney?

Your Plan B needs to be at least as achievable as Plan A – if not more so. It should also be related to A so that the education you receive can also help you attain it.

Check out our free guide, Why MBA? for more tips on writing about post-MBA goals.

UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA essay #2

Please select one topic below and respond to the prompt. (250 words)

UNC Kenan-Flagler provides you with three excellent prompts to choose from. Select the one that you will find easiest to respond to, that complements the other information you provide in the application, and that allows them to most vividly see how you will add to the Kenan-Flagler community.

One thing that all three prompts have in common: Whichever question you choose to answer, include one example – not more and not less.

Topic 1: What is one thing that we do not know about you that you want us to know?

Topic 1 is an excellent question and gives you an opportunity to highlight a distinctive aspect of your background, an unusual hobby or interest, or a challenge that you have overcome that appears nowhere else in your application. Those are a few of the ways you could use this prompt, but there are lots of other possibilities too.

Topic 2: Provide us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it? Did you achieve the results you were looking for?

There are so many ways to be creative. You can be creative in your analysis of data. You can be creative in examining scientific processes. You can look at something from a different angle to solve a logistical, business, or interpersonal problem. Write about one such situation and answer the last two questions in this prompt.

Topic 3: Tell us about a time when you felt or witnessed someone being marginalized. How did you feel? What did you take away from the experience and how has it encouraged you to be an inclusive leader?

The question is pretty clear and highlights UNC’s emphasis on inclusion. Make sure you answer all parts of it.

UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA essay #3 (Optional)

Is there any additional information not presented elsewhere in your application that you would like the admissions committee to consider? Optional areas to address include (150 words):

    * If you have not had coursework in the core business subjects (calculus, microeconomics, statistics, financial accounting), how will you prepare yourself?

    * Inconsistent academics, gaps in work, or low standardized test scores

    * Choice of recommenders

This optional essay is pretty straightforward. Just answer it. You may also want to highlight professional preparation that you have already had in quantitative areas.

Kenan-Flagler explicitly says that it’s important for its students to have a “working knowledge” of financial accounting, statistics, microeconomics, and calculus. If you don’t have it, acquire it.

UNC Kenan-Flagler 2019-2020 MBA Application Deadlines

Round 1 (Early Action): Application deadline October 14, 2019; Decisions released December 9, 2019
Round 2: Application deadline January 6, 2020; Decisions released March 2, 2020
Round 3: Application deadline March 2, 2020; Decisions released April 14, 2020
Round 4: Application deadline April 6, 2020; Decisions released May 18, 2020

*Recommended deadline for International applicants.

Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on the application date.

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

For expert guidance with your UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA application, check out Accepted’s MBA Application Packages, which include comprehensive guidance from an experienced admissions consultant. We’ve helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to UNC Kenan-Flagler’s MBA program and look forward to helping you too!


By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted. Linda earned her bachelors and MBA at UCLA, and has been advising applicants since 1994 when she founded Accepted. Linda is the co-founder and first president of AIGAC. She has written or co-authored 13 e-books on the admissions process, and has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News, Poets & Quants, Bloomberg Businessweek, CBS News, and others. Linda is the host of Admissions Straight Talk, a podcast for graduate school applicants. Want an admissions expert help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!

Related Resources:

Why MBA?, a free guide
Three MBA Application Poisons and Their Antidotes, a short video
5 Elements to Telling an Attention-Grabbing Story

This article originally appeared on

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UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [2019 – 2020]   [#permalink] 06 Aug 2019, 04:51

UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [2019 – 2020]

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