Poets And Quants Stanford Essay What Matters

The very first question applicants to Stanford’s MBA program must answer is this one: “What matters most to you, and why?”

A few years ago, one applicant wrote the now famous so-called ‘tortilla essay’ and it was published on the Internet. Immediately, at least in MBA admission circles, it became the equivalent of the infamous “Peanut Butter” memo from a disillusioned Yahoo executive. It spread around the net like wildfire, and many applicants copied the style. It was when Stanford did not place word limits on essays.

The controversy over the ‘tortilla’ began: Critics wondered how so silly an essay would get someone admitted to Stanford Business School. Was it an indication that Stanford doesn’t take essays as seriously as other schools in its admissions process? Or were people being too harsh in judging the quality of the essay?

“Actually,” says admissions consultant Sandy Kreisberg of HBSGuru.com, “the woman executed perfectly on helping victims and discovering her identity as a Latina. This was during the era of the 10-page essay, and this person wrote like 800 words. That was what was soooo shocking. Everyone else was beating their heads and poof, this short, identity politics chick just breezes in.”

Derrick Bolton, Stanford’s admissions director, finally clears the air. In an interview with Poets&Quants, he says the woman who penned the essay was admitted to Stanford but actually enrolled elsewhere. “We admitted that person despite that essay,” says Bolton. “She felt that it was the Stanford essay that got her in and that was not at all the case. So then it was really clear. That year you could see people following that template. It was really sad. That’s why there are consultants. That’s why there is a market for anything somebody peddles to help get people into business school. It’s like Jim Jones and the Guyana tragedy. People will follow people if they think there is something that could help them.”

Partly for amusement, partly for the historical significance, we reprint the essay in its entirety (certain words are deleted to conceal the identity of the author):

A famous saying at Disney goes, “…it all started with a mouse.” For me, the equivalent should read, “It all started with a tortilla.” A tortilla? Without over-dramatizing it, I believe a simple corn tortilla was the catalyst for a significant life change that would lead me to discover what matters most to me: challenging myself to open up, learn, and grow by building diverse relationships.

Most of the students from the high school I attended in [deleted] were from middle- and low-income Latino and Asian households. As a Latina-American, I was comfortable within my high school environment. However, reflecting back, I recognize that I was raised in a well-intended conservative household that offered little exposure to people outside of my immediate community. I was accustomed to the way things were at home and as a result, I was admittedly a little close-minded and uneasy with change.


[deleted] College was a culture shock. Gone were my Asian and Latino friends with whom I found it so easy to relate. I was in a new environment surrounded by strangers from different places and backgrounds. I initially dealt with this by gravitating toward people who were similar to me or appeared to share the same values I had grown up with. Instead of trying to develop relationships with students from diverse backgrounds, I put up my guard, with doubts about how I could relate to them. However, everything changed one fateful night in the college dining hall at the much-anticipated fajita bar.

For the first time in weeks I had a corn tortilla. What was once commonplace had become a strong reminder of home. I thought to myself, “That’s odd…I haven’t had a tortilla in ages. Why don’t we have tortillas every night?” That’s when it hit me. Things weren’t the same. I was no longer at [deleted] High School with a fairly homogeneous crowd, living under my conservative parent’s roof. Instead, I was in a different place, with new people and experiences. Gone were the days of having a tortilla with dinner every night – life, as I knew it, had changed. That was when I realized I had to make a choice: continue on the same parochial path and remain content with what I learned back at home, or explore what these new people and experiences had to offer. I took a chance and decided to make a change.

My decision to breakout of old mindsets and embrace diversity enabled me to open up to new people and ideas. This openness has helped me build a number of meaningful relationships that have not only brought me great joy but also changed my outlook on life and my future. As such, what matters most to me is challenging the way I think and constantly learning and growing by building relationships with people who inspire me, challenge me, or are otherwise different from me. By contrasting my experiences and values against those of others, I am better able to understand the values I grew up with and have opened my perspective to new ideas. Relationships with three people in particular have changed my perspective, shaped my values, and made me who I am today: an Admissions Officer who taught me about openness, a Professor who taught me leadership and self-confidence, and a student I mentor who taught me what courage and optimism really mean.

I became friends with a Latino Admissions Officer at [deleted] College; [deleted] and I had a strong affinity with one another because we both grew up in [deleted]. Because of his ethnicity and place of birth, I assumed we were very similar and shared common views and lifestyles. A few weeks into our friendship, I attended a panel hosted by the Gay and Lesbian Students Association to learn more about issues impacting the gay community. I was surprised to see [deleted] describing the challenges he faced as a gay Latino. Until that point, it never occurred to me that he could have had a different background, which included being gay. I assumed that because of a few common factors, we were similar and I knew him well. I was wrong. As a result, I had inadvertently failed to recognize that [deleted] comprised a set of unique values and experiences that I could learn from.


That meeting, and my subsequent interactions with [deleted], left an indelible mark in my mind. As I became more open and recognized his unique qualities and experiences, he could sense my interest in his life and shared more with me. [deleted] described the challenges he went through when he finally “came out” to his conservative Mexican family. Coming from a conservative household myself, I understood how that type of news might be received. I sensed his pain when he told me that his family rejected him and was “sickened” by his gay lifestyle. I admired his strength and commitment to himself when he introduced me to his partner.

Our friendship taught me many important values. First, it strengthened my resolve to be tolerant and to love my family and friends unconditionally. After learning how [deleted]’s family reacted, I vowed to never let anyone close to me feel that type of rejection or pain. In addition, our relationship taught me to enter all new situations with an open mind, with no preset notions or assumptions simply based on perceived background or outward appearance. This was something very different from what I had experienced in my home community, where most people had similar backgrounds and values, and were not always open to new ones. I learned that it was important to acknowledge the unique challenges and events that others have experienced and to understand how those events could impact their outlook. By setting those expectations for myself, I was able to learn more about him and others around me. Openness is a value I will always subscribe to. My ability to be open to new people and ideas has helped me forge many other relationships ever since.

Another relationship that changed my life is one with a Professor of Economics I regard as a mentor and good friend. I first observed Professor [deleted] when she gave a speech about the application of statistical analysis to everyday scenarios. I immediately wanted to meet her. She struck me as someone I could look up to as a role model – I was interested in her field of study and intrigued by her confidence and role as the only female economics professor in the department. In retrospect, part of the intrigue was also the contrast between the professor and my mother, who was raised on a ranch in [deleted] and educated to become a secretary. Although it goes without saying that I am proud of my mother and view her as an ideal role model in many respects, I never had the opportunity to develop a relationship with a woman who was a leader in her professional field – Professor [deleted] was my first exposure to a successful female leader in academia.


Ultimately, I learned about much more than how to graph supply and demand curves. I learned about confidence and leadership. Professor [deleted]’s creativity and initiative inspired me to think critically and to explore the application of economic analysis to other areas. This prompted me to complete two summers of research and regression analysis projects on low-income housing and volunteer labor. These research projects were some of my first real attempts at thinking “outside the box” while testing and stretching my academic stamina. The work I completed helped me develop self-confidence in my analytical abilities.

Professor [deleted] also demonstrated effective leadership. Her charismatic style made her approachable and motivated me even when I was unsure of myself. She helped me set goals that were challenging yet realistic and structured our research projects so that I could meaningfully address my educational and developmental needs. Most importantly, I learned that a key to successfully leading people with diverse interests, as she often did, was uniting them behind a common vision and ensuring that everyone’s concerns were acknowledged. I have applied this leadership style at [deleted] Consulting to motivate and unite teams of clients and consultants with very different goals and perspectives. For example, at an aerospace client, I led a team that included a golf-loving aerospace engineer who was fast-approaching retirement and an inexperienced analyst. I noticed that because of their specific concerns, they were easily distracted or discouraged. I brought the team together by rallying everyone around a common vision, addressing their issues, and ensuring that they felt important and were meaningfully engaged. This enabled me to bring together competing perspectives to form a cohesive team that successfully reached our goals. Overall, the leadership and confidence I learned from my relationship with Professor Brown has been invaluable in both my personal and professional life.

The values I learned through my [deleted] College relationships have enriched my ability to understand the differences between my home community and the world at large, and to develop and sustain relationships. These learnings have been excellent preparation for what I regard as one of my most significant relationships to date: mentoring [deleted], an Education First Scholar. My role as [deleted]’s mentor was intended to help her adjust to college life. Despite that arrangement, I think she has made an even greater impression on me!

When I first met [deleted], I was deeply moved by the challenges she overcame and could relate to some of the cultural issues she encountered. She too was a Latina from [deleted] with a conservative upbringing. However, her life took a much different course. As a young girl, [deleted] witnessed her parent’s marital problems before her father left the family. Feeling the absence of a father in her life, [deleted] grew dependent on her boyfriend and became pregnant. Despite those issues, [deleted] is a teenage mother who beat the odds by completing her high school education and gaining admission into a number of universities. As her Education First mentor, I have counseled [deleted] on issues ranging from potential majors to childcare alternatives. What has impacted me the most about our relationship is her ability to face any challenge head-on and maintain high spirits even during highly stressful times.

Because of [deleted], I see the world from a new perspective. Her strength, courage, and optimism have inspired me to face my own challenges more courageously and have also taught me a deeper level of introspection. Even though we share similar cultural backgrounds, I see how differently our lives have played out as a result of circumstance. Our relationship has given me a stronger sense of empathy and a better understanding of issues that can impact the well-being of colleagues and friends. Rather than fear setbacks and challenges, I have learned to face them as bravely and optimistically as possible and view them as opportunities to broaden myself. Despite the obstacles [deleted] faced growing up and the challenges of raising a baby while in high school and college, she has an incredibly strong and optimistic spirit – an attitude and outlook I have adopted in my own life.


The values I learned through our relationship were especially important last year when I encountered a significant obstacle of my own. For much of last year I was ill. It started with rashes and hives. Severe fatigue and aching joints slowly set in. Throughout this difficult time, I still managed to complete my client and non-profit work with little disruption. However, after countless doctor visits and blood tests, I received devastating news: my symptoms and lab work pointed to lupus, an illness that is manageable but often leads to significant health complications. I was scared, but drew strength from the courage and optimism I saw in [deleted]. Rather than succumb to fear, I chose to remain optimistic and do everything in my power to get well.

After several difficult months, my health and my life turned around. My doctors revised the diagnosis after many of my symptoms disappeared and my lab work alone was no longer conclusive evidence of lupus. As grateful as I am to have my health back, I also appreciate the new perspective I gained from this experience and am thankful for relationships with individuals who have inspired me to reach a new level of courage and determination.

Relationships have shaped my values, enriched my ability to relate to and support others, and have helped me understand how my family has shaped my perspective. It is important for me to continue developing relationships because they are a source of continuous education and personal growth. My relationships have allowed me to establish my own identity as an independent, tolerant, and free-spirited woman. The greatest outcome from my relationships is the realization that the better I understand myself, the better I am able to understand others, making me a stronger colleague, mentor, and friend. Relationships have also enriched the way I interact with my family and those closest to me and have provided insight and perspective into my own goals.

One of my primary goals in life is to continue developing strong relationships and the diverse Stanford community is the perfect environment in which to do so. While at Stanford, I hope to not only share my experiences and perspectives, but also learn through the experiences and perspectives of others. I hope to challenge my classmates to look within themselves to understand how building diverse relationships can help them grow as well. My life is richer and my goals are greater because I have opened myself to so many new people and ideas. It’s hard to believe there was a time when all I wanted to eat were tortillas!

As always, the 2016-2017 MBA application essays are a varied lot. Many schools now require just a single essay from applicants to their full-time MBA programs, including Harvard Business School. Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business returns with the question generally considered to be a favorite: “List 25 random things about yourself.” UC-Berkeley wants applicants to name a school that expresses who you are and why. Several schools, including Yale’s School of Management and Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, have video pop-up questions in addition to their written essays.

Here are some of this year’s batch from leading business schools, listed in order of the school’s Poets&Quants’ rank (see here for the essays to get into the best international schools outside the U.S.)

1. HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL in Boston, Massachusetts

As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA program?

There is no word limit for this question.

Application Fee: $250 or $100 for 2+2 program

Essay A: What matters most to you, and why? (750 words)

Essay B: Why Stanford? (400 words or 450 if applying to both the MBA and MSx programs)

Your answers for both essay questions combined may not exceed 1,150 words (1,200 words if you are applying to both the MBA and MSx programs).

Application Fee: $275 or $100 for deferred enrollment. Waived for active-duty military


View this collection of shared Booth moments. Choose the moment that best resonates with you and tell us why. 

Choose the format that works for you. Determine your own length

Application Fee: $250



1. What do you hope to gain professionally from the wharton MBA (500 words)

2: Teamwork is at the core of the Wharton MBA experience with each student contributing unique elements to our collaborative culture. How will you contribute to the Wharton community? (400 words)

Application Fee: $265



1. Leadership and teamwork are integral parts of the Kellogg experience. Describe a recent and meaningful time you were a leader. What challenges did you face, and what did you learn? (450 words)

2. Pursuing an MBA is a catalyst for personal and professional growth. How have you grown in the past? How do you intend to grow at Kellogg? (450 words)

Video questions required.

Application Fee: $250. Waived for active-duty military & vets within three years, Teach for America & Peace Corps candidates within three years.


1. Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals going forward, and how will the Columbia MBA help you achieve them? (100-750 words)

2. Columbia Business School’s students participate in industry focused New York immersion seminars; in project based Master Classes; and in school year internships. Most importantly, our students are taught by a combination of distinguished research faculty and accomplished practitioners. How will you take advantage of being “at the very center of business”? (100-500 words)

3. CBS Matters, a key element of the School’s culture, allows the people in your Cluster to learn more about you on a personal level. What will your Cluster mates be pleasantly surprised to learn about you? (100-250 words)

Application Fee: $250. Waived for full-time students, military, Peace Corps, Teach For America, China & India.

7. MIT’s SLOAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT in Cambridge, Massachusetts

1. Please submit a cover letter seeking a place in the MIT Sloan MBA Program. Your letter should conform to a standard business correspondence and be addressed to Mr. Rod Garcia, Senior Director of Admissions. (250 words or fewer)

2. The Admissions Committee invites you to share additional information about yourself, in any format. If you choose a multimedia format, please host the information on a website and provide us with the URL.

Please keep all videos and media limited to 2:00 minutes total in length. Please keep all written essays to 500 words or less.

Application Fee: $250. Waived for college seniors, active-duty military, Teach for America & Peace Corps members.


1) If you could choose one song that expresses who you are, what is it and why? (250 words maximum)

Your song can be in any language, from any culture, and does not need to contain lyrics. The strongest responses will focus on answering why this song expresses who you are.

2) Please respond to one of the following prompts: (250 words maximum)

Describe an experience that has fundamentally changed the way you see the world and how it transformed you.

Describe a time when you were challenged by perspectives different from your own and how you responded.

Describe a difficult decision you have made and why it was challenging.

In your response, clearly indicate to which prompt (1, 2, or 3) you are responding. We do not have a preference among the prompts and suggest that you select the one for which you can share a specific experience, professional or personal.

3) Tell us about your career plans. How have your past experiences prepared you to achieve these goals? How will Berkeley-Haas help you? (500 words maximum)

You are encouraged to reflect on what it is you want to do after business school, including the types of roles, responsibilities, and organizations that are of interest. Through this essay we hope to learn about your professional journey to date and how an MBA will facilitate your success – broadly defined – in the future.

Application Fee: $200


1. (Required) Tuck educates wise leaders who better the world of business. What are your short- and long-term goals? How will a Tuck MBA enable you to become a wise leader with global impact?

2. (Required) As a diverse and global community, our students arrive at the same place from many different paths.  Tell us about an experience in which you have had to live, learn and/or work with other people very different from yourself.  What challenges and/or opportunities did you experience, how did you respond, and what did you learn about yourself as a result?

10. YALE UNIVERSITY’S SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT in New Haven, Connecticut                           

Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. (500 words)

Video questions are also required of applicants.

Application Fee: $225. For applicants earning less than $20,000 a year: $175. For applicants earning less than $10,000 a year: $125. Waived for current or former Peace Corps volunteer, current staff or alumni of Teach for America, Teach for China, or Teach for India.



Short answers: Answer all 3 of the following questions. For each question, respond in 500 characters only (the equivalent of about 100 words).

1.     What are your short-term goals, post-MBA?

2.     What are your long-term goals?

3.     Life is full of uncertainties, and plans and circumstances can change. As a result, navigating a career requires you to be adaptable. Should the short-term goals that you provided above not materialize what alternative directions have you considered?

Essay questions

1. 25 Random Things About Yourself.   Your complete list should not exceed 2 pages.

2. Based on your understanding of the Fuqua culture, how do you see yourself engaging in and contributing to our community, outside of the classroom?

Your response should be no more than 2 pages in length.

Application Fee: $225. Waiver for active-duty military & veterans (within three years), Americorps, Teach for America, Forte, MLT & Posse Foundation members.


Describe the most important professional feedback you have received and how you responded to this feedback.

Application Fee: $250. Waived for active-duty military & vets (within three years), Forte Launch participants, Teach for America, Education Pioneers, Peace Corps members.



1. What are you most proud of outside of your professional life? How does it shape who you are today? (up to 400 words)

2. What is your desired career path and why? (up to 250 words)

Application Fee: $200. Waived for active-duty military and veterans, Peace Corps and Teach For American (within three years).


Required essay for first-time applicants:

We believe that the best results are achieved when you share success, think fearlessly and drive change. With this in mind, what are your goals at UCLA Anderson and in your short-term and long-term career? (750 words maximum)

Optional essay:

The following essay is optional. No preference is given in the evaluation process to applicants who submit an optional essay. Please note that we only accept written essays.
Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? Please use your best judgment. (250 words maximum)

Required essays for re-applicants:

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)

Application Fee: $200


1) At Cornell, we value students who create impact. Please indicate the opportunities for impact that you have identified through engagement with our community and describe how these interactions have influenced your decision to apply to Johnson. (500 words)

2) You are the author of your Life Story. Please create the Table of Contents for the book in the space provided or upload it as an attachment. We value creativity and authenticity and encourage you to approach this essay with your unique style. Alternative submission formats may include a slide presentation, links to pre-existing media (personal website, digital portfolio, YouTube etc.), as well as visually enhanced written submissions. (Maximum file size is 5 MB. If you choose to submit a written Table of Contents, limit your submission to 500 words or fewer. Limit multimedia submissions to under five minutes).

Optional: Complete this essay if you would like to add additional details regarding your candidacy. For instance, if you believe one or more aspects of your application (e.g., undergraduate record or test scores) do not accurately reflect your potential for success at Johnson.

If you are reapplying for admission, please use this essay to indicate how you have strengthened your application since the last time you applied. (500 words)

Application Fee: $200. Waived only for active duty military or veterans.


1. Professional aspirations: Why pursue and MBA (or dual degree) at this point in your life? What actions have you taken to determine that Stern is the best fit for your MBA experience? What do you see yourself doing professionally upon graduation? (750 words)

2. Personal expression: Please describe yourself to your MBA classmates. You may use almost any method to convey your message (e.g. words, illustrations). Feel free to be creative.


One required essay and three optional essays. The essays for the 2016-2017 application season are:

Required: Please describe your short and long term goals post-MBA. Explain how your professional experience has shaped these goals, why this career option appeals to you, and how you arrived at the decision that now is the time and the MBA is the appropriate degree. (500 words maximum)

Optional: What personal qualities or life experiences distinguish you from other applicants? How do these qualities or experiences equip you to contribute to UNC Kenan-Flagler? (300 words maximum)

Optional: If your standardized test scores are low, or if you have not had coursework in core business subjects (calculus, microeconomics, statistics, financial accounting), please tell us how you plan to prepare yourself for the quantitative rigor of the MBA curriculum. (300 words maximum)

Optional: Is there any other information you would like to share that is not presented elsewhere in the application? (300 words maximum)

Application Fee: $250. Waived for active duty military & veterans, Teach for America & Teach for India alumni.


The University of Texas at Austin values unique perspectives and cultivates a collaborative environment of distinct individual contributions. It is the first day of orientation. You are meeting your study group, comprised of five of your classmates from various backgrounds. Please introduce yourself to your new team, highlighting what drives you in your personal and professional life.

Select only one communication method that you would like to use for your response.

Write an essay (250 words)

Share a video introduction (one minute)

Based on your post-MBA goals and what drives you in your personal and professional life, why is the Texas MBA the ideal program for you and how do you plan to engage in our community?(500 words)

Optional Statement: Please provide any additional information you believe is important and/or address any areas of concern that will be beneficial to the Admissions Committee in considering your application (e.g. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, academic performance, or extenuating personal circumstances). (250 words)

Application Fee: $200. Waived active duty military & veterans, Teach for America alumni, Forte MBA Launch members.


Required: Imagine that you meet up with a member of the admission committee at an airport while on a layover. You have an opportunity to make a memorable impression. Use this essay to introduce yourself. Include any information that you believe is important for the committee member to know about you both professionally and personally (300-350 words)

Optional: Use this essay to convey important information that you may not have been otherwise able to convey. This may include unexplained resume gaps, context for recommender selection, etc.

If you are a re-applicant, explain how your candidacy has strengthened since your last application.

Application Fee: $250. Waived for active duty military & veterans.


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)

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)

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…

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

Optional: 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.

Application Fee: $150. Waived for active duty military & vets (within three years), Forte MBA Launchers, Peace Corps volunteers & Teach for America alumni.


Required: Discuss your immediate post-MBA professional goals. How will your professional experience, when combined with a Kelley MBA degree, allow you to achieve these goals? Should the short-term goals you have identified not materialize, what alternate career paths might you consider? (500 words)

Respond to one of the following short essay prompts. (300 words) a. My greatest memory is…b. I’m most afraid of…
c. My greatest challenge has been… d. I’m most proud of…

Share a brief fact about yourself that your classmates would find interesting, surprising, or noteworthy. (25 words)

Optional: Is there anything else that you think we should know as we evaluate your application? If you believe your credentials and essays represent you fairly, you shouldn’t feel obligated to answer this question. (300 words)

Application Fee: $75


Required: 1) Post-MBA Plans – Tell us your ideas about what lies ahead for you in your career. What are the gaps or deficiencies currently preventing you from pursuing these potential career paths? How do you plan to use your time in the Foster MBA program to fill these gaps and advance your career? (750 words)

Required: 2) Inspiring Experience Essay – Please tell us about an experience that inspired or confirmed your decision to pursue the MBA (500 words)

Optional: Please include this essay if you have additional information that you believe would be helpful to the admissions committee in considering your application (500 words)

Application Fee: $85


Required: In one or two sentences, please describe your immediate career plans upon graduation from Olin. At Olin, we pride ourselves on our close-knit community and aim to know every student by name and story. In an essay of no more than 500 words, please introduce yourself as you would to your future Olin classmates.

Required: Please provide any additional information not previously addressed in other areas of the application that you feel would be helpful to the Admissions Committee in its assessment of your candidacy. (300 word maximum)

Application Fee: None required. Olin also does not require recommendation letters.


Required: We would like to learn more about you. Please answer the following essay question in 750 words or less: “Why you?”

Optional: If you are not currently employed full-time, use this essay to provide information about your current activities. (250 words or fewer)

Optional: Please provide any information you would like to add to your application that you have not otherwise included. (500 words or fewer)

Re-Applicant Essay: 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)

Application Fee: $175. Waived for active duty military & veterans, MLT Fellows, Forté MBA Launchers, Consortium members, Peace Corps volunteers.


Required: One of three essay options.

Option #1: At Mendoza, we encourage our students, faculty, and staff to Ask More of Business. We embrace a threefold commitment to achieve this goal: Greater Good, Effective Organizations and Individual Integrity. Tell us about an experience in which you lived out one of those values.

Option #2: The University of Notre Dame was founded in 1842, by Father Edward Sorin, C.S.C, with a mission to become “one of the most powerful means for doing good in this country”. In 1879, Father Sorin’s vision for Notre Dame appeared to be at a sudden, abrupt end. A massive fire destroyed the building that housed virtually the entire University. Instead of giving up, Father Sorin interpreted the fire as a sign that he had dreamed too small, and decided to rebuild, bigger and better than ever. That Main Building still stands today, topped by the gleaming Golden Dome, not only as an iconic campus building, but as an ongoing symbol of perseverance and vision. Tell us the story of a time in your own life or career when you had to overcome an obstacle, start over, or rebuild.

Option #3:
We seek students who will become active, engaged members of our student body. Tell us about how you were able to make an impact at your alma mater, in your workplace, or in your community.

Application Fee: NA


Required: 1) What are your (immediate) post-MBA professional goals? How do you feel your current resume aligns with these goals? (500 words)

Required: Video Essay-  access the video essay and instructions on how to complete the essay.

Optional: You should only answer this question if you feel your complete application for admission does not adequately represent you. What other information do you believe is necessary in the assessment of your candidacy to the Broad MBA? (375 words)

Application Fee: $85. Waived for active duty military & veterans, Peace Corps,
AmeriCorps & Teach for America volunteers, Forte MBA Launchers, MLT members, non-profit staffers & more.


What is your immediate short-term goal post-graduation from the USC Marshall MBA program? (Please include industry and function information in your answer)

How will USC Marshall enable you to develop or improve your skills in order to reach your goals? (Both questions have a combined 700-word limit)

Tell us about a time when you went beyond what was defined, established, or expected. (200 words)

Application Fee: $150


1) Describe your short-term and long-term goals, and how the MBA will help you to achieve those goals. Include in your discussion: Why is now the appropriate time to pursue an MBA and why are you interested in obtaining a Rice MBA?” (750 words)

2) Choose one of the following three options:

Describe a defining moment or event that changed your life (300 words)

If you had to tweet something to the world for the first time about yourself, what would you tweet?” (140 characters

Introduce yourself to your classmates in a 90 second video.”

Optional: You may use this essay to discuss anything else that you would like the Admissions Committee to know about you, or to provide information or clarification on any aspect of your application. (Maximum 750 words)

Application Fee: $200


1) Explain your short-term and long-term career plans as specifically as possible (500 words)

2) Discuss how you think you could contribute to Owen and the program (500 words)

Optional: If necessary, you may provide an additional statement to explain poor academic performance, weak test scores, significant gaps in full-time employment, lack of recommendation from your current or most recent supervisor, academic misconduct or anything else that you think is important for the Admissions Committee to know about you that is not already addressed elsewhere in your application.

Application Fee: $175. Waived for active duty military & veterans, Peace Corps & Teach for America volunteers, member of or proven advocate for an underrepresented minority,
graduate of Vanderbilt MS Finance or accelerator program.


Write a personal statement answering the following three questions (no word limit)

Briefly describe your short-term and long-term career goals. Why are you choosing to pursue an MBA at this time in your career, and what are you hoping to accomplish by doing so?

Why are you interested in pursuing an MBA at the Carlson School of Management?

What do you feel makes you a strong candidate for the program? How will you contribute to the MBA Program overall?

Application Fee: $75. Waived for active duty military & veterans (within three years).



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