Round 1: Application deadline: October 13, 2015 at 11:59pm CT, decision date: December 17, 2015
Round 2: Application deadline: January 12, 2016 at 11:59pm CT, decision date: March 29, 2016
Round 3: Final application deadline: March 31, 2016 at 11:59pm CT, decision date: May 12, 2016
You may review the 2015-2016 Applications Essay Topics here.
Essay 1: At The University of Texas at Austin, what starts here changes the world. You are at the Texas MBA Orientation for the Class of 2018, meeting your cohort for the first time. Please introduce yourself to your new classmates, including relevant information about 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)
Share your about.me profile
Like last two years, UT Austin requires the applicants to write an essay on introduction to their class mates. McCombs allows them to delve on their personal as well as professional attributes in 250 words. This essay, in terms of the topic and the medium of communication, provides applicants with a flexibility and freedom to showcase their creative side. It is asking you to introduce yourself to your peers, so you should convey your best side and talk about the traits that you feel are the best in you. Considering this is your first encounter with them, you should highlight your personal and professional accomplishments, your hobbies, your history (background), and issues that pique your interest. The motive is to tell you future class mates who you really are.
To showcase your creativity, McCombs offers you a choice of three modes of communication. , You should pick the format that works best for you. If you are an introvert, or if you love to write , you may select the ‘essay mode’ for sure. If you have an artistic bent of mind and are good with visuals and graphics, you may pick the about.me option. An about.me profile is simply a written expression about you which also includes visuals, giving you an option to use your creativity to the fullest.
If you are an extrovert, you may find the video mode more exciting. A video essay allows applicants not only to be more creative but also imaginative. So you may use your own imagination, focusing more on the things that you like and would want to share. For example, if you plan to share your culinary skills with your class mates, you may consider shooting the one minute video in your kitchen.
I am sure it will be fun doing a video essay ; however, it is my understanding that it would demand¬¬¬ more time than a regular essay. (this doesn't imply that crafting an 'introduction' essay is easy) So you may experiment with it if you can invest significant amount of time to make sure that you grab the attention of your audience not only through your words, but also through your body language and facial expressions . And remember your challenge is to say it all in a one minute video.
Before you submit your response to this essay, have a trusted friend or colleague look it over to let you know if you have crafted a compelling piece. As they say, you only have one chance to make a first impression, so whichever medium you choose, dedicate the work necessary to ensure that your introduction is both engaging and true to who you really are.
Essay 2: The McCombs School of Business is where leadership is earned. We have an inclusive environment where our dynamic and driven students take an active role in the Texas MBA community. Please discuss why the Texas MBA is the ideal program for you, what you hope to achieve, and how you will contribute to your classmates’ experience. (500 words)
This year, McCombs has slightly refined the second essay question . Last year, the applicants were asked to share what they hope to gain from the Texas MBA program both personally and professionally, in addition to why McCombs was the right program for them and what impact they will make on their classmates. This year the phase ‘personally and professionally has been omitted and the applicants are encouraged to focus their responses on what they hope to achieve while at McCombs, why McCombs is right for them, and what they will contribute to their classmates’ experience.” Also, McCombs is interested in learning more about your leadership potential.To address the first part of the question, explain why you wish to pursue MBA . Then, discuss why you are choosing McCombs and how various resources at Texas will help you fulfill your personal and professional needs and objectives and would aid in shaping up your future, the way you see it.
To compose a solid response to this question, you need to do a thorough research of the resources and offerings of Mc Combs. You may also get in touch with the currents students and alumni to get insider’s perspective on their experience. If possible, visit the campus, attend a class, talk to faculty or other people to get feel of the school’s culture. This will help you determine your ‘fit’ with the school.
Please refer to the following example:
“My past experiences, the knowledge gained in the classroom, Mc Comb’s extensive NGO network, and the Net Impact club will equip me with skills to operate an NGO, helping me realize my dream of opening my own NGO.”
To address the second part of the question, you should highlight your attributes, your strengths which you would be bringing to the Texas community. Focus on mentioning about your work in two or three clubs and elaborate on that, showing how you think it will groom your personality and how you will bring those traits to the classroom and enrich your class mates’ experience. You may want to show your contribution by creating something new on campus e.g. a new club or a community event, or by leading it.
Now, say, you could talk about your passion for soccer and how you could enrich the Soccer Club.
‘Having a rich experience of being on the field and being best friends with the ball for more than a decade, I feel I can bring that to the McCombs Soccer Club and lead to the enhancement of the games..’
Lastly ,do not forget to showcase how you will imbibe the collaborative culture of McCombs and add value to it.
Optional Essay: 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, significant weaknesses in your application, or extenuating personal circumstances). (250 words)
An optional essay is an opportunity for you to give the Ad Com relevant information that you could not provide in other essays or other parts of your application essays, recommendation letters and resume. This question is also meant to shine a spotlight on an experience or side of your personality that has not been revealed in the other parts of your application.
To provide context for a weakness in your profile, like low GPA or GMAT or a gap in your job history, make sure your reason is genuine to convince them that your low grades occurred due to unforeseen circumstances beyond your control. Also, keep in mind that your story should not only explain that particular weakness in your profile, but also bring out your other strong personality traits. That means your response should be positive and should not sound like you are making excuses for a weakness in your profile.
Below is an example of an optional essay written by a military candidate to explain his low grades:
“Although my leadership experiences in the military taught me many valuable lessons in teamwork, perseverance, and management, through all my responsibilities, it impacted my grades. Thus, I do not view my undergraduate performance as an accurate representation of my academic abilities. I certainly deserved all the grades I received; I earned them. However, I hope the above reasons will assist you in understanding my particular situation. I grew from this experience and took a dedicated approach to professional education. I would respectfully ask the admission committee consider this when reviewing my application.”
For more application tips and tricks, click here:
http://blogs.mccombs.utexas.edu/mba-ins ... ps-tricks/
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From Julia Campbell, Associate Director of MBA Admissions, Full-Time Texas MBA Program:
As you think about how to approach the essays in your MBA application, consider appropriate mental theme music. Unfortunately for most, a fitting score might be the one from “Jaws”; ominous, foreboding and downright intimidating. But maybe for you it’s less scary, a bit more uplifting, full of hope, something like “Chariots of Fire” perhaps? Let’s hope. In any case, your best shot at writing strong essays is to approach them armed with insider tips from the Admissions Committee.
We read hundreds of essays. Thousands. The purpose of these essay questions is to understand why you want to attend McCombs, who you are both professionally and personally, and what goals you want to achieve while in our program and beyond. We only have two short essay questions and while it may be tempting, avoid the snooze-fest/shock-factor extremes, do us (and yourself) a favor and think hard about these answers. Heed our advice below and tackle it while “Don’t Stop Believing” plays in the background:
- At The University of Texas at Austin, what starts here changes the world. You are at the Texas MBA Orientation for the Class of 2018, meeting your cohort for the first time. Please introduce yourself to your new classmates, including relevant information about 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)
- Share your about.me profile
You are going to need to role play a little bit. Close your eyes. Imagine you are standing in front of your new Texas MBA Class of 2018 classmates introducing yourself. You will be placed into one of four cohorts, a group of 65-70 classmates that will be your family during the core curriculum. What would you say if you only have 250 words or one-minute? First impressions are important in person and are equally important in an admissions application.
A few key things to make sure you include are a greeting or introduction, your current profession or professional identity, goals for the future, how McCombs fits in and some personal anecdotes. We want the full picture, but in a nutshell.
Also, what makes you interesting and unique are both your personal and professional interests and attributes. Therefore, an intro that only discusses work experience, or only discusses previous life experience, is incomplete. Give us a rounded mix, so that we better understand who you are in a more complete sense, and not only in one facet of your life.
Finally, the choice is yours: written essay, about.me page, or video. We have seen significant success in each platform. Therefore, play to your strengths. If your skill is in writing, focus on the essay. If you have a knack for creative flare, color, design and photos, then have fun with an about.me profile. If you want to create a video and rely on your voice and video editing skills, then we are excited to see it. In any submission, have fun with it and do not take this essay for granted—it can go a long way to setting the stage for your application as your introduction.
The McCombs School of Business is where leadership is earned. We have an inclusive environment where our dynamic and driven students take an active role in the Texas MBA community. Please discuss why the Texas MBA is the ideal program for you, what you hope to achieve, and how you will contribute to your classmates’ experience. (500 words)
Love McCombs? Prove it. This is your chance to convey your passion, excitement, personality, and experience, while also addressing how that experience relates to your MBA and career goals. By the time we read your essays, we have already seen your resume, scores and basic elements of your application. In this answer, we need you to expand upon the bare facts, and convey to us why you are the perfect student for McCombs.
This is a dense question, lots of content. The key will be to make sure you address each section of the question individually and within the tight limit of 500 words. Below is a dissection of each part of the question to help you craft a complete answer:
- “…why the Texas MBA is the ideal program for you…”: Focus here on the words Texas MBA and you. A vague essay is a poor essay, so give us specifics. Meditate on “how do I love McCombs, let me count the ways”, because if you’ve read our website or spoken to an admissions team member, frankly there is a LOT to love; classes, concentrations, organizations, students/alumni, professors, unique academic and career-oriented opportunities, the list goes on. So before you write your essay, I recommend you write a list of your top reasons why McCombs is total MBA perfection. Then, make sure these specifics are mentioned to illustrate your dedication to our program. What’s the consequence of saying vague things like McCombs is “amazing” and “a great program”? First, we may question your familiarity with our school, or worse we may assume you just reused the same generic essay you used for another MBA program – yikes.
- “… what you hope to achieve…”: The primary difference between this portion of the prompt and the previous section is that we are asking you to clearly connect how McCombs will help you achieve your career objectives and personal goals. Create a 5 and 10 year plan for yourself, then see what classes, organizations, and experiential opportunities that we offer specifically relate to this career plan. Then connect the dots for us. Essentially, we want to know what you want and how McCombs will help you get it.
- “… how you will contribute to your classmates’ experience …”: Lastly, as you are mapping out your reasons for attending our program, also remember that we pride ourselves first and foremost on our collaborative, diverse and extremely tight-knit community. We work very hard to find individuals excited about being a part of this community in particular, so in what ways will you contribute? How will you give back while you are here? How can you leverage our program offerings and combine it with your skill set to propel the entire program forward. Convince us that you are indispensable to our community, and that we simply cannot live without you.
Last bit of advice. Return to classic writing techniques, a strong essay structure, grammar, punctuation, spelling and cadence. A few common essay writing pitfalls to avoid include convoluted sentences, going off-topic, name-dropping, vague or confusing goals, citing inaccurate classes, professors, or student organizations, or calling us by any other name besides McCombs or the Texas MBA (a common mistake for people who reuse essays.) Also, DON’T REUSE ESSAYS FROM OTHER SCHOOLS! We can totally tell.
As always, please email us at TexasMBA@mccombs.utexas.edu if you have any other questions. Get started early and edit, edit, edit! Your essays can really send a strong application into orbit, so good luck, and happy applying!