August 24, 2019

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School MBA Essay 1

UNC (Kenan-Flagler)

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 the goals that you provided above not transpire, what other opportunities would you explore?

The balance for this sucker should be around 350–400 or so for Part 1, and 100–150 for Part 2. Let’s attack them one by one.

Part 1 – Immediate goals, how will you benefit personally and professionally, specifically from a Kenan-Flagler MBA.

Step 1 – Lay out the big picture vision first. This is the important context that your short-term goals will fit into. Do it in a sentence or two, max. Quickly move into what your short-term goal is, and establish why that’s necessary toward your long-term goal. [75 words]

Step 2 – Now, get into the GRISTLE. Walk us through the goals, and why they all snap together – why one goal is necessary for pursuing the next one, and why that one is necessary for the next one. It needs to be utterly logical, and evident that you’ve thought through it very clearly. It should read like a recipe or a checklist that an airline pilot goes through. Logical. Stage-based. The segue to Step 3 is this: you can’t just launch that plan today, you’re missing some stuff… [125–150 words]

Step 3 – Explain what you need both personally and professionally – that you don’t have today, that Kenan-Flagler will give you, better than other choices – that will allow you to succeed at achieving all your goals. It’s useful to think of it this way… “I can’t just start now because … ” Because why? List out all the professional and personal areas in which you fall short somehow, and then MAP specific aspects of Kenan-Flagler TO those things, explaining how each one chips away at filling those gaps in. [125–150 words]

Part 2 – Things are likely to change at b-school. We get it. “When” that happens, how might your path change?

Step 4 – This is the part where you explain more about what drives you… at a root level. Such that if you get thrown off track in the way of “industry” or “sector” or “job type” or any other variable that may easily change on account of an MBA program… that it won’t fundamentally affect the thing you need in order to feel fulfilled. So, what is that thing, deep down, that you wanna achieve? The extreme version of this would be something like “to be happy.” Which allows for someone to “switch” from consulting to … “tap dancing” and still have succeeded, because that switch CONTINUED to deliver happiness. See how that works?

Now, “happiness” is too broad and sappy and easy for a b-school app. So you need to find a way to describe the SOURCE of your ultimate motivation in a way that allows for an unexpected change that changes the way your ROUTE looks, but ultimately gets you to the same fundamental “Oz” but… in a business-y way. A great way to test this is to imagine a scenario where some THING happens at business school that takes you on a different-LOOKING journey, big or small. The key is to grapple with why that option is not as ideal as your first choice, but why you’re still open to it because it still scratches that same fundamental itch. As long as you can connect those dots, you’re golden.

If you can do this not just once, but twice (three times may be too many), it’ll show that you’ve placed the correct amount of emphasis on the END RESULT and not just on the path, which is ultimately not that meaningful. Those who are LOCKED on outcomes, will find multiple (possibly even infinite) pathways to get there, regardless of whatever should throw them off course. To them, there’s no such thing as “off course.” It’s “achieve goal versus don’t achieve goal.” Show us that you’re open to “whatever gets you there.” You wanna come across obsessed with “getting it done” more than “how you look when you attempt to get it done.” [100–150 words]


You can also read through our team’s analysis of the rest of Kenan-Flagler’s Essays.

Learn more and explore each step of Kenan-Flagler’s full-time MBA application process here.

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