Duke Fuqua Essays & Analysis (Class of 2013, Starting Fall 2011)


New Essays for Fall 2011 Entry

Three essay questions must be completed before submitting your application. Prepare your essays carefully. The Admissions Committee considers your responses to the following questions important in the selection process. Please respond fully and concisely using 1.5 line spacing. Your response to each question should be no more than 2 pages in length, with a font size no less than 10-point.

Candidates who applied to The Duke MBA between September 2009 and April 2010 are considered re-applicants. All re-applicants are required to complete the Re-applicant Essay in addition to the Applicant Essays.

All applicants have the opportunity to submit an optional essay to explain any extenuating circumstances of which the Admissions Committee should be aware.

Applicant Essays : Answer all 3 essay questions.

Today, companies must navigate through complex and interdependent issues. They must deal with health and security matters, environmental impact questions, and diversity and cultural concerns. Leaders need adaptability, imagination, emotional intelligence, and business acumen. Thus, Duke is in the midst of an ambitious global venture that will embed and connect us around the world, and we are seeking future leaders of consequence, who value diversity and collaborative leadership, and who aspire to impact the companies and communities of which they are a part in a lasting and positive way.

In an effort to identify, engage, and foster the development of future leaders of consequence, the Admissions Committee would like to get to know our applicants in a more holistic manner. We would like to know who you are, what has shaped you into the person you are today, and how you hope to impact both Duke and the communities of which you will be a part in the future. The essays are your opportunity to convey that to us. Please be open, genuine, and passionate. Share with us what makes you a dynamic, multi-dimensional person.

Describe your vision for your career and your inspiration for pursuing this career path.

Analysis: I really like Fuqua's holistic and passionate stance, which began most noticeably last year; they want nothing less than your heart and soul. The questions seem straightforward, but there is strong potential for overlap, which  probably presents the biggest challenge. You could include personal and professional accomplishments/experiences behind your Career Vision. The same accomplishments/experiences could indicate potential contributions in either the Background or Why Duke? essays as well. Avoiding topic repetition will take some planning, though I think it is fine to describe an accomplishment in detail in one essay, and explain its potential for contribution in another.

Please see: The MBA Goals Essay

How will your background, values, and non-work activities enhance the experience of other Duke MBA students and add value to Fuqua's diverse culture?

Analysis: Please see: The MBA Personal Essay

Why Duke? (If you are interested in a specific concentration, joint degree, clubs or activities, please discuss how you would contribute to these in this essay.)

Analysis: Providing two pages to explain, Fuqua is clearly serious about applicants being serious about them. You should also consider the parenthetical remark about contribution to be mandatory. If you are not interested in a "specific concentration, joint degree, clubs or activities", then why are you applying?

Please see: Why MBA School X?

Optional Essay (not required) If you feel there are extenuating circumstances of which the Admissions Committee should be aware, please explain them here (e.g., unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, significant weakness in your application).

Analysis: Please see: The MBA Optional Essay Re-applicant Essay All re-applicants are required to complete the Re-applicant Essay. Please limit your response to two pages. Write an essay describing how you are now a stronger candidate for admission compared to the application you submitted the previous year.

Analysis: Please see: The MBA Re-Applicant Essay (under development)