UNC Kenan-Flagler Deadlines, Essays & Analysis (Class of 2013, Starting Fall 2011)

DEADLINES [table id=54/]


Essay One (Required)

What are the 2 or 3 strengths or characteristics that have driven your career success thus far? What are the other strengths that you would like to leverage in the future? (500 words maximum)

Analysis: Kenan-Flagler's "self-aware" approach to this question requires you to 1) discuss your professional highlights and 2) extract the underlying strengths that enabled your success. The thought process is similar to a typical Leadership essay, but with multiple examples to show an ongoing history of professional accomplishments. In that sense, this essay serves as the backdrop to your Goals essay (#2 below), especially if you plan to remain in the same industry or field. However, even if you are changing careers or your accomplishments are otherwise not directly related to your future goals, your core abilities should most certainly be, so define them broadly enough to apply outside of your present work, but sharply enough to show real potential for future application. In general, it's much more effective to focus on broadly applicable soft skills, which are relatively difficult to develop, rather than technical strengths (accounting, software engineering, etc.) that many people share and can be learned with enough effort.

Please see: The MBA Leadership Essay

Essay Two (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)

Analysis: With the requirement to write about your professional experiences in Essay One, the connection between those experiences and your Goals should hopefully be clear. One exception would be for career changers. In that case, you'll need to explain how your previous career, and possibly other factors, such as community involvement, taught you where your true career interests lie.

Please see: The MBA Goals Essay

Essay Three (Required)

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? (500 words maximum)

Analysis: Please see: The MBA Personal Essay

Essay Four (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)

Analysis: A specific question for the numerically challenged, but one that should give some hope to low GMAT or GRE quantitative scorers if you can show good performance in advanced quantitative courses from college or elsewhere. If you don't have that, then hopefully your work requires strong mathematical ability. If you don't have that, then I recommend enrolling in an appropriate class online or in your community. Several of my clients have overcome low GMAT quant scores to attend top MBA programs because they proactively took a university extension course online. The key word here is "proactively"; they enrolled before the application deadline. These courses, especially at "better" universities, can be expensive, but they might just save you.

Please see: The MBA Optional Essay

Essay Five (Optional)

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

Analysis: Please see: The MBA Optional Essay