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Emory’s Goizueta School of Business MBA Application Essay Questions and Tips

Located in Atlanta, USA, Emory’s Goizueta School of Business is one of the top MBA programs in the US. In it’s 2019-2020 admissions cycle, Emory made two changes to it’s MBA essays section.

1. It rephrased its Leadership focused Essay Prompt.

2. The Short-answer essay prompts were replaced by a Video Essay.

The 2020-2021 admissions cycle for Emory saw another change to the Essay prompts. Emory now asks MBA applicants the “Why Goizueta?” question to better understand their fit with the business school.

With two mandatory 300 word-limit essay prompts, one mandatory 200 word-limit essays prompt, one video essay, and another optional essay, Emory’s MBA essay section resembles the European pattern of MBA application essays.

Although it makes the MBA application process a bit longer, the pros are also evident. It allows each applicant to share their story in great detail, improving their candidature for a seat in Emory’s MBA class.

Emory’s Goizueta School of Business MBA Application Essays

Post-MBA Career Goals

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)

This is your straightforward career goals essay. It is one of the most used essay prompts to evaluate an applicant.

To start off this essay, detail your short-term MBA goal. This is the immediate position you wish to hold once you graduate from Emory’s MBA program. Don’t be afraid of getting into the specifics of your short-term goals. From the industry to the job role, to the company you plan to work at, tell the admissions committee about everything.

Also, explain your thought process behind your choice. Explain why a certain job role or industry interests you. What drew you to the organization you wish to work at post-MBA. A point to note would be to choose an organization from the list of recruiters that frequent Emory during Career Week.

Moving on to the second part of this question, write about your transferable skills from your past and current work experience. This, in no way, means repeating your MBA resume. All you really need to do is evaluate all the skills you have acquired up till the MBA, and how these skills will help you be effective in your post-MBA goal.

This is also known as the equation of employability. It talks about how your current skill-set with the knowledge and skills you’ll acquire during your MBA would help you achieve your short-term and long-term post-MBA goals.

While the admissions committees realize that a lot of applicants don’t end up sticking to the goals in their career goals essay, it tells them about the clarity of goals that the applicant has.

Leadership in Business

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, creating unprecedented shareholder wealth, and demonstrating a commitment to values and positive impact on society. Roberto Goizueta’s core values guide us in educating principled leaders to have a positive influence on business and society. Provide a specific example of your leadership and explain what you learned about yourself through the experience. (300 word limit)

Pay special attention to the values that the essay prompt mentions above. As an applicant to Emory, the school expects you to showcase some of these values.

While leadership is a broad term, the specific style of leadership differs at each business school. When writing the answer to Emory’s essay on leadership, you don’t only need to provide a specific and recent example of leadership, you will also need to highlight the global mindset behind it.

As you explain how this experience impacted those around you, you will also need to introspect and share the impact it had on you directly. Did it change your thought pattern in any way? If the answer to this question is no, you might want to brainstorm more and look for another experience to share through this essay.

Video Essay

Telling your story in the written essays is an important part of the application process, but we also want to hear you tell some of your story. The video essay lets every candidate talk to the MBA Admissions Committee and we enjoy getting to know you through the “cocktail” questions.

Take a deep breath as you attempt to answer the Video Essay for Emory.

The video essay is an on-the-spot question generated through a question bank. Applicants have 30 seconds to prepare a 60-min answer and three tries to get it right. Getting it right does not mean an answer that the Emory admissions committee will find flawless. Getting it right refers to the applicant’s satisfaction with their answer.

You could go around the internet and look at old prompts that Emory has used for this essay and prepare for them. However, preparing the rest of your MBA application authentically will help you answer this question without diving into the black hole for MBA applicants that can be Google.
The 30-sec prep time is enough for an applicant to create bullets for what they want to discuss as they answer the randomly generated prompt. All you need to do is stay true to all the information you have shared in your MBA profile.

Optional Essay

If there is an important part of your story missing from your MBA application (e.g., unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, academic probation issues), please use this section to provide a brief explanation. Please use bullets if you need to address more than one topic. (200 word limit)

This is one essay where you can feel free to not create a blueprint before answering the question. As the essay prompt suggests, feel free to use bullet points rather than paragraphs to address multiple topics. Also, don’t feel obliged to answer this optional essay question.

If you have a certain aspect of your profile that you feel doesn’t match up to Emory’s standards, this essay prompt is the right place to discuss it. If your MBA profile falls short on academic or professional grounds, this optional statement can be used to share strenuous events that might have caused that.

However, refrain from blaming the shortcomings of your profile on anyone or anything. Instead, take responsibility and share details of the steps you have taken to rectify the same. Maybe you took a Math course on Coursera to make up for a low GMAT score. Or you had responsibilities that kept you out of the workplace for a few months.

This optional essay is your chance to explain your situation to the admissions committee before you get to elaborate on it during your interviews.

Related Resources:

All you need to know about MBA in Europe 

Top 3 Mistakes MBA Applicants make while looking at business school rankings

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MBA Interview with Naresh Kumra, Digital Entrepreneur, McKinsey NY, IIT, Darden MBA

Why MBA? International MBA Interview with Ex-Pizza Hut India Head/ MD Apollo Hospitals


For over 15+ years as an Entrepreneur, and India’s Top Educationist, Jatin has led a range of initiatives in the Education Industry. In this role, he has created many successful educational services and products geared towards generating success for professionals aspiring to join IVY League and global Top Tier Universities for MBA Programs, Masters Programs, and undergraduate courses. He is the Founder and CEO of PythaGURUS Education, and has been recognized as a thought leader in the Higher education sector. Economic Times, Hindustan Times, Times of India, India Today, Business Today, Tribune, and many other national newspapers have recognized his work, and have given him numerous opportunities to be a regular columnist. He has also served as a panelist for NDTV, and other national news channels.

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