By UCLA Anderson September 10, 2013 Leave a Comment

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This year we have reduced the
number of essays for our MBA application from three to just one required essay.
We anticipate that some of you may be feeling relieved that the application just
got shorter, but we also know that some of you will be feeling a bit more anxious.
After all, you will have fewer words to tell us about yourself and your post
MBA plans. This post is intended to share with you our rationale for this
change and give you some useful pointers to get you off to a great start. 

We reduced the number of
essays to only one because we want you to concentrate your energy (and ours) on
what matters most. The selected essay serves as an excellent proxy for a face-to-face
interview before we have an opportunity to meet you in person, thus rounding off
our assessment of the information your are providing on the rest of the
application.

This year’s essay question is: What are your short-term and long-term
career goals, and how will an MBA from UCLA Anderson specifically help you
achieve these goals?

At first glance this question
may seem overly simplistic but, if used correctly, the answer can provide the
admission committee with lots of valuable information about you and enhance
your application. Your essay will help us understand your plans (short and
long-term). It also tells us about your self-assessment/awareness and your professional
maturity. A good essay should address the path you intend to follow in our program and beyond;
connect it to your passions and show some insights into areas you wish to
develop. Thoughtful applicants will also look to identify any resources and
tools the program may offer to help you achieve your goals. Examples may
include classes, activities, clubs and other extra curricular
opportunities.  The goal is to
communicate that you are ready for an MBA and that you have a solid
understanding of what is needed to make the most of your experience. And lastly, that you have a clear plan for your post MBA life.

Now
that we have laid out the foundation for a good application essay, you may be
thinking about how you will be able to stand out from the several hundreds or
even thousands of essays that we will be assessing this season. The secret
ingredient is “YOU.” Letting a little of your personality, style and passion
show through while you speak candidly about your plans will help make your essay
distinct and interesting. While we know that most people are not professional
writers or even native English speakers, a little personality and specific
details can make it more compelling. We suggest that you have friends or family
read your drafts to confirm that others understand what you want to convey and that
you are adequately answering the questions. It also goes without saying that
you should proofread it carefully. A good admissions essay should not have grammatically or
typographical errors. We also check your essays
for plagiarism, so make sure you always submit your own work.

For those of you that may
have additional situations to address such as an unexplained leave off absence
from work, or a suboptimal academic performance during a particular time in college,
you might consider using our optional essay to address those situations.

For more information on our
essays (including optional and reapplicant essays) please visit the application
requirements section of our website

Good luck and happy writing!

UCLA Anderson MBA Admissions and Financial Aid

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