The MBA Admissions Committee uses your essays to evaluate several aspects of your candidacy. First, your essays tell us a great deal about your career aspirations and what has shaped your life to this point. Second, your essays often reveal your strengths as well as your weaknesses. Finally, your essays demonstrate your written communication skills. Be sure to take time to think about and carefully craft your essay responses.
The first required essay topic should give a clear idea of why you are looking to pursue an MBA, what your short-term (immediately after MBA graduation) and longer-term goals are, and why specifically you are interested in the Cox MBA program. The second required essay is designed to give us insight into a specific professional situation in which you have excelled or learned from obstacles faced.
As always, be sure to proofread your work for both spelling and grammar. If you are applying to more than one school, be sure to double-check places where you mention a specific school. Every year, we receive at least one application that discusses the merits of another program! Essays with these mistakes reflect a lack of attention to detail.
Candidates often ask if they should utilize the optional essay. If you have a unique experience to share with us that is not reflected elsewhere in your application, or if you have work gaps, academic problems or other issues that you would like to address, you should take advantage of submitting an optional essay. We strongly suggest you identify any issues upfront and address them here rather than wait and disclose them in person. Otherwise, please do not feel pressured to submit the third essay simply to fill space.