UCLA Anderson Essay Topic Analysis 2010-2011

5已有 1375 次阅读  2010-06-11 00:07   标签UCLA  Analysis  Anderson  Topic  Essay 

UCLA Anderson’s MBA application essay requirements have significantly changed since last year, as candidates are only required to respond to two essay prompts.  UCLA Anderson also provides two optional essay questions, giving applicants the opportunity to provide the adcom with additional information.  Let’s consider each of the school’s prompts as well as the broad instructions/preamble that UCLA Anderson provides:

Please be introspective and authentic in your responses. Content is more important than style of delivery. We value the opportunity to learn about your life experiences, aspirations, and goals.

Although similar to last year’s preamble, the second sentence in this introduction is new to UCLA’s application.  By explicitly stating that they value content over delivery, UCLA suggests that they want applicants to focus on thoroughly answering the questions rather than sacrificing detail in order to find a creative method of expression.  Based on these instructions, candidates should also ensure that in describing their past experiences and future plans, they provide a mature and accurate portrait of themselves.

1. What event or life experience has had the greatest influence in shaping your character and why? (750 words)
This prompt designates a slight departure from Anderson’s long-running first essay question, in which candidates were asked to describe how their family and community shaped their development.  Because the new prompt adopts a broader approach in inquiring about the forces that develop character, this year’s applicants do not have to limit themselves to discussing family or community, as an experience from work, school or an extracurricular activity is also a viable option.  Regardless of the event or experience you choose, it’s important that it allows you to clearly define your character for the adcom.  For example, perhaps a growing up in difficult socio-economic circumstances developed your work ethic, or working abroad has made you an open-minded and adaptable person.  In responding to this essay applicants should also ensure that they depict themselves as self-aware and introspective, as this is integral to responding to the “why” component of the essay as well as satisfying the preamble’s requirements.

2. Describe your short-term and long-term career goals. What is your motivation for pursuing an MBA now and how will UCLA Anderson help you to achieve your goals? (750 words)

This is a fairly standard career goals essay.  While it’s important to provide a candid account of your professional objectives and interest in Anderson’s program, remember that a compelling set of essays will complement each other, and thus the way in which you describe your character in the first essay should correspond to the goals you have set for yourself in the future.  For example, an applicant who discusses his or her commitment to social justice in the first essay would support this argument by unveiling his or her plans to start a microfinance organization.

Note that the second part of the question encompasses two parts: the timing of one’s application, and the ways that UCLA’s MBA program will satisfy one’s interest or needs. In order to tailor your response to Anderson’s unique merits and offerings, you will need to be able to identify certain programs and courses that are relevant to your goals and stated interests. Taking the time to learn about the school’s curriculum, special programs and extracurricular activities – whether through a visit to campus or conversation with alumni or reading will pay dividends here.

Optional Essays:
The following essays are strictly optional. These essays are for individuals who would like to provide additional information.  No preference is given in the evaluation process to applicants who submit optional essays.

While UCLA states that both of these essays are optional, we believe that it will behoove most applicants to respond to Optional Essay 1, as doing so will give them the opportunity to share an aspect of their candidacy not covered in the other essays.  Given the level of competition in MBA admissions and the somewhat narrow band in which applicants must operate for the first two essays, Optional Essay 1 gives applicants the important opportunity to showcase another side of their candidacy.  Furthermore, we believe that most people who are qualified to attend UCLA are multi-dimensional and therefore will have a good topic to discuss in Optional Essay 1.  Applicants should also consider that this prompt was featured on last year’s application as a required essay, and thus Anderson has a history of evaluating this information in its admissions decisions.  All this being said, it’s important to remember that adcoms are very busy during the application season and candidates should not create extra work for them unless absolutely necessary.  Therefore candidates should only respond to Optional Essay 1 if they have something interesting to add that is not already covered in the first two essays.

1. You may respond to the following question via written essay, audio or video clip: What is something people will find surprising about you?
Using an audio or video format to respond to a UCLA Anderson essay question was introduced two years ago and is a unique response type among the top MBA programs. By giving students this opportunity, UCLA may be signaling the value it places on effective communication, looking for applicants who can express themselves articulately through both spoken and written channels. Thus, speaking with clarity and in as engaging a manner as possible will likely be quite beneficial for applicants who respond to this essay.

The question provides applicants with a chance to explore an important aspect of their candidacy not mentioned in data forms, the resume, or other responses. For applicants from oversubscribed groups in the applicant pool, this forum could offer a great chance to truly stand out from the crowd by sharing an interesting detail about their background or interests. While the door is open to just about anything, from a quirky hobby to an exotic travel experience, it’s important to remember that because this essay is optional, candidates should only submit a response if it has a significant relevance to your future in the MBA program or your career.

2. Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? (250 words)
This is the standard optional essay question, giving students the opportunity to address typical “problem” issues such as a low GPA or GMAT score and gaps in employment.  In responding to this essay it’s important that you clearly explain the situation, take responsibility for your actions, and point to ways you have improved since the situation occurred.  Doing so will reflect your maturity to the adcom, which will go a long way in making up for the troubling aspects of your candidacy.

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