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Having an idea of how you tend to react to situations that challenge your core beliefs will help the school better envision how you might navigate such incidents in its classrooms and in the business world after you graduate.
Optional Essay: Is there any additional information not presented elsewhere in your application that you would like the admissions committee to consider?
(300 words) Optional areas to address include: In general, we believe that the best use of the optional essay is to explain confusing or problematic issues in your candidacy, which this prompt allows, and which the inclusion of the illustrative bullet points seems to encourage.
With the first part of this prompt, Kenan-Flagler wants to know that you have thoroughly considered this next step in your career and are applying to business school for very clear, specific reasons—not because you feel you are supposed to or because you are following in a parent’s footsteps, and because you do not know what else to do at this juncture in your life!
(Believe it or not, these are all actual reasons some people choose to pursue an MBA.) Kenan-Flagler, like all top programs, wants engaged, driven, and focused students who are ready to be an active part of its MBA experience and to do big things with the knowledge and skills they acquire from it.
For some, this means “winning” at all costs and by any means necessary.
As a result, you will inevitably encounter situations in life in which people act or things progress in a way that runs counter to what you feel is “right”—in other words, in a way that conflicts with your values.Our full analysis of this season’s questions follows.This year, Kenan-Flagler has amended its career-related essay question to focus strictly on one’s initial post-MBA job only.Kenan-Flagler wants to know how your values influence your decisions and actions, and in particular, which one you feel serves as your strongest guide.Simply stating that you adhere to your values is easy enough, so the admissions committee is understandably asking for an illustration of this phenomenon from your past to better gauge this for itself.The admissions committee knows that sometimes the best-laid plans do not play out as expected or may even yield unintended results, and the school wants to know not only that you are prepared to switch gears and recommit to a different path, if necessary, but also that you are fully capable of doing so.The key is to show that your alternate goal is just as connected to your skills, interests, and ambitions as your original plan and does not come “out of left field,” so to speak.Although the school does not ask you to lay out your background and explain how you reached this choice, providing some basic context for your goal is a good idea (just be succinct!) to ensure the admissions committee understands that your plans are reasonable and fitting for you.Given the 250-word maximum for this essay, you should definitely skip any preamble or lip service and simply dive into your response, clearly identifying your selected core value, describing the situation that challenged it, and detailing your subsequent thought process and actions in response.Whatever the ultimate outcome of the incident—even if it took the form of a failure of some kind—the key again is to clearly illustrate for the admissions committee how you were guided by your fundamental beliefs.