Different styles of teaching such as analysis of cases and theories in study groups and through practical learning are encouraged at the program. Most students are integrated in marketing and strategic projects with domestic and international companies. The students are also encouraged to actively participate in managing CDs, real estate funds, and venture capital funds. As a way to prepare for different managing situations, the program focuses on teaching strategies for team leading, leadership development, administrative couching and skills for speaking in front of an audience.
The University of North Carolina is located in Chapel Hill, a small yet lively college town with beautiful weather and a considerably low cost of living.
The school’s alumni include the following prominent individuals, with current or past positions in parentheses: Brent Callinicos (Vice President and Treasurer at Google), Dwight Smith (Vice President at Procter & Gamble), Jorge Goldsmit (President for Eat, Inc.), and Charles Sullivan (COO at ProLogis).
UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA Essay Topic Analysis 2017-2018
Following up on the release of the Kenan-Flagler MBA essay topics for 2017-2018, we wanted to offer a few pointers to applicants targeting the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for their business school studies next fall.
The UNC MBA essay set is mostly unchanged from last admissions season. The school poses just one required question to applicants, along with three optional 300-word essays of varying open-endedness. Taken together, the content of these prompts reflects a focus on applicant’s career plans and the reasoning behind them, as well as ways that candidates would contribute to the community and preparation to succeed in the classroom.
The retention of last year’s essay prompts and overall format suggests that the adcom was pleased with the information that candidates’ essays yielded last admissions season. Indeed, it seems that candidates’ choices around the three optional responses in particular present an opportunity to evaluate the applicants’ willingness to put “extra” work into their application, as well as their judgment in determining how many of these prompts to respond to and what to share in each. The only minor change this year is in the required essay—the adcom has added a request for a short-term back up plan.
UNC / Kenan-Flagler Essay Topic Analysis 2017-2018
Let’s take a closer look at each of this year’s UNC MBA essays:
Essay 1 (Required)
Please describe your short and long term goals post-MBA. Explain how your professional experience has shaped these goals, why this career option appeals to you, and how you arrived at the decision that now is the time and the MBA is the appropriate degree. Additionally, please briefly address a backup plan should your short-term goal not come to fruition for any reason. (500 words maximum)
Kenan-Flagler’s lone required prompt is a fairly standard career goals essay. Structurally, we recommend that applicants address each element of the essay in the order in which it is presented. Applicants will want to begin by describing their professional aspirations, including both the position they hope to obtain immediately following an MBA, as well as their long-term objective. Candidates will then need to touch on the ways their work experiences to date have informed these goals, as well as the reasons that this career option is appealing. In addition to a match with their existing skills and interests, we suggest that applicants also address the impact their long-term position would enable them to have on an organization, industry, sector, or region. Effective essays will clearly address each of these four points (i.e. short-term goal, long-term goal, how past experience has shaped these, and why this path is appealing) in just 200-250 words in order to leave ample room for a robust why MBA discussion.
On that topic, applicants will then want to explain why they have chosen to pursue graduate business education at this point in their careers, and the ways that an MBA will prepare them for their stated goals. Naturally, in the course of the “why MBA” portion of this response, it would behoove candidates to comment on how exactly the Kenan-Flagler MBA would position them to achieve their career goals (rather than writing generically about the benefits of this credential). Candidates should aim to devote at least 200 words to a discussion of how specific courses and student clubs at UNC would impart the skills and knowledge they need to bridge the gap between their current abilities and what they’ll need to be effective in their chosen career paths. Learning about the details of Kenan-Flagler’s MBA program will therefore be essential in answering this last part of the prompt. Taking the time to learn about the school’s curriculum, special programs, and extracurricular activities — whether through a visit to campus, conversations with students and alumni, or reading the Clear Admit School Guide to Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC — will pay dividends here.
Finally, wrap up the essay with a brief statement about another path that could lead to your aforementioned long-term plan. Ideally, with space permitting, conclude with a statement about understanding that one sometimes needs to be flexible in pursuit of a long-term goal.
Essay 2 (Optional)
What personal qualities or life experiences distinguish you from other applicants? How do these qualities or experiences equip you to contribute to UNC Kenan-Flagler? (300 words maximum)
This question gives applicants the opportunity to share some information about their interests and experiences that set them apart from other candidates, while simultaneously showcasing their knowledge of and fit with Kenan-Flagler. While this essay is technically optional, we strongly recommend that all UNC MBA applicants provide a response to this question. Indeed, applicants would be remiss not to take this opportunity to help the adcom get to know them better — and to continue to demonstrate their interest in attending their MBA program.
Specifically calling for “personal qualities and life experiences,” this essay invites applicants to provide more intimate insight into who they are and what they care about outside of the office. Details matter here, so think about how you can translate your passions and past experiences into involvement on the UNC campus, and indicate specific contributions that you would like to make. Creating a link between your past and your potential future at the program will enable you to present a consistent and clear picture of your candidacy, as well as your professional and personal interests. The more information you can provide about how exactly you would contribute (playing a certain role in organizing a particular annual event, for example), the more reason you’ll give the adcom to admit you.
Essay 3 (Optional)
If your standardized test scores are low, or if you have not had coursework in core business subjects (calculus, microeconomics, statistics, financial accounting), please tell us how you plan to prepare yourself for the quantitative rigor of the MBA curriculum. (300 words maximum)
This response is directed toward applicants with quantitative liabilities in their applications. Applicants should therefore first consider whether either of the conditions of this question applies to them; if your GMAT score falls below the average of enrolled students in the MBA program or if your academic transcripts don’t demonstrate a track record of success in quantitative work in classroom settings, then you should consider addressing this question. As for the response itself, applicants should focus on ways they’ll prepare before they arrive on campus, whether through additional coursework, group or self-study, or through seeking out more quantitatively-oriented responsibilities at work.
Essay 4 (Optional)
Is there any other information you would like to share that is not presented elsewhere in the application? (300 words maximum)
This response will be an appropriate place to address any elements of one’s application that need further explanation (e.g. recommender choice, expected promotions, etc.). The wording of this essay is fairly open and inviting, and so it may be an appropriate place to share an additional anecdote or highlight an impressive accomplishment. Applicants should aim to demonstrate good judgment in deciding whether to respond to this prompt, and should take care not to introduce information that appears elsewhere in their materials or that could have been covered in response to one of the above essays.
Clear Admit Resources
Thanks for reading our analysis of this year’s UNC MBA essay topics! As you work on your Kenan-Flagler MBA essays and application, we encourage you to consider all of Clear Admit’s UNC / Kenan-Flagler offerings:
Posted in: Application Tips, Essay Tips & Advice, Essay Topic Analysis
Schools: UNC Kenan-Flagler