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Duke University (Fuqua) Essay Analysis, 2010-2011

Please respond fully and concisely using 1.5 line spacing. Your response to each question should be no more than 2 pages in length, with a font size no less than 10-point.

Today, companies must navigate through complex and interdependent issues. They must deal with health and security matters, environmental impact questions, and diversity and cultural concerns. Leaders need adaptability, imagination, emotional intelligence, and business acumen. Thus, Duke is in the midst of an ambitious global venture that will embed and connect us around the world, and we are seeking future leaders of consequence, who value diversity and collaborative leadership, and who aspire to impact the companies and communities of which they are a part in a lasting and positive way.

In an effort to identify, engage, and foster the development of future leaders of consequence, the Admissions Committee would like to get to know our applicants in a more holistic manner. We would like to know who you are, what has shaped you into the person you are today, and how you hope to impact both Duke and the communities of which you will be a part in the future. The essays are your opportunity to convey that to us. Please be open, genuine, and passionate. Share with us what makes you a dynamic, multi-dimensional person.

1. Describe your vision for your career and your inspiration for pursuing this career path.

In many ways, essays one and three constitute the components of a classic Personal Statement. And, because Personal Statements are similar from one application to the next, we have produced the mbaMission Personal Statement Guide, which helps applicants write this style of essay for any school. We offer this guide to candidates free of charge, via our online store. Please feel free to download your copy today.

All of that written, you will notice that Fuqua does not explicitly ask about your short- and long-term career goals but instead asks about your “vision for your career.” Short- and long-term goals can be somewhat confining, but Fuqua instead offers you some flexibility and allows you to provide a broader and more reasoned compendium of your objectives and the path you hope to take to reach them. In some ways, this question is more challenging than a traditional “goal statement” as you will need to be less practical and more profound in discussing your future.

2. How will your background, values, and non-work activities enhance the experience of other Duke MBA students and add value to Fuqua’s diverse culture?

This essay is broad and sweeping in nature, so it allows you to strategically showcase a mix of your greatest community and personal strengths. You should attempt to select a diversity of experiences and present them in such a way that you will be able to relate them back to your ability to contribute in a variety of areas – for example, the classroom, study teams and the community at large. A successful essay will be one that not only details your personality/experiences, but also clearly illustrates how you will “enhance” Fuqua — meaning that you show your intimate understanding of and connection to the Fuqua culture/experience.

3. Why Duke? (If you are interested in a specific concentration, joint degree, clubs or activities, please discuss how you would contribute to these in this essay.)

Please consult our analysis of essay one as it encompasses a response to essays one and three. For a thorough exploration of Duke’s academic program/merits, defining characteristics, crucial statistics, social life, academic environment and more, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to the Fuqua School of Business.

Optional Essay (not required)

If you feel there are extenuating circumstances of which the Admissions Committee should be aware, please explain them here (e.g., unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, significant weakness in your application).

However tempted you might be, this is not the place to paste in a strong essay from another school or to offer a few anecdotes that you were unable to use in any of your other essays. Instead, this is your opportunity, if needed, to address any lingering questions that an admissions officer may have about your candidacy, such as a poor grade or overall GPA, a low GMAT score, a gap in your work experience, etc. In our mbaMission Optional Statement Guide, available through our online store, we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay, with multiple examples, to help you mitigate any problem areas in your profile.




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