Nus Business School Essays 2013

NUS: A world class business management program in Asia is uncommon enough; add to that a truly diverse and vast student body and you know why NUS is gaining in stature every year. The 17-month MBA program at NUS gives you a solid understanding of the fast growing Asian markets and provides several avenues to gain global perspectives.

Class Profile: Full-time MBA class is comprised of around 100 students with male /female ratio of about 70%/30%. Mean GMAT hovers around 670 and mean age of MBA admit is 29-30 years.

For help with your NUS MBA application explore how we can help you

Round 1*: 31 Jan 2018

Round 2: 31 Mar 2018

NUS Essays 2016-2017

Essay 1. We would like you to tell us about your post-MBA immediate career goal, describing your industry, function & country of choice and a plan on how you would achieve this goal. (Maximum 300 words/3500 characters)

Essay 2. Considering the vision and values of NUS Business School and a typical NUS MBA class, tell us (in 300 words) what makes you a good candidate for admission. (Maximum 300 words/3500 characters)

Essay 3. What is the most critical problem facing your organisation or community? What recommendations would you make to deal with this problem? (Maximum 300 words/3500 characters)

NUS Essays 2015-2016

Essay 1. We would like you to tell us about your post-MBA immediate career goal, describing your industry, function & country of choice and a plan on how you would achieve this goal. (Maximum 300 words/3500 characters)

Essay 2. Considering the vision and values of NUS Business School and a typical NUS MBA class, tell us (in 300 words) what makes you a good candidate for admission. (Maximum 300 words/3500 characters)

Essay 3. What is the most critical problem facing your organisation or community? What recommendations would you make to deal with this problem? (Maximum 300 words/3500 characters)

NUS Essays 2014-2015

Essay 1. We would like you to tell us about your post-MBA immediate career goals and how your professional experiences have prepared you to achieve these goals. You may do so by a 300 words written essay or a two-minute video. If you wish to submit a video, you can upload it on YouTube, change the privacy settings to “Unlisted” and email us the URL. Alternatively, you can send in your video to us in a thumbdrive or CD. (Maximum 300 words)

Essay 2. The mission of NUS Business School is to advance knowledge and develop leaders so as to serve business and society. Discuss how you will contribute toward advancing the mission based on examples of past work and activities. (Maximum 300 words)

Essay 3. Tell us something interesting or unique about yourself which you think would be helpful for the Admission Committee to better evaluate your candidacy. (Maximum 300 words/1800 characters)

NUS Essays 2013-2014

All applicants to the NUS MBA programme have to complete three (3) essay questions via the online application system. The word limit for each essay is 300 words.

Essay 1. The mission of NUS Business School is to advance knowledge and develop leaders so as to serve business and society. Discuss how you will contribute toward advancing the mission based on examples of past work and activities. (Maximum 300 words/1800 characters)

Essay 2. Tell us something interesting or unique about yourself which you think would be helpful for the Admission Committee to better evaluate your candidacy. (Maximum 300 words/1800 characters)

Essay 3. We would like you to tell us about your post-MBA immediate career goals and how your professional experiences have prepared you to achieve these goals. You may do so by a 300 words written essay or a two-minute video. If you wish to submit a video, you can upload it on YouTube, change the privacy settings to Unlisted and email us the URL. Alternatively, you can send in your video to us in a thumbdrive or CD. (Maximum 300 words/1800 characters)

Reapplicant Essay: Re-applicants need to complete this additional re-applicant essay. Please provide an update on any new aspects of your professional, international, academic or personal profile that would not have been included in your previous application. Please also explain your motivation for re-applying to NUS. (Maximum 1800 characters)

NUS Essays 2011-2012

Essay 1. Choose one of the two questions below:

a. Describe your most valued accomplishment and explain why you view it as such. OR

b. Describe a time when you failed. What did you learn from that failure? How has that failure made you better equipped for the future?

Essay 2. Name one current issue (economic / social / political) that Asia is facing and identify a couple of strategies that you feel may adequately address the issue.

Essay 3. Rampant consumerism (seeking material goods without the ability to afford them) is one of the main causes for the current global economic crisis. Restraining consumerism remains a key task for developed countries like the US and Western Europe.� What are your views?

NUS Essays 2010-2011

Essay 1. You are the head of production for a company headquartered in Singapore. To save costs, the production activities are being moved offshore to a developing country. You have also been entrusted with successful implementation of the off-shoring initiative. Identify the critical factors you will need to address to achieve the desired outcome. (300 words)

Essay 2. You are working in an Oil / Energy organisation which just started a Corporate social responsibility (CSR) Department. You have been appointed to lead this CSR department. As a Department Manager, what department goals would you set? What are the major activities and initiatives that you would plan in the coming 2 to 3 years? (300 words)

Essay 3. Describe a specific experience/ event/situation when you had to think on your feet to get yourself out of a difficult situation. (300 words)

NUS Essays 2009-2010

Essay 1. NUS Business School seeks a diverse and unique class of future managers. How will your distinctiveness enrich our learning environment and enhance your prospects for success as a manager? (300 words)

Essay 2. As a manager, you are likely to work with a team in order to accomplish a particular task. In a hypothetical group of six working towards the completion of a project in Corporate Strategy, describe your own role & responsibilities, and the qualities and characteristics of your ideal teammates. (300 words)

Essay 3. Suppose you had to choose two people people alive now or people from another era � to travel with you on a cross-country automobile trip. Who would you choose and why? What would you hope to learn from them? (300 words)

Essay 4. Please answer these questions to allow us to have a better understanding of your career aspirations. A) What industry do you intend to work in after your MBA? B) What is your salary expectation immediately after the NUS MBA? (in USD) C) Name 3 countries (in order of preference) do you wish to continue your career immediately after the NUS MBA. (Max 50 words)

NUS Essays 2008-2009

Essay 1. Briefly assess your career progress to date. Elaborate on your future career plans and your motivation for pursuing an MBA degree at NUS Business School.

Essay 2. NUS Business School seeks a diverse and unique class of future managers. How will your distinctiveness enrich our learning environment and enhance your prospects for success as a manager.

Essay 3. Describe an ethical dilemma you experience first-hand. How did you manage and resolve the situation?

NUS Essays 2007-2008

Essay 1. Discuss your career progression to date. How do you think the NUS MBA can help you achieve your goals? How do you envision your career progressing after receiving the MBA?

Essay 2. Each of us has been influenced by the people, events and situations occurring in our lives. How have these influences shaped you into who you are today?

Essay 3. Globalization and technology are rapidly changing the world of business. How must MBA programs change to prepare students for these challenges? In your view, what features of the NUS MBA prepare students for business as it will be in future, not business as it is today?

Optional Bonus Question: What would you cite as the one distinguishing factor you have vis-�-vis other candidates who are applying to the NUS MBA? What potential contribution(s) can you bring to the class? (max 80 words)

NUS Essays 2006-2007

Essay 1. How will an NUS MBA help you fulfill your career ambition? (max 300 words)

Essay 2. What are you passionate about? How will your fellow students benefit from this passion? (max 300 words)

Essay 3. Your organisation is facing a major crisis, and you are tasked to write to your poorest performing staff. Please draft the letter. (max 300 words)


By asking candidates to submit three essays of 250 words each, the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, Austin, has drastically streamlined its essay questions this year compared with last year—and in concert with what many other MBA programs are doing this season. Then, the length requirement for Essay 1 alone was 800 words, and applicants had roughly 600 words for the school’s three-part Essay 2.  Overall, McCombs’s questions appear to have taken a more personal tone, asking candidates to introduce themselves to the student community, explain what they can contribute to the program other than professional qualities and describe how they expect to develop during their two years in the MBA program. Gone are any explicit references to short- or long-term goals and one’s career history, so the applicant’s more internal aspects and soft skills are highlighted instead.

1. Imagine that you are at the Texas MBA Orientation for the Class of 2016. Please introduce yourself to your new classmates, and include any personal and/or professional aspects that you believe to be significant. Select only one communication method that you would like to use for your response.

Write an essay (250 words)

Share a video introduction (one minute)

Share your about.me profile

The first step in responding to this question is choosing the format that is most compatible with your personality. If you are the quiet, thoughtful type, the essay or about.me option may be best; if you are more often the life of the party or are better at speaking than writing, the video option will likely be the advisable choice. If you are someone with more of an artistic bent and are great at visuals and graphics, the about.me option could be the optimal way to go.

As for determining what information to share, turn the mirror away from yourself to start and think about what you would like to know about your classmates and what you would find interesting. For example, do you consider a candidate’s age an important or interesting fact? Probably not, so you should probably skip including this in your introduction as well. More likely, you are curious about what they do in their spare time, what kind of skills or experience they bring to the table, whether they are approachable/funny/serious/etc., whether they have extensive experience in a certain area or have a more wide-ranging background and so on.

After determining what sort of information you believe would be compelling, turn the focus back to yourself. Think about the aspects of your personality and profile that you believe truly define you as an individual—not just what you do and have done, but who you are—and fully explore your background, hobbies, talents, experiences, quirks. Brainstorm a list of as many things as you can, and then go through the list to eliminate items that seem too common (e.g., a BA in finance) or basic (e.g., your age or hometown) until you have a handful of truly distinctive qualities you can weave into an engaging narrative.

Next, remember that you must bring energy and enthusiasm to your presentation. You are not filling out a job application—you are trying to connect with others, so charisma is key. For inspiration, consider listening to a few podcasts from The Moth, a not-for-profit program in which people tell personal stories live in front of an audience. You need only listen to the first few minutes of a number of stories to get a feel for how the storytellers manage to grab their audience’s attention right away. Then work to find an interesting way of beginning your introduction so that your reader/viewer is intrigued from the very first line.

As an example, let us consider a candidate who has worked as an investment banker for the past few years and as a hobby does stand-up at open mics on the weekends. He could open his essay with a statement such as “I have been an investment banker on Wall Street for the past two years, commuting to work very early in the mornings. I like to do stand up on the weekends, so I take that morning time to practice my bits.” Pretty boring, huh? Now consider a more intriguing opening for the same story: “I can tell you from experience, the rats in New York’s subway system make a lousy test audience, especially at 5:00 a.m.”

For more information on how to engage your reader/viewer from word one, see our blog post on “maintaining the mystery.” And before you submit your response to this essay prompt, have a trusted friend or colleague look it over to let you know if you have effectively crafted a compelling piece. As they say, you only have one chance to make a first impression, so dedicate the work necessary to ensure that your introduction is both engaging and true to who you are.

2. In the Texas MBA program we value our tight-knit and highly collaborative culture. Outside of your professional goals, please discuss why you are a good fit with the Texas MBA program and how you intend to impact the Texas MBA community? (250 words)

In some ways, this content for this essay could overlap the content for Essay 1, so take care to not cannibalize your message there and repeat any information. We suggest making a plan for both Essay 1 and Essay 2 before you move ahead with either one to make sure you have distinct stories for each. If you have targeted McCombs because you feel it is the right program for you, you likely already have an idea of how it matches your personality and why you would fit in with its program. In addition to certain skills and experience, consider character traits, such as a sense of humor, honesty, dependability, optimism and the like. Although the 250-word limit is rather restrictive, and your primary focus should of course be on describing the relevant aspects of your profile, reinforce the connection with McCombs whenever possible by mentioning elements of the MBA program that align with your highlighted qualities, demonstrating that you can make unique contributions in specific classes, clubs, events, etc.

Note that the school specifies “why you are a good fit with the Texas MBA program,” rather than the other way around, so your approach should put the focus on you  first and the school second. By this we mean that rather than saying “The Drama Club is appealing to me because I have been working both on and behind the stage since I was 7 years old,” you should frame the sentiment more like “With almost 18 years of experience both on and behind the stage for school and community drama productions, I could bring a real depth of experience to McCombs’s Drama Club that would enhance the group’s offerings.”

Although we believe that keeping the focus outside the workplace is ideal—primarily to show a more rounded vision of yourself as someone with a vibrant personal life separate from your career—this does not mean that you must completely avoid any valid points that tie back to a professional experience. If you have gained through your work a particular skill or interest that clearly corresponds with an aspect of the McCombs program that interests you on a personal level and to which you feel you can bring a valuable and special contribution, feel free to use this in your essay, but be sure to keep the focus on how this trait will be a boon to the school’s community and/or highlights why you are a good fit. To comply with the school’s stipulation of “outside of your professional goals,” be sure not to discuss any connection between your chosen contribution and your post-MBA plans or desired career.

3. What do you hope to gain from your Texas MBA experience? How do you expect to develop, both personally and professionally, during the Texas MBA program? (250 words)

This essay prompt is essentially a “why MBA” question with an element of “why our school” mixed in. McCombs keeps the focus on what you anticipate your takeaways from the experience will be without explicitly asking which resources at the school will facilitate those takeaways. First, identify the skills, guidance, experience and/or other factors you need to achieve your short- and long-term goals and then briefly explain how gaining these will prepare you to succeed. Do not devote too much of the minimal allotted word count to detailing your professional career and accomplishments to date, but do include some general information about your past work experience to provide a framework for why you need an MBA education to attain your goals—you want the admissions committee to walk away with a solid understanding of where you are coming from in the context of where you are hoping to go. As with Essay 2, think beyond the classroom and career framework to determine what you believe a McCombs MBA experience would also provide on a personal level.

Because you have limited word count for this essay and the school does not ask specifically which of its offerings you will use to gain the skills and experiences you seek, you should not dedicate too much space to discussing the school’s resources. However, you will need to make sure your essay is not so devoid of McCombs-specific content that it could easily apply to any other MBA program. Work to make sure your essay clearly applies to McCombs but is still largely about what you hope to gain during your two years in the program, rather than a laundry list of classes, clubs, events, etc.

4. Optional Essay: Please provide any additional information to the Admissions Committee that you believe is important and/or will address any areas of concern that will be beneficial to the Admissions Committee in considering your application. (200 words)

For example, if your standardized test scores are not exactly what you would like them to be or if you have not had coursework in core business subjects (i.e. calculus, microeconomics, statistics, financial accounting, or finance), please tell us how you plan to prepare yourself for the quantitative rigor of the MBA curriculum.

Discuss any unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, academic performance, or any significant weaknesses in your application or extenuating personal circumstances that you think may impact your candidacy.

As we always caution in the case of optional essays, avoid the temptation to reuse an essay you wrote for another school here, just because you think you wrote a strong or interesting piece. That may indeed be the case, but that does not mean that you will be helping your candidacy by tacking it on to this application. As the school itself states in this prompt, the optional essay is an opportunity—if you need it—to address any lingering questions or concerns one might have about your profile or 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 (including multiple sample essays) to help you mitigate any problem areas in your profile.



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