In September, we shared five tips to keep in mind while composing your MBA admissions essay. But we know how overwhelming admissions essays can be, especially when you're writing several...on different topics. We went a step further by listing a few things we're looking for when it comes to these Boston College-specific essay questions.
Essay 1: Please discuss how you plan to achieve your short and long term career goals. What challenges will you face and how will you leverage your academic and professional experiences to achieve these goals?
Our tip: Be specific. Show us that you’ve taken the time to consider this question by providing detailed answers. Think about challenges that are specific to your candidacy, and how your strengths will balance them. This is one of our required essays (we read a lot of them), so authentic, thoughtful answers will stand out.
Essay 2: Please indicate your reasons for applying to the Carroll School of Management. What unique characteristics of the Boston College MBA program resonate with you both personally and professionally?
Our tip: What about your Boston College experience resonates for you? Was there a particular class you attended, or alumni you met, or impression you made as a prospective candidate? How will you leverage the Boston College MBA experience for academic and professional growth? Addressing these questions in your writing will demonstrate that you’ve taken the time to explore our campus, to get to know us as an institution, and are committed to finding the perfect place to earn your MBA.
Optional Essay 1: Please introduce yourself to the BC community. Feel free to be creative in expressing your message.
Our tip: We’ve said it before: admissions essays (even when optional) are a great way to creatively share your personal interests, outside commitments, or passions with the admissions committee. Writing an optional essay shows that you’re serious about Boston College, and also gives you the opportunity to set yourself apart from other candidates. By telling us about yourself, you’ll become more than just a representation of your resume or scores. Feel free to portray your uniqueness, but ask a friend or colleague to proofread your essay before you submit it to keep it free of embellishments.
Optional Essay 2: Is there any aspect of your candidacy that you would like to explain in more detail?
Our tip: At Boston College, we value both honesty and integrity. Take this opportunity to give context where it might be beneficial. Perhaps you’re worried that a low test score or a gap in your work history will jeopardize your chances of acceptance. Rather than listing excuses, provide background, tell us how you’ve grown from it, and why it will or will not affect you in your pursuit of an MBA. (Or, use this as a chance to talk passionately about something on your resume—volunteer work, a previous internship, or anything else that you think makes you the perfect MBA applicant.)
Now that you know what to expect—and what we expect from you—start planning out your essays if you haven't already. Once you're finished, proofread, and proofread again, then send them our way. We're looking forward to hearing from you!
In this prompt, admissions officers are looking to both demystify what a Jesuit education is as well as allow you to advocate on behalf of your own values, fitting your personal and academic goals into these Jesuit tenants. “Personal goals and academic interests” are relatively easy topics to approach (just talk about yourself), but fitting that into the Jesuit ideals will be the challenge. The objective of this essay is to move your goals and interests forward into the years you will spend in, possibly, a Jesuit college like BC.
The prompt lists four different subsections, so feel free to touch on one of them or all of them. However, just be wary that if you choose to tackle a multitude of these ideas, your substance and depth may take a sharp hit.
With “the importance of the liberal arts and sciences,” admissions officers want to see a passion for the wide gamut of learning as not just a career preparatory tool, but a rigorous process to tackle the great problems our world faces. If you want to be a chemist and study chemistry, but also want to fully take advantage of a liberal arts curriculum and a more humanistic approach to chemistry, talk about how you are also passionate about classes like Roman Religion and Introduction to African Diaspora Studies, both of which BC offers.
With “character formation,” you could talk about a test of character that you’ve faced or a difficult circumstance you’ve had to overcome. Talk about how that trial influenced your personal goals and academic interests, and how it will continue to do so in college. Maybe you want to major in biology at Boston College because of a close family member that passed away from cancer — you want to fight for not only people like her, but also low income patients in rural areas who may not have access to a state-of-the-art medical facility.
With a “commitment to the common good,” you can easily slide in work that you’ve done to benefit those around you, whether it is through a volunteering organization, a personal project, or an experience away from home. This could then tie into what you want to study and how you want to grow in college to keep pursuing a similar line of work. If you are passionate about education, you could talk about how you want to pursue activities at Boston College like the school’s branch of Project Sunshine, in which you work with kids suffering from medical challenges.
With “living a meaningful life,” think about the values you want to live by. Are they the values espoused by your religion, a personal role model, or your own identity? For example, if you are active in a mosque, talk about how you will join Boston College’s Muslim Student Association to further involve yourself with the Muslim community. Feel free to mention what you want to study and what you want to do after college, as long as you supplement these thoughts with why you want to do them, and what motivated you to do them. Fit these values into the mission of Boston College, and you will be good to go!