Some followers of this blog and a couple of Pagalguy members have asked me on my “tips” for Fuqua essays in particular. Now, I am not sure whether I am qualified enough to give any tips (5 more days before i get to know about it ūüėÄ ), but I can surely discuss my take on Fuqua Qs. In fact, since I am relatively free these days (Taking a break b4 deciding whether to go for R2 schools), I plan to go ahead and publish how I answered¬† Fuqua, Tuck,Darden and Emory Qs in different posts. I hope that some R2 applicants find it useful and may be their wishes will help me get me into one (or more) of my dream schools. ūüėÄ

So w/o further ado, here is my Fuqua essay-analysis:

Short Answer Essays
1. What do you hope to gain from The Duke MBA? How does it fit into your short- and long- term goals? (required, single page limit, 1.5 line spacing)
   Pretty straight-forward stuff. I started upfront with my goals. Followed it up with a brief career summary (3-4 lines) Showed what part of my experience will help me attain my goals and what do I lack. Showed that an MBA will help me bridge the gap. Next without mentioning Duke/Fuqua, I went on to state my expectations from the B-school. Then jumped to how Fuqua fulfills that perfectly, specifically quoting Fuqua concentrations, courses, practicum and clubs. 
2. How will you contribute to the overall experience of your peers at The Duke MBA? (required, single page limit, 1.5 line spacing)
¬†¬† Started with a one-line summary of traits that I’ll bring to the school. Next, 2 paras for my undergrad experience. Covered diversity, extra-curriculars and leadership and the overall impoact of my alma-mater. Followed it up with what I am today. Covered my extra-curriculars and other leadership experiences. By¬† this time, I had established my credentials well. Next I started specifically discussing what I will do at Fuqua. Mentioned specific clubs that I’ll join, initiate or rejuvenate. Since Tech is my forte and is related to my goals too, I specifically dug into activities of Hi-tech cluba and mention the events that I’ll like to work on. Finally,ended with a forwarded looking statement about me and Fuqua.

3. Discuss a person, event or experience that has significantly shaped your life and explain why. Note: The goal of this essay is to get a sense of who you are, rather than what you have achieved professionally. (required, single page limit, 1.5 line spacing)
¬†¬†¬† It was a very personal experience of overcoming finacial hardships before my undergrad. I had asked a few consultants on various forums (BW, pagalguy) about mentioning this¬† and most of them had advised against using a story that is too old and too common. But Jon (from Precision essays) suggested that if it’s a story that really impacted my life and if it’s a story that I am born to tell, then I should go ahead and tell the same.
   This was all  I needed to finalize this story as my answer. Of course, since that was a personal story, I could not  post that in detail on the public forum and hence, the lukewarm response from the consultants.  But that experience indeed was the turning point of my life and I believe that the final story came out very well. 
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† I would suggest looking for the events/experiences, which really made the difference in your life. Try subtracting that event/experience from your life and try thinking whether you’d have been a diff person then. If the answer is YES, you have chosen the right story.
    (You can go for a life-changing person too, But when I tried to choose a person, I found a bit dificult to keep the actual focus on myself.)

 Long Essay
1. 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, and emotional intelligence as well as business acumen.
Upon graduation, a Duke MBA will be a leader of consequence – able to deal simultaneously with complex matters and engage skillfully with colleagues, clients, and community. What impact do you hope to have as a leader of consequence? (required, two page limit, 1.5 line spacing)

Tough question, but very critical one.
For this in the first 3/4 page I covered a leadership story and established that I have in me what it takes to be a “Leader of consequence.” Next, I brought up some issues that I’ll like to address in the long term:the societal goals that I have in my mind for my community. I covered the same in my Stanford Scholarship essay but fortunately this time space was not a constraint and I could discuss my plans in more details: depthwise and widthwise. I also touched briefly how my leadership experience (covered in first half) will help me, what I am already doing towards these, why currently I am not in a position to address these in a wider manner and how the Fuqua experience will help.

¬†So this was how i tackled my essay Qs. As I was approaching the Qs, I used various forums extensively for ideas. Besides, I never miss the topic analysis by the three terrific resources that i have listed in the blogroll. (clearadmit, accepted and stacyblackman) It’s interesting to see that how often these differ on their takes on same set of essays, which only goes on to show that there is no single right way to answer an essay question. Research extensively and then, finalize a style that suits you and your story the best.

Coming up next: Tuck essays analysis…

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6 Responses to “Fuqua essays: An analysis”

  1. Thanks for sharing your approach to Fuqua’s essays. Your point about the different possible effective approaches to the essays is excellent and well taken.

    I hope you hear good news from them.

    Linda Abraham

  2. Sondhi says:

    Thanks for the inputs.. I am not expecting too much from Duke. (I am an R1 applicant and did not recv any interview invitation.)

    Can u share ur inputs on Tuck too?

  3. missionmba says:

    @LInda:
    Thanks for the wishes..
    Great to see your comment on my post. ūüôā

    @Sondhi:
    For Tuck, I am in the same boat as you are in for Duke. Results on Dec19, no interview invite yet!!
    I too won’t bank on their traditional stance: “Interviews r not mandatory.” It’s a toss b/w a WL or a ding from Tuck on Friday..

    And yes, as soon as I get bit of free time, will post Tuck essay analysis

  4. […] finding herself a bit overwhelmed, tweaked her GMAT study schedule. MissionMBA shared his analysis of the Fuqua essays while Chandara went to a friend’s holiday work party and hoped, one day, to be in an industry […]

  5. […] something that you did without anticipating any recognition. As seen in my blogroll and also noted here, I have always considered¬†clearadmit, accepted and stacyblackman¬†to be three terrific resources […]

  6. Meshram says:

    Respected sir,
    Congratulations for Emory!!

    Above description is very useful for next year applicants like me. Can you please publish an analysis of the other schools’ essays that you had written?
    I am interested in applying to Duke, Emory and Darden. I like Tuck and Haas too, but these are too high for me.

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