Sometimes simpler is not better. Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business announced today (August 15) that it has replaced its single essay prompt with three optional prompts, a move the school’s admissions officers say will give applicants greater flexibility and result in more diversity of viewpoints in the
Previously, applicants to both the full-time and “flex” MBA programs at Georgetown McDonough were asked to “Describe a defining moment when you were challenged and exceeded expectations.” Now applicants may choose one of the bulleted items below to respond to in 500 words or less.
- “Describe a situation when you were asked to lead outside of your comfort zone. What leadership characteristics did you exemplify in this situation that allowed you to succeed?”
- “Describe a situation when failure has been your fuel. What was your failure (or when did you not succeed to your full potential), and how did you use this as motivation to move forward and be successful in a future situation?”
- “Describe the personal brand that you will bring to business school using examples or experiences that support how you’ve developed it. How do you believe your personal brand will strengthen the McDonough community? As you complete your MBA program, how do you hope to see your personal brand evolve through the transformative experience of business school?”
A CHANCE TO DISTINGUISH ONESELF ‘FROM A COMPETITIVE APPLICANT POOL’
In 2017, of more than 1,700 applications received, 276 students eventually enrolled in the MBA program at Georgetown McDonough. The school’s incoming class was 30% female, 36% U.S. minority, and 34% international.
Georgetown admissions folks would like to see more diversification, especially in the number of women in the MBA program: Compared to its peer schools in the top 25 (Georgetown is ranked No. 23 in the latest Poets&Quants composite ranking), McDonough is 10-15 percentage points behind in that metric. And considering the international character of its hometown, Washington, D.C., McDonough would probably prefer to be among the leaders in international student enrollment rather than mired in the middle of the pack.
“It’s important to us to that our students represent a diversity of backgrounds, experiences, cultures, and more — and we realized that professional and personal experiences showcasing this diversity do not always fit neatly into a single essay prompt,” Shelly Heinrich, interim associate dean for MBA Admissions, says in the school’s announcement its new essay prompts. “We want to give applicants the flexibility to distinguish themselves from a competitive applicant pool.”
NEW APP SYSTEM REDUCES CONFUSION AND QUESTIONS, SCHOOL SAYS
The school also has a new application system that is more streamlined and efficient to applicants, reducing the number of questions by an estimated 20%.
“The new system helps students navigate the admissions process more easily,” Heinrich said. “We tailored the questions to still provide the admissions team with a holistic application review without providing an undue burden on applicants.”
Other application components include a video essay where prospective students introduce themselves in one minute or less, a GMAT or GRE score, transcripts, a resume, and one letter of recommendation.
Applicants to Georgetown McDonough can apply in four rounds this year: October 9, January 7, April 1, and May 1.