Tepper School of Business MBA Essays
At Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, personal and professional development is everything.
MBAs are assigned full-time coaches, who hold over 2,000 one-on-one sessions each year.
Tepper’s MBA essay focuses on character and the B-school seeks out applicants who can add to their forward-looking community. Stacy Blackman, founder of Stacy Blackman Consulting, recently discussed the Tepper MBA essays including what admissions officers are looking for and what applicants should highlight.
Tepper’s required essay for 2021-2022 asks applicants the following:
The Tepper community is dynamic and unique. Each community member’s individual journey has shaped them into classmates who are collaborative, supportive, and inclusive. Describe how you have overcome adversity during your journey. What did you learn about yourself and how has that shaped who you are? (Maximum 350-500 words.)
Blackman says that this essay is all about character. Tepper admissions will be seeking out applicants who can clearly convey what experiences they’ve gone through and how those experiences have shaped who they are today.
“Everyone has faced challenges,” Blackman writes. “What were yours? For instance, you could have faced personal challenges like poverty or family loss. Or, you might have struggled in school or work. Most importantly, how did you overcome this adversity?”
The optional essay at Tepper is a space to explain any application that you may have in your application.
“Some areas you could write about are academic issues or a recommendation that is not from a current or former supervisor,” Blackman writes. “Another area is gaps in work experience. Explain each issue clearly, and then describe how you have improved. For example, perhaps you were unfocused during undergrad but have since made great strides professionally.”
It’s important to note that the optional essay is truly optional. Only include it if you think it will help.
“Make sure it is information that will genuinely enhance your application,” Blackman writes. “That means it was not shared anywhere else and tells the admissions committee something important about your background.”