How ChatGPT Answers MBA Essay Questions

ChatGPT answers MBA essays

Within seconds, ChatGPT can produce fairly solid answers to MBA essay prompts

Curious about all the hoopla over ChatGPT, the admissions director for Emory University’s Goizueta Business School fed the artificial intelligence chatbot the school’s MBA essay prompts. What came out, within seconds, surprised Admissions Director Melissa Rapp.

“It can pump out a pretty good essay,” she marvels. “But it’s not necessarily personalized and feels a bit canned. It doesn’t know enough about a person to infuse the answer with your background. Still, it’s a very powerful tool.”

In fact,  she notes, it is so powerful that Goizueta will be putting more emphasis on other parts of the MBA application. “The interview will become more important along with the video portion of it,” adds Rapp who requires a one-minute self-introduction video essay in the school’s application.


Melissa Rapp heads up admissions at the Goizueta Business School

Rapp isn’t alone in wondering how useful answers to admission essays will be in assessing candidates in the future. Truth is, a ChatGPT user can simply input a few details to get a more personalized answer that reads shockingly if not convincingly well. “Vague questions lead to cotton candy answers,” agrees Maria Wich-Vila, founder of ApplicantLab. “They are sweet, but ultimately empty.”

But once you hand over personal details into the chatbot’s window, it’s a somewhat different story. “What it did do well is use the information on myself and structure the essay well,” adds Wich-Vila. “What it didn’t do is provide any deeper information that I did not provide.”

We’ve tested that assumption by feeding the newly upgraded ChatGPT essay prompts. The result? Completed essays in less than a minute that read nearly as well as some of the examples we have published from successful candidates to Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business.

After informing the AI tool of being an entrepreneur in a digital media business, ChatGPT spat out this essay to Goizueta’s 300-word-limit leadership essay that asks applicants to provide a specific example of their leadership and explain what they learned about themselves through the experience.


As an entrepreneur of a digital media business, I have learned the importance of leadership and the impact it can have on both the success of the business and the well-being of those around me. One specific example of my leadership experience occurred when I was faced with the challenge of developing a new marketing strategy to increase revenue for my company.

After analyzing our current marketing efforts, I recognized that we needed to shift our focus towards creating more engaging and interactive content for our audience. I assembled a team of individuals with diverse skill sets to collaborate and brainstorm new ideas. As the leader of the team, I encouraged open communication and valued each team member’s input.

Through this experience, I learned several valuable lessons about myself as a leader. Firstly, I discovered the importance of effective communication and how it can drive innovation and success. Secondly, I realized that successful leadership involves building and leveraging the strengths of others. Lastly, I discovered the importance of taking risks and not being afraid of failure, as it is through trial and error that we learn and grow as leaders.

Roberto Goizueta’s values of commitment to values and positive impact on society resonate with me and my entrepreneurial aspirations. As an entrepreneur, it is not only important to create a successful business but also to have a positive impact on society. I strive to build a business that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion in the digital media industry and empowers individuals from underrepresented communities.

In conclusion, my leadership experience has taught me the importance of effective communication, leveraging the strengths of others, and taking risks. I am committed to upholding Roberto Goizueta’s core values and leading my business in a manner that positively impacts society.


It’s not exactly a perfect answer. But you have to admit, it’s pretty good, just as Rapp has said. Some essay questions are more easily than others, of course. Consider the most iconic question asked of MBA candidates by the Stanford Graduate School of Business: “What matters most to you, and why? ” Instead of merely asking ChapGPT for an answer, we first noted our deep concern over climate change along with a career goal to finding solutions to the climate crisis. We then asked it to compose a 650-word essay “from the heart” as Stanford suggests. The result was compelling:

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Stanford Graduate School of Business 650-word essay: “What matters most to you, and why?”

As I look around the world we live in today, it’s impossible to ignore the pressing issue of climate change. The devastating effects of climate change are visible everywhere: wildfires, droughts, floods, and melting glaciers. I am deeply concerned about the impact that this will have on our planet and future generations. It is this concern that has inspired me to dedicate my career to finding solutions to our climate crisis.

What matters most to me is the health of our planet and the well-being of all living beings that call it home. Growing up in a small town in the countryside, I have always had a deep connection with nature. As a child, I spent most of my time outdoors exploring the woods, streams, and fields. I learned to appreciate the beauty of the natural world and the importance of preserving it for future generations.

My passion for the environment grew as I became more aware of the growing threat of climate change. I realized that if we don’t take urgent action, we will be leaving a planet that is not fit for human habitation. This realization prompted me to start learning more about climate change, its causes, and its effects. As I delved deeper, I was shocked by the scale and urgency of the problem.

I knew then that I wanted to dedicate my life to finding solutions to this crisis. I believe that we can still mitigate the effects of climate change, but it will require a concerted effort from all sectors of society. That’s why I want to pursue an MBA at Stanford, a school that values innovative thinking and sustainable business practices.

I am convinced that the business sector can play a crucial role in solving the climate crisis. Companies have the power to reduce their carbon footprint, invest in clean technologies, and advocate for policy changes that support sustainability. By pursuing an MBA, I hope to gain the skills and knowledge I need to become a leader in the field of sustainable business.

I believe that the business world has the potential to lead the way in transitioning to a sustainable future. As a business leader, I hope to leverage the power of companies to drive positive change. I want to create a world where businesses operate in a way that is not only profitable but also sustainable and ethical.

To achieve this goal, I plan to focus on developing sustainable business models that reduce environmental impact while generating economic value. I want to help businesses identify opportunities to reduce their carbon footprint, improve their supply chain sustainability, and invest in renewable energy. I also want to advocate for policies that support sustainable business practices, such as carbon pricing and renewable energy subsidies.

My passion for the environment has also inspired me to become an advocate for change. I believe that it is crucial to raise awareness about the issue of climate change and to encourage people to take action. I have volunteered for environmental organizations, participated in climate strikes, and spoken at local events about the urgency of the climate crisis.

At Stanford, I hope to continue my activism and collaborate with like-minded individuals who are committed to making a positive impact on the world. I want to be part of a community that is driving innovation in sustainable business and advocating for policies that support a greener future.

In conclusion, what matters most to me is the health of our planet and the well-being of all living beings that call it home. I am deeply committed to finding solutions to the climate crisis and using the power of business to drive positive change. Pursuing an MBA at Stanford will enable me to develop the skills and knowledge I need to become a leader in the field of sustainable business. I am excited about the opportunity to be part of a community that is making a difference in the world and creating a sustainable future for generations to come.

Here are other samples for you to judge, including what one would assume would be very difficult for a chatbot to answer:

Harvard Business School Classroom

Harvard Business School essay in 600 words: “As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA program?”
Dear Admissions Committee,

I am thrilled to submit my application for the Harvard Business School MBA program, and I appreciate the opportunity to elaborate on what I believe makes me a strong candidate for the program.

Throughout my academic and professional career, I have developed a passion for business and a desire to make a meaningful impact in the world through my work. My experiences have shaped my perspectives, and I believe they will allow me to bring a unique and valuable perspective to the classroom and beyond.

One of the most formative experiences of my life was growing up in a family of entrepreneurs. From a young age, I was exposed to the challenges and rewards of running a business, and I was inspired by the dedication and hard work that my family put into their work. This experience instilled in me a deep appreciation for the value of innovation and entrepreneurship, and it sparked my interest in pursuing a career in business.

After completing my undergraduate degree in finance, I began my career as an investment banker at a top-tier firm. This experience gave me a solid foundation in financial analysis and helped me to develop my critical thinking and problem-solving skills. However, as much as I enjoyed the fast-paced and dynamic environment of investment banking, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career that would allow me to make a more direct impact on people’s lives.

I decided to transition to a role in private equity, where I had the opportunity to work with companies that were developing innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems. Through my work in private equity, I gained valuable experience in business strategy, financial modeling, and due diligence, and I was able to contribute to the growth and success of several companies that were making a positive impact in their communities.

While I am proud of what I have accomplished in my career so far, I believe that there is always room for growth and learning. That is why I am eager to pursue an MBA at Harvard Business School. I believe that HBS will provide me with the opportunity to expand my knowledge and skills in a supportive and challenging environment, and I am excited to learn from the talented and diverse group of students and faculty at the school.

One of the things that I am particularly drawn to about HBS is its emphasis on leadership development. Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of working with some exceptional leaders, and I have seen firsthand the impact that they can have on their organizations and their communities. I believe that effective leadership requires a combination of strategic thinking, empathy, and a commitment to excellence, and I am excited to develop these skills further through HBS’s rigorous leadership curriculum.

In addition to my professional experiences, I have also had the opportunity to engage in a variety of extracurricular activities and volunteer work throughout my life. For example, I have volunteered with several nonprofit organizations that are focused on promoting financial literacy and entrepreneurship among underprivileged youth. I have also served as a mentor to several young professionals who are just starting their careers in finance.

I believe that my experiences have prepared me well for the challenges and opportunities of the HBS MBA program, and I am eager to contribute to the HBS community in any way that I can. I am confident that the knowledge, skills, and relationships that I will gain through the program will enable me to make an even greater impact in my future career and in my community.

Thank you for considering my application, and I look forward to the opportunity to further discuss my candidacy with you.

Sincerely, [Your Name]

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