How To Approach The USC Marshall Essays
Getting accepted into Marshall is no easy task. And part of that process is writing a powerful essay. In her recent blog post, Stacy Blackman, of Stacy Blackman Consulting, broke down Marshall’s essay prompts for 2020-21 and offered some insight into how applicants should approach them.
The first essay for Marshall asks applicants the following prompt: What is your specific, immediate short-term career goal upon completion of your MBA? Please include an intended position, function, and industry in your response. (word limit: 100)
Blackman says it’s important to stay brief with this essay when discussing your plans and goals.
“Consider your plan when you graduate from USC,” Blackman writes. “And make sure your resume and other application materials support this next step. For example, if you are career switching, highlight any transferable skills in your resume.”
The second Marshall essay asks applicants to do the following: Please draft a letter that begins with “Dear Admissions Committee” (word limit: 600)
This essay, according to Blackman, serves as your personal statement to the Marshall admissions team as to why you’re an ideal candidate for the b-school.
“This essay is purposely open-ended,” Blackman writes. “You are free to express yourself in whatever way you see fit. The goal is to have an appreciation for and an understanding of each candidate in ways that are not captured by test scores, grades, and resumes. Showing who you are as a person is essential to your USC Marshall application. Ideally, you can demonstrate that you understand the USC culture and values with your answer to this essay question.”
The third Marshall essay, which is optional, asks applicants to do the following: Please provide any additional information you would like the admissions committee to consider. (word limit: 250)
Blackman says this essay is an opportunity to add more information to your application or discuss a concern.
“Therefore, if you have a low GPA, a grade below a C in a quantitative subject, an employment gap, or any other issue in your background, this is the place to explain it,” Blackman writes.