Kenan Flagler Essays

Kenan-Flagler MBA Essay 2 (Optional)

What personal qualities or life experiences distinguish you from other applicants? How do these qualities or experiences equip you to contribute to UNC Kenan-Flagler? (300 words maximum)

This is a fun one. An opportunity for you to let your personality bleed through a bit. Don’t be afraid of taking some risks here and cutting loose. In doing so, you’ll be proving THAT you have qualities that distinguish you from others. What does taking risks mean exactly? Well, it could be in the CHOICE of the qualities you talk about, or in the way you DELIVER it. Perhaps you take on a more conversational tone. Perhaps you tell us an incredible story (as opposed to a more dry explanation OF the thing). Whatever it is, your personality should shine through here. Someone who doesn’t know you should be able to read this essay and get a sense of what you must be like in person.

But okay, let’s talk about the actual STUFF now (in the abstract). What kind of thing distinguishes you from other applicants? Well, this is where you’re gonna have to be super hard on yourself. Or, extremely self-aware. Recognize that many of the things you THINK are unique to you are in fact quite common. Oh no.

Recognize further that some of the things you think you own…. others not only have, but have cooler versions of! Double oh no.

Start with that as your challenge. Don’t just pick stuff to talk about. Sell us on why these are cool. Because chances are, we’ve seen it a thousand times before. If you can “sell” it well, then the sky’s the limit. Then you can make even the most COMMON thing seem uncommon. And that—by itself—is a cool skill.

What could possibly distinguish you from other applicants? Couple tricks here to get the juices flowing. Think about cool oxymorons and surprising aspects of yourself. Let’s say you’re a mid-20s Indian male IT guy from India. Well, rather than talk about how you play cricket, what if your thing is lacrosse? Or, hell, BALLET? Or something else that makes us go… “what just happened.” Think about the predictable, and then try to make it go upside-down. You’re an IT guy, but you were a contestant on American Idol. You’re a corporate, Wall Street type, but you write children’s books in your spare time. You’re a Chinese guy who hates numbers. Find things that surprise WITHIN YOUR OWN REPERTOIRE. Don’t just look for ways in which you think you might be cool. Those juxtapositions are there already. Find ‘em. This should get you 2/3 or 3/4 the way there.

But once again, don’t ignore that second question about how you APPLY these. The “what’s in it for us” aspect. What’s the VALUE in that trait? Be careful here, there doesn’t need to be a 1:1 relationship between your cool traits and the way you apply it.

Let’s say you’re a potter, and that you have a ridiculously cool life history in clay pot making. Well, that doesn’t mean you need to “start a clay pot making club” at Kenan-Flagler. There must be some other WAY in which you can apply this cool thing. Maybe your passion for art can be channeled toward something neat and productive while at school.

Maybe it is starting a club, but maybe that club is focused on helping raise money to provide opportunities for students studying art at a local elementary school. Or maybe it’s even simpler than that. Maybe clay pot making is a pure distraction for you from work. Maybe there’s value in that, and in you bringing that out in other students. Maybe it ends up making for a healthier campus life, and more productive, happier students. There are all sorts of possibilities. But you’ve got to argue it, and convince us that there are. And it can’t seem canned. We’ll know in an instant whether you’re just saying it to impress, or whether you’ve actually thought it through. (Never try to impress; it won’t work!)

Now that that’s handled,  check out our analysis of the rest of UNC Kenan-Flagler’s application essays.


Read more and explore each step of the Kenan-Flagler full-time MBA application process here.


UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA Essay Questions 2017-2018

Following up on the announcement of its 2017-2018 deadlines, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has revealed the Kenan-Flagler MBA essay questions for the coming admissions season. Applicants are required to respond to just one 500-word essay, only slightly changed from the prior year, about their career goals and interest in an MBA, and are given the option of responding to three additional 300-word essays.

 

2017-2018 UNC Kenan-Flagler Essay Questions

Essay One (Required)
Please describe your short and long term goals post-MBA. Explain how your professional experience has shaped these goals, why this career option appeals to you, and how you arrived at the decision that now is the time and the MBA is the appropriate degree. Additionally, please briefly address a backup plan should your short-term goal not come to fruition for any reason. (500 words maximum)

Essay Two (Optional)
What personal qualities or life experiences distinguish you from other applicants? How do these qualities or experiences equip you to contribute to UNC Kenan-Flagler? (300 words maximum)

Essay Three (Optional)
If your standardized test scores are low, or if you have not had coursework in core business subjects (calculus, microeconomics, statistics, financial accounting), please tell us how you plan to prepare yourself for the quantitative rigor of the MBA curriculum. (300 words maximum)

Essay Four (Optional)
Is there any other information you would like to share that is not presented elsewhere in the application? (300 words maximum)

 

For more information, applicants can visit the UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA admissions website. And now that the essays are out, get a jump start on your research with the FREE Clear Admit Kenan-Flagler School Snapshot!

Posted in: Essay Topics, Essays

Schools: UNC Kenan-Flagler

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