UNC Kenan-Flagler: 2 Essays, 6 Things to Keep in Mind

UNC Kenan-Flagler is guided by a set of core values, which includes Excellence, Leadership, Integrity, Community and Teamwork. As you approach Kenan-Flagler’s essays, provide examples of how you live these values.

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)

1) Articulate a Clear Post-MBA goal. Identify your ideal first job out of business school and then take a broader view of where you want to be in 5-10 years. Provide insight into why you seek a particular path post-MBA. Mention some specific target employers to demonstrate that you have realistic goals and will approach your MBA with focus.

2) Address why now and why an MBA. Demonstrate that you have done the due diligence to know what you need to excel in the next chapter of your career and be as specific as you can about how an MBA will help you achieve these goals.

3) Connect the dots through UNC Kenan-Flagler. While the question itself does not directly ask for this, include the courses, experiential learning and club activities you want to participate in. Demonstrate how an MBA from UNC Kenan-Flagler best positions you to achieve your professional goals.

4) Have a backup plan. UNC Kenan-Flagler wants you to have realistic expectations about your career goals post MBA. Show that you are resilient enough to figure out more than one way to reach your long term goal.

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).

While this is an optional essay, use this opportunity to let the admissions committee see you as a person and understand the value you would add to the UNC Kenan-Flagler community. Kenan-Flagler’s community, with under 300 MBA students in each class, is small enough that every student matters. Imagine you are meeting with your core study group members for the first time (you will take all your core classes together), and share with them ways you can add value – whether it is your Excel spreadsheet wizardry or your contacts in Private Equity that you can share with members of the Private Equity club.

1) Reinforce your key themes. If you have worked, traveled or lived in several countries emphasize your cross-cultural exposure using specific examples of your travel experience and relate this to Kenan-Flagler’s Global Education Initiative. Connect your themes to your professional goal. For example, you can leverage this international understanding when working on cross-border M&A transactions.

2) Envisage your future contributions. Show the admissions committee that you understand the Kenan-Flagler culture. Give specific examples on how your experiences will benefit your classmates and the larger UNC Kenan-Flagler community such as sharing your Real Estate knowledge as you help organize UNC’s annual Real Estate Conference. Did you just win a business case competition and want to help UNC Kenan-Flagler defend their 2017 Deloitte National Case Competition Championship? Admissions committee members want to know that every student in the class brings something special that will be part of the wonderful tapestry that is a diverse MBA class.

Also, if you don’t know it already, start learning about college basketball. After all, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels are the reigning National Champions. This is something they take great pride in, particularly when they are pitted against that other North Carolina school with a great business program, Duke.

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