write successful MBA applications

Duke Fuqua 2014-15 MBA Essay Questions and Tips


Required Short Answer Questions: Answer all 3 questions. 


1. What are your short-term goals, post-MBA? (500 characters)

2. What are your long-term goals? (500 characters)

3. Life is full of uncertainties, and plans and circumstances can change. As a result, navigating a career requires you to be adaptable. Should the short-term goals that you provided above not materialize what alternative directions have you considered? (500 characters)


You have 2 to 3 sentences to answer each question. Be clear.


What would be your first job after graduating? Name the industry, the role, if possible, what would you like to contribute or achieve. 


How will the short-term goal lead you to your long-term goal. Describe the long-term goal. Why is the goal important for you?


What would be an alternate route to get to your long-term goal? Of course, the alternate route should require an MBA too. 



First Required Essay


1. The "Team Fuqua" spirit and community is one of the things that sets The Duke MBA experience apart, and it is a concept that extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. When a new person joins the Admissions team, we ask that person to share with everyone in the office a list of "25 Random Things About Yourself." As an Admissions team, we already know the new hire's professional and academic background, so learning these "25 Random Things" helps us get to know someone's personality, background, special talents, and more. 

In this spirit, the Admissions Committee also wants to get to know you–beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. You can share with us important life experiences, your likes/dislikes, hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are. Share with us your list of "25 Random Things" about YOU.

Please present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 25. Some points may be only a few words, while others may be longer. Your complete list should not exceed 2 pages.


Try building on these:


I like ...

I dislike ...

I am proud of ...

I look back fondly at ...

I look forward to ...

It's important for me to ...

I'm crazy about ...

I feel disgusted when ...

I look up to ...

I seek ...

I want to ...


Second Required Essay (choose 1 of 2), no more than 2 pages in length. 


1. When asked by your family, friends, and colleagues why you want to go to Duke, what do you tell them? Share the reasons that are most meaningful to you.


What do you want to learn and experience during your MBA? What aspects of the Duke MBA do you find most attractive to fulfill your learning goals? How will they help you fulfill the goals you have described in essay 1?  


2. The Team Fuqua community is as unique as the individuals who comprise it. Underlying our individuality are a number of shared ideas and principles that we live out in our own ways. Our students have identified and defined 6 “Team Fuqua Principles” that we feel are the guiding philosophies that make our community special. At the end of your 2 years at Fuqua, if you were to receive an award for exemplifying one of the 6 Principles listed below, which one would it be and why? Your response should reflect the research you have done, your knowledge of Fuqua and the Daytime MBA program and experience, and the types of activities and leadership you would engage in as a Fuqua student. 

    1. Authentic Engagement: We care and we take action. We each make a difference to Team Fuqua by being ourselves and engaging in and supporting activities about which we are passionate.
    2. Supportive Ambition: We support each other to achieve great things, because your success is my success. The success of each individual member of Team Fuqua makes the whole of Team Fuqua better.
    3. Collective Diversity:  We embrace all of our classmates because our individuality is better and stronger together.
    4. Impactful Stewardship: We are leaders who focus on solutions to improve our communities both now and in the future. We aren’t satisfied with just maintaining the status quo.
    5. Loyal Community: We are a family who looks out for each other. Team Fuqua supports you when you need it the most. 
    6. Uncompromising Integrity: We internalize and live the honor code in the classroom and beyond. We conduct ourselves with integrity within Fuqua, within Duke, and within all communities of which we are a part.


Choose the principle that you can demonstrate best through your past experiences. Explore the opportunities to contribute at Fuqua and pick those that would help you live the chosen principle during the program.   


Optional Essay If you feel there are extenuating circumstances of which the Admissions Committee should be aware, please explain them in an optional essay (e.g. unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, or any significant weakness in your application). Do NOT upload additional essays nor additional recommendations in this area of the application. The Optional Essay is intended to provide the Admissions Committee with insight into your extenuating circumstances only. Limit your response to two pages.