CMU Tepper offers a powerful MBA program that has a unique course structure and strong interdisciplinary tools. And, as Tepper stands out from other programs, it expects applicants to stand out from their competitors. In order to figure out what makes you an attractive candidate, you should first take the time to acquaint yourself with the school, program and students: researching Carnegie Mellon will provide you with a lot of ammunition to deal with the application below.
Beyond the essays, be sure to keep track of its deadlines here.
Main Essay — The Tepper community is dynamic and unique with students who strive to be collaborative, supportive and inclusive. Please provide an example of when you experienced or created an inclusive environment and how you will use that experience to help members of the community reach their full potential. (Maximum 500 words)
An inclusive environment can be many things—it can be something large-scale, such as a committee on promoting gender diversity at a business or a community outreach project concerned with minority rights; or, it can be something small-scale, such as the mentorship of an individual who’s neurodivergent or even an internationally diverse professional experience. When choosing an example, you should select the one that best illustrates your values while allowing you to highlight an instance of impact, either on yourself or on others. Something narratively engaging is a strong plus, as you’ve really got one shot to impress the admissions committee in the written section of the app.
Once you’ve penned your example, you’ll need to tie it somehow to CMU. You’ll want to spend some time getting to know the community at Tepper, so as to identify areas in which your brand of inclusivity can have a positive impact. Being specific here is key, as the admissions committee is looking to gauge not only how active you might be with your classmates but also how serious you are about applying to their MBA program.
Optional Essay — Is there anything else that you would like to share with the Admissions Committee as we evaluate your application? If you believe your credentials and essays represent you fairly, you should not feel obligated to answer this question. This essay is intended to provide a place for you to add information that you think is important but is not covered elsewhere in the application. This could include clarification of your employment or academic record, choice of recommenders or helpful context for the admissions committee in reviewing your application.
Are you a re-applicant? Use the optional essay to explain how your candidacy has strengthened since your last application.
This space should only be used if you’ve got an issue that needs to be explained or if you’re a re-applicant. While it may be tempting to include some well-crafted essay from another application here, do avoid the temptation—half the battle in building a successful app is in knowing when you should leave something out. If you do need to explain something away, try to be as concise as possible.
Now, if you’re a re-applicant, keep in mind that you’re not only competing with other applicants this year, you’re also competing with your former self. Showing how your candidacy has improved since your last attempt is vital. That improvement could be anything from a higher GMAT score to a promotion to a realistic reevaluation of your career goals.
Video Question — Now, let’s hear directly from you! We know that your career goals are an important part of your decision to attend business school, and we are excited to hear them. Please describe your post-MBA career goals. You have up to 2 minutes to respond to this question.
It would be helpful to consider the following information in your response:
- Please be as specific as possible. If you have not yet identified specific companies, that is okay. Just tell us what interests you for your next role or company. What about the industry, company, or functional role is appealing to you?
- If you have any criteria you are using to evaluate career opportunities, please share those as well. We may have great opportunities to add to your list.
- How does this post-MBA career goal relate to your long-term career plan?
Important Additional Note: You will be allowed to re-record your video a maximum of two (2) more times; however, note that once you choose to re-record, previous attempts will be erased.
Let’s start with mise-en-scène: don’t overthink it. Pick a professional looking and well-lit backdrop in a quiet space. Test out the internet connection to make sure it’s stable. And, once you’re ready to shoot, dress professionally. That’s it.
Beyond appearances, what’s really important here? It’s having goals that AdCom will appreciate. You’ll want to do is identify a short-term goal that’s both realizable and attractive. You don’t want the viewer believing that the MBA or your profile is unsuited to reaching your professional objectives. And, you don’t want your target role to be beneath what MBA grads are aiming for. On the other hand, when it comes to your long-term objectives, you can be more daring. Tepper wants to identify future leaders who are interested in having a tangible impact in their professional careers rather than those who are just looking to vegetate in middle management. Think about what sort of contribution you’d like to make.
If you’re lost about what to roles to discuss, take a gander at Tepper’s employment report to identify potential career paths. Doing research and networking to further explore opportunities that an MBA from CMU would open could be well worth your time, especially considering that Tepper is looking for specificity in this answer.
If you’re looking to maximize your acceptance chances at this MBA, be sure to connect with our Tepper Experts. You can also find technical information on the application process on CMU’s official site.