CEIBS has one of the more extensive MBA applications, with a plethora of essays and options. However, before you tackle the app, we highly recommend that you take some time to get to know the school, its program and its alumni. The better you understand CEIBS and how you might fit into it, the better you’ll be able to identify the essays and responses that will best help you stand out.
Also, be sure to keep careful track of the upcoming CEIBS MBA deadlines.
Essay 1 — Discuss your post-MBA career aspirations (short term and long term) and explain how you plan to achieve them (400 words).
In this essay, CEIBS is trying to identify how logical and attractive your post-MBA goals are. As you begin answering this question, try to visualize your career path, starting from your university education and stretching out into your potential long-term objectives. Some of that path is clear, such as your professional experiences up to this point, but, much of it is left to be developed: especially, your MBA studies, and your short and long-term career aspirations. When you arrange all of these elements in a straight line, you want them to follow a logical pattern. And that doesn’t mean that your long-term objective can’t be somewhat grandiose, but they should build on a series of professional events in your past, present and future that can sensibly lead to them.
For the second portion of this essay, you need to answer how you will achieve your professional objectives. When it comes to justifying goals, you should illustrate clearly how both your career experiences and education from CEIBS will develop or improve upon the skill-set necessary to help you realize your objectives. Moreover, when talking about CEIBS, do make sure to be as specific as possible, highlighting those parts of the program that can best position you to achieve your goals and connecting specific offerings from CEIBS to skills you’ll need in the future.
Essay 2 — Choose one of the following:
2(a). Describe your most significant achievement to date and explain why you consider it such an important accomplishment. (400 words).
2(b). Discuss a situation where you have demonstrated significant leadership ability. (400 words).
As you have two possible options for this essay, you’ll need to identify all potential answers across the two topics before you commit to writing a particular response. With such an approach, you can find the ideal question and answer that would present your candidacy in the fullest and most appealing fashion.
2(a) simply asks, what have you accomplished that you’re most proud of and what made it so special? To reply to the first part of this question, you’ll need to identify a concrete success. Try to discover change-heavy achievements, particularly those that had a strong, positive impact on individuals or groups beyond yourself. Also, don’t feel relegated to choosing examples solely from your work history, because CEIBS would be just as interested in hearing about successes from your personal life.
Once you’ve selected an accomplishment, you should attempt to introduce it in a story-like manner. Help the reader visualize the environment you were in and the hurdles that you faced as you moved towards success. Lastly, you’ll need to explain why this is such a monumental achievement in your life. This part of the response could take a very numerical route, especially if you’re discussing professional activities; however, it may be of benefit to also discuss the personal impact, when applicable—how were people’s lives changed through your accomplishment?
If you’ve chosen option (b), you’ll need to find an example that clearly displays your capacity for leadership. It’s worthwhile noting that this question doesn’t ask you to focus on a professional experience, so, just as in option (a), you could choose something from your extracurricular activities. Additionally, as you’re trying to build an exciting narrative structure, try to choose an example that required you to surmount certain difficulties. Lastly, you should explain how your leadership led to a positive outcome, not just for you but for all stakeholders involved.
Essay 3 — Choose one of the following:
3(a). Many would argue that entrepreneurship is not necessarily a state of being, but a state of mind. Describe an entrepreneurial experience where you went against the grain or conventional way of thinking, to discover and create new value. (400 words).
3(b). Identify up to two trends, big or small, that you see unfolding in the next decade. Discuss how the(se) trend(s) might affect you and your career, and how you plan to address them during your MBA and/or after you graduate. (400 words).
In this section, once again, you can select between two topics. Therefore, you’ll need to repeat the exercise from the previous essay: research all possible answers before arriving at a decision.
The first option asks for you to concentrate on an entrepreneurial experience. Take note that the definition of entrepreneurial in this question is an occurrence in which you were able to unconventionally innovate, thereby leading to an unexpected positive impact. So, your entrepreneurial activity doesn’t need to have been the founding of a company; for instance, it could simply have been the implementation of a new process in your team. The most important part of the essay is to illustrate how novel your approach was and how impactful the results were. And, as you develop the story, do your best to breathe life into the struggles you faced and the ways in which you overcame them, in order to keep the reader engaged.
The other potential question is a bit more ambiguous. It asks you to prognosticate one or two trends that you see taking place and that might affect your career. When selecting a concrete trend, you have to be certain that you truly understand what it is and how it intersects with your profession. Picking something general or poorly researched can lead to a weak-sounding answer.
Once you’ve zeroed in on a trend, you need to explain how you believe it will impact your career. There are a lot of ways in which you can approach this. Will the impact be potentially positive or negative? Is it an opportunity or a risk? Is it temporary or permanent? Obviously, the current global economic and political climate offers fertile ground for analysis.
Whatever the potential impact, (b) also asks you to address how you will adapt to such a trend. You need to define how your future education at CEIBS and/or your career choices can help you prepare for and take advantage of these changes.
Optional Essay 1 — Is there any other information that you believe would be helpful to the MBA Admission Committee in evaluating your application? (200 words). Re-applicants are suggested to describe the progress you have made since your previous application. Word count
There are a few things you can do with this question:
If you happen to be a reapplicant, you need to use this space to explain how your profile has substantially improved since your previous application. Perhaps you’ve received a promotion or increase in responsibilities at work; taken university courses in a quantitative subject, exposing your capacity to handle CEIBS’ coursework; or restructured your short and long-term goals. Whatever the case, you need to clearly set yourself apart not only from other applicants but also from your former self.
On the other hand, if you’re a new applicant with potential issues in your profile (poor university scores, gaps in work experience, lack of a direct manager as a recommender, etc.), you need to utilize this space to explain why. When possible, try to highlight how the problem has been permanently resolved. Keep in mind that you should almost never leave an issue unexplained, as the admissions committee would have no choice but to assume the worst possible reason for it.
If you’re not a reapplicant and you don’t have any glaring issues in your application, you could use this space to introduce an aspect of yourself that you’ve not had the chance to discuss elsewhere; perhaps there’s an extracurricular activity that has a unique meaning to you or perhaps there’s an important part of your professional career that you haven’t had the opportunity to elaborate on. Whatever you choose to mention, make sure that it is something that you haven’t written about elsewhere or talked about on the video, and that it will help the admissions committee better understand and appreciate your candidacy.
Finally, if you believe that you’ve already said everything important, which could definitely be true, feel free to leave this space blank. The following old adage is as true in the admissions process as in life: brevity is the soul of wit. You don’t want to waste the reader’s time with low-value content, because it will just end up detracting from an otherwise excellent application.
Optional Essay 2 — You are encouraged to showcase your life and career in a short video, no longer than three minutes. Please provide a downloadable link below (preferably from wetransfer.com).
Let’s start with an obvious question; how truly optional is this section? When the admissions committee notes that “you are encouraged to” submit a video, it’s safe to assume that it should be treated as a requirement in the majority of applicant cases.
There are a number of ways you can showcase your professional and personal life, however, with just 3 minutes, you’re not expected to produce a $5 million advert. Start by considering your message first. What are the activities in your life that you value most? What are the aspects of your career that you’re most passionate about? This message—its cohesiveness, clarity and impact—is far more important than the mise-en-scène.
Having said that, if you have an unusual passion that’s easy to illustrate visually, don’t hesitate to set it as your backdrop. For example, if you love flying planes, you could shoot your video in an airplane hangar or while seated in a cockpit. However it is you decide to approach the visuals, just make sure that the audio comes across clearly and that your appearance is professional.
It’s going to take some skill to build out a powerful app to CEIBS, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to connect with our CEIBS Admissions Experts to boost your odds. And if you’re looking for additional technical details on the MBA, you can visit the official CEIBS site