Round 1: 2 October 2018
Round 2: 27 November 2018
Round 3: 15 January 2019
Round 4: 12 February 2019
Round 5: 5 March 2019
Round 6: 9 April 2019
Round 7: 21 May 2019
Round 8*: 4 June 2019
*only for EU Residents
One of the most sought-after business programs, the ESADE MBA is able to deliver its strong education in a highly flexible format (12, 15 or 18-month options). Beyond its structure, ESADE is known as one of the top 5 European leaders in entrepreneurship. And, among the three top MBA programs in Spain (the other two being IESE and IE), ESADE sends the highest portion of its candidates into the tech industry.
Now, have you heard of the 4C’s? They are the four central strengths that ESADE seeks to help its students excel in: collaborative leadership, critical thinking, creativity and communication skills. Of course, to be able to ace the following essays, you’ll need to know a lot more than just what the 4C’s are. Be sure to take the necessary time to explore all the intricate details of the ESADE program, speak with alumni, attend events, and, if possible, visit the school.
If you’re looking for advice on how to make your application to ESADE stand out, make sure to contact us.
Essay 1: Which aspects have you improved on during your academic and professional career so far? Which tools or values have helped you achieve this? (3000 characters maximum)
Growth is a recurring subject in MBA applications, as it’s intimately tied with leadership potential. However, within this essay, you have to not only illustrate how you have been able to grow in your environments, but you also need to clearly explain what enabled you to do so.
Because of the character limit, it’s important to choose only a few impactful examples from the history of your development. If you find it difficult to identify those instances, try instead to view the entire exercise from the perspective of accomplishments. What have been your major accomplishments, especially those following your university graduation? Were they in some way tied to your growth? If so, what led you to be able to achieve them? And how did they compare positively with your previous experiences?
Essay 2: How will your background, values and non-work-related activities enhance the experience of other ESADE MBA students and add to the diverse culture we strive for at ESADE? (Note: The goal of this essay is to get a sense of who you are, rather than what you have accomplished) (3000 characters maximum, including spaces)
While showing that you can contribute something unique to ESADE is important, it is just as important to be able to express it in a fashion that exposes your desire to share this with your future classmates.
Within the boundaries of the essay, you will most likely not be able to go into detail about all your experiences and you certainly should avoid simply writing out a long list. Instead, you should start by ordering all of your interests, extracurriculars and unique experiences by the amount of time that they occupied, and the effect they had on your life or the lives of others. This methodology will allow you to reveal and highlight those parts of your background, values and activities that are truly the most meaningful.
If possible, you should connect at least one of the points you mention in this essay with ESADE to further stress your commitment to contributing to the school.
Essay 3: What are your motivations in pursuing a full-time MBA at this point in your life? Describe your mid-term and long-term visions for your post-MBA career path. What is it about ESADE you think will help you reach your goals? (3000 characters maximum, including spaces)
Convincingly tying your professional objectives to ESADE is the central focus of this essay. To begin, you’ll need to explain why now is the right time for you to pursue an MBA and thereby leave the workforce. You need to make ESADE understand that, despite potentially having other options, your most reliable choice is an MBA.
For the next step, you’ll need to carefully identify what your career goals are. Don’t only look to the future, but rather, taking the place of the reader, also look into the past. What sort of skills have you developed through your various jobs? In which potential roles would those skills be beneficial?
Ultimately, you need to identify the sorts of mid-term objectives that are both realistic, relative to your job history and your future MBA studies, and attractive. Do keep in mind that both qualities are vital. If your goals are only realistic, you risk ESADE wondering whether you truly need the MBA; on the other hand, if they’re only attractive, ESADE might not believe you capable of reaching them. As for your long-term goals, while they in most cases should link back logically to your mid-term goals, they can be more daring in scope.
The final portion of the essay needs to be dedicated to how ESADE can help you hit your objectives. This section relies on your strong understanding of the requirements of your future objectives and all the ways in which ESADE can help you meet those requirements through its MBA program. That means you need to know everything about the program, from its professors and courses to its alumni network and industry connections. You need to prove to ESADE that you understand how to use the powerful tool that is its MBA.
Essay 4: Complete two of the following four questions or statements (3000 characters maximum, including spaces)
a) I am most proud of…
b) People may be surprised to learn that I…
c) What has your biggest challenge been and what did it help you learn about yourself?
d) Which historical figure do you most identify with and why?
Having to choose among four options may seem daunting, but it in fact offers you the opportunity to adeptly fill out any gaps in your profile or highlight particularly advantageous experiences you couldn’t otherwise. In order to take full advantage of this essay, start by listing out 3 to 5 possible answers for each of the choices. After you’ve done so, take the time to evaluate the information on your CV, your other essay answers and your expectations of what your recommenders will say. Do you notice something missing in your professional history or lacking in your profile (think of the 4C’s, if you need a bit of help here)? Do you notice anything too dull or common that can be corrected by a particular answer? Would responding to any of these prompts help the admissions committee to better understand your character? Through this process you’ll be able to select the questions and responses that will best help improve your application odds.
This essay will also afford you fertile ground to expose your storytelling capacity, as ESADE desires candidates that have powerful communication skills.
Essay 5: Please provide any additional information that you would like to bring to the attention of the Admissions Committee. This may include gaps in employment, your undergraduate record, plans to retake the GMAT or any other relevant information. (3000 characters maximum, including spaces)
If you have any issues with your profile, it is strongly advised that you take the time to talk about them here. Keep in mind that ESADE’s admissions committee will most likely assume the worst cause for any unexplained problem.
When discussing former issues, try your best not only to excuse them but to also show that you have already corrected them. For instance, if you originally performed poorly in quantitative university courses during your studies, having the opportunity to write about how you’ve excelled in recent summer courses that were heavy in mathematics would make for a strong argument.
Also, do keep in mind to be concise in your explanations. Efficiency is key when discussing problems.