The University of Cambridge Judge Business School is a prestigious international, one-year MBA. With ties to Cambridge’s Silicon Fen, it can offer a strong network to candidates interested in European entrepreneurship and technology. As you prepare to apply to this powerful program, be sure to note Cambridge’s application deadlines.
Overall, Judge’s questions steer towards professional rather than personal anecdotes. Whatever you choose to write about though, make sure your examples are dynamic, as a vibrant writing style can help your application stand out significantly from the rest.
Essay 1: Please provide details of your post-MBA career plans. The statement should not exceed 500 words and must address the following:
- What are your short and long term career objectives? How will the Cambridge MBA equip you to achieve these?
- Looking at your short-term career goal, describe the research you have done to understand how this industry/role/location recruits MBA talent and what they are looking for in a candidate?
- How do you meet the requirements of your short-term career goal? What preparation are you doing now?
This essay is concerned with your future plans and their viability, so it’s best to try identifying what logical steps you would likely take following your MBA. While you may not have a single short-term post-MBA role in mind, try to present a few realistic options. When it comes to long term objectives, you have greater leeway with your options, though it would still be best to think of goals that correspond with your past experiences and potential MBA studies.
Once you’ve elected the goals you will share, list the skills and characteristics needed to be successful in these enterprises. If you’re uncertain what might be most relevant, reach out to individuals who may be able to share with you what has been useful in their own roles. With this list in hand, try highlighting the skills and characteristics that you’ve shown in the past, using examples to illustrate them for the admissions team.
For any areas where you lack or need to refine a certain skill, consider the actions you could take before entering the MBA. Even more importantly, ask yourself what resources Judge would offer you to acquire this training. Identify professors, courses and tools that would clearly offer you the edge needed to best accomplish your short and long-term objectives.
Essay 2: Describe a difficult decision that you had to make. What did you learn from this and how have you changed as a result? (up to 200 words)
In this essay, Cambridge is hoping to understand how you faced a challenging decision, how you analysed the action to take, and finally how you learnt and evolved from that experience. When choosing an example, either a personal or a professional one can work. In either case, it may be best to select a challenge that took place very recently, as you want the admission team to trust that enough time has passed for you to have genuinely reflected on and absorbed the lessons that experience taught you. And finally, as you prepare your response, it may help to think of your situation as a short story you are recounting, as this can help engage your reader more vividly with the dilemma that you faced and overcame.
Essay 3: Describe a time where you worked with a team on a project. What did you learn from the experience and how might you approach it differently today? (up to 200 words)
Here, Judge wants to know how you problem-solve as part of a team. Think through your history to moments when you displayed a unique trait that turned out to be invaluable for a group you were working with, particularly if this occurred within an international setting. In the 200 words available, it’s also important not to focus only on your group’s success, but to remember the heart of this question: Cambridge wants to know how you grew from the experience you’ve shared. Be sure to make space to explain how your skills or perspective have evolved from that time, and what might be different in your approach today.
Essay 4: If you could give one piece of advice to your 18-year-old self, what would it be? (up to 200 words)
This essay is looking for a more personal, introspective response – one that can help Cambridge better understand your personal motivation to grow. First, consider what were your 18-year-old self’s primary aspirations. Between then and now, think about what risks you took to achieve them, or any regrets you may have for not taking certain steps that may have been useful earlier. What do you wish, in hindsight, that somehow else had told or clarified to your self? In your response, briefly share this advice, how you ended up acquiring it, and why you would have wished to have discovered it sooner. With only 200 words available, it is best to focus in on a specific piece of advice and to keep your descriptions of both it and its surrounding context brief.