5 tips for an exceptional admissions essay

Wondering how to craft a compelling Executive MBA admissions essay? Put your best foot forward with these tips from UNC Kenan-Flagler’s EMBA admissions team:

  • Create a structure. Have a clear opening, body, and conclusion. Use the 3-part approach to develop a coherent easy-to-follow format. The body should be about 60% of the content, with 20% reserved for the opening and conclusion, respectively. Use the conclusion to support your overall points.
  • Be mindful of length. Consider that your essay will be reviewed with others. Therefore, some will be very short and others very long. Review the suggested or required lengths and give consideration to the average length. Just because a limit is suggested doesn’t mean you must fill that many pages.
  • Set a time limit. Many candidates get stuck on essay questions. Essays are just one component of your overall application profile. For that reason, set yourself a reasonable amount of time (30 minutes) to write your essay. While more time may improve an essay, it doesn’t guarantee it.
  • Ask a colleague/friend for review. You obviously have more background knowledge about your abilities and goals than anyone. Because of this, there is a potential to use shortcuts or assumptions. By using the review of another individual, you can be sure that the shortcuts you’ve taken in your brain transfer to the essay.
  • Demonstrate your character and personality. These essays provide an opportunity to help the committee learn more about your background. It’s always useful to share your volunteer work, accomplishments or general interests.