Duke MBA Essays and Tips for 2021-2022

The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University is a community-oriented programme seeking a diverse student body of accomplished students. In addition, Duke Fuqua MBA students are highly motivated and mutually supportive. The admissions committee selects those who have strong intellectual capability, superior communication skills, and a desire to add value to the firm and community. As a result, when responding to the application form’s essay questions, candidates must make sense with their narratives, provide examples from their personal, skilled, or academic achievements, and illustrate a clear vision. The goal is to assist you in making a good first impression with your application materials. Read on to know how to write Duke’s MBA essays. 

Duke MBA demands the following prompts from its candidates:

Required short-answer essay question

Instructions: Answer the following question in 100 words. What are your post-MBA career goals? Share with us your first-choice career plan and your alternate plan.

Consider the big picture and the overarching storyline trajectory. Your short-term goal profession should ideally transition to your long-term goal career, and an MBA degree is required for both courses. At that point, Duke MBA admissions demands to learn your top two career choices. As a response, consider goals that are compatible with your background and personal qualities. Also, show what you might look into if your first plan doesn’t work out. Flexibility is important in a changing environment and for this Duke MBA essay. Assume your primary objective is to work in brand management in the consumer packaged goods industry. If you can’t find a job in that sector after Duke, you might consider marketing for a retailer in a different sector. This could be a viable alternative career path since it allows you to progress a marketing career while remaining industry-flexible. Or a second option is that you may present your idea of your dream startup or any other project that you would like to pursue.


First Required Essay: 25 Random Things About Yourself

The ‘Team Fuqua’ spirit and community is one of the things that sets the MBA experience apart, and it is a concept that extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. Please share with us “25 Random Things” about you. The Admissions Committee wants to get to know YOU – beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. Share with us important life experiences, your hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are. Your list will be limited to 2 pages (750 words maximum). Please present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 25. Some points may be brief, while others may be longer.

This is the place where you can tell your most powerful stories and ensure that subjective topics are meaningful to your Duke Fuqua application.

The Duke admissions committee has published its own 25 Random Things illustrations to help you clear this up. These vary from the deeply personal (engagement stories) to the inspirational (starting a company from nothing). As you make your list, keep in mind the variety of responses. Begin your creative process by collaborating with friends and family. First, ask people what they think makes you unique and exciting. Then, when questioned about you, ask them to share the first storey that comes to mind. Another suggestion is to keep a notebook with you at all times to jot down ideas. Make sure you structure it nicely, maybe chronologically, thematically, or even alphabetically.


Second Required Essay: The Fuqua Community and You

Fuqua prides itself on cultivating a culture of engagement. Our students enjoy a wide range of student-led organizations that provide opportunities for leadership development and personal fulfillment, as well as an outlet for contributing to society. Our student-led government, clubs, centers, and events are an integral part of the student culture and to the development of leaders. Based on your understanding of the Fuqua culture, what are 3 ways you expect to contribute at Fuqua?

The best Duke MBA essays will be personal while also being informative. A diverse networking opportunities benefits everyone. So, what exactly will you exchange with your classmates? Consider your previous experiences when deciding which areas to emphasise in this short essay. First, do Fuqua have clubs that intrigue you? Next, what classes pique your interest and would help you expand your knowledge? Finally, provide specific examples from your previous experiences to demonstrate your passions. It is critical that you are a good fit for the programme. In an ideal world, you would demonstrate personal qualities that Duke Fuqua values. 

Then coming to the second part of the question, you must consider how you will use and engage with Duke’s resources to seek and achieve your objectives. Look for meaningful connections between your interests and goals and the things you plan to engage in, not just a few program options. Make sure you list down the things both ways i.e. how Duke’s resources will help you attain your goals, and on the other side how will you help Duke’s community to grow and prosper. You’re basically breaking things down into a give-and-take scenario. You will be able to answer this question fully and confidently if you conduct thorough research about your career path and the possibilities available at Duke.


Optional Essay: Tell Us More

If you feel there are circumstances of which the admissions committee should be aware, please explain them here (e.g. unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance). Note that you should NOT upload additional essays nor additional recommendations in this area. The Optional Information section is intended to provide the admissions committee with insight into your circumstances only. Your response will be limited to 1 page (500 words maximum).

Duke makes several recommendations for what to include within this essay. This optional essay gives you the opportunity to explain anything which is unclear in your application. Furthermore, any explanation should also include the reasons why you will excel in your college programs at Duke. Finally, keep in mind that you should never use the optional essay if the information in your application is self-explanatory.

  • You may use this place to highlight any extenuating circumstances that you would like the Admissions Committee to consider (e.g. unexplained gaps in job experience, recommender selection, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, areas of weakness, etc.). 
  • Disciplinary action in undergrad could also be an important topic. Begin by simply and briefly stating the problem. Then, illustrate how you’ve improved and addressed any concerns using evidence. 
  • Furthermore, if you have a gap in your work experience, this is the spot to fill it. As a result, describe what you’ve been doing during the break. Also, take the time to explain rather than excuse.
  • Finally, talk about how you want to keep the momentum going.


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