How to get into Carnegie Mellon Tepper school of business? Well, you want to start with writing a strong application. Here’s my analysis of the Tepper MBA essays for 2010.
1. What are your short-term and long-term goals? How will a Tepper MBA help you to achieve these goals. (Please include any information regarding what steps you have taken to learn more about the Tepper School.)
 Analysis : Here, the Carnegie Mellon MBA’s Admission team is asking for the basic information any other school such as NYU, ColumbiaEmoryOxford, Texas and others would ask you about – what do you plan to do after graduation and how the specific school is going to help you. You also want to show that you’ve done your research. So it’s not only Why you need an MBA and why now, but also how the Tepper MBA is going to be specifically useful to you.
2. The Tepper School’s culture relies on all members to be active contributors to our community. With your values, experiences, and interests, how will you make a unique contribution to the Tepper community? Your examples may include: classroom interaction, student activities, career development, community service, etc.  
Analysis : again, another classic MBA question – Tepper MBA Admission committee wants to know what kind of student you will be. The focus is on a unique contribution to the community, so you can skip the “I’m smart, a great team member and hardworking” part as it is expected and given for any candidate. Try to be more specific about the clubs, initiatives you will be part of and hopefully lead in some capacity. This is also the place to show how much you know about the program and what is the uniqueness/ diversity that you’re bringing to the student body and the classroom. This is indeed very similar to NYU Stern‘s second question (Fit with Stern) and University of Texas/McCOMBS MBA 3rd question.
C. Please answer two of the following three questions or statements. Please clearly specify which questions you are answering. Your two answers should equal a total of two pages or less.  

1. Describe an obstacle you have faced in your professional or academic life. How did you overcome this obstacle and how did it foster your development? 

Analysis: this is a generic question; you can use it to show your leadership skills, problem solving, personal growth, ambition etc. It’s a short question so you need to make sure not to spend too much time (and words) on the situation and rather focus on how this impacted you, your reaction and what you’ve learned from that.

2. Describe a time in which your ethics were challenged. How did you deal with the situation and what did you learn from it?
Analysis: this is not an easy question to answer. You want to talk about a challenge but at the same time you don’t want to give the wrong impression that you were on the border of making an unethical decision in the last few years. If you do want to share something that went wrong make sure to have it enough in the past to not have an impact on your current profile and show how you’ve changed. In any case, make sure you get a professional feedback on this essay – it might get you into trouble. If you have decided to give it a try, as it could be powerful, send it to me for a free essay evaluation and objective feedback.

3. One thing people would be surprised to know about me is . . .
Analysis: I love this question, as you can use it as you like. You can talk about your personal side – things you do outside of work such as volunteer, sport, travel etc. This is your opportunity to go beyond your professional side (e.g. finance/marketing/IT/manager etc) and show your multi-disciplinary abilities as well as passions in life. The important thing to remember when writing this essay is “is this relevant to my MBA application?” – if it’s not , try something else.

If you are planning to apply to the Tepper School of Business / Carnegie Mellon MBA in this upcoming deadline or next year, and would like feedback regarding your Admission chances and application, send me your resume or a sample essay for a free MBA evaluation.