Our analysis of all USC Marshall’s 2019–2020 essay questions follows.
Essay #1 (Required): What is your specific, immediate short-term career goal upon completion of your MBA?
For example, if you aspire to work in a field or position for which Marshall is not known to have particularly strong courses, professors, or other offerings, or if you want to work for a company that has no recruiting history with the program, it might not be the best choice to get you where you want to go right away.
At just 100 words maximum, your response needs to be fairly straightforward. Do your research to ensure that Marshall can indeed position you to attain what you intend, and simply spell things out.
Given that this essay involves at least one key element of a traditional personal statement, we encourage you to download a Essay #2 (Required) – Please draft a letter that begins with “Dear Admissions Committee.” (word limit: 600) This letter is meant to be your personal statement that provides the Admissions Committee with an understanding of your candidacy for Marshall beyond what is evident in other parts of your application. You are free to express yourself in whatever way you see fit.
Our goal is to have an appreciation for and an understanding of each candidate in ways that are not captured by test scores, grades, and resumes.The school’s other key concern is whether its MBA program is truly the right one to help you attain your stated goal and that you have done the necessary research to discover and confirm this for yourself.Marshall has very little impetus to admit you—and you have very little to attend it—if you will not ultimately be equipped or positioned to pursue your intended goal once you graduate!As the admissions committee itself admits in the prompt, this is essentially a request for a personal statement, which typically covers (1) why the candidate feels they need an MBA, (2) why the MBA is necessary Note the admissions committee’s acknowledgement that it already has a lot of information about you from the other parts of your application, including your resume, extracurricular activities, recommendations, short-answer question responses, academic transcripts, and GMAT/GRE score.You should therefore think first about what these elements convey about who you are as an individual and candidate, so you can determine which parts of your profile complement this information and the image it collectively presents of you.Please include an intended position, function, and industry in your response.(word limit: 100) Quite simply, Marshall wants to know that you have a specific intention in mind and are not just applying to business school with the expectation of figuring everything out later, once you are enrolled in the program.This does not necessarily mean that you cannot touch on anything mentioned elsewhere in your application, but rather that you do not want to use up valuable word count repeating anything unnecessarily.Focus on supplementing the data the school already has.After a serene prologue set in a packed theater where the adult David Copperfield (Dev Patel), standing at a lectern as if he were Spalding Gray in the 19th century, speaks the famous opening lines of Charles Dickens’s beloved novel, “Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life…,” this adaptation stomps on the accelerator and barely lets up.David’s existence is told episodically—appropriate given the source material—and at a whimsically breakneck pace that can be off-putting.