2021-2022 MBA Essays: Tips for Carey University of Arizona

W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University

This year’s MBA application prompts are out, which means it’s time to start brainstorming what your topics will be. Wondering where to start, what to write? No worries, we have all the tips you need to get a nice start on writing a quality essay for W.P. Carey School of Business.  

The best way to represent that you possess the qualities the school is looking for is through the type of essay you choose to write. W.P. Carey places an emphasis on leadership development, so they want to admit students who are eager to achieve the same goal. Through their Forward Focus curriculum, they care constantly analyzing their course material to ensure that it is up-to-date with our quickly changing world and prepares students to meet those changes. 

It’s crucial to pick the right experience to discuss in your essay, and the different types of prompts help narrow that down for you. Keep reading for a closer look at the different types of essays, and how best to utilize them in order to write a stand-out essay for W.P. Carey. 

The Career Goals Essay

You’re not the only one hoping you’ll have a job after you’ve graduated with your MBA. Admissions committees are looking for students who are motivated and clear in their intentions so that when they get a job post-grad, they’ll be more willing to speak positively of their experience in the program. And, of course, in the hopes that their alumni will earn enough money to become a donor to the school one day.  

There are three aspects to the career goals essay: 

Your aspirations need to be convincing, ambitious, and realistic. Carey School of Business is looking for applicants who have meaningful goals grounded in their past experiences, and it’s important that you relate that notion in your essay, however it applies to your experience in life.

The Behavioral Essay

To make it simple: the behavioral essay is meant to show W.P. Carey that you have developed some sort of leadership skills, what your values are as a leader, and how you are going to most benefit from their development programs. 

The admissions committee is looking for applicants that are self-reflective. Whether it’s through a setback you’ve experienced, or how you dealt with situations that have gone awry, the school is looking for students who are resilient and able to learn from their mistakes. 

Do not overexaggerate (or underexaggerate!) the situations you decide to write about. Be honest about what happened; Carey is looking for genuine people to join their campus community, and they are less likely to admit an applicant who has overinflated their prior experiences. 

Last but not least, make sure to describe what you learned and how you implemented this in a subsequent situation. This is an expected element of the behavioral essay, even if it’s not directly written in the prompt. Prompts that deal with these topics can be daunting, especially when they require you to write about a weakness you have or a failure you’ve experienced. Prior to the start of the program, students are asked to fill out an assessment that identifies their strengths and weaknesses as a leader. Going into the courses with this information in mind allows students to always be on the lookout for how they can improve their skills through their time at W.P. Carey. The final leadership assessment at the end of your MBA career is meant to show how you’ve grown as a leader in conjunction with your individual leadership development plan.


Writing strong, coherent, genuine stories is an essential part of your MBA application. These essays are meant to help you stand out among many other applicants, so it is worth your time to do the work and write about situations unique to your life and that you truly learned from. Visit our process page to understand how Menlo Coaching can help you with your MBA essays for W.P. Carey School of Business of Arizona State.