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2023-2024 MBA Essays: Tips for Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland

Smith School of Business has not yet released its essays for the 2022-2023 application cycle, but it never hurts to start preparing early. Most MBA programs will highly value the personal statement in your application, so don’t slack on it! Writing a unique essay that captures your individuality while responding to the prompt is a challenging task, but here at Menlo Coaching, we have a comprehensive guide to perfect it.

Smith School of Business is looking for students with a well-rounded background and lots of experience that can be translated into a succinct and compelling statement. One of the essential tips for an impactful essay is asking yourself why you chose to highlight a particular experience. Did it show significant professional development? Did it show how you overcame a personal struggle? Making sure your essay connects to the prompt, especially that it shows why you are pursuing an MBA, will make your essay stand out. No matter what the essay prompt is, these tips are broadly applicable. With that being said, the essay you will see on Smith School of Business’s application is career goals. 

The Career Goals Essay

The career goals essay is the space to emphasize your post-MBA plans. MBA programs want to accept students who have concrete, achievable career plans and a roadmap to success. MBA programs want a glowing post-grad report that proves they produce successful graduates with many job prospects (and who will donate money in the future)! Smith School of Business also wants students to promote their program to friends, co-workers, and prospective applicants.

The career goals essay combines your hard statistics (eg: GMAT score) with your interpersonal skills (eg: recommendations) to formulate the case for getting an MBA. Make sure to state your achievable short-term and long-term goals explicitly. Explain why an MBA would help you achieve these goals and how Smith School of Business is essential to your plan. Also, research what fields the graduates of Smith School of Business enter, and emphasize your findings in the essay to show you’re genuinely interested. An example of a career goals prompt is: What are your post-MBA career goals? Share with us your first choice career plan and your alternate plan. Here is an essay prompt from 2021:

  • Career Goals
    How will a degree from the Smith School help you achieve your professional endeavors? Please limit your response to 300 words.



Overall, honesty and growth are the most important parts of a successful MBA application essay. In addition, applying the lessons you learned shows improvement in your interpersonal and professional skills, making you a more attractive candidate for MBA programs. At Menlo Coaching, we are prepared to help you take the next step and perfect your essays. Visit our process page to understand how Menlo Coaching can help you!