Rice MBA Essays: Tips for 2023-2024

At Menlo Coaching, we noticed that most MBA essays will fall into one of a number of categories: personal essays, career goals essays, behavioral essays, etc. Read ahead for our expert guide on approaching these essays for Rice Jones School of Business. 

The Career Goals Essay

  • In 100 words or less, please share your short-term career goals. (text box, 100 words)
  • In 100 words or less, please share your long-term career goals. (text box, 100 words)

(These are not NOT meant to be traditional essays, rather, the purpose of this short answer response is to have a clear and direct understanding of your professional goals.)

The Personal Statement Essay

  • Required Creative Essay: While we know a picture is worth 1000 words, in 500 words or less tell us the story of a photo of your choosing that has significant value in your life experiences. Please feel free to share your photo! You can complete this essay via a traditional written response (500-word limit) or via a video response (one to three-minute time limit).

The Optional Essay

  • If you have any additional information for the admissions committee or if you wish to clarify any aspect of your application (including breaks in employment, your choice of recommendation providers, your past academic performance, etc.), you may submit an additional, optional essay.

Applying to Rice Jones

In this program, students are encouraged “to take risks and make mistakes.” They are looking for students who are moved to create. Through the story you relate in your essay, the admissions council is looking to see if you reflect the same values that the school does. Rice is looking for students who are looking to develop their emotional intelligence and eager to use rigorous analysis. The best way to represent that you possess those qualities is through the type of essay you choose to write. 

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. Rice Jones 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 Personal Statement Essay

Like we touched on earlier, schools are looking for the right fit for their campus community, just as you are searching for the school that aligns best with your goals. In the personal essay, this is your chance to show Rice Jones the values that drive you both as a person and as a student. These values tell the admissions council what you prioritize, the moral code you live by, and, most importantly, who you are as a person.

Rice Jones is looking for applicants who want to contribute to a larger purpose. The program is dedicated to students completing their own research and analysis in order to make decisions. They encourage intelligent risks. 

In these essays, you can talk about almost anything; typically, applicants will write about relationships in their lives, or times when there was a hardship they had to overcome. Be warned, though: there are some topics to avoid, and we have outlined a few things to watch out for in this article

Optional Essay

In addition to these essay types, Columbia Business School also offers applicants the opportunity to write an optional essay to expand on gaps in your resume or other potential weaknesses in your record. Keep in mind that this essay is meant as an addition, so try to be concise.

Conclusion

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 Rice.

Early Birds Toolkit

Learn 3 Steps You Should Take NOW to Improve Your Profile for R1 2024

In MBA admissions, starting early can significantly boost your chances. 

But there are no shortcuts, and while R1 2024 deadlines might seem far off, building your profile takes time.

Our Early Birds Toolkit has everything you need to get started right now—leave your name and email, and we’ll send you three actionable steps to elevate your profile, plus time-saving tools for faster progress.