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2023-2024 MBA Essays: Tips for Haslam College of Business

Haslam College of Business, The University of Tennessee

Haslam College of Business has not yet released its essays for the 2022-2023 application cycle, but it’s a good idea 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.

Haslam College 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 two types of essays you will see on Haslam College of Business’s application are career goals and behavioral. 

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)! Haslam College of Business also wants students to promote their program to friends, co-workers, and prospective applicants.

The career goals essay combines your hard statistics (ex: GMAT score) with your interpersonal skills (ex: 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 Haslam College of Business is essential to your plan. Also, research what fields the graduates of Haslam College 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.

  • Career Goals
    What are your career goals – both short term and long term? (Please be as specific as possible.) What experiences have shaped this decision? Finally, in addition to the pursuit of an MBA degree, what activities/experiences will you pursue in order to achieve your career goals? (500 words or less per essay question)


The Behavioral Essay

The behavioral essay asks you to reflect on your professional leadership skills. This could mean recalling a time when you’ve led a team to success or recovered after a failure and what you learned. Be honest with this essay, and don’t downplay the story; AdCom can tell if you’re disingenuous. Showing growth is essential to a constructive essay and shows development that you can easily apply to on-campus activities.

Say what mistakes you made and how you remedied them; if there is a situation where you used the lessons you learned from the failures, be sure to include that. Having the bravery to express your failures shows that you are willing to admit your mistakes. An example of a prompt MBA programs could use is: Provide a recent example where you have demonstrated leadership and created value. What challenges did you face, and what did you learn? 

  • Behavioral Essay
    Describe your three most substantial accomplishments and explain why you view them as such. (500 words or less per essay question)



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!