UNC MBA Essays: Tips for Kenan-Flagler 2022-2023

This year’s MBA application prompts have been released, 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 UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.  

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 UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. 

Career Goals Essay

  • Please respond to the questions below that will assist us in learning more about you:
    • What are your immediate career goals and how will you benefit from earning an MBA at Kenan-Flagler Business School?
    • As the business world continues to evolve, circumstances can change and guide you in a different direction. Should your goals that you provided above not transpire, what other opportunities would you explore?

(500 words)

Behavioral Essay

We all belong to different communities representing various aspects of who we are, including groups we belong to, where we come from, how we think, what we believe, and how we see and experience the world. The process of discovery is strengthened when people with diverse perspectives and life experiences come together to share and learn from one another, negotiate differences, and engage in diplomacy.

  • How do you envision furthering your growth as an inclusive leader as a MBA student and future business leader? (500 words)

Optional Essay

  • We encourage you to tell us more about who you are so we can get to know you as a person and potential member of the Carolina community. Use this essay to convey information that you may not have otherwise been able to in the application. Your response should be no longer than 200 words. Optional Topics:
    • Personal or professional accomplishments
    • Interests and passions
    • Gaps in work experience or inconsistent academic performance
    • Context for recommender selection
    • A fun fact about yourself

Applying to UNC Kenan-Flagler

At UNC Flagler, they have a customizable curriculum that urges their students to think innovatively and deal with problems head-on. Through the story you relate in your essay, the admissions council is looking to see if you reflect these same values that the school does. The school is looking for students who are innovative and yearn to gain tangible work experience in the program that they can use to further their career. The best way to represent that you possess those qualities is through the type of essay you choose to write. 

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 some stand-out UNC MBA essays.

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.  

For example, if you aim to work in real estate, this is an essay to take seriously. UNC Kenan-Flagler is well-known for their alumni’s success in the real estate field, and showing them that you also strive to achieve that same success is wholly beneficial to your chances of being admitted. 

There are three aspects to the career goals essay: 

Your aspirations need to be convincing, ambitious, and realistic. The admissions committee 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 UNC Kenan-Flagler 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; UNC Flagler 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.

Optional Essay

Once you’ve completed your application, the optional UNC MBA essay gives you an additional opportunity to provide the AdCom with any additional information or clarity that you feel would enhance your application.

One trap that MBA applicants fall into is using the additional space provided by this essay to write on a whole new topic. However, this is not always the best idea.

You should only make use of this essay if you what you write will provide context to an element of your application to improve your candidacy—you don’t want to jeopardize your chances by adding unnecessary noise to your application.

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 Kenan-Flagler Business School.