MBA Essay Tips

Cambridge MBA at Judge Business School offers 24 scholarships on merit, nationality, gender, sector, and entrepreneurship that also includes two scholarships – ‘Cambridge MBA Trust’, and ‘Gates Cambridge’ that supports all Cambridge University students for their post-graduate courses. The amount awarded ranges from £1,000 to £80,000 with the most popular remuneration set at £10,000. For assistance with writing the essays (goals, failure and teamwork), Download F1GMAT's Cambridge MBA Essay Guide.

Cambridge MBA Scholarship Selection Criteria

GMAT and Academic Criteria

On academic excellence, the university’s tradition to pick candidates with 3.5+ GPA is expected when it comes to the most competitive scholarships - Cambridge MBA Trust, Gates Cambridge, and St Catharine's Benavitch Scholarship for Cambridge MBA Students.
Overwhelmingly, for all the major scholarships, an excellent academic record and GMAT 700+ score, are two mandatory selection criteria. Since the average GMAT score for the latest class is 690, an impressive GMAT score to transform your profile into the competitive pool would be 730 and above.


If you have analyzed the curriculum of the top 50 MBA programs like how we have done, Strategy has slowly become an integral part of the core curriculum. Ten years back, the electives were filled with Strategy courses while core focused exclusively on Finance, Accounting, and Operations. Cambridge MBA also has embraced the demand to build a strong foundation in strategy. Any narrative that showcases your awareness that Strategy is equally important as functional knowledge, leadership, and communication would help you align with the goals essay.

Be careful not to reveal failures that show carelessness or poor perception of market dynamics.

In this example, we cite the example of a consultant working for the government of India to decode the high open defecation. Applying complex data models, the candidate and his team came up with a formula that involved attacking the problem in three areas – infrastructure, awareness, and project allocation. The extensive study and analysis led to the recommendation to prioritize an infrastructure-driven solution. However, the candidate failed to decode the complexity of Indian culture and their deeply held beliefs. The lessons learned is an interesting perspective for solutions that is increasingly reliant on data and not enough on creativity, cultures, and beliefs.

Sample Cambridge MBA Essay - Learned from your most spectacular failure? (194 words) (Reducing Open Defecation and the complexity of cultural beliefs)

2014 was a challenging year for the India government with open defecation as high as 65% - highest in the world. Corruption in constructing toilets was rampant. The government of India called on us to offer a solution. I led the data modeling, where past failures were built into the analysis. Our solution prioritized the construction of toilets and developing an open-bid system for contractors as a solution to reduce corruption. The approach led to a 26% decrease in open defecation. Watching the results closely, we found an alarming failure rate...

In the second example, we look at the example of a candidate who was part of a four-nationality team for an online flight booking giant. With a universal customer booking form that worked for customers of all nationalities, the unique problem of ‘Dutch’ customers habitually using nicknames, became an identification nightmare for the airport authorities. The narrative demonstrates how the team’s diverse cultural exposure helped them find a permanent solution for a pressing problem.

Sample Cambridge MBA Essay – Teamwork and lessons learned (191 words) (Value of Cultural Diversity)

Working with the Dutch Travel website - <x>, our team of four – one Indian, one American, one Dutch and one south African, faced an unusual problem. Despite a universal flight booking form that works in all countries, a large section of Dutch customers was not entering correct and complete information in the flight booking form, leading to the non-identification of the customer at Gate.

I and my friend from the US responded by ...

The problem didn’t subside. ...

In the first example, we narrate the example of a candidate who is leading a dysfunctional high-performing team. As the third team lead to manage the complex dynamics and motivation of the team, the candidate felt the pressure to get things right. Through informal listening sessions, the candidate’s first attempt at leadership began. Understanding the ambition and creative aspirations helped the candidate turn around the team from warring factions to a cohesive team motivated to help the smartphone giant regain its lost glory.

Sample Cambridge MBA Essay – Teamwork and lessons learned (198 words) (Matching Responsibilities with Ambition and Purpose)

A diligent leader who brought two warring factions into a cohesive team was replaced by a person, who couldn’t find harmony between the nuanced preferences of the team and the client expectations. As the third attempt at leading the team, I took the role as the project lead for the advertising team – the first time in my career. The team’s tendency for dynamic flaring made me nervous but <x’s> ambition to regain the market share in the global smartphone market from 1% to the highs of 40%..

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