2014-15 USC Marshall MBA Essay Tips

USC Marshall MBA Essay TipsUSC Marshall School of Business has published the essay questions for Full-time MBA program starting in Fall 2015. This year, the number of required essays has come down to one, with an optional essay and an essay for re-applicants.

Essay: Introduce yourself. How are you a good fit for the USC Marshall MBA community? The Trojan Network is highly regarded worldwide; how do your professional and personal goals add value to this expansive and collaborative brand? (500–750 words)

The essay has a word limit of 750 words or one and half page. The admissions team is aware of your role, job function, and expertise. What they lack is context on how you approach problems, your attitude towards challenges, and your contribution towards building your employer’s brand. If you have a history of getting involved with your company’s outreach initiatives, and brand building exercises, your candidacy would be more valuable than someone, who might be competitive academically, but lacks the initiative to take the USC brand to the next level.

Phrasing the introduction requires quite a lot of introspection. Answer the following questions before attempting this essay

1) How would friends describe you?
2) What are your strengths?
3) What are your weaknesses?
4) What should be your legacy?
5) How do you want to change the world?
6) What are the three guiding principles in your life?

When you answer the six questions, it will give you clarity on who you are and what you believe in? Need help writing the introduction? Contact us

Explaining Fit – USC Marshall Community

Before you explain fit for the program, you should learn about the various courses and activities associated with the USC Marshall Full-time MBA program. To help you with research, we have summarized the key characteristics of USC Marshall School of Business:

1. USC MBA Program offers a three-week "Super Semester" in leadership, strategy, statistics, microeconomics, financial accounting, ethics, and management communication.

2. USC MBA Class is divided into cores, which is further divided into teams of 5-6 people. Each core is diverse in nationality, experience, and gender distribution.

3. Some of the Electives in the First Year are Accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, information and operations management, management and organization, and marketing.

4. The Global Context of Business, a required course for Full-time MBAs, gives students the exposure in doing Business Globally that include a ten-day field trip to one or two countries, meeting executives in their company.

5. During the second year, students can select electives, concentrations or pick courses across concentrations according to their post-MBA goals.

For details, download F1GMAT’s MBA Research Guide

Now that you know about the course structure and activities, focus on the class profile that USC Marshall MBA program attracts:

Undergraduate Majors
                                                 2015   2014
Humanities & Soc Science             38%    35%
Science & Engineering                  18%     20%
Business                                      23%    26%
Economics                                    15%    12%
Computer Sciences                         6%      7%

Pre-MBA Career Industries
                                                  2015       2014

Financial Services/Banking              17%      14%
Media/Entertainment                      13%        9%
High Tech/Engineering                     5%       15%
Consulting                                       8%        8%
Education/Nonprofit                          8%        7%
Manufacturing/Operations                10%        9%
CPG/Retail                                        7%       9%
Consumer Services                            5%       9%
Real Estate                                        8%      3%
Healthcare                                         8%      5%
Hospitality/Food Service                     6%       n/a

Once you are aware of the class composition based on pre-MBA experience and undergraduate major, you can explain how your candidacy would be valuable for the various student clubs, which are an integral part of the USC Community. Upload your profile here if you need assistance writing this essay. The school  has divided the student clubs and organization based on Functional, Industry, Social and Athletic interest.

For example, the popular career based clubs include American Finance Association, Entrepreneur and Venture Management Association, Graduate Marketing Association, Leadership and Organization Club, Marshall Consulting and Strategy Club & Operations Management Club.

How will you contribute towards these clubs and associations? If you are focused on an industry post-MBA, look at the list of industry based organizations and clubs:

•    Healthcare Leadership Association
•    Business of Entertainment Association
•    Graduate Real Estate Association
•    High-Tech Association
•    Marshall Hospitality and Gaming Club
•    Marshall Net Impact
•    Marshall Retail and Luxury Association
•    Marshall Sports Business Organization
Trojan Network

USC Marshall’s 70,000 alumni is a tight knit group spread across 90 countries and as the best-selling author Harvey Mackay has put “I don’t know if they take a blood oath to help, hire, mentor, and generally take care of each other, but they act as if they did. From the day you graduate, the USC network is there for you. And, in turn, you, as a graduate, are expected to be there for other USC alumni.”

Interact with USC Marshall Alumni and current students, and learn more about the power of the Trojan network. Be ready with at least 2-3 instances where a USC Alumni was instrumental in getting an interview call or an internship. Pick one instance that showed how the Alumnus went out of the way to help the student. Name-dropping will be helpful in this scenario.

More than the effectiveness of the alumni network, what the school is measuring is your loyalty. If you were an inactive member of your alma matter, it becomes tough to convince that you would be there for the USC Alumni network. For any school, their alumni are the support system that inform and guides current students to find jobs. Cite evidence of your networking skills and your leadership skills. Explain how effective you were in promoting your college and even your Employer’s brand. Use verifiable numbers as evidence while explaining your effectiveness.

The school also wants to know how your professional and personal goal will add value to this expansive and collaborative brand. This is your chance to explain about your long-term goals. If over the next 5-10 years, you are planning to start on your own, mention how you will support the students through internships and other learning initiatives.

Contact us if you are not sure how to approach this essay

Optional Essay: Here you may choose to provide additional information with regard to personal characteristics and/or challenges you have had which might enhance the diversity of your class. (250 words)

Unlike other schools where you write about gaps in employment and poor grades, USC Marshall wants to know how unique you are. If you want to write about a challenge, focus on a personal setback, something related to your life or your loved one, something that evokes emotions: an accident or losing a close friend or family. How did it change your life? How did you make a comeback? If you have a truly unique background or work experience, demonstrate how the experience has helped you grow as a person.

If you are still not sure how to approach this essay, upload your profile here. We can help you.

Re-application Essay: Please describe any significant professional, personal, or academic growth since your last application to the USC Marshall School of Business. Discuss your specific professional goals and how the USC Marshall Full-Time Program will help you achieve these goals. (500 words)

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