Early action: Application Deadline September 12, 2017
Interview Notification: September 26, 2017
Decision Notification: October 19, 2017
Round 1 Application Deadline October 10, 2017
Interview Notification: November 9, 2017
Decision Notification: December 15, 2017
Round 2: Application Deadline: January 3, 2018
Interview Notification: January 30, 2018
Decision Notification: March 15, 2018
Round 3: Application Deadline March 20, 2018
Interview Notification: April 11, 2018
Decision Notification: May 1, 2018
Duke Fuqua applicants are asked to submit 3 short answers and 2 required essays for 2017-2018 admissions. Duke’s 2 long essays (2 pages each) and a short career goals essay allows applicants to cover a lot of ground about their personal and professional traits and accomplishments The first required essay is Duke’s favorite for many years -‘25 Random Things about Yourself ‘ prompt. The second essay prompt is new this year and asks applicants about their ‘fit’ with ‘Team Fuqua.’
From Duke Website:
Instructions for All Essays:
• Responses should use 1.5 line spacing and a font size no smaller than 10-point.
• Do not copy the essay question in the document you upload with your application.
• Respond fully and concisely. Length requirements vary by question, and are detailed below.
• Responses must be completed before submitting your application.
• Prepare your responses carefully. The Admissions Committee considers your answers important in the selection process.
• All essays are scanned using plagiarism detection software. Expressing your ideas by using verbiage from existing sources, including other applicants' essays or materials, without properly crediting those sources constitutes an act of plagiarism. Plagiarism is considered a cheating violation within the Honor Code and will result in an application denial. Note: if you have worked with a consultant to complete your application materials, please ensure that the honor code policy is discussed and he/she will not share your essays with other potential applicants.
Let’s take a closer look at the essays:
Required Short Answer Questions :
Instructions: Answer all 3 of the following questions. For each question, respond in 500 characters only (the equivalent of about 100 words).
1. What are your short-term goals, post-MBA?
2. What are your long-term goals?
3. Life is full of uncertainties, and plans and circumstances can change. As a result, navigating a career requires you to be adaptable. Should the short-term goals that you provided above not materialize what alternative directions have you considered?
The goals essay question has been broken down in 3 parts, so you will answer these straightforward questions separately in a clear, concise, and succinct way .
1. Discuss what you plan to do immediately after your MBA. Be as specific as you can in outlining your role, position, industry and company you aim to join after your MBA. Make sure that your post MBA goal shows a logical progression from your current skill set, and skills and knowledge acquired through MBA degree.
2. Then explain your long term vision for your career. Also, discuss how you see yourself progressing from achieving your short term objectives to your long term vision.
3. Lastly, think about your plan B. Duke admits that ‘life is full of uncertainties’, and you may come across situations that prevent you from realizing your post MBA goals. In such scenario, you must be prepared for your plan B. Please make sure that your alternative career path is in alignment with your experience and the skills, knowledge gained from your MBA education. It should not be an altogether different path that doesn’t allow you to leverage your skills and experience to the fullest.
First Required Essay: 25 Random Things About Yourself:
Instructions: Present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 25. Some points may be only a few words, while others may be longer. Your complete list should not exceed 2 pages.
The "Team Fuqua" spirit and community is one of the things that sets The Duke MBA experience apart, and it is a concept that extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. When a new person joins the Admissions team, we ask that person to share with everyone in the office a list of "25 Random Things About Yourself." As an Admissions team, we already know the new hire's professional and academic background, so learning these "25 Random Things" helps us get to know someone's personality, background, special talents, and more.
In this spirit, the Admissions Committee also wants to get to know you–beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. You can share with us important life experiences, your likes/dislikes, hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are. Share with us your list of "25 Random Things" about YOU.
This question about ‘a list of 25 random things’ about applicants is Duke’s favorite for many years. Actually, it is my favorite as well. As stated in the essay prompt, the purpose of this question to get to know you–beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. So they suggest that ” you can share with us important life experiences, your likes/dislikes, hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are”. Thus the purpose of this essay is to show the admission committee your multidimensional personality. Thus this question offers you an opportunity to show to the admission committee your multidimensional personality.
I have seen candidates finding this question daunting initially, but when they begin brainstorming ideas about unique and interesting things about themselves, they actually love this the process of self discovery. I advise them to do these brainstorming sessions with their family and friends and ask them what they find interesting and funny about you. Also, you will need to do a lot of self-refection to dig into interesting things about your personality, your likes and dislikes, and your unique personal experiences that have made you who you are.
Please note that the word ‘random ‘allows you to include little fun things that you have done or do in your day- today life, your hobbies/ habits that have become inseparable part of your personality. The unique component of this essay question is the “fun” part of it. So you don’t want to get too serious about yourself. You want to write something that draws your reader in Also, please resist the temptation of drifting away to your accomplishments, career goals or leadership experiences because this is NOT what the Ad Com seeks to know about you through this question. For ideas, you may refer to the following examples on Duke Website:
Examples of "25 Random Things"
• 25 Interesting Facts About Me https://blogs.fuqua.duke.edu/duke-mba/2 ... WfVmlGQy70
• My 25 Random Things https://blogs.fuqua.duke.edu/duke-mba/2 ... WfVvlGQy70
• More Random Things https://blogs.fuqua.duke.edu/duke-mba/2 ... WfV51GQy70
Second Required Essay
Instructions: Your response should be no more than 2 pages in length.
Fuqua prides itself on cultivating a culture of engagement. Our students enjoy a wide range of student-led organizations that provide opportunities for leadership development and personal fulfillment, as well as an outlet for contributing to society. Our student-led government, clubs, centers, and events are an integral part of the student culture and are vital to providing you with a range of experiential learning and individual development experiences.
Based on your understanding of the Fuqua culture, how do you see yourself engaging in and contributing to our community, outside of the classroom?
This essay is primarily about your contribution to the school. Duke emphasizes greatly on how their students will make their community richer. Hence for this question, it is important for you to do your homework and research the school thoroughly. You need to think beyond your contribution to the class room and discuss how your involvement in clubs, organizations and student communities will add value to the program. Also, in addition to understanding the school’s resources (curriculum, faculty, clubs, organizations, and student activities) you should reach out to alumni and current students to get additional insights about the school’s culture.
Please note that it is important to support your claims about your potential contribution to specific clubs and organization by specific examples from your past experiences, personal or professional, in the given area. In order to demonstrate your ‘fit’ with the program, you must showcase what you have done in the past and how you are going to be a strong contributor as a student and as an alumnus.
Since the short goals essay doesn’t give you an option to explain how Duke will help you realize your goals, you can use this essay to discuss how various resources and offerings of Duke are aligned with your career goals. Be as specific as you can in connecting your career aspirations to specific courses, and clubs and organizations at Duke. However, the main focus should be your community involvement and how you plan to add value to it.
If you feel there are circumstances of which the Admissions Committee should be aware, please explain them in an optional essay (such as unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance).
Do NOT upload additional essays nor additional recommendations in this area of the application. The Optional Essay is intended to provide the Admissions Committee with insight into your circumstances only. Limit your response to one page.
As instructed in the essay prompt, submit the optional essay only if you have to explain extenuating circumstances. (e.g. “unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance”) . If you have low GPA or less than ideal GMAT, or if you are not able to get recommendation from your current supervisor, or if you have employment gap, you may address these concerns in your optional essay. Your weakness may also bring out a positive aspect of your personality. This essay should convey that you are aware that these are areas of concern in your application, but, whenever possible, you have made a sincere effort to improve upon these areas.
If you do not have any of those areas to explain, it’s best to skip this question and focus only on the required three essays
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Unlike a number of the top U.S. business schools, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business has made no changes at all to its application essay questions this year, meaning that it is again posing its rather unique “25 Random Things” prompt. This decision will likely make some candidates happy but dismay others. If you are among the dismayed, we encourage you to view this submission as the generous opportunity it is to provide a comprehensive picture of yourself as a well-rounded candidate. Few application essays provide such a broad platform through which to share your most meaningful values, experiences, interests, and accomplishments. Fuqua’s second required essay focuses on candidates’ expectations of their role within the school’s MBA program. You must discuss how you anticipate engaging with and being a benefit to others in the Fuqua community. The school also poses a few short-answer goal questions concerning the basic professional elements of the applicant’s profile. In our analysis, we offer our advice for approaching each of Fuqua’s prompts for this season…
Required Short Answer Questions: Answer all 3 of the following questions. For each question, respond in 500 characters only (the equivalent of about 100 words).
- What are your short-term goals, post-MBA?
- What are your long-term goals?
- Life is full of uncertainties, and plans and circumstances can change. As a result, navigating a career requires you to be adaptable. Should the short-term goals that you provided above not materialize, what alternative directions have you considered?
With this trio of questions, Fuqua is essentially asking for a standard, albeit very brief, personal statement—though the third query does include a rather nonstandard component. Candidates often feel they must be totally unequivocal in their goals, but in this case, Fuqua is giving applicants room to address and speculate on other options. The admissions committee knows that sometimes the best-laid plans do not play out as expected or may even yield unintended results, and the school wants to know that you are prepared to switch gears and recommit to a different path, if necessary—and that you are fully capable of doing so. The key in answering this question is showing that your alternate goal is just as connected to your skills, interests, and ambitions as your original plan and does not come “out of left field,” so to speak. For example, you would probably have a difficult time convincing the admissions committee that your short-term goal is to work in technology consulting while your alternate goal would be to work in human resources, because these industries, for the most part, require entirely different skills and personalities. Just be mindful that both goals you present must be plausible and achievable.
As we noted, these questions concern many of the same topics covered in a traditional personal statement, so we encourage you to download your free copy of the mbaMission Personal Statement Guide, which helps applicants write this style of essay for any school. This complimentary guide offers detailed advice on approaching and framing these subjects, along with multiple illustrative examples. Be sure to claim your copy today.
Required Essay 1: 25 Random Things About Yourself
Present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 25. Some points may be only a few words, while others may be longer. Your complete list should not exceed 2 pages.
The “Team Fuqua” spirit and community is one of the things that sets The Duke MBA experience apart, and it is a concept that extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. When a new person joins the Admissions team, we ask that person to share with everyone in the office a list of “25 Random Things About Yourself.” As an Admissions team, we already know the new hire’s professional and academic background, so learning these “25 Random Things” helps us get to know someone’s personality, background, special talents, and more.
In this spirit, the Admissions Committee also wants to get to know you—beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. You can share with us important life experiences, your likes/dislikes, hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are. Share with us your list of “25 Random Things” about YOU.
Be prepared to have fun creating this list for your Fuqua application! Before you start scribbling down random things, though, stop and take some time to thoroughly brainstorm. You cannot simply draft a list of “typical” accomplishments—remember, the school is asking for a random list, and keep in mind that your reader should learn more about you as an individual with each item presented. Make sure that every new story or tidbit of information you share gives the admissions committee a different window into your personality, into what really makes you tick and makes you you. Most important is that you own all the points on your list—that your final list could apply to no one but you. For example, a statement such as “I love the movie Goodfellas and have watched it multiple times” could easily be made by many applicants—therefore, it could not be considered truly yours. However, if you were to instead write, “At least once a year, my friends and I get together to watch our favorite movie, Goodfellas, all wearing dark suits, eating fresh pasta with homemade sauce, and reciting the dialogue line-for-line,” you would present an experience that is unquestionably yours, because few—if any—other candidates would be likely to say this exact same thing.
Although Fuqua does not want you to rehash your professional and academic accomplishments in this list, and you should certainly avoid repeating facts that already appear elsewhere in your application, you can of course still touch on significant moments that occurred in these spheres. Use detail and a narrative style (keeping things brief!) to give these elements life and ensure that they are personal. For example, rather than saying that you “won a creative thinking award for implementing an innovative training solution,” you might write that you “once won an award for instructing trainees to flip their desks upside down and face what was previously the back of the room—thereby creating an exercise to introduce new hires to the concept and value of new perspectives.”
Required Essay 2: Fuqua prides itself on cultivating a culture of engagement. Our students enjoy a wide range of student-led organizations that provide opportunities for leadership development and personal fulfillment, as well as an outlet for contributing to society. Our student-led government, clubs, centers, and events are an integral part of the student culture and are vital to providing you with a range of experiential learning and individual development experiences.
Based on your understanding of the Fuqua culture, how do you see yourself engaging in and contributing to our community, outside of the classroom? (Your response should be no more than 2 pages in length.)
With this essay prompt, Fuqua clearly wants to see evidence that you have done your research on the school’s culture and community and developed a true and thorough understanding of it. Ideally, your essay will convince the admissions committee that you are eager to take advantage of opportunities to lead and contribute, that you have thoughtfully considered your place within the school’s community at length, and that as a result, you know the value of what you can offer and have a clear vision of how this will manifest when you are a Fuqua student.
For this to be possible, you really (really!) must know the school well, because if you hypothesize incorrectly about the contribution you will make—meaning that what you propose is just not possible at the school or does not align with Fuqua’s values and culture—you will definitely not get in. The question specifically mentions “student-led government, clubs, centers, and events,” so you could start your research there to find niches and opportunities that correspond with your strengths, knowledge, and experience. But if you feel you can contribute in a different area or way altogether (while still adhering to the “outside of the classroom” element of the prompt), you can certainly take that approach instead. Read student blogs, peruse discussion boards, catch up on the past year or more of press releases from the school, spend some time on Fuqua’s YouTube channel—these are all good places to start (or better, continue!) educating yourself about what life at the school is really like, beyond the course work.
Optional Essay: If you feel there are circumstances of which the Admissions Committee should be aware, please explain them in an optional essay (such as unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance).
- Do NOT upload additional essays nor additional recommendations in this area of the application.
- The Optional Essay is intended to provide the Admissions Committee with insight into your circumstances only.
- Limit your response to one page.
Fuqua stipulates a maximum length for its option essay of just one page. We see this, along with the other clarifying bullet points, as confirmation that the admissions committee is not interested in additional information from applicants who fear that not submitting an optional essay would somehow count against them and would like to reserve this essay exclusively for those who truly need it. So be judicious in your use of this opportunity, and submit an optional essay only if you truly believe that explaining a key element of your story or profile is necessary for Fuqua to have a complete and accurate understanding of you as a candidate. Consider downloading a free copy of our mbaMission Optional Essays Guide, in which we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay (along with multiple sample essays) to help you mitigate any problem areas in your profile.
For a thorough exploration of Duke Fuqua’s academic offerings, defining characteristics, crucial statistics, social life, community/environment, and other key facets of the program, please download your free copy of the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to Duke Unviersity’s Fuqua School of Business.
The Next Step—Mastering Your Duke Fuqua Interview: Many MBA candidates find admissions interviews stressful and intimidating, but mastering this important element of the application process is definitely possible—the key is informed preparation. And, on your way to this high level of preparation, we offer our free Interview Primers to spur you along! Download your free copy of the Duke Fuqua Interview Primer today.