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Duke Fuqua Essays 2010

 

Fuqua is often a favorite! And much more competitive than some applicants seem to believe. If you’ve got your app in for Round 2 then we wish you good luck!!

 

2017 Duke Fuqua Full-Time MBA Essay Questions – Class of 2020

They’ve kept the questions the same again – which is kinda good, since they’re decent questions, but it’s kinda disappointing, given how all the other schools are working so hard to innovate. Our 2017 Duke Essay Guide explains strategies on how to answer them. It could be said that Duke was an early adopter of the more innovative form of bschool essay, with their 25 Random Things list, and we do concede that that’s a great question which applicants tend to have fun with, and which can reveal a lot about a person. But…. keeping the status quo is kinda communicating that Duke is fine with how things are going, and it just seems like they’re a little bit stalled out and stagnant right now. Granted, they hit #3 on the BusinessWeek rankings in 2016, so who is the ‘Snark to say?

Anyway, here are those questions that you’ll be tackling:

Duke 2017 MBA Essay Questions

Three short-answer questions of up to 500 characters each (please note we said CHARACTERS and not WORDS – yes these need to be SHORT):

  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?

Duke is pretty much the only school that invites you to present a “Plan B” for your career goals. For most other applications you’ll want to focus on just one set of goals.

Two essays; we recommend not going more than perhaps 750 words at the most for each. Please please please don’t go down to 10-point font even though they say that you can.

See the full set of requirements around essay length and formatting and the questions in their entirety as posted on the Duke application website .

  1. [A very involved preamble, then:] [T]he 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.
  2. [Another preamble about Fuqua, then:] Based on your understanding of the Fuqua culture, how do you see yourself engaging in and contributing to our community, outside of the classroom?

That second question is quite similar to what Wharton is asking, and it’s also got a lot of parallels with Columbia essay 2 as well as with the MIT pre-interview “mission” essay. Duke was the first to start with this type of question, so you can see how they’ve put an emphasis on culture for a long time.
 


Our Duke 2017 MBA Application Guide is ready to help you — it covers everything that this school likes to see in an application!


 

Duke Daytime MBA Deadlines – Class of 2020

Remember, regardless of which round you intend to apply in you can get on campus from September 11 to October 5 to take advantage of their Open Interview period — which is highly recommended!!

Duke Full-time MBA Application Deadlines

  • (ouch that hurts – this one is IMMEDIATELY after the holiday – the only one worse is Ross)

As with other schools, we don’t suggest apply in Round 3 at Duke – and in fact, if you’re an international applicant, they won’t let you due to visa issues.

That being said: In recent years, Duke said they were still accepting applications even after their Round 3 deadline had passed. Which is weird, and, we feel, not entirely fair. It’s pretty darned difficult to get in then. Were they really trying to say that they didn’t have enough good candidates for their class at that late date? When every other school out there was turning away well-qualified applicants right and left all season? Hmmm. EssaySnark is not a fan of this.

 

Check out the Duke Essay Guide for 2017 to learn more on rounds, interviewing, and multi-school strategies including Duke Fuqua!

Interviewing at Duke

Duke has two phases of interviews: the Open Interview Period when anybody can come to campus and interview at will; and the By-Invitation Interview Period. EssaySnark strongly recommends that everyone go through the Open Interview; it’s a huge opportunity and if you’re serious about Fuqua you won’t miss out on it! This year’s Open Interview Period is September 7 to October 5, 2017; see details at Duke’s Interview Process page . You do not need to apply in the Early Action round in order to take advantage of the Open Interview; applicants planning on submitting at any time may do so. You really should consider it.
 

Duke Fuqua General Info

school pages

  • Duke Student Blog – this used to be an dedicated admissions blog but now it’s just a topic of posts on the student blog. It still has some useful info for BSers so we’ll leave the link.

Hmmm… Not much there huh? Duke just isn’t the most social media savvy school we’ve ever encountered.
 

EssaySnark content

We’ve reviewed a number of Duke essays on the blahg:

The Duke adcom looks for the same strong career goals and personal angles as Ross and other schools, so check these reviews out for some additional guidance:

In terms of the Fuqua Principles, you might want to peruse some posts we’ve written about Berkeley: Haas and culture and A BSer is sick of the “culture” shtick.

 


 

For Reference: Duke’s Past-Season MBA Essays & Analysis

We don’t have every year listed out separately here since Duke has kept nearly the same essays and requirements for many years running.
Click to view 2016 info


2016 Duke Information

Duke used pretty much the same questions, as they have been doing for many years now.

In 2016, they cleaned up the “culture/contribution” prompt which made it easier to tackle for Class of 2019 applicants compared to what previous crops of BSers had to deal with.

We’ve done lots of posts on the Duke essays over the years, so that’s an advantage, too!

2016 Early Action and Open Interviews

The most important thing to know about Duke right now? That they offer OPEN INTERVIEWS on campus in late summer, for a rather short window of time. It’s HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that everyone – regardless of which application round you’re aiming for – makes plans for a trip out to Durham for this opportunity. We discuss the reasons why in our Duke app guide.

Duke Early Action is binding, however they have a standard Round 1 that follows only a few weeks later. If you’re not fully convinced that Fuqua is the place for you, then stick with Round 1 – but if you are ready to commit, then Early Action can be a real advantage.
[end discussion of early-season 2016 info]


Click to view 2015 questions

2015 Duke Information

Last year’s questions (these are old)

Excellent!!! Duke has kept its same questions for 2015 except that they’re giving you more space in the important Career Goals short-answer questions. YAY DUKE!! Our Fuqua strategy guidecovers everything you need to know on tackling these questions and the essays.


Three short-answer questions – — NOW 500 CHARACTERS EACH! THAT’S HUGE! You’ll be able to actually pitch a complete career path now.

  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?

Two essays, up to two double-spaced pages each:

You really need to read the full questions as posted on their website .

  1. [T]he 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.
  2. Choose one:
    • When asked by your family, friends, and colleagues why you want to go to Duke, what do you tell them? Share the reasons that are most meaningful to you.
    • [A very involved question asking you to understand the 6 Fuqua Values and then:] At the end of your 2 years at Fuqua, if you were to receive an award for exemplifying one of the 6 Principles listed below, which one would it be and why? Your response should reflect your knowledge of Fuqua and the Daytime MBA program and experience, and the types of activities and leadership you would engage in as a Fuqua student.

Very minor changes to the wording of that option #2 question: They deleted the phrase “should reflect the research you have done.” Hmmm. Interesting, Duke!

For the career goals, Duke is pretty much the only school that invites you to present a “Plan B.” For most other applications you’ll want to stick with just ONE set of goals. It’s tough enough to convey those in the limited space the schools allow!! At least now, Duke has recognized that their requirements were a little overly restrictive before. You have a fighting chance this year, Brave Supplicant! You’re applying at like the best time ever. 😉

Also, that second question sure does have traces of Berkeley-Haas lingering around it! Unsurprising. Both of these schools have a distinct focus on culture, and both want you to understand what that culture is about before applying. The risk with the second option for essay 2? You could come across a little stilted if you try too hard. Check out the Duke Essay Guide to learn more.

Duke 2015 Deadlines

  • Early Action (binding): (two days earlier than 2014)
  • Round 1: (almost a week earlier than last year)
  • Round 2: (same day as last season)
  • Even though Round 3 is closed, they’re accepting apps on a rolling basis until April 25 (with decision coming on May 6 – are they saying that they would really be able to admit you in that little time?!?? we don’t suggest trying now)
As of Fall 2014 when Duke hit the top of the charts (i.e., BW put them at #1), interest in this school has been increasing. Like, a lot. Class of 2017 Round 2 at Fuqua was WAY more competitive than it had ever been, and they used the waitlist a lot.

[end discussion of Fuqua’s last year questions]


Click to view 2014 questions

2014 Duke Information

Duke won our informal Best MBA Questions contest for two years in a row (2012 and 2013) – their essay questions are awesome! We’ve therefore been thrilled that they’ve kept them exactly as they are for so long – including this year! They keep resisting the urge to make changes just because all the other schools are changing. Bravo, Fuqua! 😀

[end discussion of Duke’s 2014 application]


We’ve got the 2016 SnarkStrategies Guide for Duke available to help you craft a strong strategy for this great school!

 

[Index of essay questions by business school]

Duke Fuqua MBA program that seeks ‘leaders of consequence’, has announced its essay questions and application deadlines.

Application Deadlines
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.

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.



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

myEssayReview has helped applicants get accepted into Duke. For questions, email Poonam at poonam@myessayreview.com

This post was first published in myEssayReview blog. http://myessayreview.com/essay-question ... s-2017-18/

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