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Fuqua Class of 2026 Essay Analysis

Fuqua has released its application details the 2023-24 application cycle, with no changes to questions.

Short answer: What are your post-MBA career goals? Share with us your first-choice career plan and your alternate plan. (100 words)

Essay 1: The 'Team Fuqua' spirit and community is one of the things that sets the MBA experience apart, and it is a concept that extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. Please share with us “25 Random Things” about you. The Admissions Committee wants to get to know YOU - beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. Share with us important life experiences, your hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are. Your list will be limited to 2 pages (750 words maximum). Please present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 25. Some points may be brief, while others may be longer.

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 to the development of leaders. Based on your understanding of the Fuqua culture, what are 3 ways you expect to contribute at Fuqua? Your response will be limited to 1 page (500 words maximum).

Optional essay: If you feel there are circumstances of which the admissions committee should be aware, please explain them here (e.g. unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance). Note that you should NOT upload additional essays nor additional recommendations in this area. The Optional Information section is intended to provide the admissions committee with insight into your circumstances only. Your response will be limited to 1 page (500 words maximum).

Optional essay: We love learning more about our applicants in their “25 Random Things About Me” essays, and we’d love to get to know more about our applicants’ personal stories. We’ve added a new optional section for applicants to share a little bit more about themselves, including if they may be the first in their family to attend college, grew up facing financial hardship, or have any other unique lived experience they want to share.

2023-24 essay question analysis

Short answer question

Given the short word limit, you will need to be concise in answering the question. When explaining your short and long-term goals, also tie your answer to the impact you want to have, rather than the roles you are targeting. Doing so makes your employability appear greater to the Admissions Committee, differentiates you from other applicants, and makes it easier to later on explain how you will leverage Fuqua towards achieving these goals. What you mention should represent your first choice; the best “Plan B”s are variations to your preferred plan (i.e. consulting if you cannot join a startup), rather than something fundamentally different from the goals you articulate earlier in this answer.

Essay 1

In the past, successful clients keep each bullet brief, focusing on characteristics that aren’t reflected elsewhere in the application. For example, this isn’t the place to discuss your great analytical or leadership skills. Save that for the resume. Instead, focus on your softer, more light-hearted side. What are some of the funnier (yet workplace appropriate) stories and experiences from your past? How did you develop your key relationships? The more differentiated stories you can write (hint: almost everyone loves their family, especially mom, so don’t use too many of your bullets on topics like that), the better you will separate yourself from other applicants. Your goal should be to give the reader a clear understanding of how you will fit into Fuqua. The funnier your bullets, the better. Even sprinkle in a few self-deprecating ones!

Stuck? Crowdsource examples from friends and family. New ideas will cross your plate when you least expect it!

Essay 2

Core to this question will be your understanding of Fuqua’s resources outside of the classroom – from informal events to class traditions. You’ll want to connect with students and alumni to get the inside scoop on the campus experience. Also, have at least one clear (and specific) contribution that you would want to make on campus – it could be anything from organizing a conference, starting a club, building relationships with a new community, etc. The more you can explain that contribution in detail, the more you will separate yourself from other applicants in a good way.

Optional essay

As with other schools, keep this direct and concise. Avoid coming across as defensive. Instead, focus on what you learned from the experiences you are sharing this in this essay, and how it better positions you to achieve your longer-run goals.

New optional section

We believe this question is designed to continue Duke's efforts to diversify their class and provide rich experiences for all of its students and community. Assuming you haven't discussed them elsewhere in your application, if there are challenges you have overcome related to who you are or your background, or paths you have pursued that are different than those around you, then share them here!

2023-24 deadlines

Early action: Application deadline: September 7, 2023. Decision date: October 19, 2023.

Round 1: Application deadline: September 28, 2023. Decision date: December 8, 2023.

Round 2: Application deadline: January 9, 2024. Decision date: March 12, 2024.

Round 3: Application deadline: February 22, 2024. Decision date: April 5, 2024.

Round 4: Application deadline: April 4, 2024. Decision date: May 29, 2024.

Other application details

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School resources

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