Posted on December 22, 2022

Cambridge Judge Essay Tips and Deadlines: 2022-23


Cambridge Judge, the business school of the University of Cambridge, is a rigorous, global program that provides a unique and transformative experience in just 12 months. The program is particularly strong in entrepreneurship and innovation management.


Round Application Deadline Interview Dates
Round 1 September 05, 2022 October 14-28, 2022
Round 2 October 17, 2022 November 25- December 09, 2022
Round 3 January 09, 2023 Feb. 24- Mar 17, 2023
Round 4 March 06, 2023 April 14-28, 2023
Round 5 April 17, 2023 May 26-June 09, 2023

 From Cambridge Judge Website:

"We want people who:

  • have excelled in previous academic achievements
  • are highly motivated and ambitious, thrive under pressure, and have already exhibited clear career progression
  • have international experience through their work with a global outlook
  • are confident, resilient, creative, and innovative, with strong interpersonal and collaborative skills."

"We are committed to admitting a diverse cohort to the MBA each year. We need to ensure all students can cope with the intellectual rigors of a University of Cambridge degree. Their prior work experience must be of a standard which prepares them to contribute to the MBA experience fully.

However, we are mindful of the varying routes and metrics used to assess suitability. We take a holistic approach in reviewing an applicant's profile.

For that reason, we happily consider applications from 'non-standard' cases who, although have a strong profile and application, perhaps do not meet one of our requirements."

For more details, please visit the Judge Business School admissions website.


Like last year, Cambridge Judge is asking applicants to write four essays. the first required essay is a personal statement or goals essay about applicants' expectations for their careers and the MBA program's role in it. It has been tweaked a littel bit this year. The other two questions focus on experiences/ situations that reveal self-awareness, maturity, and growth. The fourth essay seeks applicants to advise their 18 year-old self.

Let's take a closer look at the essay questions:

Essay #1: Please provide details of your post-MBA career plans. The statement should not exceed 500 words and must address the following:

  • What are your short- and long-term career objectives? How will the Cambridge MBA equip you to achieve these?
  • Looking at your short-term career goal, describe the research you have done to understand how this industry/role/location recruits MBA talent and what they are looking for in a candidate?
  • How do you meet the requirements of your short-term career goal? What preparation are you doing now?

 This is a straightforward goals essay. Candidates are asked to outline their short-term and long-term career objectives. To provide a context to your past experience necessary to achieve these goals, you should provide a brief career summary and elaborate on how you have acquired new skills and progressed along your career path all these years. Next, specify the skills/ knowledge/ experience you have gained at each level. Then, discuss your short-term and long-term career objectives, mentioning the industries you are interested in, the roles you aim for, and the skills you need to gain.

Then, explain how an MBA from Cambridge Judge will fill your career gaps and bring you closer to your goals. Reflect on how the skills acquired during your one year at the Judge Business School would help you fulfill your career aspirations. Understanding the program's unique offerings is crucial to effectively responding to this question. Take time to learn about the school’s curriculum, special programs, and extracurricular activities. To gain additional insights, reach out to alumni or current students, attend info sessions and MBA fairs, and interact with the admission committee members.

To address the second part of the prompt, you must discuss the research and preparation you have done for your employment post-MBA because the admission committee wants you to participate actively in your job search. Finally, explain how your past experience and skill set are relevant to your short-term career goal. Also, write what efforts you are currently making to prepare for your post-MBA career. For example, you may have taken extra responsibilities at work or are working for certification or an internship before starting your Cambridge MBA.

If the space permits, wrap up your story by reflecting on the value you will bring to the program.

Essay #2: Describe a difficult decision that you had to make. What did you learn from this and how have you changed as a result? (up to 200 words)

Through this question, the school wants to know about candidates' learning and growth. So choose an experience where you handled difficult situations and made decisions amid tricky situations. Focus on what you learned from your experience and made those learnings a part of your growth. The school wants to know how your experience has made you a better person and a professional and how you apply those learnings in your personal and professional relationships. So, you need to take the reader through your decision-making process, the rationale behind your decision, and the lessons learned.  The end of this short essay should paint you as a mature person who will carry his maturity to the Judge Business School. Since the essay prompt does not specify whether you should discuss the professional or personal story, you can choose a professional or personal experience.

For organizing ideas for this essay, as always, I recommend the STAR approach:

  • Situation: What was the situation/challenge? (approx. 40 words)
  • Task: What were you expected to do? (approx. 20 words)
  • Action: What options you had? How did you deal with the situation?  (approx. 30 words)
  • Result/ Significance: What decision did you make? (approx. 30 words) What lessons did you learn? How did you incorporate those lessons into your professional (or personal) life? (approx. 80-90 words)

The word limit of 200 words is a tall order for explaining different parts of the question. To meet the stringent word limits, make every word count.

Essay #3: Describe a time where you worked with a team on a project. What did you learn from the experience and how might you approach it differently today? (up to 200 words)

Through this essay, the Admission Committee wants to evaluate you for the team working skills that make you a valuable team member at Judge business school. Working with others can be in many forms. You may choose a story when you coordinated with teams overseas or collaborated directly with a colleague for a challenging project. Pick an example from your projects where you faced challenges within the team and yielded good results. The key is to show how you worked with your team to overcome challenges and achieve a common objective. Make sure your story showcases distinct teamwork attributes such as the ability to resolve conflict, individual responsibility and accountability, communication skills, and adaptability to work with diverse teams.

Again, with such a tight word limit, you will need to summarize the context and maintain your focus on the challenges you faced and the lessons you learned.

If you have recounted a personal story in essay 2, make sure to discuss a professional experience here. This essay may also highlight the skills you have discussed in your personal statement to showcase your Judge MBA readiness.

For organizing ideas for this essay, I again recommend the STAR method:

  • Situation: What was the situation? What was the project you worked on? How many team members were there? (approx. 30- 40- words)
  • Task: What was your role? (approx. 20- 30- words)
  • Action: How did you collaborate with them? How did you deal with the challenges? (approx. 50-60 words)
  • Result/ Significance: What common goal did you achieve?  What lessons did you learn? How would you apply those lessons in a similar situation? (approx. 90-100 words)

Click here for 11 helpful strategies (illustrated with examples) to achieve brevity.

Essay #4: If you could give one piece of advice to your 18-year-old self, what would it be? (up to 200 words)

Like essays 2 and 3, this, too, focuses on learning and growth. But this essay is solely about life lessons. Life is all about evolving and learning through experiences. At twenty-eight, we are not what we were at eighteen. We were immature and naïve at that age, and now when we look back, we realize that we could have done a lot of things differently.

Essays 2 and 3 allow you to analyze how you would do things differently using the lessons learned from your experience (difficult decision and team project). Essay 4 encourages you to look back into your teens and reflect on which actions you would have avoided, which behavior you would have refrained from, which people you would not have interacted with, and so on. Asking these questions while reflecting on your teenage experiences will help you identify topics for this essay.  I feel you will enjoy digging into your past experiences and sharing them with the admission committee to offer them a glimpse into your self-awareness about your past actions.

To adhere to the strict word count specifications, be as precise as possible in presenting your case.

To learn strategy tips to meet the stringent word limits, read the following blog:

11 Strategy Tips to meet Strict Word Limits of MBA Essays

Essay #5:  Describe any relevant developments since you last applied to the Cambridge MBA? (up to 200 words)

This is a straightforward re-applicant essay. Through this question, the Ad Com would like to know whether your interest in the Cambridge MBA is as strong as last time. Hence you should demonstrate your continued interest in Cambridge by explaining how you have enhanced your application since last time. You may answer this by focusing on the areas you have improved upon since you applied last. For example, you may have taken extra classes, boosted your GMAT score, received a promotion, led a new and exciting project, increased your community involvement, or taken on a personal challenge.  The key is demonstrating that you are now a stronger candidate since your last application. Your conscious efforts to strengthen your profile and to work on your weak areas will prove how determined you are about your Cambridge MBA.

Free Resources

Overarching Essay Tips
MER Students Share their success Stories
Essay Analysis of Other Top Programs-2022-23
Case Studies
15th AIGAC Conference -2022- The Changing Trends in Management Education– Key Takeaways

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