Posted on June 13, 2019

Emory MBA Essay Analysis and Deadlines: 2019-20


Emory Goizueta Business School has announced its application deadlines and essay questions for the 2019-2020 application season.


Application Deadline Decision Notification
Round 1 October 4, 2019 November 29, 2019
Round 2* November 15, 2019 January 24, 2020
Round 3** January 10, 2020 March 13, 2020 (Domestic); March 20, 2020 (International)
Round 4 March 13, 2020 May 1, 2020


For more information about applying for the Emory MBA, visit the Goizueta Emory admissions website


The first essay (goals) remains unchanged while the second essay (leadership) has been modified a little bit. The short essay questions that Emory has been asking for years are replaced by a video essay. The two out of three video essay prompts are similar to the short essay prompts of previous years (‘best advice’ and ‘your passion”). The new video essay prompt is related to Emory’s core values. Emory has dropped it's famous (and one of my favorites) 25 words short essay about fun or noteworthy fact.  The applicants can also write an optional essay.

All the essay questions cover a lot of ground: your professional path and goals, your alignment with the program’s core values, and who you are as a person. So you will need to do a lot of self-reflection to be able to choose the right stories/ examples to showcase your candidacy in the best manner. Make every word count and be as succinct, clear, and concise as you can.

Advice from Emory Website: Remember to review each question carefully. We consider essays to be a very important part of the application process, and they are your opportunity to show the Admissions Committee a bit about yourself beyond the application itself. Applicants who apply to more than one MBA program will only complete the essay question requirement related to their first-preference program.

Here is MER’s analysis of Emory Essay Questions for 2019:


Define your short-term post-MBA career goals. How are your professional strengths, past experience, and personal attributes aligned with these goals? (300 word limit)

This is a pretty straightforward career goals essay question with emphasis on short term post -MBA goals. You should begin the essay with a clear statement of your short-term career plans. Please be specific about the position/ job title and industry that you plan to seek immediately after MBA. Also, consider naming 1-2 firms that you aim to join after MBA. Even though the question doesn’t ask you to discuss your long term, goals you may still briefly mention (if space permits) how you plan to progress from your short-term goal to a long-term vision.

Then explain how your professional experiences and strengths are aligned with this short-term goal, discuss how your professional experiences and the skills acquired have propelled you to your desired career path. While detailing your professional experience, make sure to focus on your specific professional strengths (quantitative skills, communication skills, etc.) and personal attributes (cultural flexibility, perseverance, etc.).  Then you can wrap up the essay with a comment on how the specific resources of the Goizueta MBA program will help you achieve your post-MBA aspirations. The key is to establish a connection between your past experience, Emory’s program, and your post- MBA goals.

How to structure your essay?

  1. Short term goal (approximately 100 words)
  2. How your professional experiences and strengths are aligned with these goals (approximately 150 words)
  3. How will the Goizueta MBA program bring you closer to your post-MBA aspirations? (approximately 75 words)


“Post MBA, I wish to join a reputed Technology and Strategy consulting organization, such as Deloitte or Ernst & Young as an IT Strategy Consultant. My passion for technology, my experience in corporate and business leadership, my childhood vision to be a global business leader and continue my family legacy has defined my goal. They have also fueled my vision to lead my family business into the world of Technology and Consulting by opening a new division in technology & strategy firm.  To realize my entrepreneurial dream, I need an MBA.”


The business school is named for Roberto C. Goizueta, former Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, who led the organization for 16 years, extending its global reach, quadrupling consumption, building brand responsibility, and creating unprecedented shareholder wealth. Roberto Goizueta's core values guide us in educating Principled Leaders for Global Enterprise. Provide an example of your leadership in a professional setting and explain what you learned about yourself through the experience. (300- word limit)

With a slight modification every year, Emory’s leadership essay question continues to center around former Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company Roberto C. Goizueta’s leadership style. Last year’s leadership question asked candidates to share their leadership experience (personal or professional) and what they learned about themselves through that experience, while this year, they are instructed to discuss only their professional leadership story.

Through this straightforward leadership question, the Ad Com expects you to recount a personal or professional leadership experience and explain the learnings you have gleaned about yourselves through the experience.  To select story/ experience, read carefully the first part of the essay prompt about Roberto C. Goizueta’s leadership and vision about extending his organization’s “global reach, quadrupling consumption, building brand responsibility, and creating unprecedented shareholder wealth” and identify an experience/ story that will allow you to showcase one of the above- mentioned abilities.  Look for examples when you stepped out of your comfort zone and took initiatives that brought about some change or resulted in the improvement of processes subsequently followed by an organization or group over the long term. Your response should demonstrate how you think, act, and behave in a specific situation. Make sure to select a recent experience where you made a clear impact.

How to structure your essay?

  1. The situation/ the challenge: What was the context?  Who were the players involved?  What did you need to accomplish in your leadership role?  What were the challenges? (approx. 60-70 words)
  2. The action: What initiatives/actions you took?  How did you deal with the challenges? How did you process your thoughts to take your decisions? (approx125- 130 words)
  3. The outcome/result: What were the results of your efforts? What was the resolution of the story? (approx. 40-50 words)
  4. The significance: What did you learn about yourself?  What lessons did you learn during that leadership experience? How these lessons (1-2 only) have helped you since then? (approx. 60-70 words)

You may conclude the essay with a final comment about how you will enrich the Emory community.

Example: “Today, I recall this experience as one of the most meaningful life experiences. It helped me overcome my inability to collaborate.  I now try to foster a positive collaborative environment within the teams. Also, this experience revealed to me my ability to take initiative, which has helped improve my productivity and develop solutions that have benefited the organization.”


Please select ONE of the following topics to share with us using the video essay feature. Your comments should last no more than 60 seconds and you have the option to re-record until you are satisfied, before submitting.

  • Of Goizueta Business School's core values (Courage, Integrity, Accountability, Rigor, Diversity, Team, Community), which one resonates the most with you and why?
  • What is the best advice you have received and how have you used it in your life or career?
  • Outside of family and work, what is something that you are passionate about and why?

Upload Video Essay to Application

The written essays cover your professional life and accomplishments, and the video essay provides you an opportunity to demonstrate to the admission committee who you are as a person. It is also an opportunity to showcase that aspect of your candidacy that will enable you to add value to the school and make an impact. Whether you choose one of Goizueta's core values that resonate with you, or the best advice you have received, or what you are passionate about, you can use that topic to uncover your personal values, beliefs, and passion. Before selecting one of these 3 options, you should first consider which option will add the most value to your application.

The video essay should best complement the rest for your application. Make sure to practice a lot until you are comfortable with the technique and format. The good thing is Emory provides you the option to rerecord until you are satisfied.


Should you feel there is an important part of your story missing from your application (e.g., unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, academic probation issues), please use this section to provide a brief explanation. We ask that you limit your response to 100 words; responses in bullet point format are preferred.

You have used the previous questions to showcase your personal attributes, professional goals, and accomplishments. You may use this question as an opportunity to explain anything about your profile and application. Here you may address a weakness in your profile, such as unusual choice of the recommender, education gap or employment gap, lack or growth at work, or low GPA or GMAT.   Your weakness may also bring out a positive aspect of your personality. For example, if you are discussing your employment gap, you may explain that you did something productive during that period, such as traveling, volunteering, or handling a family medical emergency.

Here is an example of a candidate whose grades dropped because of his military service.

Example: “Although my leadership experiences in the military taught me many valuable lessons in teamwork, perseverance, and management, through all my responsibilities, it impacted my grades.  Thus, I do not view my undergraduate performance as an accurate representation of my academic abilities. I grew from this experience and took a dedicated approach to professional education.  I would respectfully ask the admission committee to consider this when reviewing my application.”

Please note that you only have 100 words this year to explain/ justify any weakness in your profile. So be very precise, succinct and to the point in presenting your case. For some useful techniques to help you meet the tight word limits, click here.

Since 2011, MER has helped many applicants get accepted into full- time MBA program of Emory Goizueta. You may be interested in a chat with an Emory admit.

Free Resources:

10 Key Essay Tips with Examples

Essay Analysis of Other Tops Programs- 2019-20

25 Video/Chat Interviews of Successful MER Students

Since 2011, MER (myEssayReview) has helped many applicants get accepted into the top 20 MBA programs. (Poonam is one of the top 5 most reviewed consultants on the GMAT Club.)

Do you have questions about your application? E-mail Poonam at or sign up here for a free consultation.

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