Posted on January 9, 2015

Purdue Krannert Essay Questions Analysis – 2014-15


Application Deadline

Application Round 2 (Priority Round)

November 16 – January 15

Application Round 3 (Final International Round)

January 16 – March 1

Application Round 4 (Final Domestic Round)

March 2nd – May 1, or until classes are full


From Purdue Website:

At Purdue, you’ll be challenged by engaging, demanding faculty, and talented fellow students. To select the most promising candidates to strengthen our diverse intellectual community, our admissions committee performs a holistic admission review process that considers many different elements.

Our review of your application begins with an emphasis on the following factors:

  • Academic record
  • Test scores
  • Work experience
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Essays
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Current Professional Resume
  • Information About Community Involvement
  • Interview feedback

You are required to complete and submit the Statement of Purpose, along with ONE required essay (there is an optional essay).

1. Statement of Purpose (500 words max):

Please submit a statement introducing yourself to the admissions committee. Some topics you may wish to discuss include:

a. Brief academic and professional background

b. Reason for seeking an MBA  degree at Purdue

c. Desired career path after graduation

d. Your thoughts on giving back as a student and as an alumnus

This is basically a goals essay. I encourage you to address each point (a, b, c, and d) while adding other necessary details to articulate these points. Begin your essay with a brief account of your academic background leading up to your professional career. Explain how you acquired new skills and progressed along your career path in the past XXX years. Specify skills gained at each job position and achievements made. If space permits, explain your rationale behind each career move. (Point A)

Then describe where you stand now and what your career aspirations are in the short term and in the long term. (Point C)

Then go on to describe why you believe that after XXX years of successful professional career an MBA is the next logical step in your career path? What are those skills that you still lack which you hope to acquire by an MBA? How this degree will fill the gaps in your career and bring you closer to the fulfillment of your goals? Once you have justified the need to do an MBA, explain how an MBA from Purdue is your best bet at this time? How it will help you achieve your goals? Please connect your goals to specific resources/ offerings of Purdue e.g. courses, faculty, student community, clubs, organizations. (Point B)

In the end, discuss what value you will add to Purdue as a student and later as an alumnus. While discussing your contribution, make sure to discuss points that are not only related to your professional career but also to your personal interests and community involvement. (Point D) Please refer to the following example from a successful Purdue student essay:


“I will add significant value to the Purdue community with my community-service involvement. In high school, I had started a program at Fast Academy to teach poor students for free, and I continued it for five years. Also, I participated in fund raising projects in school and college and was an active member of the NGO that worked for education and blood donation. I will contribute to Purdue through volunteer work, fund raising, and teaching. As an Alumni, I will make donations and participate in projects and mentoring programs to help students prepare for the challenges they will face after graduation. Also, I will provide them opportunities for work placement in my organization .”

Note: A statement of purpose requires you to make a logical connection between your past, present, and   future. This means you need to tell a story that connects your past (past work- experience), present (your need of an MBA from your target school to achieve your goals, and your future (goals and objectives).  The Schools want to see that you have a clear plan/ vision for the future and you have the ability to convince them of the same by telling your story which is not only clear and compelling but also reveals your personal and professional attributes.


Click here for more information on Goals Essay.

Click here for sample Statement of Purpose

Required Essay: Integrity:

What does integrity mean to you? How does integrity relate to building communities of trust in academic, personal, and professional settings? What expectations should Purdue have towards its students with regard to academic integrity? What consequences should students who do not uphold these standards face? (500 words max)

This question is in fact 4 questions combined into one and you need to spend significant time brainstorming ideas for this essay and then structuring it coherently to make sure that you address each of these questions adequately. I suggest that you break it down into 4 parts.

Here is how you can address the above-mentioned questions:

1. What does integrity mean to you?

Begin your essay with your definition of integrity. You may also provide dictionary definition and then your own definition of integrity. Your definition of integrity should be based on your value system and your past experiences. It should guide you through your responses to the subsequent questions.

2. How does integrity relate to building communities of trust in academic, personal, and professional settings?

Then explain how people who follow integrity help building communities of trust in academic, personal, and professional settings. Substantiate with examples from your academic, personal, and professional life. Provide instances from your own life and explain how you have practiced it. You may also illustrate your perception of integrity with examples from other people’s lives in academic, personal, and professional settings.

 3. What expectations should Purdue have towards its students with regard to academic integrity?

To address this part of the question, you can provide specific details from the Purdue Academic Standards Page, and then share your thoughts on this.

4. What consequences should students who do not uphold these standards face?

Then go ahead and share your views on the appropriate consequences for students who violate academic integrity/honesty.


“I concur with Purdue academic standards, “Observations or knowledge of academic dishonesty should be reported immediately to course instructors.” I believe that reporting dishonest academic conduct is an ethical obligation of every student because if the student will not disclose it, he will also be considered a dishonest student.”

Optional essay: If you feel there are any parts of your application that require additional explanation, or if there is any additional information you wish to share with the admissions committee, please use this optional essay as an opportunity to do so. (250 words max)

An optional essay is an opportunity for you to give the Ad Com relevant information that you could not provide in other essays or other parts of your application essays, recommendation letters, and resume. This question is meant to shine a spotlight on the experience or side of your personality that has not been revealed in the other parts of your application.

Also, it is used to provide context for a weakness in your profile, like a low GPA or GMAT or a gap in your job history. However, while doing so, make sure your reason is genuine to convince them that your low grades occurred due to unforeseen circumstances beyond your control. Also, keep in mind that your story should not only explain that particular weakness in your profile but also bring out your other strong personality traits. That means your response should be positive and should not sound like you are making excuses for a weakness in your profile.

Below is an example of an optional essay where the candidate is explaining how the financial hardships he faced in his growing up years motivated him to start a volunteer teaching program in his native country.


The hardships I faced during my school life influenced me to start a volunteer teaching program in local teaching academy. I continued it for 5 years and helped many students who needed help in studies but lacked financial resources to afford education like me. I also participated in fund raising programs in my university, teaching academy, and NGO for those who were deprived of resources that lead to better education. Furthermore, I joined an NGO in which I worked hard to help deprived children and hospitalized patients by fund raising and by arranging blood.”

 For more details, refer to my article on optional essay and sample optional essay.

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