Remember the time when you messed up your first public speech as a 10-year old? Or your first heartbreak as a teenager? How about giving us the details on your pet chihuahua? All for MBA admissions? While most MBA applications will never give you the chance to talk about any of these, the Fuqua MBA application will. Fuqua 25 things essay is possibly the most unique of its kind in the entire MBA admissions world, and it’s also one that you are sure to have a lot of fun writing.
Fuqua’s MBA is for those who are not only able to transform the economics of our world but also of changing the world at large with a significant impact on it. You’ll acquire acute analytical abilities, and learn to be open-minded to new styles of working which are centered on the capacity to bring out the best in others. Fuqua’s MBA is a fully adjustable program that allows you to explore exciting & fresh content and learn from a variety of views. There are only 13 required core subjects where you’ll have more liberty to choose from over 100 alternatives to study the things that pique your interest the most.
Fuqua does not concentrate on a single skill but more on the holistic development of its students, and you will be equipped to comprehend a wide range of business concepts that will enable you to pursue a lot of business choices during the program. All in all, you’ll leave Fuqua as a leader who motivates businesses to improve while doing what they do best. Among the best business schools, Duke Fuqua’s creative ’25 Random Things’ essay question is unique and applicants find it fascinating too. This is an excellent chance to engage with Fuqua Admissions at a personal level by revealing aspects of yourself that most MBA applications would almost never give you a chance to talk about.
Fuqua 25 things essay – a difference
Fuqua’s 25 things essay, also known as the favourite things essay, is a refreshing contrast from traditional MBA essays. Perhaps that is why Fuqua has received a record number of applications since it went into effect! It showed admissions officers surprising and interesting sides to applicants.
Fuqua’s 25 things is an interesting departure from the normal MBA application essay. Rather than focusing on professional experience or work-related activities, it focuses on personal pursuits and hobbies. For a lot of people, this is going to be a lot more comfortable to write about. On top of that, Fuqua has given candidates enough space (750 words) for this essay.
Indian applicants and the 25 things essay
While this essay appears very welcoming at first, it can quickly become daunting, especially for Indian applicants. This is because Indian tradition and culture usually does not focus on the personal side, especially when it comes to MBA admissions or even thinking about one’s career. Admissions to India’s top educational institutions (IIMs and IITs) are done almost exclusively focusing on knowledge and talent (test performance), and the personal side is often ignored.
Another blunder we’ve often seen Indian applicants in particular commit is making this essay a list of achievements. Again, this can be a cultural reflection, as failure is typically not looked at kindly in the Indian context, though it is looked at in a much forgiving way in the West. Remember that Fuqua’s 25 things essay is not a traditional MBA application essay. It’s a way for Fuqua to get to know you, your personality, and your character outside of strictly professional context. In other words, while it would certainly be in your best interest to highlight positive personal traits in the essay, it is not necessary to present yourself as flawless. Doing so would be unnatural, and frankly—unrealistic. A more effective approach would be to balance out your good qualities with some less flattering personal elements. Remember, this is just one essay out of many, so even if you do not gain admission from the Fuqua 25 Things essay alone, it will not end your chances of acceptance altogether.
Finally, sometimes, Indian MBA applicants focus on this essay not as a reflection of their own selves, but as an opportunity to try to impress the Fuqua admissions committee. In the end, what really matters is that you write a completely honest essay. Don’t try to pad the essay with fake or irrelevant experiences; Fuqua has lots of applicants and they won’t find the deception worth your one-in-twelve chance of admission. Instead, share a few compelling stories about an experience that has made you who are today and that demonstrates why you’d be a valuable addition to the school’s community.
How Indian applicants can approach the Fuqua 25 things essay
The brilliance of this essay is that you’re encouraged to express your originality in a way that isn’t constrained by the mundane character of the MBA standard essay, allowing you to be critical and amusing, clever and sensitive, contemplative and eccentric at times. To begin with, consider your ideals, passions, talents, and significant life experiences. To give the whole answer an Indian touch, include snippets and anecdotes that project the uniqueness you hold which only Indian(s) can – talking about the oh so many festivals, exquisite food, historical places, jewels, include your thoughts about colonization and how it has transformed the views of the youth, but also the benefits of a highly community-driven society. These are things unique to the Indian experience, and some of them may very well define you too.
Take full advantage of the unconventional format to provide a combination of dramatic, amusing, entertaining, thoughtful, and everything in between. You can write full-fledged paragraphs if you desire, but you can also craft some short sentences if that’s how the meaning would be clearer. It is also critical to emphasize your cultural awareness, and that your self-knowledge shines through your application. As an applicant, you must remember that the term “random” invites you to add minor bizarre things you’ve done or are doing in your everyday life, as well as passions and interests that have become an intrinsic part of your personality.
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Some examples to stimulate your mind for the Fuqua 25 things essay
The “fun” portion of this essay is what makes it distinctive, so you don’t have to be too self-conscious. Let’s prioritize some of the most amazing, authentic, and that tell about yourself things (also work as examples):
- Talk about the city/town you were born in and how that influenced you. What was the most unique aspect of that place which you find aesthetically calming or blissful?
- As an Indian, you can describe your favourite roadside stall food or place and how you’ve had some fun times there
- Tell them about your most memorable school incident – it can be embarrassing, exciting, or something that made butterflies flutter in your stomach.
- How your family sees you as an individual and not just their child – can be another interesting aspect of your profile.
- You can talk about your friends and how companionship has somewhat changed you- keep it amusing with fun facts.
- Describe the first solo trip you took, or the first trip you planned without family.
- Think about how you have been part of the community and what you have done. Do not force this aspect – yes, Fuqua loves teams (The ‘Team Fuqua’ concept is a big part of the school) but they don’t want to see you force it.
- Show your vulnerable side. Talk about the mistakes you have made in your life, and if some of them had a funny or unexpected outcome, that is even better!
- If you like humour, you can describe an amusing incident that you find worth sharing.
- Indian festivals are quite enthralling too, share an e.g. from one of your Holi or Diwali occasions spent with your dear ones.
- Share an Indian perspective on a Hollywood show or movie – this would give an insight into your understanding of the western culture and how your thoughts process about the whole background.
- Describe the feeling you had when you first drove a car/vehicle, how old you were at the time, etc. It must have been a thrilling experience.
- Talk about your parents and what do they do – your favourite things about them, and how those things have influenced you as you grew up. Keep this more about you than them, though.
- Talk about your favourite books, and the character you most relate to or want to be like – can be another random thing that expresses your personality.
Now, these are all some examples that you can elaborate on and share stories about. But yes, exhibiting where you come from – your country, specifically – is quite essential to mention. You need to be creative and think outside the box to pique the reader’s interest. As expert, we would suggest resisting resist the urge to stray from your actual accomplishments, professional objectives, and leadership role since this is not what the Admissions Team is ‘expecting’ from you.