HKUST MBA essays – what makes them different

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HKUST-MBA

While many things make the HKUST MBA program stand out from other programs, the three that shine through are its flexibility, location in Hong Kong, and global class.

HKUST offers roughly 60 flexible core courses and five elective tracks to choose from in terms of flexibility. In addition to this wide range of classes to choose from, students also have the option of doing an exchange program with one of the school’s partner institutions. HKUST is also in a prime location—Hong Kong! Except for London, no other city boasts more international banks than Hong Kong, making HKUST’s location a perfect place to pursue an MBA in finance, and increasingly, in technology.

HKUST MBA admissions – a new process and essay set

HKUST uses a two-stage application process: first, it requires a resume/CV, references/recommendations, and GMAT scores, then once you’re invited to move on, it asks for responses to essay questions. Here’s what we think you should know about the HKUST MBA Essay Questions and how to approach them.

Work on your resume and recommendations first, because HKUST uses that as the initial filter. This means that your resume must indicate – without any essays to support it in the first stage – critical points of differentiation itself. What is your greatest strength? What will make you shine during an admissions interview? What are some things that make you unique or different? These are all things that should come across in your resume before they ever come up in answer to one of HKUST’s essay questions.

While the new essay set is short, it is critical because HKUST MBA interviews typically focus on the answers to these questions and build on them as a basis for further questions.

What is the HKUST MBA admissions committee looking for? 

HKUST MBA admissions committee is looking for applicants who are doers. In other words, they are looking for people who aren’t afraid of making things happen and aren’t afraid to let their personalities shine through. They are also looking for people who want to learn about Asia and focus on Asia in their future. The HKUST MBA will give you that opportunity, as the program is based in Hong Kong and concentrates heavily on Asia. Familiarizing yourself with the culture and the business practices is a great way to set yourself up for success when applying to this program.

Finally, HKUST MBA admissions officers are looking for applicants who can show that they will embrace technology and digital paradigms as the future of business. Whether your background is in finance or computer science, marketing or project management, it’s essential to demonstrate that you understand how technology drives business growth and effectiveness, especially in an increasingly globalized marketplace.

HKUST MBA essays and analysis 

Tell us your mid-term and long term post-MBA career goals. (max. 50 words)

This is one of those standard career goals questions where you need to talk about the past experiences that led you towards your career goal, why your current employer cannot help you reach there, and how an MBA from HKUST will do that. You should also explain how the post-MBA job will differ from your current role and how your future employer will benefit from hiring you. Then, tell HKUST about your long-term career aspirations and how HKUST can help you get there. This is where we like to see some analysis: what do you see yourself doing in five years or ten years? Why? What do you need to do to get there?

Discuss how to achieve them through HKUST MBA. (max. 200 words)*

A good answer to this question will have a clear thematic link between your past experiences and how the HKUST program will help you achieve your future goals. This does not mean that the HKUST program is the only way to achieve your goals, but it should be clear why this particular program is right for you at this specific time. They’re looking for a solid understanding of your current role and the skills and interests you bring to the table.

You should then discuss how the HKUST MBA will help you achieve those goals. Make sure you’re specific about which courses, extracurricular activities, and career services you will take advantage of! HKUST offers a wide array of electives, so don’t feel limited by their specific majors; instead, focus on what interests you and what has motivated you in the past. (We also encourage candidates to connect with current students or alumni if they are unsure about what differentiates HKUST from other programs).

How do you plan to enrich our MBA community during and after the MBA program? (max. 150 words)*

When you go to write your MBA essays, you may be tempted to say something like: “I’m a hard worker. I love a challenge. I always give 100%. I have good leadership skills.”

But here’s the thing. The admissions committee at HKUST business school knows this is what everyone says. What they want to know is what will make you stand out? So how do you answer that question?

Think about what your skills are and how you can use them to contribute to the HKUST community. What are your unique passions, and how will they add value to the conversations you’ll have in the classroom? How can you use your leadership experience to help other students? And don’t forget that every applicant has strengths and weaknesses—what are yours, and how will you address them through HKUST’s program?

The HKUST admissions committee wants to know that not only have you thought about what makes you unique, but also that you’ve taken the time and effort to show them precisely why. They’re looking for people who can enrich their community in meaningful ways—and people who can learn from it too!

Doing all this in just 150 words is not going to be easy. You will need to squeeze out value from pretty much every sentence, which makes this challenge interesting.

Conclusion – approach this process with enthusiasm and diligence

Crafting a great business school application essay is a daunting task. It can be easy to get stuck on the details, and we often find ourselves leaving an application essay for last. Yet it is of utmost importance for any HKUST MBA candidate to have a compelling story about themselves and why they deserve to get into the top business schools. It’s easy to forget that it’s ultimately not about the MBA program itself, but instead you as an individual and what you have to offer this program. So, in summary, prioritize your application and your essays.

 

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