Richard Ivey MBA Essay Topics and Analysis 2014-15

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Ivey MBA essay analysis (Spring 2015 intake)

In this post, GyanOne presents its analysis of the Ivey MBA essay topics, which have been reduced to two this year from last year’s three. GyanOne has a deep and comprehensive perspective on the Ivey MBA (University of Western Ontario, Canada), ranked among the top 50 MBA programs outside US according to Poets&Quants, and recommends it as an excellent option for candidates looking at top global programs outside the best US programs. In our earlier coverage of the Ivey MBA, we have published our perspectives on the Ivey MBA as one of the best MBA programs in Canada. We have also focused on Ivey MBA essay analysis for previous year’s applications in earlier posts, and this post aims to do the same for this year’s essays (2014 application for 2015 Spring intake). Ivey’s current MBA class profile  lists a class size of 129, an average GMAT of 662, and a class mix which seems disproportionately inclined to those with prior education in business. 

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Ivey MBA topics for the 2014-15 application

Essay 1: What are your short-term career plans immediately post-MBA, and why is an Ivey MBA essential to those plans? (250 word limit)

GyanOne analysis: When addressing this essay topic, an applicants should really be addressing the core of their candidacy.

Why do they want an MBA in the first place? What are their objectives, and why are these objectives important? Finally, why can’t these objectives be achieved without the Ivey MBA? Ivey offers plenty of opportunities, from the one-year duration to the case method, live projects, and a cutting-edge curriculum.

These (or some other reason) could form the basis of your application. A final note of caution here: be genuine.

Don’t just say you wish to study at Ivey for the Case Method, or because it is well-located away from the bustle of big cities, or because it is a shorter program.

Most applicants (and especially those who don’t give their essays much thought) will say exactly this, and then fail to justify it.

We recommend thorough introspection of your own goals and career plans, the Ivey program, and the common ‘fit’ between these two elements. In a 250 word essay, putting things down on paper is easy, but getting the content right is hard.

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Essay 2: Why will your Ivey MBA classmates want to work with you on team projects? (250 word limit)

GyanOne analysis: Why indeed? What makes you the person that others would love to have on their team? Focus on skills as well as attitudes for this one, but remember the golden rule: show, don’t just tell.

Far too many applicants waste the opportunity offered by this essay by saying that they will be prized team members because ‘they like to lead’ or because ‘they are people’s persons’.

In a business school, those two really fall under the category of ‘minimum expected’. Another key point of caution is to avoid basing this essay entirely on your professional experience.

Your professional experience defines you, but your effectiveness in a team should go beyond the knowledge or experience you bring. An understanding of the Ivey program, the learning environment, and how you can best contribute to it requires introspection before execution.

Overall, the Ivey application package is greatly reduced this year. This necessitates an even more careful and cautious approach to ensure that one utilizes the two available essays well. All the best to all the Ivey MBA applicants out there!

For those looking for premium application help and admissions consulting for Ivey applications, please check out our Admissions Consulting and Essay Editing offering as well as our MBA interview preparation offering.

Ivey MBA deadlines for the 2014 application

The application for the Richard Ivey MBA (2015 Spring intake) is now open.

Ivey lists four deadlines as usual, but GyanOne strongly recommends that those looking at the school and in a position to apply early take the Early Application or Round 1 opportunities. As the class fills up, the admissions opportunity available decreases.

Application RoundDeadlineDecision Date (latest possible)
Early applicationMay 5, 2014Jun 27, 2014
Round 1Sep 22, 2014Nov 28, 2014
Round 2Nov 17, 2014Jan 16, 2015
Round 3Jan 12, 2015Feb 27, 2015

What has changed in the Ivey MBA application in 2014?

Over the years, Ivey MBA application essays have always been three in number. The third essay gave applicants the chance to provide their perspectives on unfamiliar topics.

For example, the 2012 application had the third essay asking applicants to write an essay about what the title of a book based on their lives 20 years later could be.

The 2013 application asked applicants to describe how they would use their new-found time off if they came to know that their office was unexpectedly closed for a day.

We at GyanOne felt that these topics were valuable and gave applicants a chance to be creative beyond the regimen of the usual. The third essay could also have acted as an important input to gauge non-linear thinking skills. However, that is now all in the past. This year, we have two rather conventional essays from the Ivey stable.

Overall, the Richard Ivey MBA application is largely unchanged from last year, and the elements that have held important for Ivey admissions continue to do so.

While fit, school knowledge, and teamwork continue to be important elements, so does the Ivey MBA admissions interview. As we have highlighted multiple times in the past, the interview is NOT just a ‘confirmation’ – is a complete evaluation stage in itself.

Ivey MBA interviews are known to be direct and probing, not casual and relaxed, as some other MBA interviews can sometimes be. Preparing hard and executing well is therefore important at every stage of the Ivey MBA application process.



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One Response to “Richard Ivey MBA Essay Topics and Analysis 2014-15”


  • Aman Sharma / / Reply

    Very good analysis GyanOne. Thank you. Emailing you with my profile.

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