Look at Ivey as a top Canadian school
After a number of years with the same essay set, Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario in Canada has refurbished its essay set. The essays haven’t been completely revamped, but one of them has been completely changed. Now, Ivey applicants will be facing a lot more competition and will see a lot more selectivity (not implying that the selectivity was low earlier), as more MBA applicants target top Canadian schools for their MBA.
In the Financial Times MBA ranking, Ivey has not been ranked very favorably historically. We believe that Ivey’s low ranking is in contrast to the high quality of education and strong career opportunities it offers to its students, and consider this to be a case of an outstanding school ranked low.
We have earlier posted articles on how we feel that the FT ranking does not completely reflect reality always and why the ranks of various schools cannot be taken at face value in all cases.
Richard Ivey MBA essays and analysis
Q1. 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: This essay continues from years past. It reflects Ivey’s continued focus on understanding its applicants’ career objectives and determining how well the school could help these applicants fulfill these objectives.
Some applicants make the mistake of assuming that this is a regulation essay that is more of a formality – simply mentioning broad career goals and overall reasons for how Ivey fits in with those will do.
Absolutely not! Ivey is particular in ensuring that you are clear about what you wish to achieve, why an MBA is even important to achieve that objective, and why you are choosing Ivey, and not some other school that is similar to Ivey. For international applicants, reasons for applying to Ivey gain even more importance.
To prepare well for this essay, understand in-depth your career plans, and scrutinize, evaluate, and question them. This essay is brief, so it will not call upon you to express that entire detail into the essay, but the understanding helps!
Expressing as much as this essay asks in just 250 words will be very difficult otherwise. Similarly, gain an understanding of the program you are applying to – why this program/school? If you are smart, you will also be able to relate the first and the second parts of your answer into a seamless whole, rather than simply listing out common features of the Ivey MBA.
Q2. What is the most important issue (personal or professional) that you’ve ever changed your mind about? (250 word limit)
A completely new, and refreshing essay from Ivey, this one! It replaces the earlier essay topic that used to ask why your Ivey classmates would want to work with you on group projects at Ivey.
While that essay is gone, the spirit behind it remains – Ivey values awareness, flexibility, and collaboration. Keep that in mind across the Ivey MBA essays set.
For this new essay, first focus on the word most. Ivey is not asking you to list simply any example here, but the most powerful, impactful one you have. Further, don’t let the description of changing your mind be trivial (e.g. realizing that hard work matters, or collaboration matters, or others’ opinions matter, as three examples) but deep.
Describe the issue, and not just what changed your mind about, but also why. What was the process of introspection that led to this change?
Again, in 250 words, you have a job at hand of making impact with this essay, but with focus and effort, it can certainly be done!
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Q3. Scholarship essay: Please feel free to complete the scholarship essay in a word document and then paste it into this area.The scholarship essay should be no longer than 500 words and should specifically address the questions outlined below. Please feel free to copy and paste from other parts of your Ivey MBA application.
Paragraph 1:Outline your intended career goal after completing the Ivey MBA program.Be as specific as possible indicating industry as well.
Paragraph 2:Highlight key examples of your academic and professional successes to-date.
Paragraph 3:Please provide examples of demonstrated leadership from your previous employment and/or from within the community.
The scholarship essay is optional, but filling it in doesn’t affect your chances of admission, so no harm at all in going for it. This essay too has been around for a while, and is not a change in the Ivey MBA essays since.
For this one, focus on highlighting your differentiators, and not simply a list of your achievements, though the essay seems to at first glance be asking for that. Similarly, when you discuss leadership (para 3), create impact – do not make the mistake of assuming that holding a designation or a role constitutes leadership. Think action!
Q4. Two video essays* (to be recorded live)
Video essays are a new feature introduced by Ivey in the 2016-17 application, and they continued thereafter. For starters, this video from Ivey itself provides context into what Ivey is expecting from applicants in this component.
Overall, we feel that the video essays are much less bothersome than most applicants actually make them out to be.
As long as you keep your communication crisp, and go over a few examples of your life and work, you should be ready to tackle almost anything that Ivey throws at you. The essay topics are all meant to be addressed impromptu, and there will be no question that requires research/expertise to answer.
Ivey MBA deadlines
Application Deadlines (general):
Round 1: 1st week of February
Round 2: 1st week of April
Round 3: 2nd week of July
Round 4: 3rd week of September
Round 5: 2nd week of November
Round 6: 1st week of January
International applicants should apply by Round 4. Do note also that although Ivey has deadlines, it follows a rolling process. Submit your application earlier to have a higher chance of admission.