New MBA Admissions Essay Is Music to Applicants’ Ears

By Chris Hassan
Posted August 10, 2012 04:00 PM

MBA admissions essay asks applicants to write about music.
MBA admissions essay asks applicants to write about music.
When individuals think about the business school admissions process, the words "challenging" or "necessary" may spring to mind. "Fun," however, is not likely to be among them - unless they are applying to the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program offered by the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business.

In a recent blog post, the business school announced that its fall 2012 essay questions are now online. Among them is a question that asks, "If you could choose one song that expresses who you are, what is it and why?" This means that prospective students have up to 250 words to explain why The Beatles’ "Come Together" reflects their passion for teamwork, or Lady Gaga’s "Born This Way" perfectly captures how comfortable they feel in their own skin.

According to the blog post, the song MBA degree seekers choose does not have to be by a well-known artist or feature any lyrics. The important thing is for applicants to select a tune they feel strongly about and can best tell admissions officers something about themselves beyond their grades and test scores.

The Haas School is not the only institution getting creative with this year’s admissions essays. According to the website for The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, this year’s applicants are being asked to share 25 random things about themselves in list form.

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