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Carnegie Mellon MBA Application Essays


Essay 1: We know that you have a lot to tell us but to keep it fair, your answers are limited to 150 words.
1. What is your professional goal immediately following graduation from Tepper?
2. What other role would you consider? In other words, what is your Plan B?

Essay 2: The Tepper community is dynamic and unique. Each community member’s individual journey has shaped them into classmates who are collaborative and supportive. Describe how you have overcome adversity during your journey. What did you learn about yourself and how has that shaped who you are? (Maximum 350-500 words.)

Essay 3: One more question from the Admission Committee – just for fun! List an interesting fact about yourself that you’d like to share with your future Tepper classmates (P.S. – 1 or 2 sentences will be just fine)

Carnegie Mellon, Tepper MBA Winning Sample Essays – 1

Tepper MBA Essay 1: What is your professional goal immediately following graduation from Tepper? (150)

My short-term goal is to join a leading strategy consulting firm such as McKinsey or BCG as a consultant to leverage my problem solving skills and business knowledge gained at Tepper to create value and growth for the clients.My experience at Samsung has helped me hone my communication and problem solving skills. My part-time contribution in my family’s garment business  where I helped develop a new revenue stream model, had given me deep insight into commercial aspects of a business. Learnings from these insights have helped me develop a strong business acumen.After an MBA from Tepper, I want to broaden my horizons and gain knowledge in various aspects of a global business. I think my skillset and past experiences can help me make a smooth transition into consultancy. Therefore , I believe join a top consulting firm after my MBA would be a step in the right direction.

Tepper MBA Essay 2: What other role would you consider? In other words, what is your Plan B? (150)

In case I am not able to crack into the elite consulting world of MBB’s, I would be willing to switch into a product management roles with in the technology sector. I would like to keep an open mind-set to join an tech company such as google or apple. Along with helping me hone my communication and problem solving skills, Samsung, has given deep me insights into how innovation and cutting-edge technologies in the IT sector can unleash value for clients. My hands on experience with smart TV applications has shown me the future potential of growth in the internet of things sector.

These experiences have my penchant for improving products and their go-to-market strategies. Hence after consulting, I believe technology would be the next sector where I can succeed in making a good career transition.

Tepper MBA Essay 3: (Maximum 300 – 350 words, double spaced, 12 point font): Imagine that you meet up with a member of the Admission Committee at an airport while on a layover. You have an opportunity to make a memorable impression. Use this essay to introduce yourself. Include any information that you believe is important for the committee member to know about you both professionally and personally.

Hi, I am XYZ. I work with Samsung as a senior software developer. I lead a team of 5 developers and we work on developing new applications for smart TV. Working in Samsung has given me ample opportunities to develop my leadership skills and apply my out of box thinking to real tangible products. One of the most memorable and challenging moments I can recollect was when I got the opportunity to work with our Vietnamese client. The client wanted their product to be delivered within 25 days which was next to impossible for us to deliver.

I was leading the in-house team of developers. I also took the lead in explaining to the client the complexities and convinced client to give us 60 days. At the same time I efficiently managed my internal team to finish the project within 50 days. We delivered the project ahead of our commitment and the client gave us a highly positive feedback. Successful completion of this project was one of the turning points in my career. Another instance where Samsung gave me opportunity to explore and enhance my skills was when I developed the I-merge tool. Our entire office was struggling to find a good tool merge excel sheets, the available options in the markets were very expensive. I took the initiative to develop such a tool in-house. It took me 4 moths to develop the application.

When I showed it to my team lead he really appreciated the work done and promoted my project to senior management. Senior management was equally impressed and subsequently decided to use my tools as a default application to be used in pan India Samsung offices. Apart from my full-time job at Samsung, I have been very active in supporting my family business. I have been helping my father to make a transition from his current brick and mortar business to an asset light e-commerce business. My deep involvement in my father’s business and helped me improve my business acumen which engineers usually lack. My diverse experiences are a testament to my ability to lead, solve problems and add value. I believe that will be an good candidate for Tepper’s MBA class.

Carnegie Mellon MBA Winning Sample Essay – 2


Tepper MBA Essay 1: Imagine that you meet up with a member of the admission committee at an airport while on a layover. You have an opportunity to make a memorable impression. Use this essay to introduce yourself. Include any information that you believe is important for the committee member to know about you both professionally and personally (300-350 words).


I am ABC. I was born in a rural lower middle class family where money always fell short of aspiration. I started working at the age of 11 years in a toy shop to support my family and today, I have made myself into a successful Marine officer of world’s largest shipping company and have travelled across 60 countries in last 6 years.

As a second officer, my core responsibilities include safe navigation and time-bound loading and discharging of goods. With round the clock commitment and dealing with emergencies, I have grown to be a leader of adversity.

Once I have led multinational crew to extinguish a large scale paint locker fire spreading rapidly in the vicinity of explosive cargo. My organized action, task delegation and clear on-scene communication helped us extinguish the fire, averting a loss of cargo worth billions including lives of 28 crewmembers.

My teamwork skill attributes to our collaborative operation during crisis. In one incident during a pirate attack in the Gulf of Aden, as part of the team, I took evasive manoeuvres, deterred pirates using old pyrotechnics and asked maritime security for help in due time. Our integrated effort saved lives of crewmembers.

Surviving against all the odds, I remained connected back with my roots. To help boost the economy of my birth-place, a famous pilgrimage spot. I started an online travel portal (deogharyatra.com) which serves devotees by providing better deals for their spiritual enlightenment journey. In 3 years the business has clocked in a profit worth 28K USD.

To curb economic inequality, I established a charitable trust “Sampanna Jeevan foundation”. All the profits from the travel portal goes into funding the trust which is mentoring 80 destitute kids since 2014 by providing free formal education and job oriented training.

Having a thrilling life journey so far, I aspire now for an MBA to switch career from shipping to management track. Through my diverse experiences as a merchant marine officer, entrepreneur and social worker, I believe, I have acquired important learnings which I can share with the incoming class of Tepper Business school.

Tepper MBA Essay 2: What is your professional goal immediately following graduation from Tepper?(150)

After working in Cargo shipping industry for 5 years, I have acquired a fundamental knowledge of operations and supply chain. After MBA, I want to apply my learnings to work as an operation or supply chain manager in a progressive E-Commerce or Express logistic firms such as Amazon, Apple, Dell or Fed-Ex.

I have been working supply chain management going from one port to another via turbulent Oceans. After MBA, I want to change my industry from off-shore to on-shore.

I believe Tepper’s globally reputed program in operations and supply chain can help me make the desired shift in the industry. Courses such as optimization model for operation, operation strategy and supply chain management will give me the much-needed business acumen to succeed in my transition. I think, I can leverage Tepper’s global alumni network in supply chain function as networking opportunities for my target industry.

Tepper MBA Essay 3: What other role would you consider? In other words, what is your Plan B? (150)

In case I am not able to crack into the on-shore logistics industry, I would be willing to broaden my target industry function to general management or project management. I would like to keep an open mindset to take up strategic roles in manufacturing/aerospace industry.

Supervising entire operations on-board the ship, I have developed a range of skills from capacity planning to inventory and crisis management. As a deck officer, I have trained personnel and managed day to day operations with quality control. Also, I have managed entire operation of my pilgrim travel portal from marketing to hiring my team. These experiences have enhanced my penchant for managing the day to day operations and human resources.

I believe, I can easily switch to general management roles and Tepper’s program in manufacturing strategy and advanced elective courses in management can help me gain a competitive advantage in manufacturing industries.

Tepper MBA Essay 4: At the Tepper School, we look for outspoken leaders who are willing to take adversity head on. What specific initiatives have you engaged in to bring awareness to your local community or place of work?(one-page essay)

My lifelong hardship with money has taught me its value and the journey has been a make or break story for me. My family’s income has always been barely enough to support our livelihood; nevertheless, I have managed to finance my education through hard earned scholarship, loan or giving personal tuitions. I was the first kid in my entire family to get a job.

To ensure the right to education for poor people and provide an opportunity for growth of rural talents, I established a charitable trust “Sampanna Jeevan foundation” in 2014. I have been mentoring 80 destitute kids through free formal education and job oriented training in a resourceful environment. I have organised child welfare camp in 5 remote villages to sensitize people towards the value of child education. Through this initiative, I aim to curb economic inequality by providing a support system to underprivileged kids from slum area and prepare them to earn a livelihood.

Setting up a formal school requires a lot of investment to finance infrastructure, staff payments and routine operations. I have leveraged my network to promote the program and I have been putting all the profits from the travel portal to support the trust.

During my MBA program, I will have to manage my living and other expenses in addition to the MBA tuition fees. Citing a huge cost involved with no other option, I will have to take away money from start-up to support myself. Unfortunately, in that case, I will not be able to support needy people through my NGO.

The sheer feeling of being able to support so many indigent children has been my biggest achievement in my life. I want these kids to live a respectful life. The NGO gives their parents a hope for a better future. If Tepper can support me through scholarship, I will not have to draw full money from start-up and will be able to sustain the philanthropic initiative.

Optional: Use this essay to convey important information that you may not have been otherwise able to convey. This may include unexplained resume gaps, context for recommender selection, etc.

While my profession demands to sail worldwide and usually its entails a 6 months continuous work offshore followed by 6 months of rest period. I have always craved to do something for my birthplace and during my rest period I always actively either on my travel portal startup and in my NGO for the welfare of rural kids. Therefore, My resume shows handling multiple projects simultaneously during the same year.

I have excelled in IITJEE, one of the toughest analytical exam in India and studied calculus, algebra and statistics during my undergraduate. Unfortunately, I was not able to score well in IR section in the first attempt of my GMAT due to my engagement in organising child education awareness camp. But, I was able to improve in my re-attempt. I also planned to take up online analytical course such as those provided on edx, coursera to sharpen my rough edges before commencement of the program.

Also, A ship has limited access to the internet through satellite data service and the email communication is restricted to emergency communications only. Working on-board, none of the crew is provided with official email, hence my supervisor has sent my recommender via his personal email address. Appraising my special case, I have taken the consent of Tepper’s admission team before doing so.

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