INTRODUCTION

The Cambridge MBA is a top-ranked international program. The program is one of the best one-year programs in the world and boasts more than 40 nationalities represented in a class size of around 150. Students begin in September and finish the following August. Curriculum-wise, the school boasts a rigorous 12-month program that includes 14 required core courses and nearly 50 elective offerings to choose from. Students can decide to concentrate on a variety of areas from energy and environment to finance to social innovation.

The school as a whole continues to put a strong emphasis on tech and entrepreneurship. Cambridge boasts “Silicon Fen,” which is the largest cluster of tech startups in Europe. The school has an Entrepreneurship Centre and a startup accelerator dubbed Accelerate Cambridge.

The Cambridge MBA proves to be a very worthwhile degree, especially for someone wanting the degree at an accelerated pace in an international setting.

Cambridge Judge Class Profile

Cambridge Judge Winning Sample Essay - 2

What did you learn from your most spectacular failure? (up to 200 words)

A few months after I joined _______, I was asked by the Executive Director, head of my team, to create a presentation about customer experience to be presented to a marketing conference audience comprised of CEOs of the leading companies in my country. I was new to the team, and this was my first time working directly with the ED. As I saw this as my opportunity to shine, I didn’t feel comfortable asking too many questions and got straight to work. I invested over 50 hours in putting this presentation together. To my embarrassment, just two days before the conference, after sending a draft to the ED, I realised that while I prepared the slides in English it should have been in Hebrew.

The ED had to clear her calendar, and we spent the next two days working together around the clock translating and adjusting the design. The final presentation was good, but not perfect. I felt I let my ED down.

From this incident, I learned the importance of a proper brief, asking the right questions, matching expectations and soliciting feedback throughout the process. These lessons made me a better consultant and a better supervisor and team player.

Describe a situation where you had to work jointly with others to achieve a common goal. What did you learn from the experience? (up to 200 words)

I was assigned as a consultant to a project team looking at reducing insurance claim cycle time. The team was comprised of an additional consultant who together we had to review the analysis done by an analyst, draw conclusions and prepare the presentation with our proposed solution for the project manager to deliver.

The analyst was relatively young. Although an experienced consultant already trained him on a previous project, his lack of experience showed and some of his deliverables fell short of expectations.

I offered to re-distribute the work. While the second consultant and the PM would focus on the proposed solution and the presentation, I would mentor the analyst and focus on analyzing existing processes. The team agreed, knowing that we would have to put extra time in order to save the project.

I reviewed with the analyst the required deliverables and we performed the analysis together while ensuring he understands the requirements for future engagements.

Eventually, the client accepted our recommendations and the insurance claim cycle time improved by 15% as anticipated. It was extremely satisfying to see the benefit of real team work. I learned the importance of clear guidance, mutual support, and flexibility in task assignment.

APPLICATION ESSAY TIPS

Please provide a personal statement. It should not exceed 500 words and must address the following questions:

  • What are your short and long-term career objectives and what skills/characteristics do you already have that will help you achieve them?
  • What actions will you take before and during the MBA to contribute to your career outcome?
  • If you are unsure of your post-MBA career path, how will the MBA equip you for the future?

This is a straightforward personal statement or goals essay. Candidates are asked to outline their short term and long term career objectives. In order to explain the characteristics and skills you already have to achieve these goals, you should start with brief career summary and provide details about how you have acquired new skills and progressed along your career path all these years. Specify the skills/knowledge/ experience you have gained at each level. Then explain what your short- term and long- term career objectives are, specifying the industries that you are interested in, the roles that you are aiming for, and the skills that you need to gain. Then discuss how an MBA will fill the gaps in your career and bring you closer to the fulfillment of your goals?

To address the second part of the prompt, you must discuss what efforts you will make before and after your MBA to effectively meet your career goals. For example, you may mention the additional projects you will undertake at work before starting MBA and the specific activities you plan to get involved in during your MBA at Judge that you believe will help support your goals.

Though the last part of questions asks you if you are unsure of your career path, I would advise you to be as specific and confident of your career goals as you can and reflect on how the skills acquired during your one year at the Judge Business School would help to get closer to your goals. All schools expect you to have a clear sense of your goals their connection to the schools’ specific offerings. Demonstrating an understanding of the unique offerings of Judge’s program is crucial to an effective response to this question.  Take time to learn about the school’s curriculum, special programs, and extracurricular activities. Reach out to alumni or currents students to gain their insights, attend info sessions, and meet the members of the admission committee, and if possible, visit the campus, talk to students, and attend a class.

If the space permits, wrap up your essay by reflecting on the value you will bring to the program.

What did you learn from your most spectacular failure? (200 words)

The failure question seems to be a favorite of Judge Business School which means the school is genuinely interested in the candidates’ learning and growth. MBA applicants often hesitate to show flaws. Please note that the admissions officials understand that no one is mistake free. They want to know you as a person and understand that your failures are part of your growth. So be candid about how a particular failure affected your life and how it impacted others. Since the essay prompt doesn’t specify whether you should discuss professional or personal story, you have the option to choose either a professional or a personal story.

The word limit is too stringent (only 200 words) and the essay question specifically asks about the lessons learned from your failure, so you will need to summarize the details about failure and focus more on the learnings you gleaned from your failure/ mistake.  The school wants to know how your ‘spectacular’ mistake has made you a better person and a professional, and how you are applying those learnings in your personal and professional relationships. The end of this short essay should paint you as mature person who will carry his maturity to the Judge Business School.

For organizing ideas for this essay, I would recommend the 4-part structure:

  • Situation: What was the situation/ the challenge?
  • Action: How did you deal with the situation? What mistake you made?
  • Outcome: What was the result?
  • Significance: What lessons you learned? How did you incorporate those lessons in your professional (or personal) life?

To meet the strict word count specifications, make sure to give approximately 100-120 words to the last part of your story- lessons learnt.

Describe a situation where you had to work jointly with others to achieve a common goal. What did you learn from the experience? (up to 200 words)

Through this essay, the Admission Committee wants to evaluate you for your team working skills that make you a valuable team member. Working with others can be in many forms. You may choose a story when you coordinated with teams overseas or collaborated directly with a colleague for a challenging project. Pick example from your projects where you faced challenges within the team and yielded good results. The key is how you worked with your team to overcome challenges and succeeded in achieving a common objective. Make sure your story showcases distinct team working attributes such as ability to resolve conflict, individual responsibility and accountability, communication skills, flexibility, adaptability etc.

Again, with such a tight word limit, you will need to summarize the context focus on the challenges you faced and lessons you learned.

Since you have already discussed your failure in the  essay #2, it is advisable  to discuss your success here, which was possibly based on the lessons learnt from the failure. This essay may also highlight your skills that you have discussed in your personal statement to showcase your readiness for Judge MBA.

For organizing ideas for this essay, I would again recommend the  4-part structure:

  • Situation (what was the situation? What was the project you worked on?) 40-50 words
  • Action, (What was your role in that situation? How many team members were there? How did you collaborate with them? How did you deal with the challenges?) 50-60 words
  • Outcome/result, (what happened in the end? What common goal you achieved) 20-25 words
  • Significance (What lessons you learned? How did you apply those lessons in similar situation) 80-100 words

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