Below you’ll find an example of Duke’s 25 Things Essay for the 2019-2020 full-time MBA admissions season. You’ll find additional essay examples and essay topic analyses for leading MBA programs at the preceding link.
The question is a key reason why MBA admission consultants judge Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business as having one of the very best admissions processes. It’s one that allows the school to get to know applicants.
Duke is a school that gets to know their applicants well. By comparison, Columbia asks for one pleasantly surprising thing and Duke demands 25. It’s pretty telling when an applicant runs out of fun facts after listing only a handful or can’t resist copying in a few resume bullet points. Fuqua’s out to find the fun ones in the bunch, and the Fuqua MBA experience will be much more fun as a result.
For context: Fuqua believes different types of people, points of view, and experiences bring out the best in everyone. And above all, we place a premium on succeeding while making a positive impact on businesses, organizations, and the world. These ways of thinking set the Duke MBA experience apart, and this concept extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. When a new person joins the Admissions team, we ask that person to share with everyone in the office a list of “25 Random Things About Yourself.” As an Admissions team, we already know the new hire’s professional and academic background, so learning these “25 Random Things” helps us get to know someone’s personality, background, special talents, and more.
In this spirit, the admissions committee also wants to get to know you–beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. You can share with us important life experiences, your likes/dislikes, hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are.
Example. Duke Fuqua MBA 25 Things Essay.
Share with us your list of “25 Random Things” about YOU.
Here you’ll find 12 out of the 25 random facts a former client shared in Duke Fuqua’s Essay 1. Facts range from lighthearted to more serious. The client took advantage of this essay to highlight his community involvement, professional achievements and outside passions.
- Four of my strongest friendships were built at 19,000 feet of elevation. In YEAR, I organised a trip to Mt. Kilimanjaro for four acquaintances and myself – a week of teamwork, card games, altitude sickness and no showers created very strong bonds between us!
- I find public speaking thrilling and I am always looking for opportunities to do it. In September YEAR, I pitched at Google Campus, within the heart of London’s start-up community. Seventy people presented on their ventures and I won one of two prizes.
- In typical British fashion, I am hopelessly addicted to tea. I always have a mug in my hand at 3pm.
- A firm believer in the power of networks and collaboration, I am a member of TechHub, a start-up network and co-working space in London. I also established a network of female entrepreneurs as a forum to share experiences of ubiquitous business challenges. Our recent event, a Christmas dinner, was a huge success.
- I think it is a crime to go to an Italian restaurant and not order tiramisu.
- In 2012, I was obsessed with the idea of skydiving. I drove to a skydiving centre in Cambridgeshire three times – the first two times I couldn’t skydive on account of poor weather, but my third attempt finally saw me jump out of a plane at 13,000 feet. My parents thought I was a nutter.
- My favorite book of all time is ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ by Khaled Hosseini. It taught me a lot about cruelty, suffering, bravery, and friendship, and it was also a very real insight into Afghan history and culture.
- Hearing Jim O’Neill speak at the Emerging Markets Forum while I was studying at the UNIVERSITY prompted me to get involved in the Forum’s organisational committee. The following year I was appointed COO, which gave me the opportunity to meet a number of prominent thought leaders in the EM field.
- I absolutely love puns. My favourite one of all time is: “If you jumped off the bridge in Paris, you’d be in Seine”.
- If I could invite anyone to a dinner party, I would choose comedian Omid Djalili, microcredit pioneer Muhammad Yunus, producer Tina Fey, wine innovator Robert Mondavi, and entrepreneur Arianna Huffington.
- When I was working at Fidelity, HR decided to feature images of me in all of their graduate recruitment marketing and literature. For a period of six months, my face was on all of their Facebook adverts. My friends still tease me about it!
- I regularly participate in seva – giving back to the community – which is a fundamental part of many Indian religions. I volunteer at a soup kitchen for the homeless every other Sunday, organised by the Sikh Welfare & Awareness Team, and I have also raised over $15,000 by running the marathon and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. I hope to raise another $7,000 in the Blenheim Palace Triathlon in June 2015.