I have officially started the Duke application for R2 (due January 7th). I already scheduled my class visit and interview for January 21st. The application seems pretty basic, nothing out of the ordinary. The essays are a mixed bag, however.
The first essay states "What do you hope to gain from The Duke MBA? How does it fit into your short- and long-term goals?" This is the fairly standard goals essay, with a focus on how the Duke experience will help you get where you want to go. One full page should be a decent enough amount of space to get this across.
The second essay, "How will you contribute to the overall experience of your peers?", appears to be a place to state where your characteristics and desires match those of the Duke community and what you will bring to the table. I also get the sense of "Why Duke?" in that question. I've got a lot to say, so hopefully one page is enough.
The last short essay asks you to discuss a person, event or experience that has significantly shaped your life and why, with emphasis on NOT being from the professional world. This one is interesting, something I've seen in UCLA and a few other apps. Picking one person, or one experience as a lynchpin moment in my life is going to be difficult, as I think it's the series of events and people that affect us. There is no one defining moment in my life.
The long essay, at two pages, states "Today, companies must navigate through complex and interdependent issues. They must deal with health and security matters, environmental impact questions, and diversity and cultural concerns. Leaders need adaptability, imagination, emotional intelligence as well as business acumen. Upon graduation, a Duke MBA will be a leader of consequence - able to deal simultaneously with complex matters and engage skillfully with colleagues, clients and community. What impact do you hope to have as a leader of consequence?" Oh boy, that's a mouthful! Leader of consequence...this feels like a fairly idealistic question to me. Something tells me this is the essay where the Adcoms will find must of the BS.
So, any advice on tackling these? What was the hardest for you? Can you actually pronounce the name properly?