Scott Edinburgh
January 17, 2023

Fuqua EMBA Application Deadlines and Essay Tips: 2022-2023

The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University has shared its Executive MBA application essays for the 2022-2023 application cycle. This year, the school’s application includes three short essay questions and one optional essay.

For those interested in the Duke Fuqua EMBA Program, take a look at the latest class profile to assess whether the school may be a good fit for you.

With 187 students, the class of 2023 featured 48% minorities (23% underrepresented minorities) and 29% women. Collectively, it encompassed people from 175 companies and 18 countries. These EMBA candidates were on average 36 years of age and had 11 years of work experience (22% had international work experience). Top professional backgrounds include healthcare/hospital (12%), sales/business development (10%), and IT (9%). Nearly half of the candidates already earned one advanced degree.

Thee upcoming deadlines for the Duke EMBA program are February 1, 2023; March 1, 2023, and April 1, 2023. Below, please find our analysis of the Duke Fuqua EMBA application essays.

2022-2023 Duke Fuqua EMBA Application Essays

NOTE: Your responses should use a font size no less than 10-point. Please respond fully and concisely using 1.5 line spacing. There is no word limit.

Short Answer Question 1:

Pursuing an MBA offers a fantastic springboard to your desired career goals. What are some professional milestones you’ve set for yourself or challenges you’re currently facing? How do you think Fuqua’s Executive MBA specifically will help you achieve your goals and navigate those challenges?

While there is no word limit, these are SHORT-answer questions.

Start with a very short discussion on where you are today in your career. Follow this opening with a brief section on your goals, which should include those “milestones” the school mentions. Your goals can (and often will be) a position within your existing firm. However, if you are seeking a higher level of leadership, state that and what challenges that will bring.

Finally, give the admissions committee an idea of the classes/programs/initiatives that Fuqua offers which will help prepare you to meet the challenges ahead. We encourage you to read the prompt for the second essay before making your choices: here you can cite a few things that are strictly related to the challenges you mention above; then in the following short answer you can meander a bit further into Duke Fuqua’s many offerings. For both short answers, though, be specific, both about the programs/classes you want to follow and what you will learn from them. Keep in mind the Fuqua culture and how it will enrich you.

Short Answer Question 2:

The ability to customize your MBA experience through electives, optional concentrations, the Health Sector Management certificate, experiential learning opportunities, and/or participating in student clubs is one of the highlights of Fuqua’s Executive MBA programs. How do you see yourself taking advantage of these opportunities?

Here continue what you started above: Talk about elective classes, programs, clubs, and other activities that will further develop your skills to meet your goals. These additional words really give you an opportunity to show that you have researched the school and planned out your path. It also tells the school about your specific interests and any gaps you might want to fill.

Again, be specific in outlining what you will get out of each activity you pursue and how it will help you take on the increased responsibilities and challenges you will face.

Short Answer Question 3:

The Admissions Team wants to get to know YOU – beyond your professional and academic achievements shared with us in the application. Please share with us 5 random things about you. This could include important life experiences, hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you, uniquely you.

 Please present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 5. Some points may be brief, while others may be longer.

Try to have fun with this question. Choose things that, taken together, give the admissions committee a fuller picture of you: things you love, interests that makes you tick, sources of glee, sadness, curiosity, wonder. Funny things, moving things, surprising things. It is good to choose things that show both the active, outer side of you and your inner world. Make sure the items in this list are not repetitive of anything above or easily implied: for example, if you head up an arts nonprofit, avoid “I love art.”

Make sure each thing says something about YOU: If you mention your favorite movie or favorite food, say why: do not waste word space just listing things. While the list is called “random,” it is really more meaningful than that.

While there is no word limit, we suggest brevity: Say as much as is needed for context and for each item to make sense. Funny things are welcome!

Optional Essay: Tell us more

If you feel there are circumstances of which the admissions committee should be aware, please explain them here (e.g. unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance).  

The Optional Essay is intended to provide the admissions committee with insight into your circumstances only.

The optional Fuqua EMBA essay should be addressed only by applicants with extenuating circumstances. Read more about how to answer this optional essay question here.

Looking for help developing or fine-tuning your Duke Fuqua essays?

Personal MBA Coach is here to help. Check out our EMBA Comprehensive packages today!

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Founded by a Wharton MBA and MIT Sloan graduate who sits on the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants Board of Directors, Personal MBA Coach has been guiding clients for 16 years and is consistently ranked #1 or #2 by leading sources including Poets&Quants.

We help clients with all aspects of the MBA application process including early planning, GMAT/GRE/EA tutoring, application strategy, school selection, essay editing, and mock interviews. Our team includes former M7 admissions directors and former M7 admissions interviewers.

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