Scott Edinburgh
November 17, 2023

Fuqua EMBA Application Deadlines and Essay Tips: 2023-2024

The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University has shared its Executive MBA application essays for the 2023-2024 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.

Enrollment for the classes of 2022 – 2024 ranged from 180 to 195 students: 48% of the class of 2024 identified as a minority (23% as an underrepresented minority) and 29% were women. Duke EMBA students ranged from 33 to 56 years of age and had an average of 11 years of work experience.

The upcoming deadlines for the Duke EMBA program are December 6, 2023; January 4, 2024; February 1, 2024; March 6, 2024, and April 3, 2024. Below, please find our analysis of the Duke Fuqua EMBA application essays.

2023-2024 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 for the first question.

Duke EMBA 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, this is a SHORT answer question.

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 that will help prepare you to meet the challenges ahead. Be sure to 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.

Duke EMBA Short Answer Question 2:

Please respond to one of the two prompts below in 250 words or less:

1. Tell us about your favorite team success story. Why was it successful? What was your role?

2. In what ways do you believe you will make an impact at Fuqua? Why is this important to you?

This year, Duke Fuqua gives EMBA applicants a choice for its second short answer question.

As you determine which option to select, think about your own strengths and pick the option that best lets you share these strengths with the Duke admissions committee. While there is no wrong choice, if you have something unique to contribute, you may want to select the second option.

If you choose to answer the first prompt, make sure to be specific and to the point. Tell the admissions committee briefly about the situation. Then, detail both the team’s approach and your role within the team. Try to keep a healthy balance between discussing how the team worked and what you contributed to the success.

If you pick the second option, think about what skills, experiences or perspectives you will contribute on campus. You can approach this more traditionally by discussing clubs you will join, roles you will seek on campus or ways you might volunteer at Duke. However, you might also think about your contributions more broadly. If you have a unique background, how might you share this to enrich the Duke community? Be sure that it is clear to the reader why contributing to this area is important to you!

Duke EMBA 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 10 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 10. 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.

This 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?

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