Are you considering pursuing an MBA at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business? To help you navigate this significant decision, we present a detailed analysis of the MBA essay requirements for the 2023-2024 admissions cycle.

In this comprehensive article, we delve into Georgetown University’s McDonough MBA essay analysis for 2023-2024. Discover valuable insights and expert guidance on how to excel in your MBA admissions journey.

Healy Hall, the iconic Gothic Revival building at Georgetown University
Healy Hall at Georgetown University a National Historic Landmark and the cornerstone of the universitys storied past

Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business is renowned for its exceptional MBA program. As an applicant, understanding the essay requirements and how to craft impressive essays is crucial for a successful application. Let’s break it down step by step.

The Application Process

The journey begins with the application process. Here, we discuss what you need to know before diving into the essay section.

What to Expect

The Georgetown University’s McDonough MBA application typically includes essays that evaluate your candidacy. These essays are a chance for the admissions committee to learn more about you beyond your test scores and academic record.

The Role of the Essays

The essays are your opportunity to showcase your uniqueness, experiences, and aspirations. The admissions committee seeks candidates who are not only academically capable but also those who will contribute to the vibrant McDonough community.

Aerial view of the Kenan-Flagler Business School campus
Overlooking the sprawling campus of the Kenan Flagler Business School where future business leaders are forged

Georgetown University’s McDonough MBA Essay Prompts

Let’s dive into the essay prompts for the 2023-2024 admissions cycle.

Essay Option One

Georgetown Community: Our mission is rooted in Jesuit principles of equality and respect for everyone and an ethos of caring for the whole person. Inclusivity and diversity are core to supporting a community of people with an intersectional understanding of themselves and the world around them. Share how your educational, familial, cultural, economic, social, and/or other individual life experiences will contribute to the diversity of perspectives and ideas at Georgetown University. (500 words)

Essay Analysis: Georgetown University’s MBA essay prompt revolves around the theme of diversity, inclusivity, and the Jesuit values of equality and respect. Applicants are asked to share their unique life experiences that will contribute to the diversity of perspectives and ideas within the Georgetown community. Here’s a structured approach for tackling this essay:

Introduction (Approximately 50 words): Begin your essay with a compelling and concise introduction. Mention the importance of diversity, inclusivity, and Georgetown’s values in the business school context. Briefly, set the stage for your unique contributions.

Body Paragraph 1 (Approximately 150 words):

  1. Educational Experiences: Discuss how your educational background, including your academic journey, has shaped your perspective and values.
  2. Relate to Jesuit Values: Explain how your educational experiences align with Georgetown’s Jesuit values of equality and respect.

Body Paragraph 2 (Approximately 150 words):

  1. Cultural and Family Background: Share how your cultural and familial upbringing has influenced your worldviews and values.
  2. Connect to Inclusivity: Explain how your cultural and family background enhances inclusivity within the Georgetown community.

Body Paragraph 3 (Approximately 150 words):

  1. Economic and Social Experiences: Describe any economic or social experiences that have played a significant role in your life.
  2. Link to the Whole Person Ethos: Explain how these experiences resonate with Georgetown’s ethos of caring for the whole person.

Conclusion (Approximately 50 words): Summarize your key points and express your enthusiasm for contributing to the diverse and inclusive community at Georgetown’s MBA program. Mention how your unique experiences align with the university’s mission.

Additional Tips:

  1. Be Specific: Use concrete examples to illustrate your experiences and their impact on your perspective.
  2. Showcase Self-Reflection: Discuss how these experiences have shaped your values and views.
  3. Relate to Georgetown: Clearly explain the connection between your experiences and the Georgetown community’s mission and values.
  4. Stay within the Word Limit: Be concise and ensure your essay is within the 500-word limit.

By following this structured approach, applicants can effectively address Georgetown’s MBA essay prompt, showcasing their unique experiences and how they will contribute to the diversity and inclusivity of the university’s community. This approach reflects your genuine engagement with the essay topic and your understanding of Georgetown’s values.

Essay Option Two

Leave Your Legacy: Commitment to service and community is an important value that Hoyas shares across Georgetown McDonough’s 40+ MBA student-run clubs and organizations, nine centers and initiatives, and various other co-curricular activities. What do you want your legacy to be as a McDonough student and alumni? Be as specific as possible. (500 words)

This essay topic is an opportunity for you to showcase your understanding of the program’s values, your vision for your time at McDonough, and how you plan to leave a meaningful impact. Introduction (Approximately 50 words): Begin by briefly introducing the essay prompt and its significance in the MBA application process. Explain that this essay allows applicants to articulate their vision and purpose as McDonough MBA students and future alumni.

Section 1: Understanding McDonough’s Values (Approximately 100-150 words): In this section, discuss the core values and mission of Georgetown McDonough. Highlight the institution’s commitment to service and community engagement. You can also emphasize the importance of student-run clubs, centers, and co-curricular activities in nurturing these values.

Section 2: Personal Reflection (Approximately 100 words): Share a brief reflection on your background, values, and experiences that have led you to consider an MBA at McDonough. What motivates you to align with the values of the institution?

Section 3: Your Legacy Vision (Approximately 200-250 words): This is the heart of your essay. Describe in detail the legacy you envision leaving as a McDonough student and alumni. Be specific and provide examples. You can structure this section using the following components:

a. Service and Community Engagement: Explain how you plan to actively participate in clubs, organizations, or initiatives that resonate with your interests and the Georgetown McDonough community’s values. Discuss specific roles or projects you intend to take on and how they align with your passions and career goals.

b. Impact on Campus: Detail how you aim to make a difference within the campus community. This could include ideas for new initiatives, workshops, or events that you’d like to introduce or enhance. Explain how these initiatives will benefit both current students and future generations.

c. Impact Beyond Campus: Discuss your vision for continuing your commitment to service and community engagement as an alumnus. Consider how you’ll leverage your McDonough MBA to make a positive impact in the business world or within your chosen industry. Share long-term goals and potential collaborations with the McDonough alumni network.

Section 4: Conclusion and Call to Action (Approximately 50 words): Summarize your vision for your legacy as a McDonough student and alumni. Reiterate your commitment to Georgetown McDonough’s values. End with a call to action, expressing your enthusiasm for contributing to the program and being part of the Georgetown MBA community.

Editing and Proofreading: Remember to carefully edit your essay, ensuring it’s within the 500-word limit, free of grammatical errors, and structured coherently. Use persuasive language to convince the admissions committee of your genuine commitment and passion for McDonough’s values.

By following this structured approach, you’ll be able to craft a compelling and focused essay that reflects your dedication to service, community, and making a meaningful impact as a Georgetown McDonough MBA student and future alumni.

Student conducting online research for MBA studies at Georgetown University
A Georgetown MBA student engaged in online research utilizing technology for academic excellence

Essay Option Three

Magis: Magis is a Jesuit value that instills the sense of achieving “more” or “greater” excellence. Share how you achieved magis during a professional experience as evidenced on your resume. Describe why this experience exemplified excellence and what about your involvement (i.e. strengths or skills) contributed to the excellence. (500 words)

Essay Topic: “Magis: Magis is a Jesuit value that instills the sense of achieving ‘more’ or ‘greater’ excellence. Share how you achieved magis during a professional experience as evidenced on your resume. Describe why this experience exemplified excellence and what about your involvement (i.e. strengths or skills) contributed to the excellence. (500 words)”

Essay Structure:

  1. Introduction (Approximately 50 words)
    • Start with a captivating introduction that briefly introduces the concept of “Magis” and its significance in the Jesuit tradition.
    • Mention that this essay will focus on a specific professional experience where you demonstrated “Magis.”
  2. Professional Experience (Approximately 150 words)
    • Begin by providing an overview of the professional experience you have chosen to discuss.
    • Include key details such as the job role, the organization, and the context in which it took place.
  3. Achieving Magis (Approximately 150 words)
    • Explain how this professional experience embodies the concept of “Magis.” Discuss how you went above and beyond to achieve excellence.
    • Highlight specific accomplishments, challenges, or projects that illustrate your commitment to achieving more significant excellence.
  4. Exemplifying Excellence (Approximately 100 words)
    • Describe why this particular experience exemplified excellence. What were the measurable outcomes or impacts that you had?
    • Share any feedback, awards, or recognition you received for your contributions during this experience.
  5. Your Contribution (Approximately 100 words)
    • Discuss your strengths, skills, and attributes that contributed to the excellence of this experience.
    • Provide examples of how your qualities and actions positively influenced the outcome.
  6. Reflect on the Jesuit Value of Magis (Approximately 50 words)
    • Reflect on how the Jesuit value of “Magis” aligns with your personal and professional values.
    • Discuss why embracing this value is important to you and your future in business and leadership.
  7. Conclusion (Approximately 50 words)
    • Summarize the key points made in the essay.
    • End with a closing statement that reinforces your commitment to “Magis” and your readiness to bring this value to Georgetown’s MBA program.
  8. Editing and Proofreading (As Needed)
    • After completing your essay, review it for clarity, grammar, and structure.
    • Make sure it adheres to the word limit (500 words).
MBA student at Georgetown using virtual communication platforms
Embracing modern technology a Georgetown MBA student participates in a virtual discussion symbolizing the programs adaptive learning methods

Video Essay

Building a cohort of diverse and unique individuals is important to the admissions team. We want you to bring your whole self to Georgetown McDonough. Throughout the application, we’ve learned about what you would add as a professional and leader. Just as important is learning about your interests outside of work. In one minute, please share 5-10 random facts about yourself that are not on your resume and how these facts contribute to who you are as a professional and leader.

You may use your phone, computer, or other means to record the video, but please ensure all audio and visual components are clear. We recommend a well-lit room and minimal noise distraction.

The admissions committee would like for you to appear in person during part of your video.

We recommend unscripted, conversational videos – help us get to know the real you!

Upload your video to an accessible website (such as YouTube, Vimeo, Youku, or Tudou), and submit the direct video URL to your online application.

Please note that all videos must remain active and accessible to the admissions committee online for a minimum of five years for record retention purposes.

For your privacy: Do not include your name in the title of your video. You may submit “unlisted” videos via YouTube or password-protected videos through Vimeo. If using a password, please include it immediately after your link in the text box below. 

Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business is known for its commitment to diversity and the unique qualities of its students. The video essay component is a great opportunity for applicants to showcase their personality and individuality. The admissions committee wants to see the real you and understand how your interests and experiences contribute to your professional and leadership qualities.


  • Start with a brief introduction to the essay topic and its significance in the MBA application process.
  • Emphasize the importance of authenticity and showcasing your personality.

Understanding the Prompt:

  • Break down the key components of the prompt:
    • They want to know more about you beyond your resume.
    • You have one minute to share 5-10 random facts.
    • The importance of appearing in person during part of the video.
    • Tips for creating a well-lit, noise-free video.
    • The technical requirements for uploading and preserving the video for five years.

Selecting the Right Facts:

  • Discuss how to choose the facts to share:
    • Consider the balance between personal and professional facts.
    • Select facts that provide insights into your character, values, and interests.
    • Ensure that the facts you choose can be shared concisely within one minute.

Creating an Authentic Video:

  • Guide on how to make an unscripted, conversational video:
    • Avoid reading from a script.
    • Speak naturally and confidently.
    • Maintain eye contact with the camera.
    • Be mindful of body language and tone of voice.
    • Practice beforehand to ensure you can convey your points within the time limit.

Technical Aspects:

  • Offer advice on the technical aspects of recording the video:
    • Choosing a well-lit, quiet location.
    • Using a good-quality camera or smartphone.
    • Testing the audio and visual components for clarity.
    • Editing and reviewing the video before submission.

Uploading and Privacy:

  • Explain the steps for uploading and preserving the video:
    • Using accessible websites like YouTube or Vimeo.
    • Maintaining the video for a minimum of five years.
    • Privacy considerations – not including your name in the video title.


  • Reinforce the importance of being genuine and letting your personality shine through in the video.
  • Encourage applicants to embrace this opportunity to differentiate themselves.

Remember that the video essay is a chance to complement your written application, giving the admissions committee a deeper understanding of your character and what you can bring to the Georgetown MBA program. It’s also a way to demonstrate your communication skills and creativity. Good luck with your video essay, and make sure to showcase your unique qualities effectively!

Georgetown University MBA students in an online group study session
A scene of collaborative learning as Georgetown MBA students engage in an interactive online study group

Optional Essay

Please provide any information you would like to add to your application that you have not otherwise included. (300-350 words, approximately one page, double-spaced)

This essay is an opportunity to share additional information with the admissions committee that you believe is crucial to your application but hasn’t been covered in other parts of your application.

Structure for the Georgetown MBA Optional Essay:

  1. Introduction (Approx. 50 words):
    • Start by briefly introducing yourself and expressing your continued interest in the Georgetown MBA program.
  2. Explain the Purpose (Approx. 50 words):
    • Begin by stating that you are using this essay to provide additional information not covered elsewhere.
  3. Relevance of Additional Information (Approx. 100 words):
    • Clearly state what specific information you plan to share and why it is relevant to your application. This could include unique experiences, challenges, or accomplishments.
  4. Provide Additional Information (Approx. 100-150 words):
    • Share the additional information you want to include. This could vary widely based on your unique circumstances. For example, you might discuss a career gap, a personal challenge you’ve overcome, unique achievements, or any aspect of your background that you believe strengthens your candidacy.
  5. Connection to Georgetown MBA (Approx. 50 words):
    • Explain how the information you provided is directly related to your fit for the Georgetown MBA program and why it makes you a stronger candidate.
  6. Conclusion and Reiteration of Interest (Approx. 50 words):
    • Conclude your essay by restating your enthusiasm for the program and thanking the admissions committee for considering this additional information.

Additional Tips:

  • Be concise and to the point. Adhere to the word limit.
  • Maintain a professional tone and use clear, straightforward language.
  • Avoid repeating information from other parts of your application. Use this essay to add depth and context.
  • If you’re explaining a weakness or challenge, focus on how you’ve grown or learned from it. Emphasize your resilience and adaptability.
  • Highlight how your unique experiences and perspectives can contribute to the Georgetown MBA community.

Remember, the purpose of this essay is to enhance your application, not to provide unnecessary or redundant information. Use it strategically to address any important aspects of your background or experiences that you believe the admissions committee should be aware of.

Georgetown University students showcasing community and social involvement
Georgetown University students display their commitment to community service and social justice core aspects of the universitys Jesuit values

In conclusion, understanding and acing Georgetown University’s McDonough MBA essay analysis for 2023-2024 is pivotal to securing your spot in this prestigious program. Start early, be authentic, and remember that your essays are your voice in the application process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use the same essay for multiple prompts?

It’s not recommended. Tailor each essay to the specific prompt to address the nuances of what’s being asked.

How long should my essays be?

The word limit for each essay is typically 500 words. It’s essential to be concise and impactful within this constraint.

Should I mention my weaknesses in the essays?

While honesty is valued, it’s crucial to present your weaknesses as opportunities for growth and learning.

Can I exceed the word limit?

Avoid exceeding the word limit. Adhering to it showcases your ability to follow instructions and communicate effectively.

What’s the most important thing the admissions committee looks for in essays?

Authenticity. They want to get to know you as an individual, not just a list of achievements.

How should I proofread my essays?

Proofreading is crucial. Consider using a grammar-checking tool and have a trusted friend or advisor review your essays as well.

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