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Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, USA

Kelley School of Business offers a 2-year full-time MBA program in Bloomington. For the fall intake, 2020 following are the essay prompts, deadlines and its debrief:

Round #Deadlines
Round 1October 15, 2019
Round 2January 5, 2020
Round 3March 1, 2020
Round 4April 15, 2020

Essay Debrief

Indiana Kelley has 3 required essays for this application season. Let us debrief these essays to understand how you can approach them.

1. Discuss your immediate post-MBA professional goals. How will your professional experience, when combined with a Kelley MBA degree, allow you to achieve these goals? Should the short-term goals you have identified not materialize, what alternate career paths might you consider? (500 words)

Let us begin by paraphrasing the above essay question:

What are your short-term goals?
Why MBA?
Why Kelley MBA?
Why you?
What is your backup plan?


If you answer the above questions, you will have a very good start to your first essay. Kelley is asking you about your short-term post-MBA goal. Be specific about industry, function and geography. In the next part of the essay prompt, Kelley would like to know how your previous work experience topped with an MBA from Kelley will help you achieve your goals. This is an important exercise not just for writing this essay but also to be realistic with your goals. Do you understand what skill gaps you have that will be filled by an MBA or more specifically a Kelley MBA?

Lastly, the admissions committee would like to know about your back-up plans. It happens more often than you would imagine that candidates do not get into the careers they were hoping for. Most career management teams at business schools advise changing 2 out of 3 things viz Industry, Function and Geography. Now for international students, one (geography) is already changing. So you can choose either industry or function as a reasonable change. Your safe option is to go back to the same industry and function as you were doing pre-MBA. And there I have answered this last part of your essay.

2. Respond to one of the following short essay prompts. (300 words)
My greatest memory is…
I’m most afraid of…
My greatest challenge has been…
I’m most proud of…


This is a psychoanalytical question. No matter which prompt you choose, it will display a side of you to the admissions committee that they haven’t seen yet. Every choice you make either in choosing the prompt or the incident shows what you value more. You don’t have a lot of word limit to explain the incident in detail. For instance, if you choose ‘greatest memory’, don’t spend too many words on explaining the memory. Explaining, why it is your greatest memory, is more important. Same goes for other prompts. Remember you only have to choose ONE of the above 4 prompts.

3. Share a brief fact about yourself that your classmates would find interesting, surprising, or noteworthy. (25 words)

This is a fun little space for you to play with it. You can share your hidden talent, achievement, hobbies or passion here. Mention something that is not already known through your essays, resume and entire application.

Apart from the essays above Indiana Kelley application requires:

  1. One Reference


If you’d like to discuss your profile and know whether Kelley School of Business is the right school for you or not then fill out this form and we can have a FREE call. Check out our tool MBA Matrix, where you can search and compare more than 300 MBA programs. MBA Matrix contains deadlines, essay questions, all rankings, average GMAT scores and a lot more all in one place. You can say nice things to me on What’s App or comment below!

Happy Writing!

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