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Sauder Business School, UBC, Canada

University of British Columbia’s Sauder Business School offers a 16-month MBA program. For the Fall intake, 2020 following are the essay prompts, deadlines and its debrief:

#Deadlines
Round 1October 22, 2019
Round 2January 15, 2020
Round 3April 7, 2020 (International)
Round 4April 28, 2020 (Domestic)

Essay Debrief

1. What motivates you to pursue an MBA at this time? (200 Words)

The above essay question is a very straight forward and a standard question asked by business schools. You should have a very clear post-MBA goal not just to get admission but also to justify to yourself such an expensive degree. Let us paraphrase the question:

Why MBA?
Why now?
What are your short-term goals?


The above questions will help you structure your essay nicely. Sauder would like to know your motivations behind pursuing an MBA at this time in your career. Be careful to not waste your word limit in writing why Sauder Business School because the next question will address this topic. Research about the skills needed to achieve your post MBA job/goal and identify gaps in your profile. If you’re from a non-management education (STEM) background this question becomes relatively easier for you. It will also not a bad idea to mention both hard and soft skills. But also be cautious not to mention any rudimentary gaps that may lead to you not being selected. Candour while encouraged may not be appreciated.

2. Why do you feel Sauder’s MBA Program is a good fit for you? How do you plan to get the most out of your MBA journey and the cohort community? (200 Words)

Why have you decided to pursue a Sauder MBA?
Why do you think UBC Sauder is the best school for you to achieve your goals?

Sauder ad-com wants to access your FIT to its program. Here, your research about the school’s MBA program will come in handy. Write this essay keeping in mind your short-term goal and why you intend to pursue an MBA (your response to the first essay question). What unique aspects of Sauder Business School makes its MBA program the best MBA program for you.

In the second part of the question, Sauder would like to know how you will get involved in the Sauder community? What value will you add to Sauder? What is your plan of action to achieve your goals? In short, tie up your part one essay question with part two, how will doing something at Sauder help you fill that skill gap and inch you closer to your post-MBA goal?

3. The UBC MBA program prepares leaders who seek to create value for the world. Please describe a situation in which you created value for an organization or group. What was the outcome? We encourage you to consider your contributions in both professional and community settings. (500 words)

This is a Leadership essay. Let us break it down:

Provide examples of your leadership in a professional and community setting?
What is your greatest achievement? How did you do it?


Leadership is an integral part of the MBA program. You get ample opportunity to get involved in and off the classroom to display your skills. Please also make a note of the first sentence. It slightly indicates to the applicant to view your situation on a macro level. How big was the situation you were in (think polio vaccine)? You have ample word limit here to explain the scenario. Present the situation to the reader and then analyse it. What was the challenge presented? What did you do to overcome it? Please try to quantify your contributions where ever possible as it helps the reader get a better perspective. Repeat the same process for the community setting example. It will also be a good idea to mention your learnings. What did you take away from the whole situation?

4. Please respond to the following question, in video format (60-90 seconds) and upload it to either YouTube or Vimeo and provide the video’s URL in the space provided. While creativity is encouraged, kindly note that it is mandatory for you to appear in the video. For complete instructions, please download the instructions: PDF. What is one of the biggest challenges business leaders face today? How will the MBA equip you to respond to that challenge? (60-90 seconds)

Video essays are being adopted by more and more business schools as an additional tool to evaluate a candidate. It does not just test your oral communication skills but also your spontaneous thinking and overall presentation skills. Normally, video essay questions are random in nature and candidates are very jumpy about this part of the application. But here Sauder has given you a gift. You have the topic beforehand and can prepare your response and re-record it if you don’t like your response.

What is one of the biggest challenges business leaders face today? How will the MBA equip you to respond to that challenge?

Its a very interesting question and one can understand from your response what you value the most in a business setting? You may use a current hot topic ranging from so many issues faced by business leaders today. Let’s say you choose AI (Artificial Intelligence), mention in your response why do you think its one of the biggest challenges and how will Sauder MBA help you prepare for it. Since you already know the video essay topic, the answer has to be structured and well presented.

Apart from the essays above Sauder application requires:

  1. Two References

If you’d like to discuss your profile and know whether Sauder, UBC 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!

Happy Writing!

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