Tepper School Of Business Essay Analysis 2017 – 2018

August 22nd, 2017

| Last Updated on May 22, 2019

Applying to Tepper School of Business as an Indian applicant


If you’re looking to apply for an MBA program at Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, you’re in the right place.


In this article, I am going to discuss the program, essay questions and how you can frame your responses to those questions.


Tepper is one of the top schools where most of the Indians apply. When I say Indians, I am talking about the technology folks!


If you’re a technology geek and you’re looking at Tepper, I have good news and bad news for you.


The good news is that you have come to the right place; we can help you! Carnegie Mellon has always been on the leading edge of technology.  The CMU Tepper MBA program itself is well known for its management science education. It has very good placements for technology professionals.


The bad news is that there are so many people from Indian IT applying for this program; you need to make sure that your application is kind of different. The GMAT scores have been shooting through the roof, so you need to have an above average GMAT score when applying to Tepper.


2017-2018 CMU Tepper MBA Deadlines


The four stages of applications, referred to as rounds, are as follows:


Round 1


Application deadline: October 4, 2017

Decision notification: December 13, 2017

First Deposit and Re Vera Release: February 15, 2018

Second Deposit: May 6, 2018


Round 2


Application deadline: January 4, 2018

Decision notification: March 14, 2018

First Deposit and Re Vera Release: April 16, 2018

Second Deposit: May 6, 2018


Round 3


Application deadline: March 9, 2018

Decision notification: May 9, 2018

Deposit Deadline and Re Vera Release: May 21, 2018


Round 4 (For part-time only)


Application deadline: April 20, 2018

Decision notification: May 23, 2018

Deposit Deadline: May 30, 2018


As an international applicant from India, don’t even think of R3 because you need to keep some buffer time for the processing of your visa, and to get your MBA funds sanctioned.


Let’s dig into the actual essays you need to write for Tepper.



Required Essay 1:


Imagine that you meet up with a member of the admission committee at an airport while on a layover. You have an opportunity to make a memorable impression. Use this essay to introduce yourself. Include any information that you believe is important for the committee member to know about you both professionally and personally. (Maximum 300-350 words, 12-point font, double-spaced)


This essay is not about your academics, profession, or any data point which is already covered in your application. If you log in to the Tepper portal you will find that the application form is extensive. There is a lot of information that is collected about you.


This is what Tepper is trying to say they want to know about you. Make sure you tell them the following:


   1. Tell them why you are interesting

   2. Tell them why they need to choose you

   3. Tell them why they need to have you in their program for two years


Remember “memorable impression” is something that is unique. 300 – 350 words is a huge constraint; you realize you hardly have two paragraphs before the essay is over.


One thing you need to be aware of is, do not say something that most people would say. To understand this better, let’s take an example of a person called Amit who is applying to Tepper.


Amit has been working in technology for the last five years. He has scored 740 in his GMAT. He has solved a fairly high number of complex problems for his clients. Imagine that this is the guy you’re going to compete with.


Now, you decide what it is that you want to say about yourself.


Try to pick one theme.


For Example:


One of our students from CrackVerbal who applied to Tepper tackled this essay saying he is a problem solver. He called himself a problem solver and defined problem solving as ‘innovation with frugality’. He also said that there is a term for it in India, “Jugaad”.  He told them that right from his school to his college the problems that really excited him were the problems that came with constraints. The problems which made him say “I can do this but I cannot do that” or ” We have to solve this but we do not have the bandwidth for it”.


He told them what he can do to solve a problem under these constraints. He realized that a start up was the place for him, and not the large companies. He clearly mentioned that this is who he is, and he cannot fit in large companies because this problem solving with frugality comes only in an early stage startup.


The funny part is that he has worked in large companies. Working in large companies told him what it is that he didn’t want to do.

Another student from our CrackVerbal wrote about her passion for teaching. She said that  at school she was the person who would go around helping friends the day before an exam. She helped everyone around her who needed help in understanding concepts. This continued even until college; in her dorm room, the entire class would assemble the day before the exam, and she would teach them what they could expect in the next day’s test.


She also told them how she took this teaching to her workplace. To her, teaching was her way of giving back what she learned from her teachers. She never planned to make a career as a teacher but did it out of sheer passion, and the joy it gave her.  In a way, she saw this as an opportunity to give back to society.


So, say something more about yourself which is not on your resume. You really need to pick that one thing, that one adjective that defines you, and then blow it up. Make sure that you put it in a way that is interesting.


They need to see your interesting part. Make them want to meet the problem solver, the teacher – your interesting part.


A big mistake people do is that they write 100 things such as, I am dedicated, I am hardworking, I am sincere, etc. You say ten things about yourself,  and they will forget about you. Tell them one thing, and make it memorable. This is what an elevator pitch is about.


Optional Essay


Use this essay to convey important information that you may not have been able to convey otherwise. This may include unexplained resume gaps, context for recommender selection, etc.

If you are a re-applicant, explain how your candidacy has strengthened since your last application.


There is no set word limit for this essay. The guidelines you need to follow for this essay are:


Write something that they don’t know about you. It could be a gap in your career or education, or it could also be something that you think is important for them to know.


I hope this article was helpful. We have worked with many students who have gone to Tepper. We also understand this space well. If you feel we could help in anyway, please click the link below.