2023-2024 Cambridge Judge MBA Essay Analysis

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The Cambridge Judge MBA program is a one-year program with a small class size of roughly 200 students from 40 nationalities. The Judge MBA is a highly immersive curriculum, with three mandatory team projects and a fourth optional team project that engages students with external businesses or groups.

Judge seeks candidates with demonstrated academic aptitude, aspiration, the ability to prosper under pressure, multinational experience, and excellent interpersonal skills.

Cambridge Judge MBA essay analysis and tips

Utilize your essays to prove that you possess these abilities. Keep in mind that Judge is one of the only programs with extremely strict word restrictions: no extra words may be added to the text boxes after the word limits have been reached.

Application deadline

RoundApplication deadlineInterview dates
129 August 20232-13 October 2023
23 October 202213-24 November 2023
38 January 202426 February-15 March 2024
411 March 202412-26 April 2024
57 May 20247-21 June 2024

Cambridge Judge MBA essays 2023-2024

Even though some of the best business schools have been slowly cutting down on the number of essays they require, the University of Cambridge Judge Business School still asks applicants to send in four separate essays.

Here are the essay questions on the Cambridge MBA application for the 2024 admissions:

  1. Please provide details of your post-MBA career plans. The statement should not exceed 500 words and must address the following:
    • What are your short and long term career objectives? How will the Cambridge MBA equip you to achieve these?
    • Looking at your short-term career goal, describe the research you have done to understand how this industry/role/location recruits MBA talent and what they are looking for in a candidate?
    • How confident do you feel about meeting your short-term career goal? What skills/characteristics do you already have that will help you to achieve them, and what preparation are you doing now?
  2. Tell us about a time when you made a professional mistake. How could it have ended differently? (up to 200 words)
  3. Tell us about the best team you worked with. What made the team successful? (up to 200 words)
  4. Provide an example of when someone else positively impacted your life. What did you learn from this experience? (up to 200 words)

Essay 1

Please provide details of your post-MBA career plans. The statement should not exceed 500 words and must address the following:

  • What are your short and long term career objectives? How will the Cambridge MBA equip you to achieve these?
  • Looking at your short-term career goal, describe the research you have done to understand how this industry/role/location recruits MBA talent and what they are looking for in a candidate?
  • How confident do you feel about meeting your short-term career goal? What skills/characteristics do you already have that will help you to achieve them, and what preparation are you doing now?

Essay 1 Analysis

Applicants are asked to describe their short-term and long-term plans for their careers after getting their MBA. Then, as with most schools, it’s important to show that you understand what makes Cambridge Judge’s program special in order to give a good answer to this question. 

You’ll need to show how Cambridge’s MBA program will help you reach your goals in a clear and convincing way. 

Taking the time to learn about the school’s curriculum, special programs, and extracurricular activities will pay off. You can do this by attending an online admissions event or talking to alumni.

In response to the second part of the prompt, the best way to meet Judge’s request would be to talk about research, such as looking at employment reports, career services, or networking through LinkedIn. 

Keep in mind that 98 percent of the most recent class moved to a new country, job, or industry sector. This suggests that the adcom is looking for applicants who can deal with and plan for change.

In the meantime, you will need to think about your qualifications and be careful when answering this part of the prompt, which asks you to list how you are already ready for the short term and describe what you are doing right now. 

This makes sense if you give a short summary of your career since you can point to your past actions as proof of your current skills. This is the place to talk about how you’ve taken on more responsibilities at work or signed up for a course related to your field.

How to write this Cambridge MBA essay 1

To write the essay 1 for the Cambridge MBA admissions use the following framework and Tips

Framework

  • Outline your short-term career goals and discuss how the MBA serves as a stepping stone, while outlining your long-term career goals.
  • Discuss how the specific opportunities offered by the Cambridge MBA align with and support your long-term objectives.
  • Detail the various methods you’ve utilized to acquire new skills across different mediums.
  • Elaborate on your comprehensive industry research and articulate your strategic approach for gaining entry into your desired company.

Essay 1 Tips

Be concise

The essay poses a series of straightforward questions. Start by providing a concise overview of your current role. Explain your decision to pursue the Cambridge MBA and emphasize specific aspects of the program that align with your goals and will enhance your professional portfolio.

Describe your post-MBA plans, including the industry, role, and company you’re targeting. To enrich this narrative, substantiate your choices by elucidating the underlying reasons driving your selections.

This could encompass factors such as alignment with your skill set, passion, long-term goals, and the distinctive value proposition that the chosen company holds for your intended career trajectory. Address your existing skill set, highlighting how you achieved proficiency.

For skills you’re currently acquiring or plan to learn, outline your approach and preparations to master them effectively.

Research thoroughly

Now, transition your focus to the research you’ve embarked upon. Are you actively engaging in networking? Are you scouring the web for insights via professional networking platforms? Are you absorbing firsthand accounts from current and former employees? Have you meticulously identified the technological prerequisites for your desired role? Are you proactively enrolling in succinct online courses to bridge any skill gaps?

Detail the spectrum of resources you’re tapping into and elucidate the deliberate steps you’re taking to gain a comprehensive understanding of the industry, your envisioned role, and the geographic context. This comprehensive approach provides a sturdy foundation, aligning your insights with how MBA recruits are integrated within this landscape. Armed with this knowledge, you’re poised to steer your immediate career aspirations towards triumph.

Do you want to impress the Cambridge Judge Adcom?

At Admit Expert, we have helped hundreds of students get into top MBA programs around the world. We would be happy to help you too.
Schedule a free call with us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you achieve your goals.

Essay 2

Tell us about a time when you made a professional mistake. How could it have ended differently? (up to 200 words)

Essay 2 Analysis

The admissions committee is interested in your ability to candidly address your vulnerabilities. They want to understand the circumstances that led to a misstep, your approach in managing it, and your subsequent reflection.

Did you explore alternative strategies or sources of guidance, like seeking advice from a mentor, conducting additional research, or reading up on the issue?

To illustrate, consider a scenario where you presented inaccurate data to a client, resulting in potential repercussions from your manager and potential client loss.

Reflect on the options you pursued then – perhaps persevering despite challenges – and then consider alternative paths that might have yielded different outcomes.

These could encompass preemptive measures such as collaborative review with your manager, seeking input from colleagues, or implementing double-check procedures.

Address your actions in the past situation, explore potential alternate approaches, and detail how you intend to approach similar challenges in the future.

How to write this Cambridge MBA essay 2

To write the essay 2 for the Cambridge MBA admissions use the following framework and Tips

Framework

  • Begin by outlining the context and circumstances that led to the situation.
  • Detail your initial response, highlighting the recognition of the mistake and the potential consequences it carried.
  • Transition to your proactive approach in resolving the issue, including the steps you took and the reasoning behind your chosen solution.
  • Shift focus to alternative solutions that you’ve identified through hindsight, showcasing your ability to learn and adapt.
  • Conclude by summarizing the key insights and lessons you gained from the experience, emphasizing personal growth and future application.

Essay 2 Tips

The ‘right’ mistake

Various challenges arise in the workplace, from miscommunications to conflicts and skill gaps. The distinction between minor and major errors is less significant here; what matters is your ability to navigate such situations and effect positive change.

When recounting an incident, be candid about the situation without implying a recurring issue in your candidacy.

Avoid discussing legal or ethical breaches that indicate a character flaw. Focus on addressing the mistake succinctly. llustrate your growth opportunities with examples that genuinely showcase your ability to seize challenges and turn them into valuable experiences.

Avoid using examples that might seem cliché or simply frame a positive trait as a negative one, such as “I work too hard.” Instead, delve into situations where you had to stretch your skills, confront your limitations, or adapt to unfamiliar circumstances.

Highlight instances where you took the initiative to learn new skills, collaborate with diverse teams, or navigate through setbacks.

Focus on the solution

What unfolded in the aftermath? Did you proactively acknowledge the mistakes and implement measures to prevent their recurrence? Provide substantial evidence of your efforts to rectify the problem.

Detail what strategies proved effective and outline your plans to build on them. Consider preventive measures you could have taken to avert the mistake in the first place, should it arise again.

Offer honest takeaways and express your determination to prevent a recurrence of the error, showcasing your commitment to growth and improvement.

Examine potential solutions that could have been explored through comprehensive research on alternative approaches to address the situations.

For instance, in the context of miscommunication, consider proposing that the matter could have been resolved more effectively through a face-to-face discussion facilitated by a mediator, rather than relying solely on back-and-forth emails.

This showcases your willingness to analyze different strategies and adapt your problem-solving methods.

Essay 3

Tell us about the best team you worked with. What made the team successful? (up to 200 words)

Essay 3 Analysis

The admissions committee is keen to understand your perspective on the essential qualities that contribute to a harmonious and effective team dynamic.

While teamwork styles can vary significantly, they are interested in your vision of an ideal collaborative unit. Highlight the traits you possess that complement those of your teammates and how you contribute to fostering successful teamwork.

Ensure that you elucidate your role both as a team member and as a leader, underscoring how you facilitate team cohesion.

Acknowledge the diverse nature of team creation and functioning, emphasizing that effective teams are carefully constructed rather than randomly assembled, taking into account their unique dynamics.

In some cases, camaraderie among team members might be the key ingredient, fostering a sense of unity and trust.

Alternatively, effective teams could function based on a strategic allocation of tasks according to each member’s strengths, ensuring optimal performance.

Moreover, there are instances where team success hinges on the unwavering commitment of individuals towards a shared goal, even if camaraderie isn’t the central focus.

The multifaceted nature of what propels good teams underscores the importance of adaptability and tailoring the approach to suit the unique needs of each situation.

How to write this Cambridge MBA essay 3

To write the essay 3 for the Cambridge MBA admissions use the following framework and tips

Framework

  • Begin by providing a concise overview of the team’s composition, clearly delineating roles and responsibilities.
  • Detail the team’s approach to project management and workflow, explaining the seamless transition of tasks between different units.
  • Explore the specific qualities that contribute to the team’s successful functioning, emphasizing what makes this team’s dynamics effective.
  • Reflect on your key takeaways from observing group dynamics, understanding individual team member roles, and witnessing leadership in action.
  • Outline your strategic plan for applying these valuable insights in future collaborative endeavors, illustrating how you aim to replicate this success.

Essay 3 tips

Connect style & practice

Select an example that delves into intricate details, particularly focusing on the working style’s implementation and practical outcomes.

This approach ensures ample room for discussing the team’s composition, how different units synergized effectively, the workflow dynamics, and the allocation of responsibilities.

Address potential roadblocks and challenges inherent to this style, and elaborate on the strategies employed to overcome them. It’s crucial to move beyond a mere overview and delve into the specific factors that contributed to its success.

Be sure to elaborate on the reasons behind the success of this particular style within your example. Highlight the specific aspects of this style that resonated with you and contributed to its effectiveness.

Explain how you would apply these favorable elements in future situations to replicate similar success. Discuss why this style enhanced your qualities as a strong team player and how it facilitated leadership dynamics within the team.

Address the strategies or takeaways from this experience that you intend to employ to ensure efficient teamwork in the future.

Do you want to impress the Cambridge Judge Adcom?

At Admit Expert, we have helped hundreds of students get into top MBA programs around the world. We would be happy to help you too.
Schedule a free call with us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you achieve your goals.

Essay 4

Provide an example of when someone else positively impacted your life. What did you learn from this experience? (up to 200 words)

Essay 4 Analysis

The question of “positive impact” presents a broad canvas for your response. You have the flexibility to delve into something personal, as long as you can extract a valuable lesson applicable to the future.

Yet, always keep in mind the long-term scale of the individual’s influence – how transformative was their impact, what sparked this transformation, and why it held such significance. 

This involves addressing several sub-questions: How transformative was their influence? Why did it hold such transformative power? What were the factors contributing to its profound impact?

To convey this effectively, each sentence should be carefully constructed. Briefly describing the individual and the context is necessary to establish the setting.

The focal point, however, should be the ‘eureka’ moment when the depth of their contributions to your life became clear. Honesty, vulnerability, and a clear presentation of the context and the pivotal moment are key elements to capture in your response.

How to write this Cambridge MBA essay 4

To write the essay 4 for the Cambridge MBA admissions use the following framework and tips

Framework

  1. Describe the situation or context where you faced challenges and needed assistance.
  2. Highlight the person who played a pivotal role, detailing their advice or support.
  3. Explain how their intervention brought about significant positive change in your life.
  4. Discuss why this experience qualifies as a positive impact and its lasting effects.
  5. Share the lessons learned from this impact and how they have shaped your perspective.
  6. Describe how these insights will guide your future actions and decisions.

Essay 4 Tips

Define ‘positive impact’

A comprehensive understanding of the term ‘positive impact’ entails delving beyond the surface and exploring the intricate threads that weave together transformative experiences.

It encompasses not only the initial spark of influence but also the subsequent steps taken to materialize that influence within the fabric of your life.

Furthermore, this concept involves reflecting on the profound lessons harvested from these pivotal moments and how they reverberate across the tapestry of your journey.

Imagine a scenario where the guiding hand of a mentor or counselor extended to you a lifeline of educational resources that catapulted you towards higher academic pursuits.

Unpacking the layers of this impactful gesture reveals not only the intention behind it but also the strategic actions put in motion. Delve into the motivations driving your mentor’s decision to provide you with these resources.

Explore the meticulous planning and effort that went into facilitating your access to knowledge that transcended boundaries.

As a result, you found yourself empowered with insights and skills that exceeded your previous horizons. This encounter does not end with the acquisition of resources. It provided you with self-awareness and aspirations.

As you witnessed the tangible outcomes of this intervention — perhaps landing you in enhanced job opportunities and even propelling you toward the pursuit of an MBA — the scope of ‘positive impact’ extended far beyond the initial gesture.

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