Here are a few points we’re looking for when it comes to these Boston College-specific essay questions.

Required Essay: Please discuss how you plan to achieve your short and long term career goals following graduation from Boston College. What challenges will you face and how will you leverage your academic and professional experiences to achieve these goals?

Our tip: Be specific. Show us that you’ve taken the time to consider this question by providing detailed answers. Think about challenges that are specific to your candidacy, and how your strengths will balance them. This is one of our required essays (we read a lot of them), so authentic, thoughtful answers will stand out.

Optional Essay 1: Please introduce yourself to the BC community. Feel free to be creative in expressing your message.

Our tip: Admissions essays (even when optional) are a great way to creatively share your personal interests, outside commitments, or passions with the admissions committee. Writing an optional essay shows that you’re serious about Boston College, and also gives you the opportunity to set yourself apart from other candidates. By telling us about yourself, you’ll become more than just a representation of your resume or scores. Feel free to portray your uniqueness, but ask a friend or colleague to proofread your essay before you submit it to keep it free of embellishments.

Optional Essay 2: If you have not had coursework in core business or if your standardized test scores are low, how you plan to prepare for the quantitative rigor of the BC MBA, MSF, or MSA curriculum?

Our tip: This essay is an opportunity to highlight quantitative skills that you may have developed through professional experiences—that might not be reflected in your test scores or transcript. If you’ve taken an online course, say in statistics, in preparation for the quantitative aspects of our curriculum, you can also highlight this in the essay. From online courses to management books, the resources are endless. Tell us how you are making use of these to prepare yourself for business school.

Optional Essay 3: Explain an aspect of your candidacy in more detail.

Our tip: At Boston College, we value both honesty and integrity. Take this opportunity to give context where it might be beneficial. Perhaps you’re worried that a low test score or a gap in your work history will jeopardize your chances of acceptance. Rather than listing excuses, provide background, tell us how you’ve grown from it, and why it will or will not affect you in your pursuit of a graduate management degree. (Or, use this as a chance to talk passionately about something on your resume—volunteer work, a previous internship, or anything else that you think makes you the perfect business school applicant.)

Optional Essay 4: What unique perspective will you bring to the Boston College community?

Our tip: As a Jesuit, Catholic institution, Boston College seeks to foster among its community a “care for the whole individual” (cura personalis). BC’s mission is rooted in the Jesuit principles of equality, respect, and care for everyone. Our students and alumni share a desire to positively influence and impact communities and organizations they serve by sharing their unique backgrounds and experiences with those around them. Taking into consideration your educational, cultural, social, economic, and/or other life experiences, share how your unique perspective will make an impactful contribution on our community.

Now that you know what to expect—and what we expect from you—start planning out your essays if you haven’t already. Once you’re finished, proofread, and proofread again, then send them our way. We look forward to hearing from you.

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