In order to write this essay, it is helpful to take a step back from the sometimes panic-inducing task of focusing on your college applications and instead look around. As you go about your day, maintain awareness of things that ordinarily seem insignificant, to the point that you may be taking them for granted.
For instance, remind yourself of the neighborhood you wake up in every day, the foods available to you for breakfast, and how you feel as you pass through your community on your commute to school. Reflect upon the impact your surroundings have on your day-to-day life and the ways in which they have fostered your personal development. You are probably familiar with your surroundings, to the point where they don’t seem particularly remarkable to you, but you are trying to introduce yourself to an admissions committee that probably knows very little about your hometown.
After reflecting on this exercise, you might realize that your work ethic stems from your gratefulness for the sacrifices your immigrant parents have made in order to give you a chance to succeed, or it could take the shape of your precocious desire to study geriatric medicine and hearing-loss pathologies because you have grown up in a town where the majority of your community is of advanced age.
This thought experiment is the perfect way to start dissecting what it is about your surroundings that has shaped you into the person you are today. Most importantly, it will show your essay reader that you have matured enough to be able to speak about yourself in a frank and vulnerable way. As long as you speak your truth, there is no wrong answer.
That being said, as you tell your story, you will want to avoid clichés and stay true to the complexity of your experience. If you have struggled to overcome obstacles, you don’t need to present yourself as a heroic individual that has achieved success because of your own grit and determination. You can acknowledge the bonds of friendship or family that helped you hold yourself together during tough times. There is nothing wrong with asking for help, and indeed having the courage to reach out and the humility to acknowledge your support network is one way to demonstrate maturity.
If you needed to watch after your father while he was suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s, you might talk about how you had to work with your sister to watch him in the evening, and how sometimes you needed to get out of the house and play soccer with your friends in order to be able to come back inside and commit yourself to the work of care all over again. Maybe that experience is part of what made you want to get into nursing, not only to help patients suffering from Alzheimer’s, but also to encourage patient’s family members to take care of themselves.
If you describe poignant tales of overcoming hardship and obstacles in your response, that is fine, as long as it is the truth. Some applicants might think that exaggerating their tales will score with admissions officers, but admissions officers are not judging your essay based on the level of hardship you have overcome. Rather, the question they will ask is what you’ve learned from your experiences and what kind of person you will be when you join the Texas A&M community.
One last word: As we’re revising this guide for the 2017 application season, the rains have only just barely stopped falling after Hurricane Harvey. The environmental, economic, and political dynamics of this disaster will be thought about and debated in the coming years as people try to rebuild more resilient cities in a changing climate. The students, faculty, and staff at Texas A&M will be taking part in this conversation.
If you were affected and feel so moved, you can certainly talk about your experience of the storm in your essay, even if you think that a lot of other applicants will also be talking about the storm as well. A major disaster contains a multitude of narratives, and if you focus on the particularities of your experience — what you lost, what you saw, how you imagine going forward — you will be making a contribution to a conversation about Harvey that will continue for years to come.
Application Deadlines – Fall 2018 Entry
We encourage you to submit your application when it best reflects your candidacy. We do review applications between deadlines, so you are welcome to submit any time you are ready. Decisions are released on a rolling basis once the Admissions Committee has completed the review process.
- October 18, 2017
- January 10, 2018
- February 28, 2018 (final deadline for international candidates)
- April 11, 2018 (final deadline)
A complete application consists of the following items:
- Web-based application, including application fee.
- All current and former US Military members are eligible for an application fee waiver upon request – directions are on the online application. NOTE: No refunds will be issued to candidates who qualify for this program but submit their application with a personal credit card.
- Essay questions
- Two required essay questions and one optional (the optional essay is required for all re-applicants from the 2017 entry cycle)
- GMAT or GRE scores (GMAT code:7B7-K9-16, GRE code: 5586)
- If you have not sent an official score report to Mays, please upload an unofficial copy of your score report when submitting the application
- There are no minimum requirements for the total scores of these exams; however, the most competitive candidates generally score higher than the 50th percentile on both the verbal and quantitative sections.
- To be considered valid, the test must have been completed within the past five years.
- Please upload scanned copies of transcripts from each senior-level post-secondary institution attended.
- Official transcripts are required if admitted.
- Two letters of recommendation
- Our online application system will automatically send an email to any recommender you choose. You enter their contact information, and the system will track responses.
- Professional résumé
- We do not require a specific format, but encourage you to focus the content on your professional accomplishments.
- INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS: TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score (as applicable)
- A minimum TOEFL score of 250 (computer-based), 600 (paper-based) or 100 (TOEFL-iBT) is required. In place of the TOEFL, the IELTS with a minimum score of 7.0 may be submitted for admission consideration.
- To be considered valid, the test must have been completed within the past two years
If you submitted an application for the Fall 2017 entry term, you will need to create a new account with our online application system. Please do not edit your previously submitted application. Re-applicants need to complete the full application process as outlined above.
Complete applications will be evaluated by the MBA Admissions Committee. Competitive candidates will be invited to interview with a member of the committee.
If selected to continue the admission process, the candidate will participate in a personal interview. A personal interview with the program’s admissions committee is an integral part of the application review process. The interviews are by invitation and are conducted as an on-campus interview or via Skype.
Upon notification of selection for admission, a non-refundable deposit of $1,000 is required to reserve your place in the class.