Kelley MBA essay examples can help you get into one of the best MBA programs in the US, according to several MBA rankings. The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University is one of the oldest business schools in the country, but it has developed one of the top-rated online MBA programs in the world, and has graduated thousands of sought-after MBA students. The school operates on three different campuses and has four dedicated MBA programs all of which have unique MBA requirements, but all require that students submit MBA personal statements based on different prompts and questions. This article will provide expert-approved samples to those questions and prompts and give you more tips on how to get in. 

>>Want us to help you get accepted? Schedule a free initial consultation here <<

Listen to the blog!

Article Contents
10 min read

Kelley School of Business Essay Prompts Kelley MBA Essay Examples Kelley MBA Essay Example for Kelley Direct Online MBA Kelley MBA Essay Example for Evening MBA Program Conclusion FAQs

Kelley School of Business Essay Prompts: Full-Time MBA Program

 Kelley MBA Required Essays

  • Discuss your immediate post-MBA professional goals. How will your professional experience, when combined with a Kelley MBA degree, allow you to achieve these goals? Should the short-term goals you have identified not materialize, what alternate career paths might you consider? (500 words)
  • Share a brief fact about yourself that your classmates would find interesting, surprising, or noteworthy. (25 words)
  • Respond to one of the following short essay prompts. (300 words)
  • My greatest memory is...
  • I'm most afraid of...
  • My greatest challenge has been...
  • I'm most proud of...

Kelley MBA Optional Essays

Prompt: Is there anything else that you think we should know as we evaluate your application? If you believe your credentials and essays represent you fairly, you shouldn't feel obligated to answer this question. (300 words)

Kelley MBA Essay Examples

Kelley MBA Essay Example #1

Prompt: Discuss your immediate post-MBA professional goals. How will your professional experience, when combined with a Kelley MBA degree, allow you to achieve these goals? Should the short-term goals you have identified not materialize, what alternate career paths might you consider? (500 words)

Upon completing my MBA at Kelley, my immediate post-MBA professional goal is to secure a position as a strategic consultant in a top-tier management consulting firm, with my two top choices being Capgemini or KPMG. With my prior professional experience and a Kelley MBA degree, I am confident in my ability to excel in this role and contribute to the success of client organizations.

My professional experience prior to pursuing my MBA has provided me with a strong foundation in project management and business analysis. While working at Prairie Consulting Services, I collaborated with cross-functional teams to identify operational inefficiencies and implement process improvements. This experience sharpened my analytical skills and honed my ability to navigate complex business challenges.

The Kelley MBA program will complement my professional experience by equipping me with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in the field of strategic consulting. Through the rigorous coursework, I will develop a deep understanding of various business functions, including finance, marketing, and operations. The program's emphasis on experiential learning and real-world consulting projects will provide me with opportunities to apply my learning to actual business scenarios, enhancing my problem-solving abilities and strategic thinking.

Additionally, the Kelley MBA program's extensive network of alumni and corporate partners will provide invaluable opportunities for networking and mentorship. Through engagements with industry professionals and alumni, I will gain insights into the consulting industry's latest trends, best practices, and potential career opportunities. The program's career services and recruitment support will also enhance my chances of securing internships and full-time positions with leading consulting firms.

In the event that my short-term goal of joining a management consulting firm does not materialize immediately, I would consider alternate career paths that align with my skill set and long-term aspirations. One potential alternate path could be pursuing a corporate strategy or business development role within a technology company. With my strong analytical background and strategic mindset, I believe I could contribute to shaping the long-term growth and innovation strategies of such organizations.

Another alternative career path could involve working in an internal strategy role within a large corporation. This would allow me to leverage my strategic thinking and business acumen to drive operational efficiencies, identify growth opportunities, and contribute to the organization's overall success.

However, given my passion for entrepreneurship, I might explore the option of starting my own consulting firm or joining a startup in a strategic or operational capacity. This would enable me to combine my business acumen with my entrepreneurial spirit, taking on the challenge of building and growing a business from the ground up. 

The combination of my prior professional experience and a Kelley MBA degree will equip me with the necessary skills, knowledge, and network to succeed in this role. Should my short-term goals not materialize, I would consider alternate career paths such as corporate strategy, internal consulting, or entrepreneurship, leveraging the skills and experience gained through my MBA journey.

Kelley MBA Essay Example #2

Prompt: My greatest challenge has been...

Losing my father during my undergrad was the greatest challenge I faced on my way to applying here at Kelley. The loss of my father had a profound impact on my family and myself, but it also threatened my academic performance. I faced a decline in my grades, which was a stark contrast to my previous achievements. I asked for a leave of absence because I knew that my decline would only worsen if I didn’t properly address or confront my grief.

This decision to take time off felt guided by my father, as he had always advised me about the necessity of self-care and the importance of dealing with negative, painful emotions. I sought out the counseling services provided by my university, which helped me process my emotions and develop healthy coping mechanisms. Once I felt well enough, I set about regaining my academic momentum.

I attended office hours regularly, seeking clarification and guidance on challenging subjects. Through my determination and the support of my professors, I was able to improve my academic performance gradually. And this work gave me a welcome reprieve, albeit a temporary one, from my grief. But I also learned how to live with my grief rather than trying to expel it entirely.

I think that is one of the most important things this experience taught me that grief is love’s natural end and that it can live within you as something positive and constructive. The love I have for my father became grief and that transformation was difficult. It threatened to derail everything that I was working for, but it ultimately taught me the value of resilience, adaptability, and seeking support when needed.

Kelley MBA Essay Example #3

Prompt: I'm most proud of...

 We were stranded in the wilderness, facing freezing temperatures and limited supplies. When I couldn’t see anymore because of the whiteout conditions, I remembered the advice my brother told me as the only thing to think about to survive in a blizzard, “take shelter”. I was only a month into my six-month tour on the permanent station at McMurdo research station when I got caught in a blizzard with my brother and other members of his research team.

Fortunately, we had checked the weather conditions before so we knew the blizzard was coming. We brought extra survival gear, emergency shelters, and extra rations. We had also tied ourselves together in a line so we wouldn’t be separated in case the blizzard hit as we were travelling. It was a gamble we all took. We had to get the samples we collected back in time before they spoiled and lose an entire day’s work.

We knew it was possible that the blizzard would descend on us when we were outside, but we decided to risk it instead of losing the samples. But what ultimately saved us was how my brother and his colleagues worked together. They all participated in setting up one tent, which was easier and faster than each of us struggling to set up our own tent.

Since they had trained for this, it was almost like second nature to them. I did not have their training and it was better that I didn’t get involved, as I only would have delayed things. In only a few minutes we were all inside our respective tents. That display of teamwork quite literally saved our lives and it made me envious how people could be so organized and well-trained that they could do so such a thing in such difficult conditions.

Kelley MBA Essay Example for Kelley Direct Online MBA 

Kelley MBA Essay Example #4

Personal Statement for Kelley Direct Online MBA

Throughout my professional journey, I have cultivated a strong passion for leadership and a relentless drive to make a lasting impact in the business world. My ultimate goal is to assume a leadership role at a global technology company, spearheading innovative strategies and driving transformative growth.

Recognizing the importance of continuous learning and professional development, I have pursued relevant certifications, such as the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, which I obtained through the Project Management Institute. This credential has equipped me with industry-recognized expertise in project management methodologies and best practices.

In addition to my professional experience, I have dedicated myself to strengthening my academic foundation. I have engaged in online courses and workshops offered by reputable institutions such as Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan School of Management. These educational endeavors have exposed me to business theories, frameworks, and strategies, enhancing my analytical thinking and strategic mindset.

Choosing the Kelley School of Business for my Online MBA was a clear and deliberate decision. The school's esteemed reputation, distinguished faculty, and comprehensive curriculum perfectly align with my aspirations and career goals. I am particularly drawn to the Kelley Direct Online MBA program's emphasis on experiential learning, collaborative environment, and focus on innovation and technology.

The flexibility of the online format will enable me to seamlessly integrate my studies into my current professional responsibilities, allowing me to immediately apply the knowledge and skills I acquire in the program. I am confident that the program's team-based approach, fostered through platforms such as Kelley Direct Live, will provide me with valuable networking opportunities and enable me to forge connections with talented professionals from around the world.

Moreover, the Kelley Online MBA program's incorporation of real-world case studies, virtual simulations, and consulting projects will provide me with practical experiences that mirror the complexities of the business landscape. These hands-on opportunities will refine my decision-making abilities, strategic thinking, and leadership skills, setting me apart as a capable and dynamic business professional.

As I embark on this transformative journey at Kelley, I am excited to engage with renowned faculty members such as Professor Michael Johnson, an esteemed expert in strategic management. I am eager to leverage their expertise, alongside the guidance of career advisors like Jennifer Davis, to further refine my career goals, develop a robust skill set, and broaden my professional network 

In conclusion, my career goals are fueled by a deep-rooted passion for leadership and an unwavering determination to make a meaningful impact in the business world. Through a strategic career trajectory, continuous learning, and a relentless pursuit of excellence, I have laid a solid foundation to succeed in the Kelley Online MBA program. I am committed to embracing this opportunity, immersing myself in the collaborative learning environment, and leveraging the vast resources and network at Kelley to accelerate my professional growth and unlock new horizons of success.

Kelley MBA Essay Example for Evening MBA Program

 Kelley MBA Essay Questions/Topics

  • What you do day-to-day in your job.
  • What are your short-term (2-3 years) and long-term (3+ years) goals? What would your next job look like? Possible goals might include: gain a promotion, land a job in a new organization, change function. (For example, you are an engineer and want to go into finance.) You should note you want explore your goals through our career coaching program.
  • How will you use the Kelley Evening MBA to get where you want to go?
  • What unique perspective can you bring to classroom discussions? (e.g. Born in Somalia? Spent a year in Chile? Speak three languages? Volunteer with an organization? Involved in a corporate reorganization? Serve on a board? Launched a new product? Holding the line in costs in a small company?)
  • If you do not reside within commuting distance of Indianapolis, briefly explain future plans that will allow you to participate in the Kelley Evening MBA Program.

 Kelley MBA Essay Example #5

Prompt: How will you use the Kelley Evening MBA to get where you want to go?

I currently hold the position of Senior Consultant within the Strategy and Operations practice of Deloitte USA. My primary role is advising clients in the technology industry on strategic initiatives and operational improvements. I work closely with several teams to develop and implement solutions that drive business growth and operational efficiency. But I come from far humbler beginnings.

I was born in Greenfield, Indiana on a farm that my great-great-grandfather, an immigrant from Sweden, settled in the 1800s. My grandparents were children of the Depression, and my parents are not people of means, but they knew the value of education, which is why my brother and I both woke up with our father at dawn so we could catch the bus especially for us to ride two hours every day to get to school.

It was during those arduous bus rides where I believe the seed was planted for me to succeed, but for the benefit of my entire community, not only myself. One of the reasons I chose the program at Kelley is its strong focus on entrepreneurship and small business management, which are two areas I think apply to Greenfield in terms of how it can revitalize itself into a bustling economic area.

I look forward to the experiential learning opportunities and access to faculty expertise that Kelley offers, so I can further refine my idea for creating blueprints for how rural and remote communities can remake themselves as economic engines. I hope to gain a deep understanding of the key principles and strategies involved in starting and managing a small business, as all my experience up to this point has been with multinationals and tech start-ups.

This knowledge will enable me to provide guidance and support to local entrepreneurs and business owners in the community. Kelley not only offers courses on small business management, but hands-on learning and engagement with real-world business challenges. I hope to take advantage of these opportunities to test-run theories I have about the factors that influence economic growth and community development.

But I feel the practice alone will allow me to contribute to the formulation of policies and initiatives that support the long-term economic health and vitality of the community, which are my ultimate long-term goals. For these reasons, and more, I believe the Kelley School of Business can play a vital role in equipping me with the necessary skills, knowledge, and resources to effectively contribute to community revitalization efforts.


Kelley MBA essay samples are only one way to help your MBA application, short of hiring an MBA essay writing service. The samples written here are only to guide your own writing process, and you should use them as a way to brainstorm your own ideas and narrative. Developing writing and effective communication skills are something that you should also strive for, as they will be beneficial to your long-term career goals.


1. Is it hard to get into the Kelley School of Business?

The MBA acceptance rate for the Kelley School of Business hovers somewhere between 20 and 40%, which is higher than the most competitive Ivy League MBA programs at the Stanford Graduate School of Business or Harvard Business School. By comparison, the Kelley MBA programs are some of the easiest MBA programs to get into but still have similar MBA requirements such as submitting an MBA resume and MBA statement of purpose, but does not require any previous business course work. 

2. How long should my Kelley MBA essay be?

Each MBA essay topic has a different word length. There are four separate programs at Kelley and each has its own formatting requirements, but the shortest essay is only 300 words and the longest has a maximum word count of 500 words.  

3. What is the acceptance rate of the Kelley School of Business?

The acceptance rate for the Kelley School of Business fluctuates between 20 and 40%, which applies to the school’s four different MBA program. The school accepted 125 students last cycle for its full-time MBA program. 

4. Are Kelley MBA essays important to the application process?

Yes, all MBA essays are important and they are an essential part of the application process, which is why MBA admissions essay samples are a useful aid. The essays give the admissions committee a window into your writing and communication skills, while also expounding on your professional experience and leaderships goals, which are the reasons the school gives for writing the essays. 

5. How many MBA essays are there for Kelley School of Business?

Applicants to the full-time MBA program must submit two essays and a brief description of themselves but they have the option to submit an additional essay. Applicants to the three other programs only have to submit MBA personal statements. 

6. How do you apply to the Kelley School of Business?

All applicants to the Kelley School of Business must create an account with the school’s online application platform and submit all relevant materials there, including essays and MBA recommendation letters

7. What is the format of Kelley School of Business essays?

All letters should be typed in the Indiana University Graduate CAS for all four MBA programs, but some of the programs allows applicants to email the letters. 

8. What should I write about in my Kelley School of Business?

The full-time program has specific MBA prompts aimed at revealing your goals and previous experiences in leadership or challenges you had to overcome. The other program essays also use prompts about your current job status, future goals and any diverse aspect of your history or background. 

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

Want more free tips? Subscribe to our channels for more free and useful content!




Apple Podcasts