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Tips & suggestions to perfect your Duke Master of Management Studies Essays

The Duke MMS Essays & Tips are aimed towards providing you with a brief analysis of what Duke Fuqua is expecting via its 2016 application essays, and how you can improve your chances by giving them just that.

Duke MMS though relatively new, has a very competitive Masters in Management program, which it has coined as Master of Management Studies (MMS).

There are two MMS programs, the school offers.

Both the programs require 3 short essay questions and 3 long essay questions, one of which is optional.


Duke has made it very clear that it values two qualities in its students,

1) Making an Impact

2) Leaving a Legacy

Applicants must try to keep this in mind while framing the essays.

It will go a long way to prove that you would be a good fit for the school.

To know more about Duke’s MMS program, check out Duke MMS review.

What are the Duke MMS Essay Questions?

Duke MMS Essay Questions – RED

Duke MMS Essay Analysis – BLUE

Duke MMS Essay 1

The “Team Fuqua” spirit and community is one of the things that set the Fuqua experience apart, and it is a concept that extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. When a new person joins the Admissions Team, we ask that person to share with everyone in the office a list of ’25 Random Things About Yourself.’ As an Admissions team, we already know the new hire’s professional and academic background, so learning these ’25 Random Things’ helps us get to know someone’s personality, background, special talents, and more.

In this spirit, the Admissions Committee also wants to get to know YOU – beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. You can share with us important life experiences, your likes/dislikes, hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are. 

Please present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 25. Some points may be only a few words, while others may be longer. Your complete list should not exceed 2 pages.

Duke MMS Essay 1 Analysis

Well this is by far the most bizarre yet innovative essays we have come across.

25 points is no joke, it really requires a lot of introspection.

This essay really requires you to be very creative.

You need to dig deep and list out facts which you feel showcase some or the other skills you embolden or achievement you have had.

It is a good opportunity to really showcase the different facets of your personality.

We would strongly advise to include points which add value to your application.

Points which are banal or simply stupid should be kept away.

E.g- I love my family, I can do anything for them. 

Though this point may look personal or may very well be true, this adds no value to your candidature and hence should be avoided.

Rather try and include points via which you have learned something or which add value to you.

If used properly this essay has a lot of strength and can really captivate the admission committee.

Duke MMS Essay 2
(Choose one of the two)

You should choose the essay which you feel you can do justice to,

& via which you can highlight other parts of your personality not yet touched upon by the first essay.


For our MMS: FOB class, the Admissions team is looking for students who are eager to engage with, and learn from, their classmates. This learning takes place both inside and outside the classroom, as extracurricular engagement is an important part of the MMS: FOB experience.  Describe how you would plan to be engaged outside of the classroom, and how your unique perspective, experiences, and passions will add to the MMS community.


Duke MMS Essay 2 Analysis

This essay can be especially a good call if you have several extracurriculars to your name and have had an active and diverse college life both on and off campus.

Here it is not just enough to list out the wide variety of extracurriculars you have been engaged in, that has already been covered in your resume as well as your 25 random points essay ( take care there are no redundancies especially in between essay 1 and 2)

You need to focus on the activities where you have not just participated, but where you have been really engaged in one form or the other.

This may be in the form of winning a competition on a national scale, organizing an event you believed in and creating an impact on the surroundings, going on an exchange and learning something of value there etc.

So 2-3 high-quality experiences and then link it back to how those learnings, skills developed or experiences will help you add value to Duke and its cohort.

Try to add diverse experiences so that they can see breadth in your profile.

Also try to be specific, mention examples related to Duke.

Being general won’t be enough.



The MMS: FOB program is developing leaders who are able to effect change in the communities of which they are a part. Share a time that you were able to make a change in your community: at school, at work, or at home. How will you use the lessons you learned and skills you developed as an MMS: FOB student?


Duke MMS Essay 2 Analysis

This essay can be a good choice if you feel you have a very strong experience to showcase where you were able to make an impact, or if are worried if you have already covered most of your life points in the 1st essay and talking about them in essay 1 may be redundant.

Here a thing to take notice is that Duke has asked, “Share a time that you were able to make a change in your community: at school, at work, or at home.” So don’t make the mistake of thinking that this can be only related to community service or social change. 

Anything where you took initiative, faced challenges, were able to lead people and cause a change is fair game for this essay.

Try to be as detailed as possible and show the school your struggles, as well as how with your competencies and skills were able to make a difference. How you aimed high and were able to make it.

The last part od the essay is all about how you will use the skills developed to cause a change at Duke. Link the skills highlighted, competencies developed to activities in Duke, and how exactly you will be able to add value to those events/discussions. 

Don’t be vague here, detailed answers are warranted, so do your research well.

Optional Essay

If you feel there are circumstances of which the admissions committee should be aware, please explain them here (e.g. unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders or lack of a professional recommendation, inconsistent or questionable academic performance). 

Note that you should NOT upload additional essays nor additional recommendations in this area. The Optional Essay is intended to provide the admissions committee with insight into your circumstances only.

This essay is self-explanatory.

Duke has made it clear that it does not want extra essays, so only use it if you have to.
This essay is a good place to address reasons for low CGPA or a low GMAT score.

Make sure though that you have valid reasons for your low scores.

There is an additional essay for re-applicants too.



Duke Master of Management Studies is a highly competitive program with some very interesting essay questions.

Making sure your application essays shine can very well make or break your case.

We understand that coming up with great content for the essays can take a toll on anyone, plus it can be very hard to figure out how to start writing without a solid reference point.


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