5 Things To Know Before You Hit “Submit” on Your MBA Application


It’s been a busy few months on the road, but the team is finally back in the Eastern time zone for more than 24 hours. No more delayed planes, trains and automobiles! All of us have been meeting prospective students and reconnecting with alumni all over the world. We’ve been impressed by how prepared candidates seem to be this year. Many of you have clearly done your school research. And, it seems that many more are leaning towards applying in Round 1.

With that in mind, I thought this would be a good time to address a few of the questions that have come up at these events.

Q: My app is almost ready to go but my GMAT is just below the class average. Should I retake it and apply in Round 2 or submit in Round 1 and take my chances?

A: The best choice is to apply in the round when your application is the best it can be, including the GMAT score. Your application will be reviewed based on the information submitted in that round. A new score may not reach us in time for us to consider it in the round in which you submitted.

Q: For Essay 1 (“What are you most proud of?”), are you looking for a professional or personal story?

A: Either. The story itself isn’t the important part. What we’re “looking for” is why you’re proud of the thing you share with us. We hope that it’s authentic. By that, I mean it should be the answer you’d share with a close friend, not with an “admissions committee.” It should sound like you. 

Q: Ross asks for only one rec letter. Other schools ask for two. Can I submit another one (since I have it anyway and the other letter makes me sound really good)?

A: No. We only want one letter. If you have two great ones, good for you! But we still only want one, preferably from your current direct supervisor. If you can’t ask your current supervisor, ask the one just prior to the current one, and be sure to briefly explain why you didn’t ask your current supervisor.

Q: If I’m invited to interview, should I do the Team Exercise?

A: Yes, if possible, because in addition to having a chance to demonstrate your communication and interpersonal skills (which we, and our recruiters, highly value), it will be a great way for you to evaluate our fit with you. If you come to campus for your interview, the experience will be more than just a one-on-one interview and the Team Exercise. You’ll meet potential classmates (even potential roommates), attend a class or conference with current MBAs, meet folks affiliated with our Centers and Institutes, and engage in an optional post-interview Q&A session with the AdComm and students.

Q: What is the one thing that you wish applicants would spend more time on?

A: The resume! Applicants think the essay is the part they have the most control over and can best distinguish themselves through. But the resume is a key differentiator too. It’s the first thing we look at when we open an app, so it’s the “first-impression-maker.” It’s your opportunity to tell us where you’ve been, what you’ve accomplished, how you’ve made an impact and what you’re interested in (yes, we like the “Additional” or “Interests” section at the bottom). We look at it through the lens of, “How clearly and effectively does this candidate present him/herself?

For more tips on the Ross admissions process and to hear about the exciting things going on at Ross this fall, please join our webinar on Monday, September 28 at 11AM EST.

Writing about all this makes me excited to see what this year’s candidates will share with us. We hope you’re enjoying this period of self-reflection and goal-setting. Hope to “meet” you soon.

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