What Does It Really Mean To 'Stand Out' in Your MBA Application?


The team has been all over the globe the past few weeks and one of the most common questions we’ve been hearing is, “What can I do to make my application stand out?”

The answer: Share your story — who you are, where you’ve been, and how you got to where you are. Because it’s unique to you, it’s the best way to differentiate yourself. Nobody else will have exactly the same story. 

Here are a few tips for telling your story well through your essays and resume:

Essay Questions

How To Master the Michigan Ross MBA Application Essay Prompts
Share stories — and insights — that no one else can, and that haven’t been highlighted elsewhere in your application.



One hundred words may not seem like enough, but many applicants have told us that the limit has actually helped them focus on the essence of their story. We agree! That was a key reason that we made few changes to the essay prompts. Plus, learning to communicate effectively and concisely is an important skill in the MBA program — we’re giving you a head start!


The resume can be a good way to stand out too, even if you work at the same company that 30 other applicants work at. Your resume should be more than a list of titles, organizations and responsibilities. It should be a concise synopsis of what you did and the impact it had on your organization. We also recommend including a few lines at the bottom to highlight your interests or activities you do outside of work. It helps us know more about you as a person, not just as a working professional. Don’t be surprised if your interviewer asks you about a personal interest you share.

We look forward to learning your story!

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