We’re Introducing a New Essay Format for Our 2018 MBA Application

Students walking outside of Ross

It’s pretty quiet around here.

“Summer” officially started on April 28, when MBA2s graduated. MBA1s are using the month of May to do a global immersion course in China, Israel, or Germany, or to work with entrepreneurs across the country as part of a Ross Open Road team, or gearing up to begin summer internships anywhere from Seattle and San Francisco to New York, Boston, Sao Paulo, and everywhere in between.     

Summer is also the time when the Admissions Committee reviews our process, criteria, and the questions we ask in essays, the recommendation, and the interview. We’re taking a new approach to our essay questions this year.

You can read about them below, and then join us for a “Tips from the Top” webinar on June 13 for more insights into “what we’re looking for.” Register now

For our application this year, there is a short answer section and a more traditional essay question (300 words each).

The short answer section contains three groups of prompts (listed below and on our Application Requirements page). We’ll ask you to select one prompt from each group and respond to it in 100 words or less.

We want to get to know more about you than we would in a traditional essay where you’d talk at length about one topic. You’ll get to share different sides of yourself that will be relevant to your experience during business school.

Short Answer Questions

Group 1

  • I want people to know that I:
  • I turned an idea into action when I:
  • I made a difference when I:

Group 2

  • I showed my resilience when I:
  • I was humbled when:
  • I am out of my comfort zone when:

Group 3

  • I was aware that I am different when:
  • I find it challenging when people:
  • A valuable thing I have taught someone:

If you’re interested in an example of how I’d answer these questions, stay tuned for my next video blog.

We’ve also revised our career goal essay as follows:

Please share your short-term and long-term career goals. What skills/strengths do you have that will be relevant to your career goals? How will Ross prepare you for your goals? (300 words)

In previous years, some applicants wrote about their long-term career goals. Others wrote about their immediate plans after B-school. We want to learn about both. So, we thought we’d ask you to spell it out.

In the second part of the career goal essay (re: skills/strengths) you don’t have to show that you have the experience needed to pursue a particular career goal. We want to know that you understand the skills that are important for your desired career. Recruiters assess whether you’re able to bring relevant skills/strengths to the table, so we do the same.

Some of the skills and knowledge you’ll need will be developed during your time in the MBA program, but students are more successful in their career search if they understand the skills required to succeed in their chosen field.

The final part of the question allows you to demonstrate your research on Ross and the experiences, knowledge, and skills you’ll develop here. We want to know how you see Ross helping you achieve your goals.

So there you have it, our new essay questions and our rationale for why we are asking them.

For application due dates and other requirements, see our Application Requirements page. Join the AdCom and me for a “Tips from the Top” webinar on June 13 for more insights into “what we’re looking for.”

Register Now