University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business 2018-2019 Essay Question Analysis

University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business has released its application deadlines and essays for this season! Here are Personal MBA Coach’s tips on tackling this year’s questions.

Ross has made some minor changes this year to the school’s MBA application essays. While the three short answer prompts remain, Ross has narrowed the choices and altered the career goals essay.

Part 1: Short Answer Questions

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Select one prompt from each group of the three groups below. Respond to your selected prompt in 100 words or fewer (<100 words each; 300 words total).

Group 1

  • I want people to know that I:
  • I made a difference when I: ​

Group 2

  • 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:

Part 2: Essay

Michigan Ross is a place where people from all backgrounds with different career goals can thrive. Please share your short-term career goals. Why is this the right choice for you? (300 words).

Below is what the school released about its changes, which gives some additional insight into what the admission committee members are looking for.

One of the things we heard from this year’s applicants was that they loved having the option to choose which essay prompt to respond to. So we’re keeping that feature but providing two options per short answer group rather than three. We kept the ones that seemed to provide the best platform for sharing something meaningful and unique about yourselves. We also made a minor tweak to the career goal essay to make it more straightforward, because that’s what we’re looking for — straightforward.

Here is Personal MBA Coach®’s advice on the short answer prompts.

With a more traditional career focused essay to follow, make sure you think about your personal background for these short questions. Pick the prompt that resonates best with you as there is no preferred option.

  • I want people to know that I:
  • I made a difference when I:

For this first group, think about your most unique attribute or accomplishment. What sets you apart from other applicants? Given the guidance, in most cases a personal accomplishment or story is preferred here. If you have a unique skill or talent, group 1 would be a good place to share it. If you did something amazing that is not on your resume or that you want to call more attention to, that would also work well for this prompt. Other options for this prompt include examples of volunteer work, passions or values.

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

For the second group, show the reader a bit about your character. What would working and studying with you be like? This is not the time to sing your praises but instead the time to show you are human. Show what you have gained from this experience and let the reader see that you are someone students would want to be around.

  • I was aware that I am different when:
  • I find it challenging when people:

This final group gives you yet another chance to show the reader how you are unique from your peers. Remember, MBA admissions directors aspire to bring a well rounded group of students to campus each year. This is your chance to share something about your upbringing or personality that will position you to add another perspective to class discussions. Write from your heart here.

For the short-term career goals essays, there is a lot to cover in a small amount of space. As advised, be straightforward here. If you need help thinking through your goals, here are some general tips that may come handy. Once you have clearly stated your short-term career goal, you need to explain both why an MBA is right for you at this time and more specifically, why Ross. Be sure to spend some time thinking about the skills necessary to succeed, how you have these skills and how you will continue to perfect them. Be specific in terms of what you hope to take advantage of on campus and why Ross is a good fit. As always, do your research and avoid vague statements and generalities. No copy and pasting here, sorry!

If you would like individual and personal support crafting your unique story with respect to the MBA application process, please find information about Personal MBA Coach on their website.

This article has been re-published from Personal MBA Coach’s blog.

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