Answer With Care, Advises Chicago Booth’s Martinelli

Last week on The Rose Report Blog, Rose Martinelli, associate dean for student recruitment and admissions at Chicago Booth School of Business, urged applicants to pay attention and respond to the nuances of each school’s essay questions, no matter how similar they may seem at first glance.

“After you’ve completed your self-assessment and researched which schools fit your needs,” she writes,  “then it is absolutely important that you READ and ANSWER the questions each school is asking.”

Martinelli illustrates her point with the following comparison:

Chicago Booth’s Essay 2 asks you to answer one of these two choices (500-750 words):

A.     Describe a time when you wish you could have retracted something you said or did. When did you realize your mistake and how did you handle the situation?
or
B.    Describe a time when you were surprised by feedback that you received. What was the feedback and why were you surprised?

Harvard Business School asks:  What have you learned from a mistake? (400 word limit);

and

Wharton Business School asks:  Describe a failure that you have experienced. What role did you play, and what did you learn about yourself? (500 word limit)

While applying to multiple schools is the norm, you must craft your answer with care in order to address each school’s particular slant.  As Martinelli says, “Your attention-to-detail, effort, thoughtfulness, judgment in choosing which essays to answer, etc., help us to learn more about you and your candidacy for Chicago Booth.  It’s not just the words you use.”

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