Chicago Booth Essay Tips

Over the past two weeks, we have covered the Stanford MBA and Harvard Business School 2007-2008 essay questions. Below are tips on the recently posted Chicago Booth essay questions.

Remember that your overall goal with these Chicago Booth essays should be to present a comprehensive picture of you – personal background, work experience, significant service or extra-curriculars, and honest dreams for the future. Try to think about who you are, how you became this person, and what you hope to do with your life.

1. Why are you pursuing an MBA at this point in your career? Describe your personal and professional goals and the role an MBA from Chicago Booth plays in your plans to reach these goals. (1500 word maximum)
This is the standard why MBA and why Chicago Booth. There are a few questions embedded in this question and you must hit on each of them (budget about 500 words per question).

Why do you want an MBA now? – Explain what is motivating you to apply to school – move up in current career, change careers, etc. You can get into your career background, but don’t list your resume (eg, then I did this, and then I did this). Instead provide the color behind your choices (ie, what has been inspiring to you) and articulate why you are at a crossroads. It may not be entirely career related. Perhaps a personal experience has inspired you to delve into a different field. Or maybe you’ve gained the skills you wanted after college and now feel ready to reach for your dream. Just be sure to articulate your reasoning.

What are your professional and personal goals? Your career goals should in some way reflect what is important to you (this does not mean they are one and the same, but that there is some correlation). Articulate a concrete plan to create a career that reflects your values, and explain why your goals are meaningful to you. If it makes more sense, you can address this portion of the question first. Just be sure to also address the Why MBA Now as well.

How will the Chicago Booth help you reach these goals? Similar to the Stanford Essay B, you must be specific about how Chicago Booth will help you achieve those goals – offer up classes, clubs, etc that will help you. They want to see that you are ready to hit the ground running, that you will take advantage of Chicago Booth and make a difference in their community.

2. If you could step into someone else’s shoes for a day, who would it be and why? (500 word maximum)
This is a good opportunity to articulate what is important to you. It is a very abbreviated version of Stanford Business School’s Essay A in some ways. Think about what you care about, what you are curious about, how you would like to impact the world, what you want to learn. Don’t dedicate the whole Chicago Booth essay to talking about the person whose shoes you want to fill. Make sure this essay is still about you. You can show what is important to you and reveal who you are through your answer.

3. We have asked for a great deal of information throughout this application. In this portion of the application, we invite you tell us about yourself using a non-traditional application format”“a PowerPoint presentation. In four slides or less, please provide readers with content that captures who you are.

– The content is completely up to you. There is no right or wrong approach to the way you construct your slides or answer this question.
– There is a strict maximum of 4 slides.
– Slides will be printed and added to your file for review, therefore, flash, hyperlinks, embedded videos, music, etc. will not be viewed by the committee. You are limited to text and static images to convey your points.
– Slides will be evaluated on the quality of content and ability to convey your ideas.
– You are welcome to attach a word document of notes if you feel a deeper explanation of your slides is necessary.

This is a new question and a great opportunity to round out your application. Again, consider your background broadly (times, events, travel, experiences, and people who have been important to you) and see if you can find a theme. Don’t be afraid to show your feelings, creativity, and humor. Chicago Booth  admissions want to see who you will be in their class and how you will stand out.

(Optional) If there is any important information that is relevant for your candidacy that you were unable to address elsewhere in the application, please share that information here.
If you have issues around your undergraduate GPA (explanations, not excuses) or in recommender choices (started a new job recently so you needed to ask a former supervisor for a rec), then you can succinctly explain those here.


Click for more posts containing Application Advice for the Chicago Booth School of Business.
To see our Chicago Booth School of Business Essay Guide for MBA Applications, click here.

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