Michigan Ross Director on Essay and Interview Angst

The University of Michigan Ross School of Business prepares to welcome its first batch of on-campus interviewees today, and as usual, MBA admissions director Soojin Kwon offers valuable insight and tips for both essays and interviews in her recent blog post.

Turns out, Kwon experienced her own essay angst recently when she included a letter to the current owners with her bid for a home in a competitive real estate market. Once she tapped in to sharing stories about herself, and the kind of life she would build in that house, Kwon says the words just started flowing.

The director explains this is the experience the admissions team wants to have when they read an applicant’s essay: “We’re looking for a sense of you as a person through the stories you share about yourself.” Rather than try to draft a contrived piece that hews to a “hero” story or the “overcoming a challenge” story, Kwon says essays that are reflective and thoughtful are the ones that stand out most positively in the admission team’s minds.

When it comes to the Ross interview, she says applicants can expect to answer the Why MBA question, since that is no longer a part of the essays; be able to connect the dots with your career goals; and get very specific about Why Ross. This is not the moment to rattle off a laundry list of clubs and classes you’d like to participate in; rather, you should come prepared to speak to why those clubs and classes will help you reach your career goals.

Lastly, Kwon reminds applicants that the interview is meant to be a conversation, so be sure to use the time wisely by asking thoughtful questions of your interviewer, too. Here is a video in which she shares more of her tips for acing the Ross interview.

Good luck to all applicants invited to interview at Michigan Ross School of Business. If you’ve been invited to participate in a group interview, you may find it helpful to practice in a similar setting. Learn more about Stacy Blackman Consulting’s Group Interview Prep service here.

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