The University of Chicago Booth School of Business ranks as a top choice school for many MBA students. Chicago Booth has a tradition of intellectual inquiry, non-conformity, and innovation. Along with strong academics, Chicago will be looking for leadership and team-building skills and community involvement. This year Booth has changed the second question in this set of essays. Review our Booth MBA essay tips to strengthen your application.
Booth MBA Essay Tips for the 2020-2021 Admissions Season
This set of essays focuses on both your career goals and your personality. The second essay is about your personal interests. Also, note that Chicago is setting a word minimum for the required essay responses, while most schools set a maximum. Therefore Chicago Booth is asking for you to be thoughtful in your responses to these MBA essays and make sure you have enough space to answer the question.
Your first step is to do as much school research as possible on Chicago Booth. Attend (virtual) events. Speak to alumni. Read the admissions blog. Visit campus when it opens again. Do what you can to experience the community for yourself before starting your application. This research will be invaluable as you set pen to paper.
The Chicago MBA admissions committee can see your academic skills from your GPA/GMAT, transcripts, and other fixed data points. You should cover your personal qualities, leadership, and career goals in these essays.
Contact Stacy Blackman Consulting for a free consultation on your MBA plans.
Essay One: How will the Booth MBA help you achieve your immediate and long-term post-MBA career goals? (250 word minimum)
This career goals essay is the ideal way to describe your track record of success. You can also show that you have realistic expectations for your Booth MBA. For example, while career goals should be aspirational, they should also be possible.
Think about what you have done so far in your career. What have you learned? How can you use your past experience to inform your future goals? Then, think about how a Booth MBA can fill in any gaps. What classes will you take? Professors that can help you advance your goals? How will you engage with clubs and peers?
This question asks for both short and long-term goals, so keep your long term path in mind.
Also, the essay asks why Booth is the right place for you to pursue your MBA. Make sure to learn all you can about Booth, specifically. Thorough research into your career path and the options at Booth will allow you to answer this question fully and with conviction. With COVID-19 restrictions, it may be tough to obtain the full feeling of Booth. But virtual options like blogs and videos, and speaking with current students and alumni, can help you.
Essay Two: An MBA is as much about personal growth as it is about professional development. In addition to sharing your experience and goals in terms of career, we’d like to learn more about you outside of the office. Use this opportunity to tell us something about who you are. (250-word minimum)
Chicago Booth is looking for self-aware leaders with a sense of purpose. Therefore, Booth wants to understand your personal life. Are you someone who embraces personal growth? And what is your sense of purpose?
To focus this essay, consider using stories about your life. Have you done something in a volunteer capacity that shows who you are? Or, does your cultural background have an impact on your personality? What experiences have made an impact on you?
For example, one of our clients used a personal story about a crisis in her family to explain how she prioritizes relationships. That aspect of her personality led her to be a particularly effective leader at work and in volunteer activities.
Think about a similar story you may have. After you tell the story, reflect on the meaning. How did these experiences help you grow as a person? And, what does that tell you about your capacity for growth at Booth?
This Booth MBA essay should communicate who you are and what motivates you. Overall, your goal with both essays is to give the admissions committee a holistic sense of your potential.
Is there any unclear information in your application that needs further explanation? (300 word maximum)
This optional essay is flexible, allowing you to provide as much information as you need. Consider writing this essay if you have any areas in your profile that require further explanation. Have you had academic issues or gaps in work experience? Then this is the ideal place to add more detail.
Because the essay is open-ended, you can also use it to add any additional information. Think about what you wanted to add to your application. Perhaps you have a compelling personal story that didn’t fit in the other essays. If it helps the admissions committee understand you better, it’s worth telling. Also, you might have a strong leadership story. Or, a meaningful extracurricular to add context to your MBA application.
Upon reflection, how has your perspective regarding your future, Chicago Booth, and/or getting an MBA changed since the time of your last application? (Maximum 300 words.)
This is an interesting re-applicant question. Because, instead of asking how your candidacy has improved, Booth asks how your perspective has changed. Improvements such as better test scores, a promotion or a new job would still be useful information. However, the focus is to reflect on yourself and your goals since the last time you applied to Booth.
When writing this essay, consider what has changed since your last application. For example, have you learned more about your career path, formed new relationships, or changed your career goals? Also, this is an ideal essay to demonstrate self-awareness and leadership qualities. Another essential angle is to communicate a realistic sense of how the Booth MBA fits into your future professional plans.
For more information on applying to Booth, visit the Chicago Booth admissions website.