Tuesday Tips: Michigan Ross MBA Essay Tips 2022-2023
Review our Ross MBA essay tips and show the admissions committee you are intellectually curious and able to accomplish your goals. The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business is a top-ranked MBA program that provides real-world opportunities for students. Ross MBA essays are about demonstrating you fit in the culture.
Visiting Ross or learning about the program through current students, alumni or faculty would be helpful. Consider a trip or conversations before starting this Ross MBA essay set.
With that in mind, review outgoing Admissions Director Soojin Kwon’s excellent tips from a previous blog post on the Michigan admissions website. Once again, Ross will accept the MCAT and LSAT, along with the GRE and GMAT, to make testing easier for COVID-impacted applicants.
PART 1: SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS
Select one prompt from each group. Respond to your selected prompts using 100 words or fewer (<100 words each; 200 words total).
• I want people to know that I:
• I made a difference when I:
• I was aware that I was different when:
• I was out of my comfort zone when:
• I was humbled when:
• I was challenged when:
Take note that these short answers are about getting to know you personally. And, not your collection of accomplishments. Ross values community engagement, interpersonal communication, and teamwork skills. The admissions committee says clearly: “The most interesting and insightful responses to these prompts remain when applicants share personal examples.”
For example, you may want to write about an important extracurricular moment. Or maybe a challenge you overcame, or a life event that highlights something unique about your background. The questions are short and purposeful. The experiences you describe should be clear and stand alone.
Looking at each Ross MBA essay group in turn, Group 1 might be an opportunity to talk about your values and background. It reads as a place to highlight what drives and motivates you on a deeper level than your career.
The first open-ended prompt allows you to talk about something you feel proud of—a personal quality or experience. For the next prompt, you could describe when you made a difference to an organization or person, or advanced an important cause.
Finally, the last prompt is about how you are unique. Consider what sets you apart from others and what unique qualities you will bring to Ross.
Group 2 is more about your reaction to events in your life and your character. In addition, it could be an essay to describe your accomplishments. How do you interpret what happens to you and how do you handle adversity and discomfort? Perhaps you have had unique experiences in life thus far.
For example, living outside your home country, working with diverse groups, or overcoming a challenge at work or in your personal life. In essence, this is an opportunity to shine with your best stories of work, school, and relationships.
PART 2: ESSAY
Pick one thing from your resume and tell us more. (100 words)
This Ross MBA essay is looking for straightforward responses. Therefore, you should state the focus of the essay in a sentence or two. Then, use the remainder of the space to elaborate on why you chose this part of your resume.
The choice of your topic for this Ross MBA essay should be thoughtful. For example, think about inflection points in your career. Did you have a challenging role that gave you leadership experience? Or, a job that led to a mentor? Consider the moments that accelerated your professional development. Also, Director Soojin Kwon has said unique personal stories resonate with Ross. This Ross MBA essay can permit you to stand out. If you have a unique background, it can be an asset to highlight the experience.
Part 3: Career Goal
What is your short-term goal? (25 words)
Why is this the right short-term career goal for you? (150 words)
The Ross MBA essay career goals question has been shortened this year. As Director Kwon has said, the best essays are focused. Also, “The ‘why’ is the most impactful and differentiating aspect of each essay to me.” Therefore, Ross is asking for a succinct career goal and then an explanation.
Many MBA candidates struggle to refine a career goal to just one. Remember that it will be possible to change your goals once you start attending school. However, clear goals tend to lead to success. If you have several career interests, take the time to choose one. Consider how your career goal makes you feel. Can you envision the company you will work for? What about your day-to-day tasks?
Precisely imagining your goal also helps with the “why.” Consider what is most appealing about your goal. Why are you interested in it? And, why are you a good fit for the role? Specific examples to show your personality will help!
Optional statement: Is there something in your resume or application that could use some explanation? You might want to discuss the completion of supplemental coursework, employment gaps, academic issues, etc. Feel free to use bullet points where appropriate.
Take it directly from the Ross admissions director: “The optional essay should only be used if there’s something in your background that requires a brief explanation. It’s not the place to submit an essay you wrote for another school, or to tell us how much you love Ross.”
Think about anything that may raise questions while reviewing a resume, transcript, or recommendations. Typically the kinds of gaps that raise questions are significant gaps in employment (more than a few months), anything below a C on your college transcript (particularly in quantitative coursework), and low test scores.
Stacy Blackman Consulting has worked with successful candidates to Michigan Ross for over a decade and can offer comprehensive strategic advice every step of the way. So, now that you’ve reviewed our Ross MBA essay tips, contact us to learn more.