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Posted by Chioma Isiadinso
In their MBA admission essays, Ross School of Business asks MBA applicants to share their top professional and personal accomplishments- and most importantly, how those experiences have shaped their goals and personalities. Let’s take a look.
Essay 1: What are you most proud of professionally and why? What did you learn from that experience? (400 words)
At the heart of this question is a revelation of what you value professionally. Every applicant has a list of achievements. Your decision in selecting one that you are most proud of reveals something about you that is beyond a bullet point achievement on your resume. In this case, what you choose is quite important. It may be tempting to focus on the significant sales revenue that you grew by 50%. While important, it is advisable to broaden the focus beyond the revenue growth. Instead, you could highlight the fact that the experience was the biggest leadership challenge you have ever faced, which required you to manage a larger team and to operate with a reduced budget and under a compressed time frame. Be sure to express how you achieved your accomplishment and why you feel proud of that achievement.
Self-awareness is a major part of successful MBA application essays. Therefore, make sure to address the second part of the question by telling the reader what you learned from the experience. These lessons can reveal more about you as a person and show the MBA admissions board more about the kind of student and alum you will be for Ross.
Essay 2: What are you most proud of personally and why? How does it shape who you are today? (400 words)
Here’s your chance to show a new side of your character, beyond your professional accomplishments. You have a few choices here. You could focus on a specific personal accomplishment – perhaps you have loved seeing a charity project grow, or perhaps you have channeled your love of running into several successful marathons. Or, you could focus on a character trait- maybe you are proud of your determination, or your resilience. Either way, you need to center your essay on a few stories, to draw the reader into the narrative that you are creating. So, if you are proud of running a marathon, tell a story about the challenge of a certain race. If you enjoy a charity, give an example of an event or person that impacted your work there. If you see yourself as resilient, tell a story about recovering from one particularly difficult circumstance.
As with the first essay, you must devote ample time to answering the second part of the question. It is great to share your past, but the admissions committee is predominantly concerned with who you are today. Make sure you show them how the personal stories that you have related have influenced how you approach new challenges.
For more information, visit Ross’ website.
Deadlines: Round 1- October 6; Round 2- January 5; Round 3- March 23