Toronto Rotman 2015 MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines

Check out the rest of our school-specific application essay tips!

Toronto Rotman

The University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business is one of the leading business schools in Canada. Known for its design approach to MBA education and strong emphasis on problem solving, Rotman’s program is growing in size and renown.

My tips are in blue below. 

Essay Questions:

1. Please state your professional goals and how you plan to achieve them. (Please limit your answer to 25o words.)

This is a pretty straightforward goals question, requiring a concise answer. What do you want to do and where do you want to do it? The “where” refers to industry, not necessarily geography, but geography could be a part of your goal. If it is, you should include it in your response.

Your essay should show Rotman that you have thought about your career path, Rotman’s role in that chosen path, and how your career can realistically progress after you receive your Rotman MBA. 

2. Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have received recently. Please detail the circumstance and your plan to address it. (Please limit your answer to 25o words.)

Tell a brief story here. What were you told? What was the context? How has it proven constructive? If you have room in your essay and you feel it fits with the rest of your response, include a situation similar to the one that prompted the criticism and that you handled well as a result of the advice you received. 

Alternatively, you could even start with the situation that ended well, and then provide the background, including the story of the constructive feedback. 

3. Reflection Question: List 3-5 attributes or characteristics that best describe you. Limit response to 50 characters. (3-5 word maximum.)

My suggestion here would be to avoid what my friend and colleague from Maxx Associates, Maxx Duffy, calls “umbrella words.” These are general terms for valued attributes, but they tend to be abused and overused in the MBA application process. There is nothing wrong with them other than the reality that they are sapped them of meaning and impact. And if you use these umbrella words, you will blend in with all the others who are also using them, just like one more black umbrella on a rainy day.

An example: leadership.  I guarantee that attribute (or any form of “lead”) will be the most commonly mentioned term. I encourage you not to use a form of “lead” or “leader.” It is an umbrella word. Instead, go into the key attributes you have that make you a great leader.  Those are the qualities that go under the umbrella. They will be more distinctive and more memorable. 

Video Interview:

The video interview component is a required part of Rotman Admissions process designed to give all candidates guaranteed “face time” with the Admissions Committee and showcase your personality, characteristics, passions, and values.

You will have an opportunity to test the technology, and then will be asked two taped questions. Both questions are personality/values based and are designed to be answered without any advanced preparation and will only take a few minutes to complete. After completing your questions, you will receive a confirmation email and unique URL to input into this section of the application and complete the video component. Good luck and have fun with the process!

We’ve written blog posts on the video essay, and last year I had a fascinating interview with Niki da Silva, Rotman’s Admissions Director, who provided excellent advice on the Rotman video interview. It is by far, our most popular podcast.

Here are links to these resources.  

• Tips for Video MBA Essay Questions

• MBA Video Essays: A Conversation with Rotman’s Niki da Silva 

• MBA Interview Tips: Video Essays

Toronto Rotman 2015 Deadlines:

Round  Application Deadline  Decision Notification 
 1  November 3, 2014  December 12, 2014
 2  January 12, 2015  February 27, 2015
 3  March 2, 2015  April 17, 2015
 4  April 20, 2015  May 22, 2015
 5  June 1, 2015  July 3, 2015

Download our free special report: Best MBA Programs

Linda Abraham By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

 

  • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

    If any readers would like a profile evaluation for Rotman, please provide the following info:

    1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
    2) Your GMAT or GRE. Percentiles preferred.
    3) College info: The name of the college, your GPA or grade average, your major, year of graduation. For any graduate degrees, please provide the same info. If you grades are low, please indicate if there were extenuating circumstances.
    4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
    5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
    6) Your post-MBA goal.

    Or if you just have a question about MBA admissions, I’ll do my best to answer it.

    • Yixuan

      Dear Linda,

      Thank you very much for assessing briefly my profile. I am a young applicant with 3 years of work experience. Your opinions are highly appreciated.

      1) I have been working in PricewaterhouseCoopers China since October 2012, in Assurance Practice. Currently I am holding the Senior Associate title within the firm.

      2) I took GRE in 2010 (old GRE), with Verbal 580 (158), 78th percentile,
      Quants 800 (160), 92th percentile.

      3) I graduated from Sun Yat-sen University (top 10 university in China), with one-year exchange program in the University of Hong Kong. I majored in English in Sun Yat-sen University, and in Business Administration in the University of Hong Kong. My overall GPA is 3.7/4. I graduated in 2012.

      4) 1.When in the Sun Yat-sen University, I was the team captain of the Athletics Team for 2 years. I got a sport scholarship from the University of Hong Kong, and I was a team member of the Athletics Team there.

      2. In PwC, I am an active Corporate Responsibility Champion of my company, and I have organized 2 Corporate Social Responsibility events.

      3. I am a volunteer financial consultant for NGO Friends, China.

      5) CFA Level III Candidate, and CICPA final stage exam Candidate

      6) I want to work as consultant in a leading consulting firm in Corporate Finance Practice.

      Thank you very much.

      Best Regards,
      Yixuan

    • Yixuan

      Dear Linda,

      Thank you very much for assessing briefly my profile. I am a young applicant with 3 years of work experience. Your opinions are highly appreciated.

      1) I have been working in PricewaterhouseCoopers China since October 2012, in Assurance Practice. Currently I am holding the Senior Associate title within the firm

      2) I took GRE in 2010 (old GRE), with Verbal 580 (158), 78th percentile,
      Quants 800 (160), 92th percentile.

      3) I graduated from Sun Yat-sen University (top 10 university in China), with one-year exchange program in the University of Hong Kong. I majored in English in Sun Yat-sen University, and in Business Administration in the University of Hong Kong. My overall GPA is 3.7/4. I graduated in 2012.

      4) 1.When in the Sun Yat-sen University, I was the team captain of the Athletics Team for 2 years. I got a sport scholarship from the University of Hong Kong, and I was a team member of the Athletics Team there.

      2.In PwC, I am an active Corporate Responsibility Champion of my company, and I have organized 2 Corporate Social Responsibility events.

      3.I am a volunteer financial consultant for NGO Friends, China.

      5) CFA Level III Candidate, and CICPA final stage exam Candidate

      6) I want to work as consultant in a leading consulting firm in Corporate Finance Practice.

      • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

        Yixuan,

        You have a competitive profile for Rotman .

        Best,
        Linda

  • 12345

    Hello, Thank you for the information. I’m just curious, are the essay questions you provided above the actual questions for this year’s application? Will applicants be given the questions beforehand and have a few days to prep for both the written and video essay? Thank you very very much!!!!

  • Mike Chen

    Dear Linda:

    I want to get into Rotman 2-year full time MBA program during this application cycle. Could you please evaluate my profile and tell me my real chance at getting into Rotman 2-year program this year? Thanks.

    I). Full-time Work Experience
    Postgraduate: 0 year, 0 month
    During College: 1 month, paid, full time, from July 2011 – August 2011

    I was once selected, through a selection tryout, by the Ministry of Education of Taiwan to serve as an administrative assistant in an one-month, experimental English training program. The program was hosted by the Ministry of Education of Taiwan and supported by ETS Taiwan. My duties were to help prepare training materials and to conduct administrative miscellaneous tasks.

    II). GMAT
    2nd attempt, on Dec 22, 2014
    Total 750, 98% || Verbal 40, 91% || Quant 51, 97% || IR 7, 81% || AWA 4, 21%

    1st attempt, on Nov 20, 2014
    Total 670, 83% || Verbal 32, 66% || Quant 49, 79% || IR 8, 92% || AWA 4, 21%

    III). Education
    Institute: National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST)
    – Top 6 in Taiwan, Top 25 in the Greater China Region, according to QS & THE
    – Top 1 among the 57 technical universities in Taiwan, according to QS & THE

    Degree: Bachelor of Arts, received on June 2014
    – Major: Applied foreign languages (English, linguistics, interpreting, translation)
    – Minor: Finance, an interdepartmental 24-credit program

    Average Overall: 88.24/100 (Converted CGPA 3.79/4.00)
    Average Final Year: 92.33/100 (Converted CGPA 3.92/4.00)
    – Grading descriptions: 60 = Pass, 60-69=C, 70-79=B, 80-89 =A, 90-100=A

    Graduate Rank in the department: 4/28 (14%)
    On President’s List X 4 times
    -awarded to students whose academic averages are among the top 10% highest in the department in the semester

    VI). Extracurricular Activities & Leadership
    1. Founder & President, NTUST Model United Nations Society
    – established the club from scratch, the first club of this nature at my university
    – chaired and organized a mini Model UN conference on campus every week
    – led the club to attain a recognized status in 4 months
    – captained a 6-people team to the Pan Aisa Model UN 2012 in Taipei
    – captained a 3-people team to the Harvard World Model UN 2013 in Melbourne
    – coordinated diverse members: among the 25 members, 11 were international students from countries such as Indonesia, Russia, PRC, India, etc.

    2. Initiator & Lead Organizer, 2014 Sunflower Student Movement NTUST
    – formed a temporary student coalition at my school to echo the Sunflower Student Movement in Taiwan*
    – initiated and organized a 500-people seminar on related issues
    – initiated and organized a 70-people discussion forum on extended issues
    – launched a campaign to raise people’s awareness on the issues
    – launched a campaign to petition faculty members at my college not to take the rolls for two weeks when thousands of students in Taiwan staged large-scaled sit-ins at the legislature buildings

    *Sunflower Student Movement in Taiwan was a student movement provoked by the exposed secret treaty between Beijing and the pro-Beijing Ma government of Taiwan, a treaty that might sacrifice Taiwan’s de facto sovereignty,national security, and democracy only in return for a closer relationship with Beijing. Mass demonstrations were ignited after Ma’s party declared the treaty bill passed even without a legislature vote on the bill.

    3. Student Representative, Students’ Representative Council NTUST
    main duties:
    (a) review and vote on the student government officer appointments
    (b) review and vote on the student government budgets
    (c) advise and vote on the activity proposals
    (d) impeach student government officers
    (e) introduce and vote on any change to the student governance charter

    V). None

    VI). At college, I enrolled in an interdepartmental minor program in finance. Now, I want to deepen my knowledge on finance in a finance center and sharpen my real game strategy-making skills by interacting with experienced leaders. I think Rotman is an ideal place to satisfy these needs. If successfully admitted into and graduated from Rotman, I would like to make best of the immigration work visa policy to stay at Toronto and compete for a decent job in the Toronto finance industry. Also, I expect to pass CFA 2 or 3 after graduating from Rotman, although I just have limited knowledge on finance now.

    VII) Excuse for gap 6-months
    I graduated from college in late June 2014 (near July). After that, I didn’t attempt to find a job but instead decided to spend three or four months traveling around my country Taiwan, taking some rest, and re-thinking about my plan for future. Soon, it was around November. Then, I thought it was time to work on GMAT, so I spent around two months on GMAT. Then, it was Christmas. … … 6 months just passed.

    Thank you very much for your patience.