Get Ready for Ross MBA Admissions Q&A Next Week!


Do you have questions about the Michigan Ross School of Business’s unique leadership-driven MAP program or its action-based learning methods? Do you want to find out more about the school’s flexible self-directed curriculum and cross-disciplinary electives? Join us for a question and answer session on Tuesday, August 23, 2011, at 10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET/5:00 PM GMT during which Ross’s Soojin Kwon Koh, Director of Admissions, and Jon Fuller, Senior Associate Director of Admissions, will answer your questions and teach you how to smoothly navigate the complicated admissions process.

Michigan RossRegister now to reserve your spot for Get Ready for Ross MBA Q&A.

What time is that for me? Click on the link to find out the exact time for your location. ~ Helping You Write Your Best

Michigan Ross 2012 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips.

 Please click here for the Michigan Ross 2013 MBA Application Tips

This Michigan Ross MBA Application tip post is one of a series of posts providing MBA application and essay advice for applicants to top MBA programs around the world. Check out the entire 2012 MBA Application Tips series for more valuable MBA essay advice.

My tips for answering Michigan’s essay questions are in blue below.

Michigan Ross

Michigan Ross 2012 MBA Essay Questions


Essay 1: Introduce yourself to your future Ross classmates in 100 words or less.

What’s your elevator pitch? What do you want them to know first about you? That’s not what do you think they want to read, but what do you want the admissions committee readers to know?

Essay 2: Describe your career goals. How will an MBA from Ross help you to achieve those goals? What is your vision for how you can make a unique contribution to the Ross community? (500 word maximum)

The strong response to this question will show fit. How is Ross going to help you achieve your short-and long-term MBA goals? What aspects of the Ross program convinced you to attend? If you spoke to current students or recent alumni, say so. What impressed you from those conversations? Let the reader know you’ve done your homework. Finally, your answer to the last part of the question — contribution to the Ross community — will make or break the essay.

Essay 3: Describe a time in your career when you were frustrated or disappointed. What did you learn from that experience? (500 word maximum)

Choose one experience where you revealed resilience and growth in response to disappointment. Please note: Ross is not requesting general discourse on frustration or disappointment. It wants a specific example showing how you respond to challenges and hurdles. And of course, what did you learn?

Essay 4: Select one of the following questions:

Choose the option that will be easiest for you to answer and add the most to the admissions committee’s understanding of you.

  • What are you most passionate about? (300 word maximum)

If you are passionate about something, you must have acted on that passion and shown commitment to it. Passive passion is an oxymoron.

  • Describe a personal challenge or obstacle and why you view it as such. How have you dealt with it? What have you learned from it? (300 word maximum)

This could be a disability, a rough patch in your family or your health or that of a loved one. It hopefully will be something more mundane, like not getting a position you really, really wanted. Or perhaps something like running a marathon or meeting a personal athletic or artistic goal. Lots of possibilities here. Here again, Ross, an action-oriented, experiential program, is looking for deeds.

In respond to this question, please review the late Randy Pausch’s views on “brick walls” and their purpose.

Optional question:

Is there anything else you think the Admissions Committee should know about you to evaluate your candidacy? (500 word maximum)

Optional questions aren’t junk drawers or shoe boxes in which to jam “stuff.” Focus on one facet of your life or an experience that is important to you, reveals the human being you are, and isn’t described in other parts of the application.

Of course, you can also use this essay to “explain” a weakness, but I prefer not to end your application on that note if possible. So weigh your options. If you have something to explain, do so. If you can slip in the explanation somewhere else (perhaps #4?), great. If the best place for the explanation is this last essay, so be it.

If you would like help with your Michigan Ross MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our Michigan Ross MBA Packages.

Michigan Ross 2012 MBA Application Deadlines

Round I:        October 10, 2011

Round II:       January 4, 2012

Round III:      March 1, 2012

Please note that all deadlines are 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Linda Abraham By Linda Abraham, President and Founder of

U.S. News Ranks Best EMBA Programs

U.S. News & World Report just released its annual Execute MBA rankings, which we’ve posted below.

Top 10 Best Executive MBA Programs

1. University of Pennsylvania Wharton

2. Chicago Booth

3. Northwestern Kellogg

4. Duke Fuqua

5. Columbia

6. NYU Stern

6. UCLA Anderson

8. Michigan Ross

9. UC Berkeley Haas

10. UNC Kenan-Flagler

You’ll see that this list varies only slightly from the Poets & Quants best EMBA list that we posted yesterday. You can also compare this list to U.S. News‘ list of best business schools and you’ll find that if a school is regarded as the best for its MBA program, then it likely offers a top EMBA program as well. 

(Please see U.S. News‘ “Business School Rankings Methodology” for details on how these programs were chosen.) ~ Helping You Write Your Best


2011 Rankings: BW’s Best Undergraduate Business Schools


BusinessWeek‘s 2011 ranking report reveals that more than ever, college applicants are seeking a global experience, especially those who plan on pursuing an undergraduate degree in business. Undergraduate business programs are responding by creating more immersion options, overseas internships, and business-related study abroad opportunities. Some schools are even offering business courses that require students to go abroad. Many schools are implementing international experience requirements, maintaining that global exposure is essential in today’s market.

For example, Notre Dame Mendoza, BW‘s top pick for the second year in a row, offers study abroad options in Haiti, Egypt, and South Africa, among many other places, and encourages students to pursue business research projects abroad as well.

Below we have posted BW‘s top 20 undergraduate business schools.

Top 20 Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2011 (Last year’s position is in parentheses.)

1.      Notre Dame Mendoza (1)

2.      UVA McIntire (2)

3.      Emory Goizueta (7)

4.      UPenn Wharton (4)

5.      Cornell (5)

6.      Michigan Ross (8)

7.      Villanova (20)

8.      UNC Kenan-Flagler (14)

9.      MIT Sloan (3)

10.  Georgetown McDonough (23)

11.  Brigham Young Marriott (11)

12.  Richmond Robins (15)

13.  UC Berkeley Haas (6)

14.  Washington Olin (13)

15.  NYU Stern (12)

16.  Boston College Carroll (9)

17.  Texas McCombs (10)

18.  Indiana Kelley (19)

19.  Wake Forest (18)

20.  Babson (17)

You’ll notice there were quite a few significant shifts this year. Three new schools made it into the top 10—Villanova, UNC Kenan-Flagler, and Georgetown McDonough—ousting UC Berkeley Haas, Boston College, and Texas McCombs from their top 10 positions of last year. The only school new to the top 20 list this year is Georgetown, taking a slot away from Miami Farmer.

For more information on methodology, please see BW‘s article, “How We Ranked the Schools.” ~ Helping You Write Your Best

Top 20 EMBA Programs in North America

Top executive MBA programs in America are charging an arm and a leg —is it worth it? That’s the topic of a recent CNN Money Fortune/Poets & Quants article, “Executive MBAs: Great, if you can foot the bill,” which reports that if people are willing to pay the sky-high prices for an EMBA degree, they’ll likely graduate with a high paying salary and a positive attitude towards their educational experience.

Top programs, like those at Wharton, offer very similar curriculums to their regular MBA programs, yet are charging almost $65,000 more (for a total of more than $160,000). (Other top 10 EMBA programs charge slightly less, with Booth at $142,000, Kellogg at $153,900, and Columbia at $148,320.)

Studies show that 97% of EMBA graduates are “overwhelmingly satisfied” with their educations, despite the high tuition, and that the programs “met or exceeded their expectations when it comes to impact on their careers and their organizations.” According to the latest Executive MBA Council study, one-third of EMBA graduates received promotions at work; 44% received more responsibilities at work; and EMBAs in general reported an average 11.4% salary increase, from $127,955 to $142,534. And this is just following the great recession!

The article refers readers over to the new Poets & Quants for Executives website that ranks the 50 best executive MBA programs in North America based on a combination of ratings from The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, and U.S. News & World Report. You can view a summary of P&Q ranking methodology on the bottom of this page.

You should read the full Fortune/P&Q article and review the full rankings for more information. In the meantime, here are the top 20 EMBA programs according to the new Poets & Quants for Executives website:

Top 20 Executive MBA Programs in North America

1.      Wharton

2.      Chicago Booth

3.      Northwestern Kellogg

4.      Columbia Business School

5.      NYU Stern

6.      Michigan Ross

7.      UCLA Anderson

8.      Cornell Johnson

9.      Texas McCombs

10.  USC Marshall

11.  Duke Fuqua

12.  UNC Kenan-Flagler

13.  Berkeley/Columbia

14.  Washington Olin

15.  Emory Goizueta

16.  Boston University

17.  Georgetown McDonough

18.  Thunderbird

19.  Rice University Jones

20.  Southern Methodist Cox ~ Helping You Write Your Best

U.S. News’ Best Business Schools 2012



U.S. News just released its 2012 MBA rankings just a few hours ago, and with them, a number of good articles and resources. First we’ll give you the top 20 best U.S. business schools, and then we’ll direct you to some of the meaty articles.

2012 Best Business Schools

1. Stanford GSB

2. Harvard Business School

3. MIT Sloan

3. Pennsylvania Wharton

5. Northwestern Kellogg

5. Chicago Booth

7. Dartmouth Tuck

7. UC Berkeley Haas

9. Columbia

10. NYU Stern

10. Yale SOM

12. Duke Fuqua

13. UVA Darden

14. UCLA Anderson

14. Michigan Ross

16. Cornell Johnson

17. Texas McCombs

18. CMU Tepper

19. UNC Kenan-Flagler

20. Washington Olin

For more information please see:

  • The Sustainable MBA” – This article highlights the ways in which the MBA degree has gone green. Courses that used to focus on finance and profit now focus on those things as well as on how they relate to larger social and environmental issues. A number of programs have sprung up around the country that focus on sustainability. Buzzwords include “impact investing” and “social entrepreneurship.”
  • Reinventing the MBA” – This article is about the goals business educators are working to bring about, mainly “to de-emphasize traditional discipline-based courses like marketing and finance in favor of a focus on leadership skills, innovation, social responsibility, and a global perspective.” Many top schools are introducing new curricula that focus more on leadership development.
  • Business School Ranking Methodology” – Please see this article for details on how the business school rankings were determined.

For a better understanding of why the data behind the rankings is much more valuable than the rankings themselves — a view I have espoused for years — please see “Winners and Losers in the 2011 US News Rankings.”

Discover the answers you need to interpret the MBA rankings and learn how to use them to evaluate top MBA programs around the world by downloading’s FREE special report MBA Rankings now! ~ Helping You Write Your Best

Michigan Ross Appoints New Dean

Alison Davis-Blake will be moving from Minnesota to Michigan this summer when she leaves her position as dean at U. of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management and takes a new post as dean of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to lead the Ross School of Business,” Davis-Blake says in a Michigan Ross press release. “Ross has long been among the top business schools in the country and the world. It has strong programs across the board and is housed within a great university. Its action-based learning approach is a unique niche that sets it apart from other business schools.”

Davis-Blake is known in the business school world for her commitment to international experiences for students, to leadership training, and to research.

In a Financial Times article on the same subject, Jerry Davis, head of the search advisory committee at Ross, says, “She impressed the committee with her grasp of the broad competitive landscape of business education, its future trends and the factors that distinguish Ross from the other top schools. She has had great success working with faculty, staff, students, alumni and donors at Carlson, and the school’s reputation has risen accordingly.”

In terms of moving forward, Davis-Blake states that one of her priorities at Michigan will be “to promote the school more actively on the world stage. She explains how the school’s “global profile needs to move forward.”

Davis-Blake will replace Bob Dolan as dean of Michigan Ross. Dolan has been dean of the Ross School of Business since 2001. ~ Helping You Write Your Best

A Few of the Mostest at

This is the time of year to look back at the most, best, (worst), etc. I am going to stick to the positive.

Top Ten Most Visited Accepted Admissions Almanac Posts of 2010:

In a nutshell, rankings and application tip posts rule. (I am only listing the current tip post when last year’s tip post also made the list):

  1. Financial Times Global 2010 MBA Rankings
  2. Forbes ROI MBA Rankings for 2010
  3. Harvard HBS 2011 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips
  4. INSEAD 2011 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips
  5. NYU Stern 2011 MBA Application Questions, Tips, Deadlines
  6. Common Application Essay Tips
  7. Columbia 2011 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips
  8. 2010 MBA Rankings Released by BusinessWeek
  9. Kellogg 2011 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips
  10. London Business School 2011 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips

Three Most Commented Accepted Admissions Almanac Posts of 2010

  1. Harvard HBS 2010 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips (269)
  2. INSEAD 2010 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips (246)
  3. INSEAD 2011 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips (60)

Keep ‘em coming! (Please post your questions about this year’s applications on this year’s tips.)

Five Most Popular Articles on of 2010:

  1. Go for the Goals in your Statement of Purpose
  2. Tips for Writing Letters of Recommendation for Medical School
  3. 4 Must-Haves in Residency Personal Statements
  4. MBA Admissions: Low GMAT or GPA 
  5. Sample MBA Interview Questions

Most Popular Resources of 2010:

Our Absolute, Best, Most Superlative Asset: YOU, our readers, followers, fans, subscribers, and most of all, our clients.

On behalf of Accepted’s staff, this post is where I

Thank you, all of you Acceptees, for making 2010 our best year ever!

By Linda Abraham, President and Founder of

MBA Admissions News Round Up

  • CMU Tepper‘s Provost and Executive Vice President, Mark S. Kamlet, was recently appointed Acting Dean of the business school effective January 1, 2011. The current dean, Kenneth Dunn, will be stepping down on that date, and Kamlet will serve in his place until a new dean is chosen. (Source: CMU Tepper Press Release, Dec. 16, 2010)
  • Yale SOM received a $50 million pledge from school alum, Ned Evans ’64. The gift is the largest in the b-school’s history and will support the construction of its new campus. According to Dean Sharon Oster, “the gift will help SOM expand its influence in scholarship and practice and further its involvement in the Yale community.” (Source: Yale Daily News, “SOM receives $50M pledge“)
  • An article by Richard Lyons, dean of UC Berkeley Haas, highlights the ways in which leadership can help reduce the world’s unsustainabilities. One point Lyons makes is that b-school need to construct their curriculums to create “path-bending” leaders who are competent in problem framing, experimentation, influence without authority, and managing ambiguity and conflict. He also calls for change in the way business schools approach admissions and culture. Read The Economist‘s “The MBA Goes Back to School” for more.
  • Alumni giving is on the rise compared to the number of b-school graduates who donated money last year, but the dollar amount of those donations has dropped. Donations (both in the number of donors and the amount of money) are still not up to par with pre-recession giving, reports a Businessweek article “B-School Alumni Giving Is Up—Sort Of.” “What studies have been showing is that giving has been coming back to a certain extent, but it is not robust,” explains William Jarvis of the Commonfund Institute. “Giving remains subdued compared with what it had been before the downturn.”
  • Michigan Ross‘s Director of Admissions, Soojin Kwon Koh, wrote an article for the Ross website titled, “Use the interview to add dimension to the paper version of you,” in which she discusses ways in which you can best prepare for your admission interview. The advice, which includes tips like “Be professional” and “Know yourself” apply to all interviewees, not just those interviewing at Ross. You can find similar advice on how to distinguish yourself during your interview by signing up for Accepted’s Interview Prep Course, a FREE 5-part email course.

What do you hope to be asked during your MBA admissions interview? Let us know what you think when you enter’s Facebook Fans MBA Face-Off Contest! You could win interview prep resources valued up to $50! ~ Helping You Write Your Best

Consortium: Interview with Admissions Directors

Last week’s Consortium Q&A was a huge success and tons of important issues were addressed by Rebecca Dockery, the Consortium’s Recruiting Director, and a panel of representatives from top MBA programs, including Dartmouth Tuck, Emory Goizueta, Michigan Ross, NYU Stern, Rochester, UCLA, UNC, USC, UT Austin,.

To review the entire discussion, please read the full transcript or download the MP3.

Here is an excerpt from the Q&A that we found particularly illuminating:

Linda Abraham: The next question is, “How important is it that I rank my schools on the Consortium application?”

Karen Marks DARTMOUTH: It makes no difference; it’s not a factor in admissions decisions. It comes into play during the fellowship component, but in terms of your admissions decision, it doesn’t play in at all.

Jon Fuller MICHIGAN: When the Admissions Committee gets an application, the rank list is electronically blacked out, and that is not actually released until we’ve already made our admissions decisions. That is just our own internal process for that. So just as it was mentioned, the ranking plays no factor in admissions decision or in membership; it really only comes up from a fellowship perspective.

Shana Basnight EMORY: I would just advise that you do your due diligence before you lock in your ratings because once you do, they are set in stone and you can’t change them. So whether you get a chance to visit different campuses or talk to different alums that have attended different schools, do as much research as you can before you completely drop the Consortium application and put in your rankings because you only have one chance to do them.

Jon Fuller MICHIGAN: I think candidates spend some time thinking about whether there is a way to increase the likelihood of them getting a fellowship by how they rank a school, and there is  a lot of agony that goes into that. The advice I give to candidates is that if Ross is your first choice, then you should rank us first. If another school is your first choice and we’re your second choice, then you should put us second and you should put that other school first. Because just as it was mentioned, it’s an individual decision based on the school; it just goes down the rank order of the process that is explained relatively well through the

Consortium documentation that is available on their website. But don’t try to over-think because it just doesn’t work. So rank the order in terms of your enthusiasm of how much you want to attend that particular program.

Rebecca Dockery CONSORTIUM: I’m going to give you an Amen!

Jon Fuller MICHIGAN: Thank you!

Kellee Scott USC: Just to add a little more relief hopefully to this effort with the rankings, the process is that you are only allowed to hold one fellowship that you can call Consortium, but that doesn’t stop other schools from offering you school based scholarships if you qualify for them. So the rankings may say that you are only allowed to get one scholarship that is called Consortium, but if school #3 and #4 really want you, that doesn’t stop them from offering you aid outside of the Consortium scholarship, or offering you any kind of merit based money outside of the Consortium scholarship. So you are not limited in this process; the rankings do not limit you in any way.

View the full Q&A transcript or listen to the mp3 recording of the event now! ~ Helping You Write Your Best