Michigan Ross 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

Click here for more top b-school application essay tips!Michigan Ross essentially condensed last year’s two required questions into one and added a goals essay question.  

Review Ross’ Evaluation Criteria and Admissions Director Soojin Kwon’s excellent blog post on the new questions before you sit down to write the essays. Most importantly remember: your essays should reveal the qualities Ross seeks — not just mouth them. Show that you walk the walk, not just talk the talk. 

My comments are in blue below. 


1.  What are you most proud of and why? How does it shape who you are today? (up to 400 words)

The first part of the question is fairly straightforward. What are you truly proud of? The reasons for your pride and the influence of this experience require thought and soul-searching. And of course, you only have 400 words.

Possible examples: Contributed significantly to your team, department, company, or club. Raised money for a favorite charity. Organized a political event. Engaged in interfaith dialogue that broke down communications barriers. Led a sports team to victory.  Or perhaps, overcoming a significant personal challenge.  

If possible, quantify this part of your answer. Numbers are a great way to show both contribution and impact.  However, if your #1 achievement is qualitative or difficult to quantify, don’t let lack of numbers stop you from using it.

Your response to “why?” is extremely important.  As Soojin Kwon writes on her blog “We want to understand what makes something important to you. It gives us a glimpse into how you think about and process things, and what your priorities and values are.” Choose the reasons that genuinely reflect who you are and also show fit with Ross and its values. 

For the third part of the question (how did it shape who you are today?), think and then focus. Choose one or two lessons from this accomplishment that changed how you think or behave and describe those changes.  You don’t have room for many lessons learned, so select the most important.

Please don’t write that you learned you can do anything you put your mind to. That response is cliched and not really true. There are limits to what you can do. A good response will show how this crucial experience has molded you.2.  What is your desired career path and why? (up to 400 words)

What do you want to do after you earn your MBA? This question doesn’t limit itself to your first job. It ask for the “path” and is asking how would you like to see your career progress.  Why is this path appealing to you?

You can point to 1-3 experiences (don’t focus on the same one used in your response to #1) that convinced you that the desired one is right for you. Analyze the impact of these events. Highlight 1-3 aspects of these experiences that you enjoyed that will also be part of your desired future direction. 

Right genuinely about your future career, but realize as Soojin Kwon says that Ross uses the answers to see if business school makes sense. Ross doesn’t want to admit you if its MBA won’t help you go where you want to go professionally.  Show that a Ross MBA in the missing link between what you have done in the past and what you want to do in the future.

If you would like professional guidance with your Michigan Ross MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our  MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Michigan Ross application. 

Michigan Ross 2016 MBA Application Deadlines:

Round 1
Applications due Oct. 5, 2015 at 11:59 PM (EST)
Decisions posted Dec. 18, 2015 at 12:00 PM (EST)

Round 2
Applications due Jan. 4, 2016 at 11:59 PM (EST)
Decisions posted March 21, 2016 at 12:00 PM (EST)

Round 3
Applications due March 21, 2016 at 11:59 PM (EST)
Decisions posted May 13, 2016 at 12:00 PM (EST)

MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Great Tips - Download your free copy!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.

It’s about Way More than the Grades at the Ross BBA Program

Download: 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in your Grad School Statement of Purpose Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what are you studying?

Danny: I am from West Bloomfield. I am a senior at the University of Michigan studying Business. I also have a passion for technology so have taken various computer science and product design classes over the years.

Accepted: Why did you choose Ross’s BBA program? How is it the best program for you?

Danny: I chose the Ross BBA program because of my interest in business from a young age. Ross was the best program for me because of its flexibility and variety of classes. While I knew I was interested in business, I had no idea what that really meant or what specifically I was interested in. Ross gave me the ability to figure this out.

Accepted: Which other programs had you considered when you were applying to schools a few years ago?

Danny: Computer Science, School of Information

Accepted: Now that you’re about to graduate, can you share some advice with students who are may be starting out their undergraduate careers in the fall? What do you wish you would’ve known before starting the BBA program?

Danny: It’s about way more than the grades. The people you meet and the experiences you share are more important and valuable than any single class or skill you learn.

Accepted: Can you share some job highlights with us? What are some of your most recent jobs?

Danny: Last summer, I worked at Lightbank, an early stage VC firm in Chicago. I did some traditional analyst work but I spent most of my time as a designer-in-residence. 

Accepted: Do you have a post-graduation job lined up yet? What role (if any) did Ross’s career services department help you in this process?

Danny: Yes, I will be working at Trunk Club in Chicago as a Product Designer. Ross Career Services didn’t play any role directly (I recruited only off-campus) but I have done a few mock interviews/career workshops over the years.

Accepted: Do you plan on pursuing additional degrees?

Danny: Not in the near future, but it’s a possibility down the road. In my current field (technology/design), the degree you have is not as important as experience/skills. However, I could see myself going back to school to get an MBA eventually.

Accepted: Do you have any other tips for our applicants?

Danny: Figure out what you really want to do before applying. A genuine and honest application will get you further than anything else.

For one-on-one guidance on your college applications, please see our College Application Packages.

You can read more about Danny’s journey by checking out his website, http://dannyfreed.com/, or by following him on Twitter (@dannyfreed). Thank you Danny for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

Download 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid to learn how to eliminate the most common flaws in your application essays.
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes
Michigan Ross B-School Zone
• An IE Grad Reflects on Spain, School, and Career Searching

U.S. News 2016 Best Graduate Business Schools

U.S. News released its graduate school rankings today. Let’s see how our top b-schools fared…

Top 20 U.S. B-Schools – 2016

Visit our b-school zone page for info on the top business schools.1. Stanford GSB (1)
2. Harvard Business School (1)
3. UPenn Wharton (1)
4. Chicago Booth (4)
5. MIT Sloan (5)
6. Northwestern Kellogg (6)
7. UC Berkeley Haas (7)
8. Columbia Business School (8)
9. Dartmouth Tuck (9)
10. UVA Darden (11)
11. NYU Stern (10)
11. Michigan Ross (11)
13. Duke Fuqua (14)
13. Yale SOM (13)
15. UCLA Anderson (16)
16. Cornell Johnson (17)
17. Texas McCombs (15)
18. UNC Kenan-Flagler (19)
19. Washington Olin (22)
20. CMU Tepper (18)

25% of US News rankings is made up of survey responses from business school deans and directors; 15% is based on recruiters’ survey responses. The remaining 60% is based on statistical data reflecting program selectivity and placement success. (For details, read up on U.S. News methodology.)

Here are some highlights from the Poets & Quants article on the rankings:

• Last year’s three-way Stanford/Harvard/Wharton tie was broken this year with each school taking one of the first three spots (Stanford in first, HBS in second, and Wharton in third).

• The P&Q article states that Wharton’s slip to third is due to lower peer assessment and corporate recruiter survey scores.

• Wharton also reported an acceptance rate of 20.7%, up from last year’s 18.7% — this is another metric used by U.S. News in their methodology.

• Another factor contributing to Wharton’s position this year is its position regarding salary and bonus. Last year it took top slot at $141,243, while this year it slipped to fourth place at $142,574 – yes, higher than last year, but this year, Harvard, MIT, and Stanford reported even higher salaries/bonuses (HBS took the cake at $144,936 this year).

• Stanford’s top stats this year: average GMAT – 732; average GPA – 3.74; acceptance rate – 7.1%.

• In the top 20, there weren’t significant changes beyond a given school moving up or down a couple places. But further down in the rankings there were some big shifts. Texas A&M jumped 10 places to 27th place (tied with Carlson); Wake Forest jumped 13 places to 45th place; and Louisville moved up at least 31 places to 71st place – it was previously unranked.

• Big drops include Missouri Trulaske which fell 21 places from 58th to 79th place; Pepperdine Graziadio which fell at least 25 places, from last year’s 76th place to its unranked position this year.

Wondering how much rankings should play a roll in determining where you apply? Watch the video below for Linda Abraham’s answer:

Are You Misusing the B-School Rankings?

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• Financial Times Global MBA Rankings 2015
• What’s an MBA Really Worth?
• PayScale: How Much Can You Earn, and How to Earn It?

How to Ace Your Team Based Interview [4 Tips for the Big Day]

Learn more about Team Based Interviews!

The key to a good TBD is balancing what to say, how much to say and when to say it.

Last week we shared our tips for preparing for Team Based Interviews. Today we’re going to move forward and offer 4 tips for acing the interview itself:

1. Don’t be confrontational. This is not a debate in which you’re trying to score points. It’s not Crossfire. It’s not a verbal battle. It’s a simulation of what you may encounter in a b-school classroom or group project, and so it’s that vibe and model that you’ll want to emulate. Interviewees should build on one another’s points, contributing to the conversation; they shouldn’t cut each other down with rude or judgmental remarks. Of course you’re allowed to disagree, and you should be persuasive and enthusiastic about your positions, but do so with respect and grace.

2. Think quality, not quantity. Participants are judged on the quality – and not the quantity – of their comments. You should add to the conversation, but certainly not dominate it. Refrain from speaking for the sake of being heard. Thoughtful and succinct comments are appreciated; chatter is not.

Don’t let this tip backfire on you! Qualitative comments are a must, so don’t hold back from speaking because you’re worried that your contributions won’t hit the mark. You need to find a balance – don’t blab on incessantly, but don’t be too shy to open your mouth either. You’re there to contribute; make sure you do!

3. Keep it real. While many of the topics or prompts given may lead you to a world of theoretical thought, you need to work to push through the theory to arrive at concrete points that are supported with evidence from your own firsthand experiences. Business schools are interested in students who have paid attention to their life stories and who are able to draw deep understanding and practical results from them.

4. Keep notes to a minimum. Just as a treatise of pre-interview notes will distract you from the interview action (as we mentioned in last week’s article), so will scribbling notes furiously during the interview. You definitely want to have a pen and clipboard or a tablet available if you need to quickly jot something down, but remember – this is a group discussion and you want to keep the flow of the conversation natural. Taking notes and then reading your monologue will certainly disrupt that flow.

Good luck!

Have a TBD Coming Up? Practice with the pros before your big day! CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR A MOCK WHARTON TBD!
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• Get Ready, Get Set, and ACE that Team Interview Challenge!
• Four Tips for the Wharton Interview
Wharton B-Scool Zone

4 Tips for Team Interviews

Click here for more TBD tips

Win an Academy Award for your interview performance

Since so much of b-school life and learning includes team discussions, the adcom needed a tool for assessing how applicants will fit in the team-based discussion culture of their programs. Thus, the Team-Based Discussion (TBD) was born.

In team-based interviews, applicants need to use a different set of skills than they use during traditional, individual interviews. Personal interviews require one-on-one presentation, interpersonal skills, and self-awareness, while team interviews require critical thinking, listening, persuasion, and leadership.

Here are four to-do’s to help you win an Academy Award for your performance in an interview:

1. Review school material. This includes the specific materials that the school provides prior to the interview, as well as all other material about the program. As with an individual interview, you need to know the school well – its mission, curriculum, teaching style, etc. Review the school’s website and speak with current students and recent grads so you get a clear picture of what it’s like to be a student at B-School X.

2. Read Case in Point. This is an excellent book by Marc Consentino that will teach you how to state your position during team-based interviews, and then clearly and succinctly support your position.

3. Role-play. Use family, friends, colleagues, and consultants at Accepted.com to role-play with you. The more in-the-know your mock interviewer and peers are, the better idea you’ll get of how the interview will run on the big day.

4. Take notes. You are allowed to bring notes to the interview, and while you don’t want to read off a piece of paper or even refer to it frequently, it may help you feel more confident knowing that some of your key points are written down in case you need them. You never know how performance anxiety may set in, and if your brain freezes and you completely forget your plan, you’ll be glad you jotted some ideas down beforehand.

TIP: Don’t bring a 400-page stack of papers! You don’t want to spend the whole time shuffling through your notes, making noise and ignoring your co-interviewees while they speak. Paperless notes on a tablet may reduce the shuffle, but they won’t reduce the distraction – keep paperless notes to a minimum as well.

Coming up next: 4 Tips for the Interview Itself  

Have a TBD Coming Up? Practice with the pros before your big day! CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR A MOCK WHARTON TBD!
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

How to Ace Your MBA Interviews
7 Tips for MBA Interview Prep
The 10 Commandments of MBA Interviews