UPDATE- THE TIPS FOR THE CHICAGO GSB 2009 MBA APPLICATION ARE NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE. PLEASE POST QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS TO THE NEW POST.
- Round One: October 17, 2007
Decisions released by January 3, 2008
- Round Two: January 9, 2008
Decisions released by March 26, 2008
- Round Three: March 12, 2008
Decisions released by May 14, 2008
The Chicago MBA Admissions Office has all new questions for this year, and in accordance with long Chicago tradition — not to mention its “Challenge everything” motto, — two are creative and non-traditional. My comments below are in red.
1. Why are you pursuing an MBA at this point in your career? Describe your personal and professional goals and the role an MBA from the University of Chicago GSB plays in your plans to reach these goals. (1500 word maximum)
This is similar to last year’s Essay 1, but the focus is a little more forward-looking than in previous years. Here is one way to approach the question (and there are definitely others): Identify two or three critical elements in your life that have convinced you now is the right time to pursue your MBA. Describe what you want to be doing, highlighting both the foundation provided by your experiences discussed initially in the essay and the gap between where you want to be and where you are. Then conclude by discussing how Chicago’s program, its flexibility, its iconoclastic nature, and its analytical rigor will help you progress to your destination. In answering the last part of the question, be specific. Don’t just mouth buzz words or Chicago’s home page. Dig a little. Think a lot. Connect the dots.
Chicago asks about personal and professional goals, and thereby gives you a lot of latitude. Most of you will probably focus on the professional side of your life in this essay. At the same time, if your goals reflect both non-professional commitments or interests and professional ones, you can bring them out here.
2. If you could step into someone else’s shoes for a day, who would it be and why? (500 word maximum)
This could be a great question to answer while revealing a deeply held, non-professional interest, especially if you didn’t explore it in Essay 1. As always, you want the essays to complement each other and work together to portray you.
Whom do you admire? It can be someone you know, someone in the public sphere, or a historical figure. The “why” part of the question is more important than the “who.”
3. We have asked for a great deal of information throughout this application. In this portion of the application, we invite you tell us about yourself using a non-traditional application format–a PowerPoint presentation. In four slides or less, please provide readers with content that captures who you are.
Given that this is a new section we have set forth the following guidelines for you to consider when creating you presentation.
- The content is completely up to you. There is no right or wrong approach to the way you construct your slides or answer this question.
- There is a strict maximum of 4 slides.
- Slides will be printed and added to your file for review, therefore, flash, hyperlinks, embedded videos, music, etc. will not be viewed by the committee. You are limited to text and static images to convey your points.
- Slides will be evaluated on the quality of content and ability to convey your ideas.
- You are welcome to attach a word document of notes if you feel a deeper explanation of your slides is necessary.
- If you do not have access to PowerPoint or a similar software application, you can contact the admissions office at firstname.lastname@example.org for alternative methods.
I warned you that this year ‘s questions are non-traditional. I am not sure I can give general guidelines for this question at this time (other than “follow the instructions”) because the slides will depend so much on how you respond to the other questions and what you have done. In any case, I want to think about this before I post tips.
(Optional) If there is any important information that is relevant for your candidacy that you were unable to address elsewhere in the application, please share that information here.
The recently added instructions provided online by Chicago reveal that they want you to use this question to discuss “anomalies”: gaps in your resume, a bad year in college, the absence of a recommendation from your current employer.
If you would like help with your Chicago MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and admissions consulting or a Chicago MBA Premier Comprehensive Package, which includes essay editing, interview coaching, consultation, and a resume edit for the Chicago MBA application.