The two required questions have 250-word minimums. While specifying MBA essay length minimums is very unusual, it fits with Booth’s history of breaking the mold. At the same time, don’t infer that the absence of a maximum is a license for verbosity. As Booth says, “We trust that you will use your best judgment in determining how long your submission should be.” Do use your best judgement, otherwise you will be showing a different kind of judgement, and you really don’t want to do that.
Chicago Booth MBA application question #1
How will the Booth MBA help you achieve your immediate and long-term post-MBA career goals? (Minimum 250 words, no maximum.)
In order to answer this question you need to know three things:
- Your immediate post-MBA goal, which you should be able to define in terms of function (what you want to do after you earn your MBA — not study during the MBA) and industry or type of company. Sometimes location can play a role, and if so, provide that information, too.
- Your longer-term professional aspirations. These don’t have to be as specific as your short-term goal, but the two should be related.
- The Chicago Booth program. Specifically how do you intend to use distinctive Booth strengths to build on your past and prepare yourself for your chosen career? If it’s not obvious how your previous education and experience when combined with the Booth MBA will help you achieve both goals, clarify.
To answer the question, you can start with a seminal experience, preferably an achievement that shaped your goals and aspirations. Tell a story about this experience and describe what you learned from it and how it has influenced you and your short- and long-term goals.
Then talk about Booth. Look at the curriculum, strengths, career placement, and extracurricular activities that support your ambitions.
Alternatively, start with the achievement of your goal — you can try using a day-in-the-life approach — then flash back and tell the story of that seminal experience and how it and Booth prepared you for the future day that started your essay.
A couple of years ago I attended the AIGAC conference, hosted for one morning by Chicago Booth. During the informative sessions at Booth, the admissions committee members made clear that they are looking for students who demonstrate self-awareness and direction. They want to read your application and see, based on what you’ve done, that you’re going to make a mark on the world.
Write this essay so that it shows both self-awareness and your ability to make that mark.
Chicago Booth MBA application question #2
An MBA is as much about personal growth as it is about professional development. In addition to sharing your experience and goals in terms of career, we’d like to learn more about you outside of the office. Use this opportunity to tell us something about who you are… (Minimum 250 words, no maximum.)
This question is new this year and is a real getting to know you kind of question. What do you like to do in your spare time? Why does it appeal to you? Introduce yourself outside the office. And if you can show yourself in a growth mode, do so.
You could approach this essay with a goal that you’re trying to achieve and the steps you’re taking to achieve it. The possibilities are endless: running a marathon, painting a certain painting, learning a musical instrument, acquiring fluency in a foreign language prior to international travel, contributing to a cause you believe in, etc.
You could approach this essay by starting with your motivation for assuming this challenge or simply you doing what you enjoy doing. Tell a story about the experience and then explore why it’s significant to you. What does it say about you?
Chicago Booth MBA optional essay question
Is there any unclear information in your application that needs further explanation? (Maximum 300 words.)
This is a restrictive optional question. Booth is really asking only for information that will clarify something that is unclear, like a drop in grades one semester or a period of unemployment, or why your current supervisor is not writing your letter of recommendation.
This question, unlike the required questions, does have a word limit. Respect it.
Chicago Booth MBA reapplicant question
Upon reflection, how has your perspective regarding your future, Chicago Booth, and/or getting an MBA changed since the time of your last application? (Maximum 300 words.)
The answer to this question is critical for MBA reapplicants, and it’s different from most reapplication essays in that it’s more about your perspective than what you’ve done. Chicago wants to see growth and development. Same old, same old got you a ding last time and probably will again this time.
Let this brief essay show a maturation and evolution of your goals and reasons for wanting to attend Chicago Booth. Let it also reveal that you meet Chicago’s criteria better this year than last.
Response Guidelines: We trust that you will use your best judgment in determining how long your submission should be, but we recommend that you think strategically about how to best allocate the space.
Format: Submissions must be entered into the text box provided in the application.
For expert guidance with your Chicago Booth MBA application, check out Accepted’s MBA Application Packages, which include comprehensive guidance from an experienced admissions consultant. We’ve helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to Chicago Booth’s MBA program and look forward to helping you too!
Chicago Booth 2020-21 MBA application deadlines
|Round||Submission Deadline||Decision Notification|
|1||September 24, 2020||December 3, 2020|
|2||January 12, 2021||March 18, 2021|
|3||April 1, 2021||May 20, 2021|
|Chicago Booth Scholars||April 1, 2021||June 3, 2021|
Source: Chicago Booth website
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***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***Want an admissions expert help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!
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