UPDATE- The tips for the 2010 Michigan Ross MBA application are now available online. Please post questions or comments to the new post.
Deadline Date Notification
Round 1 Oct 10, 2008 Jan 15, 2009
Round 2 Jan 2, 2009 March 15, 2009
Round 3 March 1, 2009 May 15, 2009
International students are encouraged to apply in Round 1 or 2.
The application is identical to last year’s application, and I have only tweaked my suggestions from last year.
Although Ross’ questions may appear superficial or generic, don’t be fooled. Ross does not want generic answers. Your answers need to connect to Ross’ multi-disciplinary action projects and commitment to action-based learning. You need to show the admissions readers why you belong at Ross, not at Top B-School.
The remainder of my tips are in red below.
Provide response to the following four essay questions, each on a separate page. At the top of each page, please include your full name and a complete statement of the question being answered.
Use at least 11 point font and 1.5 line spacing.
You must answer the following four questions:
Long Answers: (500 word max)
1) Briefly describe your short-term and long-term career goals. Why is an MBA the best choice at this point in your career? What and/or who influenced your decision to apply to Ross?
2) Describe your most significant professional accomplishment. Elaborate on the leadership skills you displayed, the actions you took and the impact you had on your organization.
Clearly your most significant professional accomplishment should reveal leadership and have had impact on your company. What challenges did you face as a leader? How did you handle them? If you can, quantify the impact of your accomplishment.
Short Answers: (300 word max)
3) If you were not pursuing the career goals you described in Question 1, what profession would you pursue instead? (for example, teacher, musician, athlete, architect, etc.) How will this alternate interest contribute to your effectiveness in solving multi-disciplinary problems?
Maybe you are someone who struggled with your career choices. You had a close second before you chose your current professional goal. Then you should have a relatively easy time answering this question.
If you always seemed pretty directed and haven’t wavered since you decided against being a firefighter in first grade, then you may have a little more difficulty with this question. In the latter case, use the question to reveal another side of you. Perhaps you would be a professional basketball player and your team skills would be relevant at Ross. Or you would work as a serial entrepreneur and bring your entrepreneurial pizzazz to Ross.
4. Describe your experience during a challenging time in your life. Explain how you grew personally, either despite this challenge or because of it.
Challenge comes in so many shapes and sizes that it is very difficult to give general advice on this one. You have to be on the other side of the challenge to know how you grew as a result. You may have conquered the challenge. You may not have entirely overcome it, but you will be changed and usually strengthened by having faced it. Describe the challenge, how you handled it, and how you grew as a result.
For most applicants, this will be a non-professional essay.
Is there anything else you think the Admissions Committee should know about you to evaluate your candidacy?
Do not use this essay like a storage room, my son’s bedroom closet, or even a large salad: a place to put everything. 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. Write about it here.
You can of course also use this essay to “explain” a weakness, but I hate to end your application on that note if it can be avoided. So weigh your options. If you have something to explain, do so. If you can tuck the explanation somewhere else in the application, more power to you. If the best place for the explanation is this last essay, so be it.
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