This Rotterdam Erasmus 2012 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. You can access 2011’s series at https://blog.accepted.com/acceptedcom_blog/tag/2011-mba-application-tips.
Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, has consistently ranked among the top in Europe, placing 6th in Europe in this year’s Financial Times business school rankings. Rotterdam’s MBA program emphasizes global business, preparing its graduates to collaborate across boundaries, and teaches its students to incorporate broad stakeholder issues – environmental, social, and governance – into decision making. These focuses are the reason why Dean George Yip believes that Rotterdam graduates are strong big-picture thinkers and global players.
Rotterdam’s essay questions reflect these values. My comments and advice are in blue below:
1. How do you see your career developing and how will earning the RSM Erasmus University MBA help you achieve your goals? (do NOT exceed 500 words)
To predict your career’s future development does require a brief summary of its evolution to date, but don’t make the mistake of writing 400 words about your past and leaving only 100 to outline your future and Rotterdam’s role in preparing you for it! I suggest spending about 200 words on your past, and then 100 on your goals, and 200 on the unique way that the Rotterdam program will prepare you for your future. Be sure your goals are consistent with what other graduates do after graduating!
2. Describe your favorite hobby, pastime or sport and explain how it reflects your personality. (do NOT exceed 500 words)
Rotterdam is proud that it prepares its graduates to collaborate across cultures and integrate people and planet into their profit goals, so Admissions will be seeking evidence of the ways in which you have collaborated and taken initiative in the community in the past. Use this space to highlight not only the hobby/pastime/sport but also specific situations within it in which you demonstrated these abilities.
3. Describe the most difficult decision you have made and its personal effect on you. (do NOT exceed 500 words)
Rotterdam has a strong focus on preparing its graduates to juggle competing stakeholder needs. These competing needs are what make decisions difficult! Choose an example here in which those stakeholders each have clear, legitimate, and conflicting agendas and lead the reader through your thought process in resolving them. Creativity in problem solving will be an essential element of a successful essay. And remember to discuss the effect this decision had on you at the end!
4. OPTIONAL ESSAY Please feel free to supply any additional information that you believe would be helpful to the Admissions Committee in making the final decision on your application.
I highly recommend submitting an optional essay that demonstrates to Rotterdam another area of impact. This will make your application more compelling – assuming the examples you share demonstrate your ability to take initiative, be a big-picture thinker, and make a global impact.
The 12-month Rotterdam program beginning in January 2012 has rolling admissions. The final deadline is the 10th of October, 2011, but you should avoid applying so late in the process: otherwise the class may already be full of students with similar backgrounds to your own and you may find that they just don’t need another applicant like you to round out the class.
Senior Editor Jennifer Bloom has been successfully helping applicants demonstrate their readiness for the top MBA programs for 12 years. She would be happy to help you create your best applications.