The University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management is one of the leading business schools in Canada. Known for its design approach to MBA education and strong emphasis on problem solving, Rotman’s program has grown in renown.
This year’s essay questions will enable you to show that you have the self-knowledge and personal insight to make the most of the Rotman MBA and will benefit from and contribute within its “creative methodology.”
Essay Question: Our Full-Time MBA Program at the University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management is best defined as a transformational experience. We believe that your journey begins with ‘why.’ Please describe why you are pursuing an MBA? Why Rotman? Why now? (500 words)
This is a goals question, and more. The appearance of the words “transformational,” “journey,” and “why” all point to fundamental change and deep exploration of your motivation for pursuing the MBA. So, your goals should reflect the change you want to make through your career, and your “why Rotman” discussion should reflect your openness to – even desire for – your own change that will occur through attendance in the program. The question indicates a culture encompassing willingness to probe, engage in frank self-examination, and challenge internal and external assumptions.
While the structure for this essay may be relatively conventional and straightforward – one tried-and-true approach is to describe your career vision and/or goals, and possibly personal goals, followed by how the program will support the needed growth and development – the discussion should incorporate the qualities and character contained in the question.
Reflection Question: List 3-5 attributes or characteristics that best describe you. (5 words)
With these scant words, you should both reinforce your main application and essay message(s) and, also, add a little something extra and new – but that doesn’t contradict those other points. So, if your main message revolves around excellent soft skills and persuasion, look for another complementary point, e.g., risk-taker, that may not be emphasized but that is still reflective of you – and that will also be consistent with your profile and application even if not the most prominent point.
Required video interview (2 questions) with a new timed written response component (10 minutes in length). Check out our blog posts for more details on the video essay and the timed written component.
Without knowing what the questions are, it’s best to approach the video interview with both your own application and the Rotman program fresh in your mind. This will help you to simultaneously avoid both (a) being redundant and (b) being contradictory or inconsistent. I suggest viewing and approaching it as a continuation of the dialogue. It presents special challenges, particularly for non-native English speakers and writers who may typically take more time to polish their writing in English. While it’s natural for a follow-up piece like this essay to be less polished and thought through than essays on which you reasonably spend much more time, it also shouldn’t sound like a different person or present such a gap in English writing fluency that it raises doubts about your authorship of the other written portions of the application. If you are worried about these elements – practice. Give yourself sample topics and a 5-10 minute response window. Use tough questions, to make the actual one (hopefully) seem easier! (NOTE: The Rotman website gives an example – not an actual sample – question.)
Here are some additional resources for the video question:
If you would like professional guidance with your Toronto Rotman 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 Toronto Rotman application.
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***Cindy Tokumitsu has advised hundreds of successful applicants, helping them gain acceptance to top MBA and EMBA programs in her 20 years with Accepted. She would love to help you too. Want Cindy to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!
• Why MBA?, a guide to acing the MBA goals essay question
• Optional Essays: When and How to Write Them
• 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your MBA Application Essays