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 continues to grow in renown.
Through the uniquely engaging essay question and the opportunity to shape a rich and in-depth message over a generous word limit, this essay invites you to demonstrate the self-knowledge and personal insight that convey your fit with the values and culture of the program.
Toronto Rotman 2021-2022 MBA application
Rotman MBA essay question
Our admitted students stand out through the varied accomplishments in their personal and professional lives — something we describe as the “spike factor”. Tell us about your spike factor and how it will enrich our Rotman community. You have up to 1,000 words for this essay. The following are examples of topics you may decide to address. You may choose to address any one, multiple, or none of these in your essay: What are the things that you have done in your life that demonstrate passion, perseverance, resilience, innovation, drive, ambition and more? This can cross all or any aspects of life outside of work – personal accomplishments, volunteer and community activities, awards, entrepreneurial ventures, sports or the arts. We believe that exposure to a rich diversity of viewpoints makes for a superior learning experience, and pride ourselves on building a diverse class of exceptional individuals who will go on to make the School proud as professionals and alumni. How will your diverse experiences and perspectives contribute to the classroom and the Rotman community? (Note: We consider diversity to include race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, visible or non-visible disabilities, first generation students, socio-economic background and others).
Explain your spike factor (something unique about yourself) that you believe will contribute to the Rotman community and is aligned with Rotman values. (Up to 1000 words)
Optional – Please upload 1-3 of your ‘spikiest’ pictures to the supplemental items section of your application here. Note: Your photos must be uploaded as a single PDF.
“Spike factor.” Those words say a lot. You should make this essay, and the points it contains, not just interesting – it should also bring a grin to the reader’s face, or make them nod and think “Yes!” They should feel a tingle of enjoyment on reading it.
“Explain.” This word on the other hand can mislead you into lengthy exposition. Make any explanation short and sweet. You do have to explicitly explain your “spike factor” because the question directs you to. But you don’t have to do it at the start of the essay, and you don’t have to do it at length. Consider starting the essay with an anecdote to engage the reader.
Once you decide on the spike factor that you want to present, find 1-3 illustrative anecdotes from outside of work and from work (but definitely not all or only work) that illustrate it – if more than one, make sure they show different contexts or facets of the spike factor. Be strategic about which anecdotes you use; i.e., what are some desirable “zoom-in” moments or experiences from your life (at least 1 relatively recent) that would enhance your application in relevant ways? Use this essay to fill in the mosaic of who you are.
The emphasis on the word “diverse/diversity” in the question prelude indicates that the adcom appreciates reflections that are not only individual perspectives but that the applicant feels connects her to some broader group in some way. If you make such connection, all the better, but make sure it’s meaningful – adding a distinctive voice or message.
As for that spike factor – you don’t need some exotic point that no other person would ever think of or possess. Rather, dig into your own experience and personality and find a point that shows what makes you tick. You will then make that point distinctive, vivid, and memorable through your examples and stories.
Rotman MBA required video interview
The video interview component is a required part of Rotman Admissions process designed to give all candidates guaranteed “face time” with the Admissions Committee and showcase your personality, characteristics, passions, and values. You will have an opportunity to test the technology, and then will be asked two taped questions, followed by a real-time written response (no video with this component.) Both questions are personality/values based and are designed to be answered without any advanced preparation and will only take a few minutes to complete. The written question is designed to simulate the typical email communications you will create as a Rotman MBA student. After your application has been submitted, you will receive an invitation via email to complete your video interview within 2 business days.
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 started in your essay. 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!
You’ve worked so hard to get to this point in your journey. Now that you’re ready for your next achievement, make sure you know how to present yourself to maximum advantage in your Rotman application. In a hotly competitive season, you’ll want a member of Team Accepted in your corner, guiding you with expertise tailored specifically for you. Check out our flexible consulting packages today!
Toronto Rotman MBA application deadlines 2021-2022
|Round||Application Deadline||Decision Notification|
|Early Round||September 3, 2021||October 15, 2021|
|Round 1||October 4, 2021||December 10, 2021|
|Round 2||January 10, 2022||March 11, 2022|
|Round 3||March 7, 2022||April 29, 2022|
|Round 4||April 25, 2022||June 3, 2022|
* To be considered for specific Combined Program awards we advise applicants to the JD/MBA, MGA/MGA, Skoll/MBA and Pharma/MBA Programs to apply by the Round Two deadline.
** All international applicants (excluding US Citizens) are highly encouraged to apply by Round Three in order to ensure ample time for visa processing after accepting the offer of admission.
Source: Toronto Rotman website
Stay on top of MBA deadlines with the MBA Admissions Calendar!
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***Want Cindy to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!
- Why MBA?, a guide to acing the MBA goals essay question
- Toronto Rotman MBA: The Spike Factor, a podcast episode
- How to Practice for a Video Interview or Essay
Would you be willing to participate in a quick, 2-question survey?clear