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University Of Michigan’s Ross School Of Business Essay Analysis 2017 – 2018

Posted on September 22, 2017

Welcome to this article in which I will discuss the Ross MBA program at the University of Michigan. If you’re looking at applying to Ross this year, 2017-2018, you have come to the right place. In this article, i will analyze the MBA application essays, which by the way, if you haven’t noticed, has changed.

 

Firstly, let’s look at the program. Based on our discussions with students who went to Ross, we understand that a specialty at Ross is their MAP ( Multidisciplinary Action Project). With MAP, what happens is that you actually do consulting as part of a team. This is real field work; you’re solving real problems. You won’t be just looking at the MBA as a way to gain knowledge but also to actually apply the knowledge you’ve gained. I recommend that you to go to their website, and read more about MAP.

 

The University of Michigan is one of the largest public universities You have around 40,000+ students, undergraduates and postgraduates from various disciplines. You will get access to that network, to various departments, and you can take electives from some other departments. That’s a huge advantage as opposed to many MBA schools that are standalone business schools.

 

The third important factor is the focus on operations and manufacturing. You have the Tauber Institute of Global Operations. If you’re looking for operations, you’re definitely in the right place. Although Detroit isn’t doing well in terms of being a manufacturing hub, in terms of operations, logistics, and supply chain, Ross is the place to be. It is definitely one of the top schools when it comes to specialization in operations.

 

 

Michigan / Ross MBA Deadlines for 2017-2018

 

Round 1

Application Due: October 2, 2017

Decision Released: December 15, 2017

 

Round 2

Application Due: January 2, 2018

Decision Released: March 15, 2018

 

Round 3

Application Due: March 19, 2018

Decision Released: May 11, 2018

 

 

 

Ross School Of Business MBA Essay Analysis 2017-2018

 

Short Answer Questions

 

GROUP 1

 

   •  I want people to know that I:

   •  I turned an idea into action when I:

   •  I made a difference when I:

 

 

GROUP 2

 

   •  I showed my resilience when I:

   •  I was humbled when:

   •  I am out of my comfort zone when:

 

GROUP 3

   •  I was aware that I am different when:

   •  I find it challenging when people:

   •  A valuable thing I have taught someone:

 

In each of these groups, you have to pick one prompt and write your answer in less than 100 words. Now, if you have started writing application essays, you know that fewer than 100 words can actually be very, very tough. As Mark Twain said once, “If I had more time I would have written you a shorter letter.” Writing fewer words is a lot harder than writing more.

 

Let’s look at each of these groups and analyze them.

 

GROUP 1

 

   •  I want people to know that I:

   •  I turned an idea into action when I:

   •  I made a difference when I:

 

So now you need to complete the prompt. If you look at all of these prompts, it’s about you they want to know. Is any advantage of picking one response over the other? Absolutely not! Don’t even try to game this by saying “this response is better than the other.” This is going to completely be your personal choice.

 

 

   •  I made a difference when I:  

 

Well, I don’t know when I made a difference. Maybe I haven’t thought about it, so I don’t have to pick that. I am just giving an example here. If you have no idea about it, you don’t have to pick it.

 

 

   •  I turned an idea into action when I:

 

I have a lot of ideas, but have I really turned them into actions? Maybe yes? Or Maybe not? Ican’t think of many.

 

 

   •  I want people to know that I:

 

Now I would like to say something about myself, right? This is probably easy, and there is something that i really want to say. I would probably pick this prompt. Now, Icould use this same justification for the second or third prompt. I am not saying the first is better than the others but that’s really the thinking process you need to have. What is unique to you? What is personal to you? Which of the following prompts best resonates with you? That’s what you need to look at.

 

 

GROUP 2

 

   •  I showed my resilience when:

 

Tell them something that you bounced back from. Some failure that you faced. Some dejection, some frustration. Tell them how you were able to work on it.

 

 

   •  I was humbled when:

 

When I got to know something that is larger than me.

 

 

   •  I am out of my comfort zone when:

 

Tell them something that they would want to know about you as a person. With 100 words as the limit, you can write only three or four sentences, so talk about the “What” and don’t forget to spend time explaining the “Why”. People do not understand just the “What” so you need to tell them “Why”.

 

For example, “I was in my comfort zone when…My manager assigned me to lead a team of people who came from diverse backgrounds with  different function expertise and I had to show them the path to what was really required in this project.” Well, great! You know what? I didn’t learn anything about you. You need to tell me why it was a challenge. That is the point I am interested to know about. So what should you do? You need to keep it simple and say “When I was asked to lead a multi disciplinary project with people from various geographies because I  had only dealt with people who think in a similar manner as I, and I had to put myself in other people’s shoes. I had to show empathy. The moment you start speaking more about you, the Admissions Committee comes to know who you really are.

 

 

GROUP 3

 

   •  I was aware that I am different when:

 

What makes you different ? It could be anything. It could be your way of thinking or maybe it’s something else. What is it that makes you different? Tell them.

 

   •  I find it challenging when people:

 

What is it that people do that you find yourself being challenged?

 

   •  A valuable thing I have taught someone:

 

As I said, more than the story, focus on the “Why”. In 100 words, you can probably devote 20 words to the ‘What” and the remaining 70 to 80 words  can be devoted to the “Why”. You can focus on the “Why” more, so that they get to know about you. When they read it , it must make them say “This is the person I would like to meet”.

 

 

Career Goal Essay

 

Please share your short-term and long-term career goals. What skills/strengths do you have that will be relevant to your career goals? How will Ross prepare you for your goals? (300 words)

 

300 words can be challenging because there is lot to cover over here. This is how I would structure this essay.

First, talk about your career so far.Give a quick synopsis. Give them a summary and don’t tell them too much.but show them progression.

“This how I was when I graduated, this is who I am today.”

 

Next, tell them  what you see for yourself. What are your short term goals? Talk about your function, industry, geography, companies you would like to work  for, job functions you would have in these companies.  Whatever it is, be very specific when it comes to short term goals. The huge mistake that people make is that they keep it very general. They say, “I want to get into a general management function. I want to be in a strategic role in a company.” No. You need to be more specific in what you say.

 

You do have some leeway when you talk about your long term goals. You can afford to say, “This is what I plan to do. This is what I intend to do.” You have a lot of leeway here because long term goal is 5 to 10 years. There is a little room for you to be creative here. However, you still need to have something that ties back to your education, experience, MBA, short term goals and all of it in your long term goals. So don’t make a blanket statement like, “ I want to be an entrepreneur.”, or something crazy like, “I want to save the world”, or “I want to save whales.” Whatever you say, it should make sense, so be carefull in what you say.  It cannot be a flight of fancy.

 

Then comes the third part. How are you going to bridge the gap ? This is where you are, and this is what you need to do. What is the delta? What is the bridge? The bridge has to be the MBA. Tell them what it is that you need in order to bridge the gap. Do you need knowledge ? Do you need to be a different person? Does your perspective have to undergo a change? Do you need the network ? Do you need the brand equity of the school Tell them all of your requirements.You need to tell them specifically hat in the  Ross program will help you address this delta.

 

So that becomes your third part. Overall, there are three parts.

 

   1. Your journey so far

   2. Short term and long term goals

   3. How an Ross MBA can help you in this goal.

For the first part, you can look at 60 to 70 words, for the second part, you can utilize another 120 words. With this, you’re left with 100 words for the third part. 300 words can be a little tight. So it’s important that you work this well. Work on the language to cut down the extra words so you can get your message out in 300 words.

 

 

Optional Essay

 

Talk about gaps in your employment, talk about gaps in your education and you can also talk about something like,a low GMAT score. Something that you think they should know. Don’t try to retrofit a story just because you’re not able to place it elsewhere. You do yourself a big disservice. Don’t say things that they don’t need to know. That’s the thumb rule i have for all the optional essays.

 

So yeah, we have covered a lot for the Ross MBA Program. If  you’re applying to Ross, we can help you; we’ve had many students who applied to Ross in the previous years. We would like to see if we could work together. Please go ahead and click the link below, and drop in your comments. I will be more than happy to respond to each one them personally.

 

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