While most B-schools have changed their application essay questions in some way or the other this year, Ross has kept the essay questions unchanged in both phrasing and length . 1. Introduce yourself to your future Ross classmates in 100 words or less.
Undoubtedly, introducing yourself in 100 words is a daunting task. It is a test of your thinking and writing skills, a test of how concisely you can describe yourself. To brainstorm ideas, you may reflect on who you are and come up with 4-5 adjectives or phrases that broadly define your personality (i.e. your interests, background and perspective of life.) Then you can use those themes to build a picture about yourself illustrating them with anecdotes. This question offers you an opportunity to be creative and humorous which you may later use as an introduction to your actual class mates.
Note: The above paragraph above is exactly 100 words.2. Describe your career goals. How will an MBA from Ross help you to achieve those goals? What is your vision for how you can make a unique contribution to the Ross community? (500 word maximum)
This is a typical ‘goals’ question in three parts. The first part expects you to clearly define your short term and long term goals/objectives, the second part requires you to articulate why you need Ross to fulfill your goals, and the third part wants you to describe your vision about your contribution to the Ross community. Since you are allowed only 500 words to answer this three-part question, it is in your best interest to do equal justice to all the parts, by giving approximately 200-250 words to ‘Goals’ part, approximately 100-150 words to ‘Why Ross’ part, and approximately 100-150 words to ‘Contribution to Ross’ part.
1. As stated earlier, a Goals essay requires you to make realistic connection between your past (past experience and skills), present (your need of an MBA), and future (your future plans leading to your goals). In other words, you need to demonstrate how your professional accomplishments have enabled you to set your goals and how an MBA is the logical next step towards realization of those goals/ objectives. Please do not go into details of your professional accomplishments; just provide a general reference to them to show why you need an MBA to attain your goals. Remember, earning an MBA is just one piece of your career puzzle, and you want to prove it to the admissions committee that you understand where it fits in the grand scheme of things. Be specific about why you feel now is the right time for you to learn the required skills with an MBA to move ahead on your career path. Also, make sure there is convincing connection between your short term and long term goals.
2. The second part of the question focuses on the ways Ross’s MBA program will help you achieve your objectives. In order to tailor your response to Ross’s offerings, you will need to identify certain programs and courses that match your goals and interests. For this you should take time to do some research so you can identify ties between the school’s curriculum, special programs and extracurricular activities and your goals and study style. If possible, make a visit to the campus, talk to students, professors and alumni and attend a class.
3. In the end, describe what value you will bring to Ross and in what ways, you will make a valuable contribution to Ross? In answering this part of the question, keep in mind that your contribution need not be academic—it can be cultural, social, personal, etc. If you have some unique professional experience through which you could contribute in specific academic situations, then you should mention that. The key to answering this question is not just explaining your willingness to contribute to the Ross community, but also explaining how and when you will contribute. The more specific you are about your contribution in various areas, the better it is for you, for it demonstrates your thorough knowledge of Ross.3. Describe a time in your career when you were frustrated or disappointed. What did you learn from that experience? (500 word maximum)
Through this essay question the AD Com expects you to share a frustrating or disappointing experience from your professional l life. So you need to look for instances when you were disappointed because things did not work the way they should have or the way you had expected them to be. This may be your inability to handle a project in a desired manner or your inability to keep your team members aligned with each other or to get the expected results from them etc.
Please remember this question is different from a mistake or a setback question. Ross is not expecting you to admit or explain your mistake; instead, they are asking you to explain a situation that frustrated you. So you need to be honest in explaining your part, your team members or your superiors’ role in that situation.
In spite of the frustration you experienced, your story can still present you in a positive light, revealing your strengths in the areas of diplomacy, honesty, maturity, ethics, creativity and integrity. Make sure to be honest in narrating your story rather than indulging in blame game.
Again, like I always say, your story should have the four components: the challenge, the action, the outcome, and the significance. Since the second part of the question asks you to share the lessons learned from that experience, it is imperative that you explain at length why that experience is meaningful to you, what lessons it taught you and how you are now applying or trying to apply those lessons in similar situations at work. The key here is your essay should eventually demonstrate your growth. 4. Select one of the following questions:• What are you most passionate about? (300 word maximum)
You need to be careful in choosing content for this essay, because you have already discussed a part of your personality and interests/passion when introducing yourself in Essay 1. So you should consider these two questions as opportunities to show your uniqueness that sets you apart from other Ross candidates. Make sure not to repeat those aspects of your personality here that you have already revealed in Essay # 1.
Also, when discussing skills, interests, hobbies that you are passionate about, illustrate them by giving real life examples. For example, simply stating that you are passionate about particular sports is not sufficient, you should also reflect on ways you have evidenced that passion in your life eg. by playing it on a regular basis, and by watching live matches. You should talk about your passion in such a way that gives the reader an insight into the purpose of your pursuit.or• Describe a personal challenge or obstacle and why you view it as such. How have you dealt with it? What have you learned from it? (300 word maximum)
Looking at the phrasing of this you may begin wondering “Isn’t this question similar to essay question # 3? Yes, it does seem to be but it is not. Essay # 3 asks you to recount a time “in your career when you were frustrated or disappointed” whereas this question requires you to “describe a personal challenge or obstacle” which is different from a career frustration.
In order to choose content for this question, you should reflect on a situation from your personal life when you were faced with a challenge or obstacle. It does not matter if you were able to overcome that barrier completely. The key here is what struggles you faced, how you navigated through them, what lessons you learned in the process, and how meaningful those leanings are in your life. Some examples of the struggle can be an illness of you or your close family member, or a family emergency or a layoff of the only earning member of the family etc.
Be honest in providing details of your story, how you felt, what you did, what you said etc. These vivid details of your story would reveal your character traits. 5. Optional question: Is there anything else you think the Admissions Committee should know about you to evaluate your candidacy? (500 word maximum)
An optional essay is an opportunity for you to give the Ad Com relevant information that you could not give in other essays or other parts of your application. This question is also meant to shine a spotlight on an experience or side of your personality that has not been revealed in the other parts of your application: essays, recommendation letters and resume.
You may still use this essay in a variety of ways to further strengthen your candidacy. First, you may use this question to reveal your non-professional side. For example, if you have significant extracurricular accomplishments (sports, music, writing, painting etc.) or a community welfare activity that you initiated or led, you should share those stories. You can also use optional essay to address a weakness in your profile, like low GPA or GMAT , a gap in your job history, or your inability to get a recommendation from your current supervisor.
For my article on optional essay https://myessayreview.com/blogs/?m=201201
For sample optional essay http://myessayreview.com/sample4.html
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