Toronto Rotman 2016 MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines

By - Nov 4, 02:53 AM Comments [0]

Check out the rest of our school-specific application essay tips!

Toronto Rotman


The University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business 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 size and renown.

My tips are in blue below. 

Essay Questions:

1. Please state your professional goals and how you plan to achieve them. (Please limit your answer to 25o words.)

This is a pretty straightforward goals question, requiring a concise answer. What do you want to do and where do you want to do it? The "where" refers to industry, not necessarily geography, but geography could be a part of your goal. If it is, you should include it in your response.

Your essay should show Rotman that you have thought about your career path and how the Rotman MBA experience can combine with your previous experience and education to help you achieve your goal.


 My suggestion here would be to avoid what my friend and colleague from Maxx Associates, Maxx Duffy, calls "umbrella words." These are general terms for valued attributes, but they tend to be abused and overused in the MBA application process. There is nothing wrong with them other than the reality that they have been sapped of meaning and impact. And if you use these umbrella words, you will blend in with all the others who are also using them, just like one more black umbrella on a rainy day.

An example: leadership.  I guarantee that attribute (or any form of "lead") will be the most commonly mentioned term. I encourage you not to use a form of the words "lead" or "leader." It is an umbrella word. Instead, go into the key attributes you have that make you a great leader.  Those are the qualities that go under the umbrella. They will be more distinctive and more memorable. Hint: Duke Fuqua has a list of leadership attributes

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. 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. After completing your questions, you will receive a confirmation email and unique URL to input into this section of the application and complete the video component. Good luck and have fun with the process!

We've written blog posts on the video essay, and two years ago I had a fascinating interview with Niki da Silva, Rotman's Admissions Director, who provided excellent advice on the Rotman video interview. It is by far, our most popular podcast. I interviewed her again this year, and again she provided insight into Rotman's application in general and on the new writing exercise specifically

Here are links to these resources.  

• Tips for Video MBA Essay Questions

• MBA Video Essays: A Conversation with Rotman’s Niki da Silva 

• 2015 Admission Straight Talk interview with Rotman's Niki da Silva

Toronto Rotman 2016 Deadlines:

See our other school-specific MBA essay tips!


Linda Abraham By , president and founder of and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.


Related Resources:

• What’s Really Important In MBA Admissions? Interview With Rotman’s Niki da Silva [podcast]
Why MBA [free guide]
• Introducing Toronto Rotman’s New Admissions Test

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