Taken together, the two mandatory Ross EMBA essays provide both a forest-level (essay 2, goals) and tree-level (professional achievement) view of your career. Each question gives a specific lens through which to focus your approach and shape your answer. Thus, while you address the two questions’ points and nuances, keep in mind the larger picture of your career and your character that they portray together. Also, since question 2 refers specifically to the Michigan Model of Leadership, ensure that the story you present in essay 1 is consistent with the model’s underlying values and character.
Michigan Ross Executive MBA application essays
Ross EMBA essay #1
What is your proudest professional achievement? (up to 400 words)
Although this essay asks you to discuss your proudest professional achievement, it also, indirectly, is personal, because what is important to you in any area of your life reflects your values, your concerns, your interests, your passions. Accordingly, even though the question doesn’t ask it, I suggest clarifying WHY the chosen achievement is your proudest. It might just be a phrase or sentence, but “why” is what will ultimately make it resonate.
Select a more recent achievement, if there is one that can rise to the superlative (proudest) level, as it’s a chance to show the reader your impact in a higher-level context that you’ll also be bring to the “EMBA table.” If it’s an older experience, it should be truly pivotal, and perhaps add a sentence about how the experience has influenced you going forward. With only 400 words, keep the structure simple – start with the story and tell is directly, with perhaps a brief concluding reflection.
Ross EMBA essay #2
Adopted by thousands of businesses and leaders around the world, and recognized by the Financial Times as one of the 40 most important management frameworks in history, the Michigan Model of Leadership underlies all leadership research and teaching at Michigan Ross. Please describe your personal leadership goals and how the Michigan Model of Leadership and the EMBA leadership development curriculum will help in the achievement of those goals. (up to 400 words)
First, to state the obvious, familiarize yourself with the Michigan Model of Leadership (MMoL). To encapsulate, I quote from an article on MMoL by Ross professors and others: “At the centre of the MMoL is a core purpose: to make a positive difference in the world” and “The Michigan Model of Leadership enables leaders to recognise and effectively manage competing tensions in organisational life. Leaders who utilise the process of Mindful Engagement learn to balance these tensions and make an impact in a world where there are no easy answers. We need leaders with empathy, drive, integrity, and courage … whose core purpose is to make a positive difference in the lives of others.”
With that as a context, discuss your goals, spotlighting the leadership component. That means what you will do in terms of position, industry/company, AND how your envisioned impact aligns with the MMoL AND how in the specific positions you will employ leadership consistent with MMoL. Give more detail about the roles immediately post-EMBA and the several years following. Longer-term goals need less detail, but they should present a clear direction, building on the earlier roles. In both short- and long-term goals, present them through the MMoL lens – i.e., discuss things such as the difference you want to make, the likely tensions and conflicts that you’ll face, the ambiguity you’ll have to navigate, and how you intend to employ MMoL-based leadership in managing these factors.
In discussing how the MMoL approach and Ross’s leadership development curriculum will benefit you, again be specific: describe where you are as a leader and where you need to improve, and how the program meets those needs.
Ross EMBA essay #3 (optional statement)
This might be an opportunity to elaborate on your skills, describe your experiences, or tell us why joining the Michigan Ross EMBA program is important to you. (up to 400 words)
This Ross EMBA optional statement is an invitation not just to explain anything that needs explaining, but also to discuss a topic (or topics) that will enhance your application in some way. Take a holistic view of what relevant, impressive, and/or compelling experiences or skills are not yet portrayed in the application, and feel free to discuss it here. I suggest doing so by anecdote and example, not just explanation. And link it to the application; clarify why it’s important for the adcom to know – how and why you think it adds a pertinent dimension to your candidacy.
If you choose to discuss further why this program is important to you, avoid redundancy with the second essay. Be specific about aspects of the program and why they are important to you.
For expert guidance with your Michigan Ross Executive MBA application, check out Accepted’s MBA Application Packages, which include comprehensive guidance from an experienced admissions consultant. We’ve helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to top EMBA programs and look forward to helping you too!
Michigan Ross EMBA 2021 remaining application deadlines
|Round 2||February 1, 2021|
|Round 3||March 15, 2021|
|Round 4||May 1, 2021|
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***
Source: Michigan Ross EMBA website
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!
- Ace the EMBA, a free guide
- Executive MBA Essays: How to Make an Impact
- EMBA: The Ultimate Guide for Applicants
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