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Tips for Writing a Great Michigan Ross MBA Essay

Ross has a great reputation of cultivating a strong and authentic culture. This is an applicant’s first opportunity to show what makes them special and how they could be a unique addition to the Ross “family.”

Essay 1: (Required) What are you most proud of outside of your professional life? How does it shape who you are today? (up to 400 words)

Ross is known for having a very student-driven community focused on leadership development and social impact. Applicants should be sure to incorporate how they have taken action in their past and how they hope to take action in the future.

Some key things to remember…

  1. Be authentic and genuine. Take some time to really think about several personal experiences and how they have made a significant impact on your life. If you are genuine in sharing who you are and how that makes you unique, then that will give you a better opportunity at standing out from the crowd.
  2. Be innovative. A major piece of advice is to not try to think of an example that is in the “MBA box.” What that means is, don’t highlight something that most consultants, I-bankers or marketers would most likely highlight. Think of something outside of the box and though that might sound cliché, it is important.
  3. Be proud and confident, without being conceited. Don’t be shy to share how great the selected accomplishment was. You should really take time to describe the impact and why you are so proud of the experience. Make sure that the full experience can be appreciated by the admissions committee member reading the essay.

Furthermore, do pay attention to make sure the essay flows and makes sense. Applicants should be able to clearly communicate how the example of what they are proudest of is connected to who they are today. Try to be succinct but thorough in answering the essay prompt.

Essay 2: (Required) What is your desired career path and why? (up to 250 words)

As far as the second essay prompt, applicants should dream big! The key word is “desired.” If you could do anything, what would it be?

This question is also looking for applicants to articulate their career goals and show how a Ross MBA will help them achieve those goals. Consider the following two points when responding to this prompt:

  1. Immediate dream job and your future goals. You can start with a job goal that interests you right after graduation, but make sure to project a bit into the future and to also share long-term goals. Also, verify there is a true connection to how obtaining a Ross MBA will help you achieve both the short-term and long-term careers.
  2. Why the Ross MBA is pertinent to your success.  You should definitely incorporate how being a part of the Ross community helps you achieve your desired career path. Is it the collaborative reputation of Ross? The available courses on corporate sustainability? Or the Ross mantra of “Thought in Action?” By including the connection of the Ross MBA and your career path, applicants can clearly address how much research they have done about the program and why they truly want to be a part of the program.

Also, always make sure to follow the word-count limits. If there is anything that is critical that needs to be shared with admissions, Ross gives applicants the opportunity to submit an optional third essay to address anything that needs to be explained, for example employment gaps, academic performance, GMAT score, etc.

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