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University of Chicago / Booth School of Business MBA Essay Topic Analysis

The following essay topic analysis examines the Chicago Booth MBA admissions essays for the 2020-2021 admissions season. You can also review essay topic analyses for all of the other leading MBA programs as well as general Essay Tips to further aid you in developing your admissions essays.

Chicago Booth MBA Essay Topic Analysis 2020-2021

Essay 1

How will the Booth MBA help you achieve your immediate and long-term post-MBA career goals? (250-word minimum)
This is a fairly straightforward career goals essay.  To address this question fully and in detail, candidates will want to identify the position that they hope to hold immediately after graduating from Booth, naming both a job title and 1-2 organizations for which they would most like to work. They will then want to discuss their longer-range 5-10 year plan, explaining not just what role they hope to occupy, but also commenting on the broader impact they hope to have in this position. It would then make sense to touch on the ways an MBA would facilitate progress toward these goals, and describe the factors that make Booth an especially good next step. To underscore this fit, name some curricular or programmatic offerings that are relevant to these objectives. Conducting thorough research on the program—whether by attending an info session, or speaking with students and alumni—will help you achieve maximum impact.

Given the open-ended length, it may be tempting to introduce accomplishments or details outside of the scope of the question, or include unnecessary details about your plans, but stay focused on the prompt! While the application says to “use your judgment,” you can take a hint on preferred length from the 300-word limit of the optional essay.  Of course, you are welcome to exceed 300 words—just make sure they count. 400 words would be concise and pack a punch. If you must exceed 500 words, which is fairly standard, make sure every word is necessary to address the prompt.  Finally, considering how many applications the adcom must go through, you’ll want to avoid bogging them down with a 1,000-word essay.

Essay 2

An MBA is as much about personal growth as it is about professional development. In addition to sharing your experience and goals in terms of career, we’d like to learn more about you outside of the office. Use this opportunity to tell us something about who you are… (250-word minimum)
Start by reflecting on your past experiences outside of the office and a broader theme that defines who you are.  In other words, you do not need to discuss every time you volunteered in your community, but rather the most influential experience.

You might also try the following exercise to help you focus:

  1. Write down the 10 to 15 most important events, accomplishments, interests, or experiences in your life. Include the good, the bad, the astounding, the ugly, etc.
  2. Look at the list you have generated and try to determine the themes that unify the important events, interests, and ideas in your life. How have you dedicated your time? What values have you fought for? What appears to define who you are?
  3. Select one or two items from the list that best support given strengths or values and use them to define your approach and kick off the drafting process for the essay.

Once you establish your values—based on your experiences, interests and passions—connect to what you will contribute to Booth.   Ultimately, the adcom wants to see how you will fit with the community based on your attitudes and experiences.

Additional Information

Is there any unclear information in your application that needs further explanation? If so, please use this section to clarify. (300 words)
This response will be an appropriate place to address any elements of one’s application that need further explanation (e.g. recommender choice, low GMAT score, questionable undergraduate performance, expected promotions, etc.). The wording of this essay is fairly open and inviting, and so it might also be an appropriate place to share an additional anecdote or highlight an impressive accomplishment. Applicants should aim to demonstrate good judgment in deciding whether to respond to this prompt, and should take care not to introduce information that appears elsewhere in their materials or that could have been covered in response to one of the above essays or in the data form.

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