The following essay topic analysis examines Michigan / Ross MBA admissions essays for the 2022-2023 admissions season. You can also review essay topic analyses for all other leading MBA programs as well as general Essay Tips to further aid you in developing your admissions essays.
2022-2023 Michigan / Ross MBA Admissions Essays
Let’s take a closer look at each prompt.
Short Answer Questions
Select one prompt from each group of the two groups below. Respond to each selected prompt in 100 words or less (<100 words each; 200 words total).
- I want people to know that I:
- I made a difference when I:
- I was aware that I was different when:
- I am out of my comfort zone when:
- I was humbled when:
- I was challenged when:
As an initial approach to these short answers, consider the broader themes across them—impact through action, attitude under adversity, or self-awareness amidst diversity—and ensure you have a balance of content across the set. By dividing the questions into groups, the adcom is sending a signal that they want to hear about different aspects of your candidacy. It would be prudent to highlight a range of experiences and characteristics as you choose your topics for each group.
Group 1 starts off with a very open-ended option allowing candidates to introduce a hobby or personal characteristic, then the second prompt focuses on impact. With only 100 words, each sentence must move the story along by conveying some action or impact. It makes sense to ‘complete’ the selected prompt in the first sentence, and, ideally, this opening would include your impressive results. For instance, “I made a difference when I resolved X problem for my local YMCA, resulting in more after school programs” or “I want people to know that I value education. I launched X after school program, which helped dozens of underprivileged students gain access to Y opportunities.” For the third option, you can demonstrate self-awareness about something that sets you apart from others—whether it’s your background, a value, personality trait or another aspect of your life. There is also the potential to showcase your ability to adapt through resilience and grit, or to highlight emotional intelligence and interpersonal skill in a story about bridging divides or navigating challenging interactions. The key to a strong response here will be establishing what was different, elaborating on your constructive response, and concluding with the positive results.
In regards to Group 2, the overall theme of attitude under adversity stands out. Humility is certainly a positive trait worth exploring. For instance, it would be appropriate to be humbled by how large a project team is, and how many colleagues contributed to its success; or one can be humbled when climbing a challenging peak or navigating a tropical storm in a small sailboat. Regarding being outside of one’s comfort zone, this is an ideal opportunity to introduce any international or cultural experiences you have had. You may also have a hobby that entails consistent growth and challenges; for instance, perhaps your quest for the next belt in your martial arts classes pushes you outside of your comfort zone. “Being challenged” opens up myriad settings for potential options. The key to this essay is to quickly provide the context that the reader needs to appreciate your story, and then elaborate on how you handled the situation and grew because of it.
Resume Short Answer
Pick one thing from your resume and tell us more. (100 words)
New to the Ross MBA application in 2022, this additional short answer invites applicants to shed light on an experience from their resume that they may not have had room to fully develop in the document itself. The adcom noted, “There is often a story behind a resume bullet point and we want to give you the chance to share it. What you choose is up to you — from why you started volunteering for an organization to a leadership position you held on a sports team.” The examples they provide suggest exploring a topic outside of work, which is fair considering the resume should include significant details about one’s work experience. However, the prompt is open-ended. We encourage you to consider this prompt in balance with the content you share in your other essays, e.g. if you’ve only talked about work in the first set of short answers, make sure to discuss an experience that highlights your values or personality. And also, make sure you are in fact sharing something beyond your resume. In terms of details to share, be sure to include your impact; if relevant to the selected experience, highlight your teamwork and leadership involved.
Career Goal Short Answer
What is your short-term career goal? (25 words) Why is this the right short-term career goal for you? (150 words)
The Ross adcom has retained this career goals essay question for another admissions season, except they’ve broken it down to more specific word counts. With this guidance, identify the position you hope to obtain immediately after school — down to the job title and 2-3 dream employers.
There are a number of factors that can make your goal “right” for you, whether for impact, skills, or as a stepping stone to your future. In any case, you’ll want to hone in on the purpose of your goals—what you hope to give through them and what you hope to gain. The latter connects naturally to enabling your long-term goal, which would make sense to mention in this short answer.
Allot any remaining space to addressing why the Ross MBA program and student community are a particularly strong fit with your objectives. If there’s a programmatic offering or elective course that seems particularly relevant to your professional plans, it could be worth mentioning to show the adcom how you see Michigan as an important part of your desired career path.
Clear Admit Resources
Thanks for reading our analysis of this year’s Ross MBA admissions essays. As you work on your Ross MBA essays and application, we encourage you to consider all of Clear Admit’s Ross School of Business offerings: