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Toronto / Rotman Essay Topic Analysis 2023-2024

toronto mba essays

The following essay topic analysis examines the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management MBA admissions essays for the 2023-2024 admissions season. You can also review essay topic analyses for other leading MBA programs as well as general Essay Tips to further aid you in developing your admissions essays.

Toronto / Rotman Essay Topic Analysis 2023-2024

Toronto Rotman applicants will need to answer the essay question below. Once they submit their application, they will need to respond to two random questions in a video response and also respond to a timed, live written response over the course of ten minutes.

Essay 1

Our admitted students stand out by doing interesting things with their personal and professional lives — something we describe as the ‘spike factor’; what are the things that you have done in your life that demonstrate Passion / Grit / Resilience / Innovation / Drive / Ambition and more? This can cross all or any aspects of life outside of work – hobbies, volunteerism, awards, entrepreneurial ventures, sports and the arts. We believe that exposure to a rich diversity of viewpoints makes for a superior learning experience, and pride ourselves on building a diverse class of exceptional individuals who will go on to make the School proud as professionals and alumni.

Explain your spike factor (something unique about yourself) that you believe will contribute to the Rotman community and is aligned with Rotman values. (up to 500 words)*  
Optional – Please upload 1-3 of your ‘spikiest’ pictures to the supplemental items section of your application here. Note: Your photos must be uploaded as a single PDF.
Though the pictures are optional, they would likely help anchor a the essay, so you should strongly consider taking advantage of the opportunity.  While it would be ideal to touch on each of the values Rotman capitalizes (Passion / Grit / Resilience / Innovation / Drive / Ambition), it’s entirely understandable that some would be more prevalent than others. There are a few ways to begin tackling this lengthy essay. One would be list your greatest accomplishments, and then connect back to one or two (or more) of the highlighted values. Alternatively, you may reflect on each value and find an accomplishment that way.

When tackling this, you may consider using the STAR technique to structure your story:

  • Situation – Set the stage or identify the situation and opportunity for improvement.
  • Task – Identify the task or project that you set out to perform.
  • Action – Describe the actions you took to complete the project.
  • Result – Summarize the (hopefully positive) outcome.

Keep in mind, while the adcom knows most candidates are not professional photographers, make sure the pictures you may choose to upload are clear and informative. While you may look fantastic in your head shot, this essay presents an opportunity to show more about you. Consider the background, consider what action is taking place, consider what a viewer may deduce simply by looking at the image. How does or can your given image(s) tie back to Passion / Grit / Resilience / Innovation / Drive / Ambition?

Finally, be sure to use some space to discuss specific ways your experiences will translate to contributing to the Rotman community, which is comprised of more than just your fellow students.  Rotman describes themselves “a collegial environment in which all students, staff and faculty commit to treating each other with respect, regardless of their roles at Rotman.” The more descriptive you can be, the easier it will be for the adcom to envision you as a student.

Clear Admit Resources

Before you start writing your responses to the Toronto / Rotman essay topics, check out some of our Rotman resources: