University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business has announced its admission essays and deadlines for 2012-2013. The overall goal of this application is to evaluate candidates on their ability to handle the Chicago curriculum, contribute to the community, and grow in their careers.
Booth Admissions Deadlines
Round One Deadline: October 2, 2012
Round Two Deadline: January 8, 2013
Round Three Deadline: April 4, 2013
Booth Admissions Essays
1 – Essay
What are your short and long-term goals, and how will an MBA from Chicago Booth help you reach them? (500 words)
Re-applicants only: Upon reflection, how has your thinking regarding your future, Chicago Booth, and/or getting an MBA changed since the time of your last application? (300 words)
This is basically an essay that tests the “Why Booth?” question. As you explain what your goals are and incorporate your background into that discussion, make sure you describe both why you made the choices you did, and think about why you didn’t make other choices. Self-awareness about your career goals will go far to distinguish you in this essay.
When you address how a Chicago Booth MBA will help you reach your short and long-term goals, think about the specific classes and programs at Chicago Booth that appeal to you. Are you looking for flexible program? International experiences? How will these aspects of the program fit with your future career goals?
There is a separate essay for re-applicants and this will be something that will need enough time and attention. The word reflection is explicit in the question, and the admissions committee will be looking for your revised thinking as well as any new accomplishments you can describe. This will be your opportunity to let the admissions committee know how your refined goals can be fulfilled by an MBA at Booth School of Business.
2 – Short Answer Essays
a. What has been your biggest challenge, and what have you learned from it? (200 words maximum)
b. Tell us about something that has fundamentally transformed the way you think. (200 words maximum)
This question is new this year and as you can see applicants are expected to be really brief. With only 200 words to address question one, you will need to present your example of the challenge very quickly and then use some of the space to talk about what you learned. This question provides an opportunity to demonstrate your maturity, flexibility and leadership qualities. As you consider what to write about, think about challenges that taught you something about yourself and provided insight into your decisions about career and life.
Chicago is a school with a tradition of intellectual rigor, and the second short answer focuses on how your thinking has evolved over time. This question gives you an opportunity to discuss something that has changed your thinking fundamentally. This could be an experience at work, home, or in an extracurricular activity. It could even be a travel experience or something that you saw someone else go through. Think well before you answer this one. “Transformed” is a powerful word. For this essay, you cannot discuss something that has merely shifted the way you think to some degree. Instead, you need to reveal an experience that powerfully and indelibly altered it. To effectively show the contrast between your current mind-set and your original one, you should write about your experience with a sense of “before and after” in mind.
3 – Presentation/Essay
The Chicago experience will take you deeper into issues, force you to challenge assumptions, and broaden your perspective. In a four-slide presentation or an essay of no more than 600 words, broaden our perspective about who you are. Understanding what we currently know about you from the application, what else would you like us to know?
This creative essay offers you a blank slate to express yourself with any content you choose. When approaching the question focus first on content, and then on delivery.
This is the ideal opportunity to bring in any aspect of your overall story that does not fit in any other essay. Think about the aspects of leadership, teamwork and intellectual curiosity you have already presented in the previous essays, and where the gaps are. If you wrote about your professional experiences in the prior essays, essay three could focus on personal stories.
This question gives you the option to use a presentation. Four slides is definitely very limited space to communicate in detail. This will test you creativity and give you an upper hand too if you do well. You can maybe use photos, drawings, etc. and make your point clear and focused rather than writing an essay.
Do give a good amount of thought to this question and decide which approach you would want to take.