Chicago Booth MBA Essay Tips 2012-13

In this year’s Chicago Booth MBA Essays, the AdCom is trying to evaluate your leadership qualities, team building skills, maturity in handling challenges, fit, academic rigor, creativity and motivation for an MBA. The third essay can be answered as a PowerPoint presentation. If you are a creative person, don’t miss this opportunity to present your qualities in a creative way.

1. What are your short- and long-term goals, and how will an MBA from Chicago Booth help you reach them? (500 words)


When you mention your short-term and long-term goals, give a little bit of background context to your story. Subtly show how you can handle the academic rigor of Chicago booth with your proven track record. Clearly state why you made the career choices till now and how Chicago Booth MBA is a natural progression to achieve your short-term and long-term goals. To convince the AdCom, research and list courses and activities covered under Booth MBA. Pick relevant ones that would directly contribute toward your short-term goals. Long-term goals are important and should be presented in such a way that the MBA and short-term goals would act as pieces of the puzzle to achieve your long-term goals.

2 – MBA Application Example Short Answer Essays

a. What has been your biggest challenge, and what have you learned from it? (200 words maximum)

This essay is new, and Booth has left out the traditional community question from the essays. Interesting! Notice the word limit - 200 words. Be frugal with the choice of words and ideas. For the first question, go directly to the biggest challenge you had faced. Why was it the biggest challenge? How you react to challenges shows your leadership qualities and maturity. So when you conclude the essay, be honest about the challenge and clearly identify what you have learned from the experience.

b. Tell us about something that has fundamentally transformed the way you think. (200 words maximum)

Another short but important essay. As individuals, we have certain pre-conceived notions about our environment, challenges and people that we interact. With experience our thinking changes. Transformation in the way we think cannot take place with minor events. It has to be something that fundamentally changed your world-view. It can be one event or a series of events. You have to articulate why it was transforming. It will depend on your value system and how well you can explain it to the AdCom. Values that align with Booth values should be mentioned when you explain the transforming event.

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?

We would recommend that you use your creative juices to answer this essay. Preferably, don’t go for the 600 words essay. Use the slides to present your personality.

The question here is what is acceptable and what is not for a slide presentation. Thankfully, Booth AdCom has some tips:

a) The content is completely up to you. There is no right, or even preferred, approach to this essay. Feel free to use the software you are most comfortable with. Acceptable formats for upload in the online application system are PowerPoint, Word, or PDF. However, we suggest converting your file to a PDF to preserve your intended formatting.

Comments: Follow the guidelines for the presentation format

b) There is a strict maximum of four pages (presentation) or 600 words (essay), though you can provide fewer if you choose.

Comment: Mind the word-limit

c) The file size is limited to 16 MB.

d) The document will be viewed electronically, but we cannot support embedded videos, music, or motion images.

Comment: Don’t include embedded videos, animated images or music.

e) All content MUST be included in four pages (presentation)/600 words (essay); hyperlinks will not be viewed.

Comment: Don’t link to your personal blog or your work

f) The file will be evaluated on the quality of content and ability to convey your ideas, not on technical expertise or presentation.

Comment: Quality of content is more important

First of all don’t bother creating a flash presentation. Simplicity is the key here. Since you have only 4 slides, focus on one area of your personality that has not been covered in other essays. Use illustrations or creative charts/diagrams to convey who you are.

If you have tried to bring your creative spirits with the essay but have failed then go with the safe bet – 600 words essay. Cover aspects of your personality that has not been mentioned in other essays.

If you are struggling with Chicago Booth essays, download Chicago Booth essay guide from SB Consulting or get expert MBA Admissions consulting service.

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