Chicago Booth has cut the number of mandatory essays to one. Over the years, the questions have been about your goals, biggest challenge, transformative experience, and presentation/essay that test your creativity. This year the question is about you. The School wants to know how you fit with booth’s value of adventurous inquiry, diverse perspectives, and collaborative exchange of ideas.
Q) Presentation/Essay: Chicago Booth values adventurous inquiry, diverse perspectives, and a collaborative exchange of ideas. This is us. Who are you?
Summary of Guidelines
1) Think critically and be reflective
2) Think how your values, passions and experiences influenced you
3) There are no word limits. Use your judgment.
4) You can use either an essay or presentation but all presentations/essays will be converted to pdf format. Videos, Audio and Animation, will not be retained in a pdf file.
5) Max File Size: 16 MB
MBA classroom experience transforms from good to great when the “Why”, “What”, “When”, “How”, “Where” doesn’t result in the obvious answer. Booth believes in this value, and you can align yourself with this trait with an event in your life where you did not stop at the obvious but dug deeper, and asked questions that your colleagues dared not to ask, or found to be irrelevant. The spirit of adventure in your inquiry starts when others stop asking questions. This does not mean asking trivial questions that does not deserve any attention, but looking at contexts, and having an understanding on how they interconnect, and what that means to the problem at hand.
Google looked at Search as a fundamental problem that needs attention. While other search engines focused on making money with sponsored Ads at the top, and search results at the bottom, of which only few were of repute, Google focused on “Search” as a way of life. They created scenarios for each personality type.
What would a researcher search?
What would a college student search?
What would a professor search?
By focusing on contexts and personality type, Google created algorithms that were universally acceptable. “Google” became a verb, not through shortsighted focus on profit but a long-term view on the value of “search”. They asked questions that seem irrelevant. How should we rank pages based on the value it offers to the users, and not on how much Marketing budget the brand has. By eliminating all distraction, and asking questions deeper than what meets the eye, Google transformed search experience and monopolized the market.
If adventurous inquiry transformed a company, it sure can transform an individual. Look for examples in your work where you did not rest on your laurels but asked questions that were critical in spotting flaws and complete the project on time.
The enemy of rational discussions is one-sided confirmation of beliefs without challenging the source or motivation. What Business Schools mean by diversity is not views from diverse nationalities alone, but diversity in perspectives rising from experiences in different scenarios. Two MBA candidates can experience the same scenario in multiple ways. The reaction can be different, the evaluation of problems can be different, and even the approach to solve the problem will be different. When different thought process is articulated under the supervision of experienced professors, new ideas emerge, trusted models of business is challenged, and an engaging exchange of ideas happen.
Collaborative Exchange of Idea
Collaboration in exchanging ideas happens when there is no one judging each other’s inputs, no matter how much wacky it seem. That can happen in an environment where ideas are not discouraged, and there is a genuine respect for each other. When was the last time you came up with an idea that seem wacky at first but later lapped up by your team members? What created an environment that encouraged you to share the idea? Was it the team leader or the camaraderie between team members or the common ethos of the team?
Business Schools formulate values that sustain their brand and attracts MBA applicants with similar DNA. You cannot fake your core values. You don’t have to include all three values when you are describing yourself but ask yourself these questions?
1) What is missing in your resume and recommendation letter?
2) How did you reached your current career?
3) What is motivating you to wake up early in the morning, or stay late in the night?
4) What makes you happy?
5) What change would you like to see in the world?
6) What triggers you to come out of your comfort zone?
7) What infuriates you?
8) How do you react to failure after the initial disappointment?
These 8 questions seem irrelevant but answer them anyway. You will find your true-self?
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Only 1 in 900 gains admission to Harvard MBA program. If you write your essay focused only on your achievements, post-MBA goals, and your pre-MBA experience, you will be among the 899 rejected applicants.
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