Ross School of Business

Michigan’s Ross School of Business has announced the MBA Application Deadlines for the class of 2021 (Entering 2019)

Round 1

Applications due Oct. 1, 2018
Decisions released on Dec 19, 2018

Round 2

Applications due Jan. 7, 2019
Decisions released on March 15, 2019

Round 3

Applications due March 18, 2019
released on May 10, 2019

Apply Now for Michigan Ross MBA

Learn how to turn your essay into an interesting narrative that the Admission team will read with curiosity (19 Sample Essays)...

Prompt 2: I am out of my comfort zone when

Before you articulate how you came out of the comfort zone, understand what the term means. If you are working on a project where the tasks have become routine, with low to no pressure and there are few incentives to take the risk, then you are in your comfort zone.

Two traits define comfort zone: anxiety and skills.

If you are using an existing skill to solve a problem with no anxiety-inducing characteristics, the scope for growth is low. Most applicants develop a plan for an MBA when they become intensely aware that they will be in the comfort zone for the next 3-10 years. By motivation, MBA applicants are coming out of their comfort zone. But the Admission team is expecting pre-MBA experience or an extracurricular for this prompt.

Ideally, include an extracurricular or a volunteering experience or an experience that breaks the stereotype of your profession, gender or nationality.

Example 2: Publishing daily Science Show

Even the activities for which you have made a name for yourself can lead you out of your comfort zone. In this example, the applicant explains how the responsibility to capture accurate information through the daily science show and guide young scientists has taken her out of the comfort zone.


Prompt 1: I was humbled when

When the phrase starts with “I was humbled when” most applicants will skip it. They don’t have the emotional intelligence to look at the essay objectively. The essay is a rephrased, “when was the last time you failed.”

Example 1:  Losing a Client

In the first example, we look at the experience of an applicant who lost a client just after presenting the idea for a campaign. Although such examples are rare, the shock of the drastic step is articulated through the perspective of the client. Starting with the result then expanding on the circumstances that led to the result should be the strategy for the short essay questions.

Sample MBA Essay: Losing client (100 Words)

I was humbled when I lost the client. The responsibility to develop a campaign for a Fortune 500 company rested on my shoulders. While selecting the director for the video campaign, I chose one based on potential, instead of relying on previous work. 19th-century artists influenced her frames. Unfortunately, the client found it...

Ross values volunteering and extra-curricular activities. If you have more than two active volunteering experience, use this question for highlighting both or offering context on the challenges, setbacks, and change that you brought about with one active volunteering.

The applicant in the example addresses the complexity of sanitation and enabling behavioral changes. With the emphasis on infrastructure, funding, and marketing, the essay concludes with the impact the applicant had on the slums in Mumbai.

Sample MBA Essay: Three-Level Sanitation Campaign (100 Words)

I made a difference when I volunteered to be part of the X’s Sanitation Re-programming campaign. We tackled the problem at three levels: awareness, partnerships, and infrastructure.

Building awareness was the easiest as it correlated with miles covered by our team whereas partnering with local influencers needed understanding the persuasion matrix. However, the most effective step was at the Infrastructure level...

Download 19 Sample Ross MBA Essays with F1GMAT's Ross MBA Essay Guide

Prompt 2: I made a difference when I

The admission team wants to know the triggers that encourage you to make a difference. Is it intrinsic (responsibilities & challenges) or extrinsic motivation (compensation & titles)?

Another personality trait they want to measure is your ability to take initiatives.

Are you aware of your role in a team?

Do you value excellence?

What is the guiding principle that is pushing you to act?

Example #1: Consulting for a Pharma Giant

In this example, the success factors for a consulting engagement is established in the first half, followed by a unique approach to address the complexity of consulting for a Pharma giant and finally the applicant concludes with a philosophy on ego and learning.

Sample MBA Essay: Consulting for a Pharma Giant (Made a Difference) (91 Words)

I made a difference when I go beyond the expected responsibilities of my role. In consulting engagements success require research, defining the problem, and setting client expectations. With hourly billing in the hundreds of dollars, the client had ...


The circumstances of your childhood, the influences of your role models, the setbacks, and the successes help you develop a life philosophy that is shareable with the admission team. Instead of sharing an outlook that has been written or shared to death – “Persistence,” “Hard work,” or “Global outlook,” choose an event that reaffirmed a unique value in you.

In this Entrepreneurial example, the applicant cites how his start-up quickly scaled to a $20-million enterprise. The highs were met with setbacks when the co-founder cheated him out of his share, and the politics of the board made the applicant a pariah in his own company. Since we have only 100 words – a sentence capturing the setback is enough to establish the backdrop for the life philosophy.

Sample Ross MBA Essay: Life Philosophy through the prism of an Entrepreneurial failure (94 Words)

I want people to know that I started a neighborhood e-waste collection platform and scaled it to a $20-million business in just two years. Unfortunately, the cliched story of co-founders making side-deals and the politics ...



Haas vs Ross MBAThe 24-month General Management MBA program offered at Haas School of Business is built on leadership as the foundational skills. The school is also among the few top Business Schools with defining guiding principles – Student Always, Confidence without Attitude, Question the Status Quo and Beyond Yourself.

On the other end, Ross 2-year Full-time MBA program at University of Michigan's Ross School of Business is among the few schools that believe in hands-on learning over traditional lectures and case study. The global initiative, especially through the MAP (Multidisciplinary Action Projects), is exemplary in the depth of the experience that an experiential learning module should provide.

Class Profile

Ross leads in accepting more women applicants – in percentage and numbers while on International front, Haas accepts a larger percentage from other countries. The entry level for Haas is much higher with the average GMAT for the latest class at 725 – close to 10 points higher and undergraduate GPA averaging at 3.71 – 0.2 points higher than Ross.


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