The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business is part of the elite M7 business schools. This puts it on top of many MBA applicants’ list of dream schools. The school also prides itself on being one of the world’s most flexible MBA programs.
Booth’s mission statement says, “At Chicago Booth, our mission is to create knowledge with enduring impact, and educate current and future leaders.”
Looking at the list of alumni, one can see the manifestation of this statement in the form of industry leaders like former Managing Director and COO of Goldman Sachs & Company Andrew Alper, Eugene Fama who was named the father of efficient-market hypothesis due to his highly influential career in Economics. The list goes on.
If you’re still on the fence about applying to Booth’s MBA program, here is an amazing article that lists all the amazing experiences that a Booth MBA student has.
The reason we’re talking about the culture at Booth is that its one of the biggest factors that affect the admissions committee decisions at this school.
Booth’s admissions committee has been known to not hold a slightly lower score or less work experience against an applicant if their story is strong and they show signs that they are an amazing fit for the school’s environment.
Don’t be led into thinking that the only thing that matters to Booth’s admissions committee is your fit with the culture and values of the school. Your MBA profile (GMAT scores, work experience, Resume, Letters of recommendation, GPA) still hold a lot of significance in your acceptance or rejection by the school. But, since cultural fit is a big part of the decision, make sure your essay answers reflect it.
Booth MBA Application Essays
The biggest change that Booth made to its essay section in it’s MBA application is switching the second essay question out for a new one. the question previously focused on both the personal and professional aspects of an MBA applicant’s story now only asks for the personal aspects.
Essay One: How will the Booth MBA help you achieve your immediate and long-term post-MBA career goals? (250-word minimum)
This goals essay concerns your short-term as well as long-term career goals. Don’t simply mention your career goals. Provide Booth’s admissions committee with the story of how you decided upon your career goals. Provide them with recent instances that made you realize you were interested in a different industry, function, or moving up the ladder in your current role.
This is where your networking activities would also come in handy.
During networking, you would have found out about the various clubs, faculty members, electives and other activities at Booth. Use the unique aspects of the Booth environment and the people and events associated with it to show how they will help you attain the skills and knowledge that can help you thrive in your post-MBA role.
Make sure Booth caters to your post-MBA career plans. Since Booth has its own set of recruiters that return year after year, they are less likely to take a chance on a student that can’t be placed with one of these recruiters. In simple terms, if your potential recruiters aren’t present in the list of recruiters, you might need to provide more proof of employability to the Booth admissions committee. Here are the major recruiters that visited Booth in 2020.
Essay Two: An MBA is as much about personal growth as it is about professional development. In addition to sharing your experience and goals in terms of career, we’d like to learn more about you outside of the office. Use this opportunity to tell us something about who you are. (250-word minimum)
Who are you?
MBA application essays are full of introspective open-ended questions. These questions allow the applicant to explore themselves and well as share their true self with the admissions committee. Do not use any work-related anecdotes in the answer to this question. You can use workplace experiences but that would make you seem one-dimensional, and your answer forced.
Look back at your life experiences and pick one or two that you believe embodies you as a person. The best way to attempt this question is to make a list of experiences from your life that have had a great impact on you.
Now ask yourself which passion or value of yours gets highlighted through these events. The value or passion of yours you feel most strongly about or believe best represents you is the one you should be sharing through this essay.
Is there any unclear information in your application that needs further explanation? (300-word maximum)
This optional essay is for applicants that believe an aspect of their profile does not meet Booth standards.
You could have a low GMAT score or GPA.
You could have a work Gap.
You could have too low or too high work experience.
You might only have a few extra-curricular activities.
Any deviations in your MBA profile can be explained in this essay. Just remember not to write this essay for the sake of writing it. only use this space to address any shortcomings that could affect your chances of getting accepted to Booth.
Upon reflection, how has your perspective regarding your future, Chicago Booth, and/or getting an MBA changed since the time of your last application? (Maximum 300 words.)
Re-applicants need to write an additional essay for the Booth MBA application. This essay is an amazing opportunity for the re-applicants to list their accomplishments and share their growth, since their last application, with the admissions committee.
All the essay questions before this one focused on the personality and the goals of the MBA applicant. This one is focused on the quantifiable and the personal growth of the applicant since the last time they applied.
Whether it’s a promotion, a new job, a new venture, or anything else in your profile that saw significant growth since your last application attempt at Booth. Also, add you any new skills you picked up or significant changes in beliefs or personality you had since your last application to Booth.
Did you take the admissions committees to advise and improve your GMAT score? Or take more initiative at work? Took a major step towards your long-term goal? Got more involved in your community?
Mention it all here.