Scott Edinburgh
July 9, 2020

Chicago Booth 2020-2021 MBA Essay Analysis

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This week Chicago Booth confirmed the MBA application essay questions for 2020-2021 applicants. Once again, Booth will require two essays, each with no strict word limit.

The first question remained unchanged once again, while Chicago Booth altered the second essay question this year.

Essay 1: “How will the Booth MBA help you achieve your immediate and long-term post-MBA career goals?”

For this question, you will want to discuss your specific short-term and long-term goals. Be sure to explain a bit of your thinking behind these goals, allowing the reader to understand

both how you developed them and what your higher-level aspirations are.

As with other “goals” essays, you are also expected to touch upon your past successes, explaining how they are relevant to your future objectives. This question does not require you to walk through your entire resume, and candidates are advised not to do so. Instead, focus only on your past to establish your key skills as well as how and why you will succeed in the future.

Next, think about your skills gaps and how a Booth MBA will help you to close these gaps. Be specific here and take the time to do your research. Detail the classes, programs, or clubs you hope to take advantage of on campus and how they will help you to achieve your post-MBA career goals. Again, do not include a laundry list. Instead carefully think through how each area will help you fill in the necessary pieces of the puzzle. Finally, be sure to show an understanding of Booth’s culture.

Essay 2: “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)

Chicago Booth is pivoting from its previous focus on choices, which included a combination of personal and professional context. This year, the second Chicago Booth essay challenges applicants to think about personal aspects of their profile.

At Personal MBA Coach we specialize in helping our clients develop their personal stories. This essay is an opportunity to tell more about yours. As you brainstorm topics for this MBA application essay, remember that admissions committees (including Chicago Booth) are looking to create a well-rounded class. Think about how you are unique. This is your chance to think about what sets you apart from other applicants.

Potential topics to explore here include passions, values (but be careful not to copy your Kellogg essay if you are applying to both schools), hobbies, and extracurricular activities.

While there is no stated maximum for the Chicago Booth essay questions, we advise our clients to be focused and succinct. This is not the time to write a 1000-word essay.

In fact, many schools this year are lowering their word limits or the number of essays required. Stanford GSB reduced its combined word count by 100 words this year, a major change given how long the essays had previously remained unchanged. Michigan Ross, UCLA, and Duke Fuqua are also among the schools that reduced the required writing. While in many ways this may seem like welcome news, it highlights the importance of choosing your words carefully and editing. Writing less is actually harder than writing more. (Be on the lookout for a future blog on how to say more with fewer words.)

Need help? Personal MBA Coach is willing to be your guide. Founded by a Wharton and MIT graduate, we regularly help applicants navigate their applications each year. We also conduct mock interviews with former M7 interviewers on our team.

Personal MBA Coach has been guiding candidates through all aspects of the MBA application process for 13 years with a 96% success rate. Call us today at +1 617-645-2424 or email for a free consultation on your profile along with how we can help make your MBA dreams a reality!

For more MBA application essay advice, you may also like these blogs:

Kellogg 2020-2021 Essay Analysis

Yale SOM 2020-2021 Essay Analysis

MIT Sloan 2020-2021 Essay Analysis