Scott Edinburgh
May 28, 2021

Michigan Ross Application Deadlines and Essay Advice: 2021-2022

The University of Michigan Ross School of Business has released its application deadlines and essays for this season. While the school offered four application rounds last year, they are returning to three rounds for the upcoming season.

Want to learn more about applying to Michigan Ross? Take a look at Personal MBA Coach’s interview with Diana Economy, Director of Full-Time MBA Admissions at the University of Michigan Ross, to get insider advice on the Ross experience and application process.

Watch here to learn how to position yourself for success!

The upcoming Michigan Ross MBA application deadlines are as follows:

Round 1: September 20, 2021

Round 2: January 10, 2022

Round 3: April 4, 2022

This year, the school is minimizing changes and keeping all essay questions the same. Once again, brevity is particularly crucial due to the number of short answer prompts and length of the career goals essay.

2021-2022 Michigan Ross MBA Application Essays:

Please see below for Personal MBA Coach’s advice on how to approach the Michigan Ross MBA application essays.

Part 1: Short-answer questions

Select one prompt from each group of the two groups below. Respond to each selected prompt in 100 words or less (<100 words each; 200 words total). Every word counts here — the tight word count is intentional to force you to focus.

Group 1

I want people to know that I:

I made a difference when I:

I was aware that I was different when:

Group 2

I am out of my comfort zone when:

I was humbled when:

I was challenged when:

While not explicitly stated, with a more traditional career focused essay to follow, consider your personal background as you answer these short questions. Pick the prompt that resonates best with you as there is no preferred option.

For Group 1, think about your most unique attribute or accomplishment. What sets you apart from other applicants? A personal accomplishment or a fond personal success story would work well here. Volunteer or extracurricular stories could also be good to cover.

If you have a unique skill or talent, Group 1 would be a good place to share it. If you did something amazing that is not on your resume or that you want to call more attention to, that would also work well for this prompt. Other options for this prompt include examples of passions or values. Remember, MBA admissions directors aspire to bring a well-rounded group of students to campus each year. This is your chance to share something about your upbringing or personality that will position you to add another perspective to class discussions.

For the second group, show the reader a bit about your character. What would working and studying with you be like? This is not the time to sing your own praises but instead the time to show you are human. Show what you have gained from this experience and let the reader see that you are someone students would want to be around.

Alternatively, these prompts give candidates the opportunity to show an area of relative weakness. Authenticity and growth are key hot points for many admissions committee members. Candidates are applying to business school to grow and are not expected to be “perfect” when they arrive. Discussing a challenge that you have overcome and/or will continue to overcome could be a nice choice here.

Part 2: Career Goal Essay

Michigan Ross is a place where people from all backgrounds with different career goals can thrive. What is your short-term career goal and why? (200 words)

With just 200 words, there is a lot to cover in a small amount of space. Be straightforward here. If you need help thinking through your goals, we have published a blog with our general tips.

Once you have clearly stated your short-term career goal, you will want to explain the why behind this goal. There are many questions you should consider as you answer the why behind these goals. What attracts you to your chosen field? Why are you passionate about it? How will this short-term goal help prepare you for your long-term goal?

Optional statement: Is there something in your resume or application that could use some explanation? You might want to discuss the completion of supplemental coursework, employment gaps, academic issues, etc. Feel free to use bullet points where appropriate.

The optional Michigan Ross essay should only be answered by those with extenuating circumstances. Read more on our approach to optional essays here.

About Personal MBA Coach:

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We help clients with all aspects of the MBA application process including early planning, GMAT/GRE/EA tutoring, application strategy, school selection, essay editing and mock interviews. Our team includes a former M7 admissions director and former M7 admissions interviewers.

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