Scott Edinburgh
June 5, 2019

Michigan Ross Class of 2022 – Essay Questions & Analysis – Fall 2019 – Spring 2020

University of Michigan Ross School of Business has released its application deadlines and essays for this season.

Ross has delayed its Round 2 and Round 3 deadlines a bit this year. According to the school:

“We’re pushing the Round 2 deadline back a bit so applicants have a little more time after the holidays to finish apps. We’re pushing the Round 3 deadline back by a few weeks to accommodate applicants who get more clarity on their business school plans later in the winter.”

This should be good news for many applicants. This year’s deadlines are as follows:

As for the application essays, very little changed this year. Ross only altered the wording on the final prompt, leaving the other five untouched.


Group 1

  • I want people to know that I:

  • I made a difference when I: ​

Group 2

  • I am out of my comfort zone when:

  • I was humbled when:

Group 3

  • I was aware that I am different when:

  • I was challenged when:

We encourage you to share personal examples in these short answers to allow us to learn more about who you are as a person.

Read below for Personal MBA Coach’s tips on tackling these questions.

With a more traditional career focused essay to follow, heed Ross’s advice to 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.

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 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.

The final group gives you a chance to show the reader how you are unique from your peers. 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.

Alternatively, with the updated prompt: I was challenged when.., candidates have the opportunity to show an area of relative weakness. When meeting with Admissions Directors during the annual Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC) conference, I learned that authenticity and growth were key hot points for many adcom 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.

Career Goal Essay:

Michigan Ross is a place where people from all backgrounds with different career goals can thrive. Please share your short-term career goal. Why is this career goal right for you? (300 words)

For the short career goals essays, there is a lot to cover in a small amount of space. As advised, 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 need to explain both why an MBA is right for you at this time and more specifically, why Ross. Be sure to spend some time thinking about the skills necessary to succeed, how you have these skills, and how you will continue to perfect them. Be specific in terms of what you hope to take advantage of on campus and why Ross is a good fit. As always, do your research and avoid vague statements and generalities. No copy and pasting here, sorry!

Need personal support? Founded by a Wharton and MIT graduate, Personal MBA Coach regularly helps applicants navigate their applications each year. As the #4 ranked admissions consultant on Poets & Quants, our comprehensive support includes mock interviews with a team of former M7 interviewers and customized GMAT/GRE tutoring with tutors who scored in the 99th percentile.

Personal MBA Coach has been guiding candidates through all aspects of the MBA application process for over 11 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!