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Tips on Your Application Essay

Tips to “Unlock” the 2016 Rotman Admission Essays

Writing strong application essays are key to qualifying for the Rotman MBA program, providing you with a chance to show off your strengths and personality. Below are some tips to help you perform at your best on the essay requirements.

MBA essays are designed to allow prospective students to express themselves in formal prose. In doing so, applicants convey to the Admissions committee why they should be considered for the program not only through the content of the essays, but the style and tone in which they are written. It goes without saying that the grammar, spelling, and punctuation must be impeccable.  If that sounds daunting, or you’re struggling with writer’s block, you’re not alone. Each year, we post a few tips to “unlock” the admissions essays so that you can put forth your best application.

Essay Question: When you reflect 10 years from now, how will you measure your MBA experience? (500 words) 

Completing the MBA is a big decision. At this stage in the application process, you should be thinking about how your dream school and MBA Program fits within the larger picture of your life. This year's essay question is about your values - how are you going to measure your MBA? Broadening the scope of the question to consider your perspective 10 years from now is important because it prompts a meaningful reflection where you will dive deep, beyond your immediate professional goals. So, in many ways, this is actually an evolution of last year's essay where we asked applicants to state your professional goals and how you plan to achieve them. Our hope with this essay question is that you will not only be able to share a thoughtful response with us but, you will also develop a greater understanding of yourself in the process. And, of course, you already know this but there is no right or wrong answer. We’d rather see a thoughtful response that is authentic.

We look forward to reading your essay.

Reflection Question: List 3-5 attributes or characteristics that best describe you. 

This is one of our favourite questions! Corporate employers repeatedly tell us that self-awareness is paramount. The response to this question will help signal to the Admissions Committee which applicants really know themselves and are not trying to be like anyone else but themselves. There are definitely no right or wrong answers here, but an important tip, your word choice will need to be congruent with the rest of your application (essays, interviews, video interviews etc.) Additionally, when you arrive on campus, these five words will help you and your personal Career Coach begin to build your personal brand, an important part of your job search strategy. 

For more tips on what we look for in our applicants, see What's Really Important in MBA Admissions, an interview with our Managing Director Niki da Silva.

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