Previously, the school gave applicants nine options for its 100-word short answers—this year, candidates have just six.
Although this person may very well have committed him/herself to this project in a fiercely original manner, the reader does not have a window into he/she performed.
Instead, something much more specific like “…ignored the objections of countless peers and launched a charity pie-eating contest” would stand out for its originality and paint a clearer picture of the candidate who wrote it with respect to his/her values, persistence with an unpopular idea, and sense of humor in executing an idea.
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The Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan must have liked the essay questions it used last year, because it has made only the smallest of tweaks to them for this season.
If you choose to simply discuss a trait without a narrative, at worst, you will risk bragging, and at best, you will waste an opportunity for the admissions reader to get to know you.
When you are done writing, take a look at your two responses and see if they are complementary of one another.Another factor to consider is everything the admissions committee will already know about you from the other portions of your application; you do not want to waste this opportunity to paint a well-rounded picture of yourself by repeating information the school already has.So, to recap, strive to make sure your responses (1) genuinely reflect who you are as a candidate and are as specific to you alone as possible; (2) present a narrative that allows the reader to walk in your shoes, so to speak; (3) are complementary of each other, with each one revealing something different about you; and (4) do not discuss a part of your profile that is already well explained or represented elsewhere in your application. (300 words) With just 300 words, you do not have any space to waste here, so focus on presenting your answer as clearly and thoroughly as possible—and give the admissions committee what it wants!You want to be able to “own” your answer—as we like to say—meaning that no other applicant could write the same thing as you do.Using the second prompt of the first group as an example (“I made a difference when I …”), writing something like “committed the entirety of myself to a public service project” would be far too general a response and could easily be stated by a large number of applicants.We suggest that in treating this as a mini essay, you use a narrative approach to allow the reader to enter into your story.With only five sentences (or so), you can still craft a visual of how you conduct yourself and engage and guide a reader with a compelling story that has a clear beginning, middle, and end.But if you were to instead write, “For the past four years, I have lived and breathed Fruity Pebbles in a way I would not have believed humanly possible.I now understand how the tiniest increase in the price of coconut oil or a ten-cent Cocoa Pebbles coupon can affect my product’s margins.Imagine you plan to move from consumer marketing to equity research for consumer goods companies after graduating.If you were to simply state, “Post-MBA, I want to join a boutique equity research firm” as your opening sentence, your reader could be left wondering where this interest comes from.