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Ross School of Business MBA Essay Analysis 2021

Ross School of Business MBA Essay Analysis 2020-2021

If you wish to apply for Ross School of Business in 2020-21, this is the blog you should read. Here we will be analyzing the application essays for Ross School of Business to help you send the winning application.

First, let us see some of the unique offerings of the Ross School of Business:

1. MAP: It stands for ‘Multi-disciplinary Action Projects’ and is a unique program where students spend 25% of their first year working on different companies’ projects and challenges.

2. University setup: Being a part of the University of Michigan, one of the largest universities in the US, Ross offers a heterogeneous environment for their students to foster a broad perspective.

If you wish to know more details about Ross School of Business, please visit our Top MBA Programs page here.

If you would like to watch what our GMAT and MBA Expert, Arun Jagannathan has to say about writing your Ross Business School MBA application essays, you can watch the video here.


Ross School of Business has two sections in their application essays. The first section consists of short questions divided into three groups and the second section is an essay of 300 words. For the first section, you will have to select one among the two essays in a group.

Group 1:

I want people to know that I:
I made a difference when I:
Word Limit: 100 words

Let us begin with the first question of Group 1: “I want people to know that I:”

In our opinion, Group 1 focuses on your impact story. For these questions, your 100 words start after “I.” We will discuss these groups separately to help you choose your best fit.

Remember to not over-analyze any questions, irrespective of the groups.

You can use this essay to share an impact you created with the admissions team. Since 100 words are too less to develop a story, we suggest dividing this essay into three aspects.

Let us discuss them separately.

– Background: The premise that you will set will help explain your story.
– Action taken: Here, mention how you helped create the impact.
– Introspection: Here, talk about your learnings.

Remember that the main aim of these essays is to allow the admissions team to know you better. You should, therefore, aim to tell a story where your impact was extensive.

Let us help you with an example here:

We had a student who wrote in his essay that he loved working with data. He spoke about the possibilities that data can create. He mentioned that he helped create a new market segment that did not exist when working in his previous organization. He said how data helped him recognize the market and tap into it.

It is an excellent example of a qualitative and quantitative impact. Therefore, use this essay to explain your background, talking about the effect you created and your introspection about it.

Now we move on to the second question of Group 1: “I made a difference when I.”

For this question, let us again consider the previous example. You can use the same story and alter it. Remember to keep the focus on ‘how’ you created an impact.

For example:
I made a difference when I helped create a new market segment by analyzing data.

To conclude, if you are choosing Group 1, remember that this section talks about your impact, and as such, you should use an example that is qualitative and quantitative. In other words, the effect should be meaningful and measurable. You should also keep in mind to explain how you achieved the desired results.

Now let’s move on to Group 2

Group 2:

I was humbled when:
I am out of my comfort zone when:
Word Limit: 100 words

Group 2 essays can be called growth essays. These essays are focusing on your growth and development.

Remember that growth happens when you learn and do something new. Therefore, if you are choosing Group 2 essays, remember to speak and highlight how you have grown as a person.

The first question is asking you to mention a time when you went out of your comfort zone and did something new.

You can mention the following points:

1. New responsibilities

2. What helped you grow?

Let us help you with an example:
One of our students had written that he was a coder. One day when the opportunity to assist the Product Manager arose, he chose to go ahead. Despite his experience as a coder, he was learning something entirely new, which he found challenging. Yet his challenge did not deter him; instead, it motivated him to do better.

From this example, we understand that while he was a good coder, he did not limit himself and went out of his way to learn something new.

When you analyze the questions of Group 2, you realize that they both are the two sides of the same coin. We mean that stepping out of your comfort zone requires you to unlearn and relearn new things, which is a humbling process. Reversely, when you face a challenging situation, you realize that there is much to learn, which is your humility, and you decide to step out of your comfort zone to understand and improve yourself.

For this essay, we recommend you use the START formula, which is:

S- Situation: Describe the circumstances so that the reader can understand your story.
T- Task: Explain the task that was assigned to you.
A- Action: Depict the actions that you undertook.
R- Result: Explain the result of your action
T- Takeaways: Outline what you learned from the situation.

To conclude, Group 2 speaks about your growth and focuses on you and how you have grown personally and professionally. Keep in mind that the main focus is on your takeaways and teachings.

Remember to emphasize your learning rather than just explaining the incident.

Group 3:

I was aware that I am different when:
I was challenged when:
Word Limit: 100 words

The theme for Group 3 is diversity. In this group, the admissions team is looking for what sets you apart from the rest. They wish to know if you are willing to accept new ideas, look at things from a different perspective, and are fluid in your stance.

Let us cite an example of how you can deal with these essays:

We had a student from a finance background, and she shifted from working from a large organization to a start-up. She mentioned that it took her three months to adjust to the different working environments. The reason is that most large organizations invest keeping in mind the returns. In contrast, start-ups invest in the possibility of the future. She had to unlearn a lot of her preconceived notions and accept different perspectives.

Now let us focus on the other essay that is required for the Ross School of Business.

Essay Question

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 the right choice for you?
Word limit: 300 words

This is a career goal essay wherein 300 words you need to share three aspects:

– Journey so far: First, explain how and where you are now to set your essay’s context. Keep in mind to keep it in 100 words

– Post-MBA goals: Having the experience and learning, where do you wish to go after your MBA? Utilize this section to elaborate on your post-MBA goals. Keep in mind to be specific and keep it in 100 words.

– How Ross MBA will help you: In this section, talk about how you can chart your career with all the learning and experience you gain from the Ross School of Business. You can keep this section to 100 words.

If you think you require help in crafting the best essay for your admissions at Ross School of Business, be sure to check out the link here.


Rounds Application Deadlines
Round 1 Sep 14, 2020
Round 2 Jan 4, 2021
Round 3 Mar 29, 2021
Round 4 Jun 4, 2021

Want to know more about the MBA Application Deadlines for Top B-Schools? Here’s the entire list of top B-Schools along with their deadlines – MBA Application Deadlines 2020-2021

We hope this blog has helped you answer some of your pertinent questions regarding the essays. We are sure that you will be able to attempt them without any doubts. If you require any help, you can always check out the blog or the video link above.

If you also need expert help regarding drafting and reviewing your application essays, we recommend contacting us. Our experts are always happy to help you. All you have to do is click on the image below.