Rotman School of Management Essay Analysis 2020-21

August 17th, 2020

| Last Updated on September 3, 2020
Rotman Essay Analysis

If you have decided to get an MBA, you would have definitely gone through the long list of B-schools across the world that you can possibly apply to, right? And if Rotman School of Management in Canada is a B-school that you are considering, you might want to learn how to tackle their MBA application essays to get an MBA admit.

In this article, we will discuss the Rotman application essay questions in detail and also provide you with tips on how to showcase your profile to the admissions committee at the B-school.

So, keep your pen and paper handy because you will have a lot of relevant points that you might want to note down.

But before we get into the Rotman essay analysis part, here are a few points that you need to know about the Rotman School of Management.

Getting things straight

If you are looking to do an MBA in Canada, you should know that the Rotman School of Management has set itself apart from the rest of the B-schools there. While other B-schools like the Schulich School of Business and Ivey Business School are great, Rotman has clearly made its mark as the top B-school in Canada.

Imparting knowledge the right way

The Rotman School of Management believes in “integrative thinking” and you will come across this term even on their website.

What does this mean?

All institutions focus on your ability to understand data and on your ability to utilize your intellect when it comes to decision-making. There is nothing wrong with it.

But at Rotman, they believe in using your intuition, creativity and quality when it comes to making a decision. They believe that you need to bring your human part into the whole process.

And with the world that we live in right now and the kind of risk management and decision-making that we all have to do, this way of thinking makes total sense.

What Rotman is looking for

At Rotman, the admissions committee is looking for a well-rounded candidate. “Well-rounded candidate” is an ideal candidate at most of the B-schools.

But what is it that Rotman looks for in a candidate that helps them make the admission decision?

The admissions committee at Rotman looks for candidates who are committed to lifelong learning. While your high GPA and GMAT score showcases your academic potential they are also very keen to know about your leadership potential and the kind of impact that you have created so far.

One of our students, Akshat, who got into Rotman School of Management in 2019 mentioned in one of our live sessions that there is no direct correlation between a candidate’s GMAT score and the MBA admit. He said that he had a batchmate who had a GMAT score in the range of 600-650 and that he also knew of someone who had a 700+ GMAT score but did not make it to the MBA program.

So, when it comes to getting a Rotman MBA admit, you need to understand that there are a lot of factors that could make or break the deal.

What’s in it for you

If you do your MBA at Rotman School of Management, the program will definitely aid in transforming your leadership potential to suit the North American market. This is exactly what they say.

So, if you are looking to be a part of the workforce in Canada, which has a strong economy and offers a good quality of life, Rotman might be the best option for you.

As the B-school is located in Canada, every international student is eligible for a three-year work permit. And this actually makes life a lot easier for students who are investing time and money in their MBA programs.

Moreover, Amazon, Google, Accenture, AtKearney and Bain and Company are among the top companies that hire graduates from Rotman.

Now, let’s look at the actual essay that you need to submit to Rotman while submitting your MBA application.

Rotman School of Management MBA Essay 2020-21

When it comes to the MBA essays, there are three components that Rotman has asked for. While one of them is an essay question, the other two are questions that need to be answered in different formats. You will understand it as you keep reading this article.

Rotman Essay Question

Our admitted students stand out by doing interesting things with their personal and professional lives — something we describe as the ‘spike factor’; what are the things that you have done in your life that demonstrate Passion/ Grit/ Resilience/ Innovation/ Drive/ Ambition and more?

Word limit: 1000 words

It says that you can write up to 1000 words and it goes on to say, “This can cross all or any aspects of life outside of work – hobbies, volunteerism, awards, entrepreneurial ventures, sports, and the arts. We believe that exposure to a rich diversity of viewpoints makes for a superior learning experience, and pride ourselves on building a diverse class of exceptional individuals who will go on to make the School proud as professionals and alumni.

Explain your spike factor (something unique about yourself) that you believe will contribute to the Rotman community and is aligned with Rotman values.”

Before you start writing this essay, we would suggest that you think about the question and understand it very well. And then you should try to figure out what that ‘spike’ or ‘wow’ factor is.

Basically, what Rotman is looking for here is your unique selling proposition (USP). And you need to find that USP before you start drafting the essay. You need to find out what is different about you and what is unique about you.

When it comes to identifying your spike factor, there are mainly three areas in your life that you might want to revisit and check closely until you find it:

  1. Academics/Background
  2. Work Experience
  3. Extracurricular activities

These are three areas that will help you figure out the spike factor. You could have done exceptionally well when it came to academics. Or, if you were someone who was not great at academics, you might have performed really well when you started working. If it is not even that you might have some talent that makes you different from the crowd.

Once you identify your spike factor, all you need to do is back it up with facts to prove why it is what makes you different from the rest of the applicants. Why do you think that this factor makes you unique?

But to complete your essay, you need to tie this factor to the two main points that they have mentioned – How your spike factor will contribute to the Rotman community and how it is aligned with the Rotman values.

For this, you need to know what the Rotman values are: Diversity, Excellence, Integrity, and Respect.

Let us give you an example of a Rotman candidate here so that you understand what exactly you need to focus on while completing the essay. The candidate was someone who was very interested in figuring out new mobile apps and reviewing them. He even maintained a blog and social media channels to post his app reviews. And some of his tweets got numerous retweets and engagements. He is like a productivity junkie!

Why will he portray this as his spike factor? To understand this, you might want to look at his background and work experience.

He was someone who did fairly well in school but was never in the top 25% of his class. And then he went on to become a software engineer. He must have probably been promoted to a second level but that was not too significant to be a spike factor.

He identified his spike factor from the extracurricular activities that he consistently pursued. And this factor is sure to be different from the rest of the candidates’.

Now, how did he tie this identified spike factor to Rotman and its values?

Firstly, he explains how a lot of the things that we do on a day-to-day basis are driven by apps. And then he speaks of how Rotman has so many student-driven clubs and how he could add the technology factor in them to make them more efficient. That was the kind of contribution he wished to make.

He chose the Rotman value, excellence, and said that he is always someone who tries to make something better. And he strives to punch above his weight to make things the best. And that is how he tied his spike factor to one of the Rotman values.

Remember, you have 1000 words. But this does not mean that you keep writing. Stick to what you want to say, create a great story, and then complete it.

Rotman Question(Optional)

Please upload 1-3 of your ‘spikiest’ pictures to the supplemental items section of your application here. Use the essay to tell us why you have chosen these particular images to illustrate your ‘spike factor’

Note: Your photos must be uploaded as a single PDF.

Word limit: 1000 words

Though Rotman has mentioned that this is optional, we are going to tell you how to go about this question as well.

This is a section where you want to showcase your creativity.

You have already figured out your spike factor. By adding pictures to show it, you are just adding more colour to the important points you mentioned in the essay. These pictures will prove your essay to be true.

Let us go back to the example of the candidate who reviewed apps. In his case, he could provide pictures of one of his tweets that went viral or pictures that show the traffic that he drove to his blog. He could even provide a picture of him receiving an award from someone in case it is related to the spike factor that he mentioned!

So, this section is all about creativity. And even if you don’t have a picture where you are receiving an award, it’s fine. You will still be able to find pictures that will add value to your essay.

Rotman Video Essay Question

Required video interview (2 questions) with a new timed written response component (10 minutes in length) 

It goes on to say, “Example of timed written response: Often prospective MBA candidates build strong relationships, primarily online, with the admissions office. We encourage candidates to follow-up with the admissions team members they meet representing Rotman around the world.

Craft an email to the Rotman representative that you met at a recent MBA Fair reiterating your interest in the School and desire to stay connected.”

Every Rotman candidate has to appear for this component. You cannot complete your application without it. And what you need to make note is that you will not be provided the questions prior. You will have to think on the spot for maybe about 30 seconds and then provide the answer.

It is not necessary that everyone is great at speaking or writing in English without practice. And this is exactly what Rotman wants to test. They want to see how you will manage the situation and how well you will do it.

We would suggest you take the video component when you are sure that there will be no disturbance in the background. Then you take a deep breath, place yourself in the centre of the screen of your system or laptop and have the light source in front of you. You can even practice this a few times before you go for the actual video component.

Now coming to the timed written component, if you look at the example that they have given here, they are trying to check your communication skills.

They want to know how you will communicate given a situation like this. And writing an email is something that you will definitely have to do in a corporate world!

So, plan it in advance. Plan the basic structure so that you don’t miss anything out.

Given the example, you start your email by thanking the person for their time. You build your email introduction using that. In the body of your email, you could say, “As discussed…” and then mention why you are interested in Rotman and what makes you unique. Also, don’t forget to mention what value you would bring to the B-school and why Rotman is the right choice for you.

This is broadly the Rotman essay itself except that it is in a different format. In your actual essay you had to speak about your spike factor and you were not given an opportunity to tell them “Why Rotman”. This is the chance for you to talk about that.

Once you have made the point, thank the person again in the end and probably even mention that you will send a connection request on LinkedIn.

Remember: Use the first 30 seconds to take a deep breath and to think about what you will write. Put down all the points so that you don’t forget anything. Spend the next three to three and a half minutes typing it out and ensure that you have at least two minutes to proofread it. This is very important because you never know the kind of mistakes you would make when you are under pressure.

So, if you’re applying to Rotman and feel that you need expert guidance to brainstorm and help you bring out your story through the one essay, feel free to reach out to us.

Before you leave, if you are looking to apply to Rotman, you need to know the deadlines, right?

So, here are the Rotman School of Management MBA application deadlines.

Rotman School of Management MBA Application Deadlines

If you really want to get into Rotman, you might want to keep these deadlines in mind. Moreover, with these deadlines, you can now plan your MBA application process better.

Rotman School of Management MBA Application Deadlines

Round 1 October 5, 2020 

Round 2 January 11, 2021 

Round 3 March 8, 2021 

Round 4 April 26, 2021

So, here we leave you with the most important points and dates that will help you get into Rotman.

If you would like to watch what our GMAT and MBA Expert, Arun Jagannathan has to say about writing your Rotman essay, you can watch the video here.

And as mentioned earlier, if you feel that you need more help in drafting your essays or reviewing your application or let’s say, even brainstorming your ideas, you can always reach out to us.

You can click on the image below and get in touch with our expert.