The Chicago Booth admissions office recently announced its admissions deadlines and application essays for the coming year. These will help you start planning your Chicago Booth application. Our comments follow in italics:
Chicago Booth Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 14, 2009
Round 2: January 6, 2010
Round 3: March 10, 2010
(These deadlines haven’t changed much vs. last year’s. Note that, like other top MBA programs, Booth is is pushing to get all of its Round 1 decisions out before the holiday season. If Booth is your top choice, this will give you a chance to know your status with the school before you decide whether or not you need to work on Round 2 applications at your backup schools.)
Chicago Booth Application Deadlines
(This is a new question for Booth his year, although, at its core, it’s still the same “Why an MBA? Why now?” question that every business schools asks. What’s interesting is how much emphasis this question places on your most recent job. This suggests that Booth wants to know more about your career choices to date, rather than just your future goals. If your experiences don’t all line up into a perfectly neat, well-thought-out career trajectory, that’s okay. But be prepared to show some introspection and communicate credible reasons why a Booth MBA is a logical next step.)
(Ahh, “reflection.” Notice a theme here? Again, Booth looks for true introspection. What makes this different than many other schools’ reapplicant questions is that it asks what’s changed about your thinking, not what new jobs you have taken on or achievements you have earned. A strong answer to this question will still highlight these things, but the school also again wants to see evidence that you’re really digging deep to understand why a Booth MBA is right for you.)
Describe a time when you wish you could have retracted something you said or did. When did you realize your mistake and how did you handle the situation?
Describe a time when you were surprised by feedback that you received. What was the feedback and why were you surprised?
(Both of these options are new this year. Usually, when a school replaces or changes its essay questions, it’s because the old ones weren’t giving the school what it needed in terms of really getting to know applicants and distinguishing one from the next. Both of these questions are a little different than the norm, and we even consider the first one a bit risky. However, that’s a good thing — don’t shy away from discussing a serious mistake you made and what you learned from it, because such an experience can make for a terrific essay. The key, as always, will be to not only discuss the mistake, but also write about what you learned from it.)
In four slides or less please answer the following question: What have you not already shared in your application that you would like your future classmates to know about you?
We have set forth the following guidelines for you to consider when creating your presentation.
- The content is completely up to you. There is no right or wrong approach to this essay.
- Feel free to use the software you are most comfortable with. Acceptable formats for upload in the online application system are PowerPoint or PDF.
- There is a strict maximum of four slides, though you can provide fewer than four if you choose.
- Slides will be printed and added to your file for review, therefore, flash, hyperlinks, embedded videos, music, etc. will not be viewed by the committee. You are limited to text and static images to convey your points. Color may be used.
- Slides will be evaluated on the quality of content and ability to convey your ideas, not on technical expertise or presentation.
- You are welcome to attach a document containing notes if you feel a deeper explanation of your slides is necessary. However the hope is the slide is able to stand alone and convey your ideas clearly. You will not be penalized for adding notes but you should not construct a slide with the intention of using the notes section as a consistent means of explanation.
(Here Chicago Booth asks you to present yourself creatively and succinctly. Almost nothing is out of bounds, but you really must ensure that these slides add something new to your application — don’t use it to just show off professional achievements that you already cover elsewhere in your application. Be creative, and show some personality!!)