June 22, 2021

Chicago Booth MBA Essay 1

University of Chicago Booth

How will the Booth MBA help you achieve your immediate and long-term post-MBA career goals? (250 word minimum)

Response Guidelines:

  • Length: There is no maximum length, only a 250-word minimum. We trust that you will use your best judgment in determining how long your submission should be, but we recommend that you think strategically about how to best allocate the space.
  • Acceptable Formats: Submissions must be entered into the text box provided in the application.

Check out our suggested offline exercise for this Wharton question. Essentially, the idea is to plan out your next five years of growth WITH and WITHOUT the Booth MBA, and then examine the delta between the two paths. This will be useful here as well. In fact, regardless of your interest in Wharton or Booth, you should go through the process of imagining this exact same timeline for MULTIPLE schools, with the intention of “ending up slightly different” five years from now in EVERY VERSION because the experience(s) at each particular school will alter your trajectory, somewhat.

250-word MINIMUM is also an interesting signal. Generally, when no strict word limit is given, we recommend landing somewhere around 500-600 words. Why? Cuz that’s the amount of space most “M7 MBAs” need to make their case.

Try this format, and what you SHOULD end up with is a QUALITY first draft that’s well on its way to being dissected and remolded into Rodin-esque mastery:

  1. Sell us on the OPPORTUNITY or PROBLEM you wanna solve. What is it you’re trying to achieve? Why? What will the impact be? Why should anyone care? Convince us this is a cool idea or problem to fix, and convince us that your vision is sensible and achievable. [75-100 words]
  2. Great idea, but what business do YOU have attacking it? Convince us. Walk us through a few KEY highlights of your past that put your credibility here on full display. Focus on only the stuff that allows us to say “Yah, this is the kind of person and these are the kinds of skills that translate PERFECTLY to solving the problem you’ve identified.” At the end of this section, explain what things you are MISSING that prevent you from attacking these goals today. There have to be SOME, otherwise, why bother wasting two years? Describe the stuff you need IN GENERAL, as if from “any MBA.” [125-150 words]
  3. Now, map specific things at Booth to those deficits in your skill set. Don’t point out things that exist at Booth that are theoretically valuable. Create “proofs” for how those “things” AFFECT you in a way that results in “skill set boostage” … aka, “improved ability to achieve goals.” Show us how specific aspects of Booth will TRANSFORM you from “guy who can’t quite achieve ST and LT goals” into “guy who can.” Until you make that “chemical reaction” clear, you haven’t quite nailed this section yet. And this is hard, so there’s a 97% chance you’ll get close on your first draft but won’t quite nail it. Don’t be discouraged. It’ll get there! [100-125 words]
  4. Finally, lay out the BLUEPRINT of specific things you plan on doing in the short term toward your long-term goals, once you’re equipped with that Booth MBA. Prove to us that you’re likely to achieve all those steps, and make sure the logic and sequence of it is all plain as day. We need to prove that your short-term goals are the BEST POSSIBLE stepping stones between the MBA and your long-term ambitions. Then segue seamlessly into a more far-off look at the horizon: Where it’s all headed longer-term, and what it all means, why this is meaningful to you, why these ambitions are not a flame that’s gonna burn out anytime soon. [125-150 words]

Depending on your individual case, [3] and [4] can sometimes flip.

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