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Booth Class of 2019 Essay Analysis

June 20, 2016

The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business still sees that a picture is worth a thousand words. With a similar prompt to last year’s, the 2016-2017 application submissions are bound to be filled with creativity!

2016/17 essay questions

Essay 1: View this collection of shared Booth moments. Choose the moment that best resonates with you and tell us why.

2016/17 essay question analysis

Yet another engaging question from Booth this year, which incorporates many of the values of the school into the question itself! This question certainly shares the Chicago mindset and your desire to answer it (or not) may reflect the nature of your fit with the program.

There are many aspects to tackle in this prompt and many ways to address it. As always, you’ll want to start by knowing your own story. You may also want to do some research into the specific pictures. Then, we’d suggest that you take one of two approaches:

Approach #1 to brainstorming

Take the first step by brainstorming what you want to share to Booth. What are your core experiences that have allowed you to a) support curiosity b) think broadly c) take risks and d) challenge assumptions? Once you’ve narrowed down your thoughts to a few key stories, review the pictures to see which one best captures your experiences (and what you can bring to the program). The admissions team wants to see your creativity in how you answer the question of why Booth in particular. Look at different aspects of student life in each picture – what are the people doing? What environment are they in? What aspect of the picture rings a bell with your own story?  

As you consider what you want to share, make sure that you’re sharing examples that would not come out elsewhere in your application. Booth will know a lot about your professional experience, but may not know about your personal choices, community experiences, or simply how you spend your time day-to-day. The value is in those details.

Approach #2 to brainstorming

Set everything aside and look at the 10 pictures. Look at different aspects of each picture – what are the people doing? What environment are they in? What aspect(s) of the picture excites you most? What do you notice? What would you want to be a part of?

Once you’ve decided what you want to cover, it is important to consider the method you want to use to tell your story. Passionate about music? Perhaps structure your story around song lyrics. A teacher? Perhaps share “lessons” that you’ve learned along the way. Each person’s story and format are different. We would love to talk with you about your ideas as you look to tell your story.

A note on format

Last year, Booth also allowed applicants the option to choose their own format. We’ve seen clients be successful with many different formats; however, the majority chose to present themselves in a way that allows for visual creativity. If you choose to go with Powerpoint formats, here are some tutorials on reducing your file size (in case your file passes the 16MB limit).

  • Click here for a Mac tutorial on reducing Word /Powerpoint/Excel file sizes
  • Click here for a PC tutorial for reducing Word/Powerpoint/Excel file sizes

A note on word count – a picture is worth a thousand words! Or technically, as many words as you’d like (since there’s no word limit). Although there is no official word count, we encourage you to be cautious about going over our suggested limit of 750 words. 

2016/17 deadlines

Round 1: Application deadline: September 22, 2016 at 11:59pm CT, Decision date: December 8, 2016.

Round 2: Application deadline: January 4, 2017 at 11:59pm CT, Decision date: March 16, 2017.

Round 3: Application deadline: April 4, 2017 at 11:59pm CT, Decision date: May 18, 2017.

Other application details

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The online application is available now.


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School resources

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