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Booth Class of 2023 Essay Analysis

Booth has released its 2020-21 application, having kept the same first question while changing the second prompt.

Essay 1: How will the Booth MBA help you achieve your immediate and long-term post-MBA career goals? (250-word minimum)

Essay 2: An MBA is as much about personal growth as it is about professional development. In addition to sharing your experience and goals in terms of career, we’d like to learn more about you outside of the office. Use this opportunity to tell us something about who you are... (250-word minimum)

Additional information: Is there any unclear information in your application that needs further explanation? If so, please use this section to clarify. (300 word maximum)

2020/21 essay question analysis

Essay 1

While this essay is similar to those you will craft for most MBA applications, the challenge with Booth is to avoid going too long given the lack of formal word limit. To help, make sure your immediate and long-term goals are clear in your short answer section, and use this essay to dive directly into how Booth will help you achieve them. Be as specific as possible, use examples, and highlight how your background and past experiences makes you the right person to pursue your goal. That will help differentiate you from other applicants. Aim for 600-800 words total, though initial drafts can be longer to get your ideas down on paper.

Essay 2

This changed essay prompt is a step towards learning your motivations (like Stanford’s “what matters most” essay) and what makes you interesting (like HBS’s essay and Duke’s “25 things” prompt). Aim to discuss something active vs. passive, and as you discuss why you love that activity, reference characteristics Booth is looking for (i.e. resourceful, global mindset, analytical, team-oriented, social). Passive activities are ok (i.e. reading), but will differentiate you more if you can link to an active activity (i.e. engaging with a book club).

The lack of an upper word limit on this essay will tempt some to discuss all of their activities. The optimal word length on this essay is 600-800 words (readers are human), so choose the activities you discuss carefully. The best ones will allow you to appeal to the reader’s senses as you write, and highlight positive characteristics about you that will differentiate you from other applicants in a memorable way.

Optional essay

The optional question is available for you to explain any additional information that you may not have had the space to clarify in other parts of your application.

2020/21 deadlines

Deadline time: 11:59pm CT

Round 1: Application deadline: September 24, 2020, Decision date: December 3, 2020

Round 2: Application deadline: January 12, 2021, Decision date: March 18, 2021

Round 3: Application deadline: April 1, 2021, Decision date: May 20, 2021

Other application details

Click here for school interaction opportunities.

The online application is now available.


Check out information here.

School resources

Check out our links to several of school's resources, including blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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