Chicago Booth MBA essay analysis and tips – 2023 intake

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Founded in 1898, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business is one of the oldest and most prestigious business schools in the world. The school is known for its rigorous academic programs, cutting-edge research, and its distinguished faculty. Chicago Booth has a long history of intellectual exploration, nonconformity, and innovation. 

The Full-Time MBA Program at Chicago Booth is known for its analytical approach, and many economists teach courses on theory and practice. 

Students have a lot of leeway in choosing courses because there are no major requirements. Chicago Booth’s MBA program is considered one of the most flexible MBA programs in the world. If you are interested in applying for the 2023 intake, please see below for upcoming deadlines as well as Admit Expert’s advice on how to answer the Chicago Booth MBA essays.

Chicago Booth MBA essay analysis and tips

Application Deadlines

RoundDeadlineDecisions
Round 1September 22, 2022December 1, 2022
Round 2January 5, 2023March 23, 2023
Round 3April 11, 2023May 25, 2023

All applications are due by 11:59 PM CST.

Chicago Booth MBA essay questions

The Chicago Booth essay questions for 2022-2023 applicants have been confirmed. Both questions have remained unchanged this year. There are two MBA essays at Chicago Booth, each with no strict word limit.

All candidates are required to submit responses to the following two questions:

  1. How will a Booth MBA help you achieve your immediate and long-term post-MBA career goals? (Minimum 250 words, no maximum.)
  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 your career, we’d like to learn more about you outside of the office. Use this opportunity to tell us something about who you are… (Minimum 250 words, no maximum.)

Optional question

Is there any unclear information in your application that needs further explanation? (Maximum 300 words.)

Reapplicant essay

Reapplicants must answer the following question:

Upon reflection, how has your perspective regarding your future, Chicago Booth, and/or getting an MBA changed since the time of your last application? (Maximum 300 words.)

These essays emphasize both your personality and your professional objectives. The focus of the first essay is your career objective and the focus of the second essay is your interests. 

Also take note that while most institutions offer a maximum word count for the required essay responses, Chicago sets a minimum word count. Therefore, Chicago Booth requests that you consider your answers to these MBA essays and ensure you have adequate room to do so.

Essay 1

How will a Booth MBA help you achieve your immediate and long-term post-MBA career goals? (Minimum 250 words, no maximum.)

This Booth MBA essay is a straightforward essay about your career objectives, both short-term and long-term.

What should you do before you start writing the essay?

Before you start writing the essay, examine your career accomplishments to date. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What did you discover? 
  • How did you use your past accomplishments to guide your present endeavors? 
  • How can a Booth MBA fill in any gaps after that? 
  • What courses will you enroll in? Competitions, placements, location, Professors, etc. who can advance your objectives? 
  • How will you interact with your peers and clubs?​​

This question asks for both short and long-term goals, so answer with your long-term path in mind. Ideally, your short-term goal will lead directly to your long-term goal, and an MBA is required for both. Examples from previous roles will help you achieve your goals with the necessary education and experience.

How should you write essay 1?

Start by giving a quick overview of your professional background, highlighting the successes you had and the skills and information you have acquired. Describe how your future job aspirations are influenced by your past professional experiences and personality traits and qualities.

Please keep in mind that a thorough understanding of the Chicago Booth MBA program and its offerings is essential for an effective response to this question. Explain how the skills, knowledge, and experience you will gain at Booth will help you build on your previous knowledge and skills, bringing you closer to your goals.

Share your short-term objectives now. Indicate the role, position, industry, and 1-2 firms that you would like to work for when describing the position that you hope to occupy right after earning your MBA.

Please keep in mind that your post-MBA goal should be a logical extension of your current skill set, personality traits and knowledge gained through an MBA degree.

Your objectives should be both ambitious and realistic. That is, if you want to work in technology or consulting, you must demonstrate that you already have some skills/experience in those areas and are looking to improve them.

Similarly, if you are a career changer, you should demonstrate how your current skill set will aid in this transition.

Then, you’ll want to go over your longer-term (5–10 years) goal, outlining not only the position you intend to hold but also the overall impact you hope to have. Your short-term objectives should naturally lead to your long-term objectives, which may or may not be specific.

The next logical step would be to discuss how an MBA will help you achieve these objectives and why Booth is a particularly wise next step. Give examples of program offerings that are pertinent to these goals to highlight this fit. 

You can maximize the quality of your essay by doing a thorough study on the Booth MBA program—either by visiting an info session or interacting with students and alumni.

To learn more about what Chicago Booth is looking for and how to make your application stand out, get in touch with us at contactus@admitexpert.com

What should be the length of the essay?

Given the open-ended nature of this Booth MBA essay, it could be tempting to incorporate achievements or details that aren’t related to the question or to give extra information about your aspirations, but remember to stay on topic! 

The application instructs you to “use your judgement,” and therefore while deciding the length of your response think about the volume of applications adcom would be receiving. So, your first consideration must be to make their life a little easier.

You can also get an idea about the preferred length from the optional essay’s 300-word word limit. You are certainly welcome to use more words than 300, but make sure they are meaningful. A punchy 400 words would be short and to the point. If you must write more than 500 words, which is pretty common, make sure each word is required to respond to the prompt. 

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 your career, we’d like to learn more about you outside of the office. Use this opportunity to tell us something about who you are… (Minimum 250 words, no maximum.)

Chicago Booth is looking for self-aware, purpose-driven leaders. As a result, Booth is interested in learning about your personal life. Are you someone who values personal development? And how would you define purpose?

Consider using personal stories to help you focus on this essay. Have you done anything as a volunteer that demonstrates your personality? Or, does your cultural background influence your personality? What events have had an impact on you?

How to write Essay 2?

You could also try the following steps:

  1. List the top 10 to 15 moments, achievements, passions, or experiences from your life. Include all aspects of something—good, awful, amazing, ugly, etc.
  2. Look over your list and try to identify the themes that connect the significant experiences, passions, and concepts in your life. 
    1. How have you spent your free time? 
    2. What principles did you fight for? 
    3. What seems to characterize who you are?
  3. Choose one or two elements from the list to define your approach and begin the writing process for this Booth MBA essay. These items should best reflect any strengths or values that have been provided.

Essay 2 tips

Focus on experiences that have shaped your values and priorities over the years when writing this essay. Do not be afraid to share your difficult life experiences; they often make us stronger and more self-aware. Remember that each of you is an individual with unique experiences, values, and interests that will set you apart from other candidates. This essay is an excellent opportunity to discuss your involvement and passion for volunteer service, as well as your interests.

Connect your passions and interests that occupy your days outside of work hours and are guiding forces in your life to your potential experiences in Booth’s ‘choice rich’ environment.

Also, think about the challenges you faced and how you overcame the challenges, which will give you deeper insights into the personality traits you possess. Also think about any learnings that you got out of your experiences, and how you applied these learnings in your personal and professional journey. 

Your personal statement for the Booth MBA should describe who you are and your motivations. Your overall objective with both essays should be to present the admissions committee with a comprehensive picture of your potential.

Do you want to impress the Chicago Booth Adcom?

At Admit Expert, we have helped hundreds of students get into top MBA programs around the world. We would be happy to help you too.
Schedule a free call with us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you achieve your goals.

Optional Essay

Is there any unclear information in your application that needs further explanation? (Maximum 300 words.)

This optional essay is open-ended, so you can provide as much relevant information while keeping in mind the word limit. Consider writing this essay if there are any gaps in your profile that need to be filled. Have you had any academic difficulties or gaps in your work experience? Then this is the place to go into more detail.

Your response shouldn’t come across as you’re trying to cover up a profile weakness; instead, it should be upbeat, honest, and fact-focused. Your character’s strengths should be highlighted by your weaknesses.

For instance, When describing your employment gap you should say that you were doing something productive like traveling, volunteering, or taking care of your family, like dealing with a medical problem in your family at that time.

However, if there are no gaps you can still leverage this essay if you have a compelling personal story that wasn’t covered in the other essays. It’s worth telling if it helps the admissions committee understand you better. You may also have a compelling leadership story or a meaningful extracurricular activity to add context to your MBA application.

You can also choose to skip this question and concentrate solely on the two mandatory essays if your profile is without any flaws or needs any justification or explanation. There is a word limit on this question, unlike the mandatory questions. Do not disrespect it.

Reapplicant essay

Reapplicants must answer the following question:

Upon reflection, how has your perspective regarding your future, Chicago Booth, and/or getting an MBA changed since the time of your last application? (Maximum 300 words.)

This is an intriguing re-applicant question. Because, rather than asking how your candidacy has improved, Booth inquires as to how your perspective has shifted. Better test scores, a promotion, or a new job would still be beneficial information. However, the emphasis is on reflecting on yourself and your goals since applying to Booth.

Consider what has changed since your last application when writing this essay. Have you, for example, learned more about your career path, formed new relationships, or altered your career goals? This is also an excellent essay for demonstrating self-awareness and leadership qualities. Another important aspect is conveying a realistic sense of how the Booth MBA will fit into your future professional plans.

To stay within the word limit, you must be extremely precise in presenting your case and make every word count.

Let us help you get into Chicago Booth

We will help you write essays that portray your unique strengths and experiences in the most favorable light so that your application shines above the rest. We have helped hundreds of students get into top US business schools. Let us help you too.

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