Payal Tandon
Co-founder, e-GMAT
Welcome to e-GMAT Support!
I am Payal, Co-Founder of e-GMAT.
Feel free to ask any Query.
Thank you for your query.
We will be contacting you soon on

Michigan Ross MBA Essays: Analysis and tips for 2022 intake

Michigan Ross MBA Essays: Analysis and tips for 2022 intake
A 6 min read

Michigan Ross has announced the deadlines and essay questions for the 2021-22 MBA application season. This year, Ross has returned to three rounds of application unlike four rounds last year. Ross has pushed back the Round 3 deadline rather than having an additional round.

There is no change in the essay questions. Like last year, this year’s applicants will answer two short answer questions and a goals essay. Soojin Kwon, managing director Full-time MBA program writes in her blogWe felt really good about the quality of this year’s candidates and the prospective students’ feedback about our application, so I encouraged the team not to tinker too much with what is working… We enjoy providing students a choice in their essay answers. This past year, we received very insightful answers to the prompts that allowed us to learn more about your values and what you would add to the Michigan Ross community.”

Once again, the applicants have only 400 words to present their candidacy to the admission committee.  From 5 essay questions totaling 1700 words in 2012-13 to 2 essays of only 400 words, Ross has come a long way in its ‘less is more’ requirement.

Michigan Ross MBA essay

In this article, Poonam Tandon from myEssayReview, who has been helping students with their MBA applications since 2011, shares her tips on the Michigan Ross MBA essay for 2022 intake.

Let’s first look at the MBA application deadlines for Michigan Ross.

Application Deadline for the Michigan Ross MBA Application 2021-22

The below table provides information regarding the Michigan Ross MBA Application deadline

RoundApplication DeadlineDecision Announced
Round 1September 20, 2021December 8, 2021
Round 2January 10, 2022March 18, 2022
Round 3April 04, 2021May 11, 2021

Did you know a GMAT score of 730+ yields incremental $500K in ROI? Start your GMAT Preparation by Signing up for our FREE Trial and get access to FREE online GMAT preparation resources. We are the most reviewed GMAT preparation company on GMATClub with more than 1870 reviews.

Michigan Ross MBA essay analysis 2021-2022

Part 1- Short-answer questions

Select one prompt from each group of the two groups below. Respond to each selected prompt in 100 words or less (<100 words each; 200 words total). Every word counts here — the tight word count is intentional to force you to focus.

Group 1

  • I want people to know that I:
  • I made a difference when I:
  • I was aware that I was different when:

Group 2

  • I am out of my comfort zone when:
  • I was humbled when:
  • I was challenged when:

The purpose of these short questions is to give the admissions team valuable insight into who you are as a person and how you view yourself.

Therefore, answer it in such a way that allows you to tell them what you want them to know about you. These questions require you to introspect and dig deeper for specific stories/ life experiences when you ‘made a difference’ or ‘when you were humbled’ or ‘when you were challenged’.

Begin your response to each prompt by completing the question. Your responses to these questions will showcase your unique personal traits- your interest as well as the impact you made, and your self-awareness (Group 1) and your humility, your experience of being out of your comfort zone (Group 2).

Both the groups ask for a behavioral response, where you discuss one experience or situation and reflect on it. The key to all these responses is to demonstrate how you responded in the face of different situations and emerged a better and stronger person.

What makes these essays more challenging is the multiple-choice component?

I can imagine applicants having a hard time deciding which option will paint them in a better light or which stories will reflect the traits that Ross is looking for.

My advice is that you brainstorm ideas on all the 6 prompts and then evaluate which are your best 2 stories that you would want the Ad Com to know about you as a person.

After you have finalized your best 2 stories, begin formulating your response, focusing on the challenges you faced, the action you took, and the impact you made. Don’t forget to include your thought process behind your decisions as your thoughts and actions will provide the reader with a glimpse into your values and beliefs.

It’s a challenge to discuss two different experiences in only 200 words. To meet the tight word limit, make every word count, and be as precise as you can.

Short answer questions Tips from Ross MBA Admissions Blog

The team has found that essays that reveal something personal- about what you value, how you think- give us much more insight into how you’ll fit into the Ross culture than an accomplishment story. And, as you’ve probably learned, fit is an important part of our decision. (It should be an important part of yours, too). There are many other opportunities in the application to share your work accomplishments, use the essays to get personal.”

Part 2- Career Goals Essay

Michigan Ross is a place where people from all backgrounds with different career goals can thrive. Please share your short-term career goal. Why is this career goal the right choice for you? (200 words)

This essay focuses on short-term goals and your reasons for those goals. When explaining your post-MBA goals, make sure to be as specific as you can.

Specify which industry, which company, and what position you would like to see yourself after graduating from Ross. Even if you are not 100% sure, you should be clear and decisive about your short-term goals. Though the question asks only about the short-term goal, you may still touch upon your long-term goal, but you should not elaborate on it.

Next, provide a brief account of your career history, summarizing your skills/strengths. Then go on to explain how your work experience has inspired your career plans and discuss the gap in your skillset that an MBA would fill. You don’t want to discuss the ‘Why Ross’ part because the school doesn’t want a ‘laundry list’ of the courses offered by Ross.

With a total of 400 only words to tell your story to the Ross admission committee, you should make every word count. There is no room for elaborate details or beating around the bush. To present a well-rounded picture of your candidacy, use 200 words (short questions) to demonstrate who you are as a person and 200 words (goals essay) to showcase who you are as a professional.

Optional Statement

Is there something in your resume or application that could use some explanation? You might want to discuss the completion of supplemental coursework, employment gaps, academic issues, etc. Feel free to use bullet points where appropriate.

As directed in the essay prompt, you may use this essay question to address a weakness in your profile, such as employment gap, low GPA/low GMAT, completion of supplemental work, or unusual choice of the recommender. Your weakness may also bring out a positive aspect of your personality. You may either use bullet points or essay format for the optional statement.

Video interview of a Ross studentIn this video interview with Poonam, Pablo shares his amazing experiences during his first year at Ross.

For more information about the reapplication process click here.

For Short answer questions Tips from Ross MBA Admissions Blog, Click here.

For more advice and tips on application essays, resume, and LORs, do not forget to check out the video from a few members of the admission team of Ross:

Free Resources:

Since 2011, MER (myEssayReview) has helped many applicants get accepted into the top 20 MBA programs, including Ross. (Poonam is one of the top 5 most reviewed consultants on the GMAT Club.)

Do you have questions about your application? E-mail Poonam at or sign up here for a free consultation.

About the author

Poonam Tandon - My Essay Review

Poonam, one of the top 5 most reviewed consultants on the GMAT Club, is a master storyteller with more than three decades of experience in successfully helping students craft compelling stories for undergraduate and graduate school programs.

A Ph.D. in English, with three decades of teaching experience in India and the US, Poonam launched myEssayReview (MER) in 2011 to provide highly personalized and dedicated consulting services to Business School applicants. Since then, she has helped hundreds of students around the world get into top MBA, EMBA, part-time MBA, and specialized graduate programs. A full-time consultant, Poonam is passionate about her work and is highly committed to each of her students’ success.

Here are a few other topics related to MBA Essays: 

About The Author