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University Chicago Booth Essays

Already as a teenager I developed a special interest in economics, not surprising since both my parents have accounting academic background. Even through my military service I used to read economical daily papers and follow the stock exchange market.

Once I successfully obtained my bachelor degree, I started working for Earnst & Young accounting office. However, while I enjoyed the intellectual challenge of dealing with complex accounting issues, I was missing the stimulation and dynamics that exist in other branches of the financial industry. I decided to pursue a professional dream of mine, a job in the private equity industry.

Throughout the last year in which I worked for KCPS & Company Private Equity Fund I have learned that this is the line of work in which I wish to continue my professional development. I find the private equity industry fascinating.

Therefore I have set my short term post MBA goal to join a global private equity fund as an associate. I believe that through this line of work I would have the opportunity to deal with much larger and more complex transactions, learn about different business models and build a profound intellectual basis in the field of investments. In addition, I could gain a wider international exposure, which I had initially enjoyed as a flight instructor for Aeronautics Ltd. working in various developing countries such as Ethiopia, Angola and Azerbaijan.

Looking even forward, I hope to be promoted and be in charge of a regional investment portfolio. I believe that though my country’s economy resembles other western economies, it still has some way to go in the private equity field. While our high-tech companies are commonly acquired by global companies, it was only recently that global funds such as Apax partners have made any non technology related transactions in my country and it is still done to a very small extent.

My ultimate dream is to help develop my country to be a global center of financial services. I believe my country offers several advantages such as strong human resources, entrepreneurship culture and cultural diversification. I would like to see my country stand in the forefront of the region financial industry much like Singapore managed to do in the Far East. By acquiring an important role in the private equity industry, I hope to be able to establish global investment funds which will make the dream come true.

I strongly believe that pursuing an MBA at Chicago University is the first stepping stone in my career plan. There is no doubt that Chicago GSB is a prominent academic institution. Chicago holds a strong positioning within the financial industry in general and a well known reputation within private equity funds in particular. The school’s long legacy and extensive alumni network could surely make a strong contribution to my career advancement. I have heard a lot on how the school’s career services have outperformed many other top schools’ services during the recent recession which provides me a lot of comfort in light of today’s market ‘s behavior.

I believe that while I have learned the basic theory of economics and accountings, Chicago’s full time MBA program could enhance my knowledge in those areas I want to gain further understanding. Thanks to the very flexible curriculum I could skip some basic courses and take more advanced courses such as Financial Statement Analysis or courses which I am interested in obtaining further education such as Economic Analysis of Major Policy Issues. Furthermore, my studies were usually conducted using a theoretical frontal learning method. I am eager to take part in the program’s lab courses, namely the Private Equity/ Venture Capital Lab, and learn firsthand about actual business challenges and opportunity evaluation.

I am impressed by the wide elective courses selection offered in the concentrations. I am already intrigued by the Analytic Finance concentration, namely the Advanced Investments and Fixed Income Asset Pricing courses. I find the LBO Modeling seminar an important opportunity to compare the models with which I am currently working with the ones used in global private equity funds. I am sure these courses could provide me with a cutting edge advantage in this highly competitive industry and have a strong impact on my ability to achieve my professional goals. I would also want to take part in some courses with an international orientation such as Finance in Emerging Markets which is offered on another concentration. Along with the Emerging Market Group I think I could gain important insights of and experience in this sector.

I think that much like other skills, leadership could also be strengthened by rigorous learning. I believe that Chicago Booth’s unique Leadership training program, LEAD, is a wonderful opportunity to practice important skills and enjoy the process. Other than fostering this soft skill, I am sure that the more experiences I will go through the better I will get acquainted with the local and international cultural standards.

Finally, I believe that a supporting environment is a crucial factor in order to achieve best academic and professional results. I have attended the two recent MBA fairs and used the opportunity to consult with admitted students and graduates of Chicago University. I was pleased to hear that they all indicated how great their MBA experience was and how exceptionally supportive the school’s faculty and fellow students were. In this context if admitted, I plan to arrive with my wife to be. As the most important support is that which one gets in his home, I find the Chicago partners club a significant element in my strong preferences towards Chicago GSB.

Chicago Booth Essay Analysis, 2017-2018

by mbaMission

How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough Chicago Booth essay analysis, our friends atmbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out.


For the third year in a row, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business is maintaining its rather unique “essay” question in which it asks applicants to select from a group of images depicting key moments in the Chicago Booth MBA experience and explain why the chosen image “best resonates” with them. When this prompt was first introduced in 2015–2016, the school offered a collection of 16 photos from which candidates could choose; last year, the group was reduced to ten. This season, Chicago Booth is presenting just six image options. We are unaware of the exact reasons behind this continued minimizing, but we theorize that certain types of photos were rarely chosen or did not elicit the kind of response the admissions committee ultimately felt was helpful in evaluating candidates. Another possibility is that multiple photos may have inspired very similar essays, so only one such picture was needed. Or Chicago Booth may have wanted to focus applicants on specific aspects of its program and therefore eliminated any images not related to those elements. This year’s photos again come with captions describing the depicted scene—an important factor in this equation in that an individual might be strongly drawn to a particular image, but the associated caption might influence his or her initial interpretation of it in some way. The bottom line is that with this nontraditional prompt, the school puts a significant amount of power in candidates’ hands in letting them select from a group of options, which thereby lets them better control the impression of themselves they want to present. We hope that you will find the essay question exciting and inspiring, rather than intimidating, and offer the following Chicago Booth essay analysis to help you plan your response.

The following is a collection of shared Booth moments. Choose the moment that best resonates with you and tell us why.

  • Choose the format that works for you. Want to illustrate your response visually? Submit a slide presentation. Like to express yourself with words? Write a traditional essay. Use the format that you feel best captures your response, the Admissions Committee has no preference.
  • Determine your own length. There is no prescribed minimum or maximum length. 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.

Technical Guidelines

  • File Size: Maximum file size is 16 MB.
  • Accepted Upload Formats: Acceptable formats are PDF, Word, and PowerPoint. We strongly recommend converting your piece to a PDF file prior to submitting.
  • Multimedia Restrictions: We will be viewing your submission electronically and in full color, but all submissions will be converted to PDF files, so animation, video, music, etc. will not translate over.

In offering advice to applicants on how best to approach its unorthodox essay prompt, a member of the Chicago Booth admissions committee stated on the department’s blog, “Simply put, we want applicants to have fun with the question and let their personality shine through. Focus less on curating a certain image and more on embracing who you are. Please trust when I say that there is no hidden meaning in the prompt.” We sincerely hope you will take the school’s counsel to heart and let go of any fears you might have about choosing the “wrong” image. Every MBA program’s essay questions share a common purpose—to help the admissions committee learn about you—and this is just a very pure and creative way of approaching the issue. Chicago Booth is not testing you. It is merely offering a novel way of inspiring a discussion about something you feel is fundamental about you—something you want the school to know about who you are, where you have been, and/or where you want to go in the future. The photos provided are very malleable, so they all offer a good opportunity to convey key messages about yourself. With a little time and contemplation, you should begin to feel a genuine connection with one of the options.

You might pick an image that connects with or recalls an important event from your past that had a significant impact on you and colors the person you are today. You could instead opt for a photo that relates to your aspirations as a Chicago Booth student or in your career. Another option is to select a picture that elicits a more emotional response from you and correlates with one or more of your core values or beliefs. Perhaps a good approach would be to let the image choose you, so to speak. With this essay—as with all application essays, of course—being sincere is crucial, so you will likely be able to craft your most compelling response when you feel a genuine attraction to the photo you choose. And do not merely identify an attribute in a photo and riff for a thousand words on what you feel are your most impressive accomplishments; instead, really get to the heart of how and why the image speaks to you personally. If you truly own your experiences and provide sufficient detail in showcasing them, your message will come across as authentic.

You can choose from multiple format options beyond the traditional essay for your submission, which no doubt adds to this prompt’s intimidation factor for some applicants. We offer no recommendation with respect to whether a written essay, a PowerPoint presentation, or any other format is “best” in this case. Opportunities are certainly available in both traditional and creative approaches, depending on where your strengths lie. We do, however, recommend that if you choose to write an essay, you limit yourself to no more than a thousand words.

Optional Essay: Is there any additional information that you would like the Admissions Committee to know? If so, please address in an optional essay. (300 words maximum)

Chicago Booth’s optional essay prompt is rather open-ended in that it does not specify that you discuss only problem areas in your candidacy, though it does restrict you to just 300 words. Nevertheless, this is still your opportunity to address—if you need to—any lingering questions that an admissions officer might have about your candidacy, such as a low GMAT or GRE score, a poor grade or overall GPA, or a gap in your work experience. Do not simply try to fill this space because you fear that not doing so would somehow count against you. And however tempted you might be, this is not the place to reuse a strong essay you wrote for another school or to offer a few anecdotes you were unable to share in your required essay. But if you truly feel that you must emphasize or explain something that would render your application incomplete if omitted, write a very brief piece on this key aspect of your profile. For more guidance, we encourage you to download your free copy of our mbaMission Optional Essays Guide, in which we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay, with multiple examples, to help you mitigate any problem areas in your application.

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

With this essay question, Chicago Booth is testing your resolve and your reasoning. We surmise that the school wants to be certain you are not just stubbornly following a path and trying to “finish what you started,” so to speak, but that you have truly reassessed your needs in the aftermath of your unfortunate rejection. We recommend that you discuss your subsequent growth and development as they pertain to additional personal and professional discovery, which validates your need for an MBA. In the interim, some of your interests or goals may have changed—that is not a bad thing, and the admissions committee will not automatically assume that you are “wishy-washy,” unless you give them good reason to do so. Just be sure that any of your goals that have changed still logically connect to your overall story and desire for an MBA. Your aspirations—new or original—need to represent a compelling progression of the growth you have achieved in the past year.   

And for a thorough exploration of the Chicago Booth academic program, unique offerings, social life, and other key characteristics, download your complimentary copy of the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.


mbaMission is the leader in MBA admissions consulting with a full-time and comprehensively trained staff of consultants, all with profound communications and MBA experience. mbaMission has helped thousands of candidates fulfill their dream of attending prominent MBA programs around the world. Take your first step toward a more successful MBA application experience with a free 30-minute consultation with one of mbaMission’s senior consultants. Sign up today at www.mbamission.com/manhattangmat.

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