MBA Essay Advice – Chicago Booth

With the Round 2 deadline quickly approaching, you might be sitting down to tackle your Booth application over the holiday break. With an urban location as well as an innovative and flexible curriculum, this MBA program has numerous points of differentiation. If you’re applying to Booth, here is what you need to know.

Application Run Down


  • Round 1 – September 23, 2021
  • Round 2 – January 6, 2022
  • Round 3 (please don’t wait for Round 3) – April 7, 2022

Essay Prompts

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

How To Tackle the Booth MBA Essays

Our overarching piece of advice for a successful Booth application is to effectively and authentically communicate ‘why Booth’. Booth has a unique culture and seeks students who, while diverse in many ways, share in its defining traits – they are intellectually curious, highly independent, and unafraid of bold ideas. Before you begin drafting your essays, give some serious thought to how you embody these characteristics and let this guide the content of your essays.

Yikes, a MINIMUM Word Limit, How Long Should My Booth Essays Be?

As we said, Boothies are unafraid of bold ideas, and the word count minimum is characteristically unconventional. So, how long should they be? While there is certainly a range, we find the sweet spot to be 400-500 words. You should be able to get your point across in this amount of space and any longer risks losing the reader (who reads A LOT of applications).  

Communicating ‘Why Booth’ Is Done Indirectly as Much as It Is Done Directly

Your first reaction when you read the prompt for Essay One may have been ‘Got it, I need to talk about all the Booth classes I plan to take and clubs I will join. Easy.’ Not so fast. And the reason why goes back to our initial piece of advice about showing how you fit with Booth’s unique culture. It’s a given that you will cite some specific Booth classes, clubs, etc. that will help you achieve your goals.  This is the ‘direct’ part and it’s important, but we recommend you do more to really demonstrate that you embody the personality of Boothie.

To the extent possible while remaining authentic, when sharing your goals and the ‘why’ behind them, weave in some details that showcase your fearless, independent streak. Maybe your long-term goal is to found a business that fills a need you’ve observed in a certain marketplace – lean into the boldness of your idea as you share these plans.  

The advice to indirectly demonstrate you embody Booth’s culture extends to the second essay as well. As you consider the facets of your life outside of work that you will share, focus on those that ‘fit’ with the Booth culture. Take intellectual curiosity, for instance. Maybe this characteristic guided you to a particular extracurricular activity in college and then to a hobby you currently enjoy outside of work. The possibilities are endless, but successful Booth essays begin with a nuanced understanding of what makes the school – and you – unique.

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