Chicago Booth Essays: Tips for 2023-2024

At Menlo Coaching, we noticed that most MBA essays will fall into one of a number of categories: personal essays, career goals essays, behavioral essays, etc.. Read ahead for our expert guide on approaching these essays for University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Career Goals Essay

  • How will the Booth MBA help you achieve your immediate and long-term post-MBA career goals? (250-word minimum)
  • What is your immediate post-MBA career goal? (250 characters)
  • What is your long-term post-MBA career goal? (250 characters)

Personal Essay

  • 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)

Optional Essay

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

If you are a reapplicant to Booth, you can also find a section on the reapplicant essay.

The Career Goals Essay

You’re not the only one hoping you’ll have a job after you’ve graduated with your MBA. Admissions committees are looking for students who are motivated and clear in their intentions so that when they get a job post-grad, they’ll be more willing to speak positively of their experience in the program. And, of course, in the hopes that their alumni will earn enough money to become a donor to the school one day.

There are three aspects to the career goals essay: 

Your aspirations need to be convincing, ambitious, and realistic. The Booth MBA program is looking for applicants who have meaningful goals grounded in their past experiences, and it’s important that you relate that notion in your Booth MBA essay, however it applies to your experience in life.

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In MBA admissions, starting early can significantly boost your chances. 

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The Personal Statement Essay

Like we touched on earlier, schools are looking for the right fit for their campus community, just as you are searching for the school that aligns best with your goals. In the personal essay, this is your chance to show Chicago Booth the values that drive you both as a person and as a student. These values tell the admissions committee what you prioritize, the moral code you live by, and, most importantly, who you are as a person. 

The Booth MBA program is looking for applicants who are willing to debate and discuss. A core part of the learning experience is learning how to defend your point of view – and just as important is the view of your classmates. Hearing diverse viewpoints encourages you to think outside of your sphere and understand a wider range of lived experiences. 

In these essays, you can talk about almost anything; typically, applicants will write about relationships in their lives, or times when there was a hardship they had to overcome.

Be warned, though: there are some topics to avoid, and we have outlined a few things to watch out for in this article

Optional Essay

Once you’ve completed your application, the optional Booth essay gives you an additional opportunity to provide the AdCom with any additional information or clarity that you feel would enhance your application.

One trap that MBA applicants fall into is using the additional space provided by this essay to write on another topic. However, this is not always the best idea.

You should only make use of this essay if you what you write will provide context to an element of your application to improve your candidacy—you don’t want to jeopardize your chances by adding unnecessary noise to your application.

Reapplicant Essay

For reapplicants, Booth requires a specific essay in which you can address how your application has improved since your last application.

In this essay, you can address any improvements to your test scores, promotions at work, additional volunteer or community work, or any significant professional development that you have undertaken since you last applied to the program.

Timing is key for reapplicants, and when you’re applying for an MBA program a second time around, you want to be sure that you are a more qualified and desirable client than you were in the past—even if your application was stellar the first time.

Conclusion

Writing strong, coherent, and genuine stories is an essential part of your MBA application. Your Booth essays are meant to help you stand out among many other applicants, so it is worth your time to do the work and write about situations unique to your life and that you truly learned from.

Visit our process page to understand how Menlo Coaching can help you with your Booth MBA essays—alongside your other business school application essays.