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Ross Essays, and other updates

September 8, 2008

Don’t go by my weekly post titles. It does NOT mean that I’m done with all these essays so far. In fact, I’m far from it.

The updates so far –

INSEAD drafts ready. Kellogg drafts almost done. Ross – first draft done but for one essay. All of them need a lot of revision and refinement. I didn’t figure in IIMA’s shortlist. I did in IIMC’s. ISB’s almost wrapped up. Have found another recommender who’s ready to take the trouble for me. The long drawn process has begun to get at me. Days are a mix of lows, extreme lows, normal, apprehensive, and some rare moments of elatedness and confidence in my dreams.

I’m completely into the process. A lot of things are suffering as a result. My involvement at workplace. Time for my family and friends. No movies, really. No books of my choice.

And to see that days are going by quicker than my progress in the applications.

I think Ross’ essays came at a point where my spirit wasn’t too high, and dipped it further.


Ross Essays –

Essay 1: Briefly describe your short-term and long-term career goals. Why is an MBA the best choice at this point in your career? What and/or who influenced your decision to apply to Ross? (500 words)

Why is an MBA the best choice at this point in your career? Like missionMBA says – make sure that you are answering the question. Cos this nastily shifts the angle to the oft asked question. And therein lies the uniqueness of Ross. They know you want an MBA, so leave that aside. They want you to REFLECT, based on your career EXPERIENCE so far, and then take an INFORMED decision. They want to know how close can you bring yourself to the ‘think-act-reflect-learn-enhance-perform’ cycle thats an inherent part of Ross. Thats my take on what I’ve learnt about Ross so far. Let me know if it matches with yours.
List here the research you’ve done into their program. Yes you know about MAP and action based learning, but go beyond that. Its a make or break question, take care to get it right.

Essay 2: Describe your most significant professional accomplishment. Elaborate on the leadership skills you displayed, the actions you took and the impact you had on your organization.

See what I told you above, about the Ross cycle? Each of their essay questions have a tail which shapes the way your essay needs to go. I think the easiest way for Ross to eliminate essays would be to check for the copy-paste syndrome. Don’t tell me that you are not tempted, cos their questions are so generic. Well, at least the first part of it. The focus here is different though. You have 500 words to describe the one single professional achievement, and then assess it from your point of view. How exactly did you make it happen? What skills assisted you in doing the same? Don’t forget the results. Start phrasing your conversations in the context-action-result mode. It’ll help you go a long way with Ross.

Essay 3: If you were not pursuing the career goals you described in Question 1, what profession would you pursue instead? (for example, teacher, musician, athlete, architect, etc.) How will this alternate interest contribute to your effectiveness in solving multi-disciplinary problems?

This is one essay that had me the most excited initially, but is causing the most pain now. I am sure this is the one answer Ross adcom looks at very closely.

I, though, don’t like the tail. Why does my interest necessarily need to contribute to my effectiveness, that too in solving multi-disciplinary problems? And what exactly is meant by multi-disciplinary problems? Lets call it MDP. Say I want to be a sailor, and sail around the world. Thinking about this MDP robs away the enchantment that I might feel towards my alternate interest. The fact that I’m not a sailor is probably because I felt I would not be able to deal with the problems that came along with it. Nevertheless, sailing can still be of interest to me. I don’t want to go about painting a picture of how I would balance this alternate career and life and MDP in general, when all I’m really interested in now is the passion towards this interest.

Anyways, the question’s got to be answered. So what is MDP? Is it about managing the whole business around your interest, your performance at your interest, or the life in general? Whats your take on it? I think I’d arrive at an answer when I seriously begin to write this essay. Its the one which is on hold now.
Essay 4: Describe your experience during a challenging time in your life. Explain how you grew personally, either despite this challenge or because of it.

The tail, again, marks the focus of this question. Typically Ross. Even when you get all personal, the focus has to be on the outcome. What did you learn from this incident? How did you grow? Fairly straightforward, given that all of us by now have a ready answer to such questions.


This is Tuck’s week for me. I am mighty impressed by Tuck just from the information I’ve managed to extract from the net. Its one school though where I haven’t been able to get across to an alum/student yet. And even Wharton.

How things will change. From working and net, to networking. I hope they change for the better.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 8, 2008 11:05 am

    I think the best thing you can do now is to soak in the pressure. DON’T be at your essays all the time. Otherwise the anxiety and worry may well land you some kind of mental degeneration.

    I try to break the ice by playing a game of cricket or watching a movie. However, I do think about my essays while I am doing other stuff. I try to relate what I am doing currently to something that I have done in the past. That way, I recollect my past experiences and determine if they are worthy enough for a mention in my essays. And once you are in the groove, your essays will flow naturally. About the copy-paste syndrome, I would suggest that you use it for the crux of the essay and then use your school specific interests to add color to your document.

    These are just my thoughts though…they have worked for me, at least thus far.

  2. ahembeea permalink*
    September 8, 2008 12:41 pm

    Ashwanth – yes thats the way it works for me as well. I let the panic build up, and it generally brings out the best.

  3. September 10, 2008 7:02 pm

    There are times when essays really make us wonder if we have done anything worthwhile in life! And on top of that we have our legs into many things. But then, I guess this is like a dress rehearsal for the MBA :). So when you have reached to the end of the rope, hang on! ATB!

  4. missionmba permalink
    September 11, 2008 12:46 am

    “There are times when essays really make us wonder if we have done anything worthwhile in life! ”
    Right on,Maverick!! It does happen with me all the time. At one moment, u start evaluating ur profile in terms of stats n all and u feel u can make it to any school!! And then the next moment, essays make you realise that perhaps you are not fit for any school..

    The truth lies somewhere in between!! Let’s wait for that to be uncovered!! 🙂

  5. ahembeea permalink*
    September 11, 2008 8:06 am

    Maverick & mission – so true. And I think such moments are required, as it pushes you to the brink and makes you think hard. Thats one of the best times when you can pour some passion into your essays.

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