Stanford GSB | Mr. Financial Controller
GRE Yet to Take, Target is ~330, GPA 2.5
Kellogg | Mr. Texan Adventurer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
Tuck | Mr. Metamorphosis
GRE 324, GPA 3.15
Stanford GSB | Ms. Retail Innovator
GMAT 750, GPA 3.84
MIT Sloan | Mr. Unicorn Strategy
GMAT 740 (estimated), GPA 3.7
Darden | Ms. Teaching-To-Tech
GRE 326, GPA 3.47
Cambridge Judge | Mr. Nuclear Manager
GMAT 700, GPA 2.4
London Business School | Ms. Aussie Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.5
Kellogg | Mr. Geography Techie
GMAT 740, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Aussie Sustainability
GMAT 650 (retaking to boost chances), GPA 4
Wharton | Mr. Food & Beverage
GMAT 720, GPA 3.75
Stanford GSB | Just Jim
GRE 335, GPA 3.99
London Business School | Mr. Impact Financier
GMAT 750, GPA 7.35/10
Kellogg | Mr. Sales Engineer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.00
Columbia | Ms. Mechanical Engineer
GMAT 610, GPA 3.72
Georgetown McDonough | Ms. CRA11
GMAT 720, GPA 3.61
Harvard | Mr. Impact Investment
GMAT 760, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Private Equity
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Columbia | Mr. Worker Bee
GMAT 710, GPA 3.56
Columbia | Mr. Alien
GMAT 700, GPA 3.83
Columbia | Mr. MD
GMAT 630, GPA 3.24
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Digital Marketing Analyst
GMAT 710, GPA 3.27
Harvard | Mr. AI in Asia
GMAT 760, GPA 3.25
IMD | Mr. Future Large Corp
GMAT 720, GPA 3.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Career Coach
GRE 292, GPA 3.468
Marshall School of Business | Mr. Strategy Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
NYU Stern | Mr. Long Shot
GRE 303, GPA 2.75

Booth Asks Applicants To Riff On Photo

One of the photos that Booth is asking applicants to write about in its new essay

One of the photos that Booth is asking applicants to write about in its new essay

The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business is asking applicants to write an admissions essay based on one of 16 photos that depict various aspects of its MBA experience. The new essay question, with no word limit, along with the school’s 2015-2016 MBA application deadlines was released on Wednesday, July 8th.

In a blog post, Kurt Ahlm, associate dean for student recruitment and admissions, said the school adapted the unusual format for this year’s essay “in the spirit of diverse perspectives and challenging the status quo—even our own status quo.”

A young Eugene Fama, a Nobel prize-winning economist at Booth. It's one of the photos that the school is asking applicants to reflect on

A young Eugene Fama, a Nobel prize-winning economist at Booth. It’s one of the photos that the school is asking applicants to reflect on

The photos are something you might find on an Instagram feed, ranging from classroom shots to a selfie with Dean Sunil Kumar and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, a Booth alum (see below). There are pictures of MBA students involved in extracurricular activities, social events, and their own graduation. There’s one black-and-white photo of a young Eugene Fama, one of Chicago’s several professors who have won a Nobel Prize. The school then asks applicants to answer how the photo “resonates with your own viewpoint on why the Booth community is the right fit for you.”


Early reaction from MBA admission consultants appears positive. “At first I thought, ‘huh’? and then after about 10 seconds, I thought, ‘yeah, why not?,’ says Betsy Massar, founder of Master Admissions. “There are plenty of angles to choose from, and even though the question is open ended, there’s enough focus on fit with Booth to get people started. Glad there’s a sense of fun to it as well. I appreciate that Booth is not trying to take itself overly seriously.”

As it has in the past, Booth is asking applicants to respond to its prompt in a traditional essay, slide presentation, or any format that candidates believe best captures a response. The new essay replaces last year’s prompt:

Chicago Booth values adventurous inquiry, diverse perspectives, and a collaborative exchange of ideas. This is us. Who are you?


The school said its first round deadline would be Sept. 17, with decisions released on Dec. 10. Booth set a second round deadline of Jan. 5, with a release date of March 24th, and a third and final round deadline of April 5th, with a release date of May 19.

“Creating an MBA application that allows applicants to be authentic and honest is something we strive for at Booth,” said Ahlm. “The essay is where we really get a feel for who someone is, how they think, their distinct viewpoint, and how they can contribute to the community.

“While this is an opportunity for us to learn about you, we also want to share a more complete picture of what our community is all about. We value individuality and diverse experiences because it inspires collaborative thinking and the unique learning environment here at Chicago Booth.”

Booth Dean Sunil Kumar takes a selfie

Booth Dean Sunil Kumar takes a selfie


About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.