The University of Chicago Booth's MBA application for the Class of 2012 also includes space for an optional essay. I have taken the tip below from the online application. The question and the tip read as follows:
Optional EssayIf there is any important information that is relevant for your candidacy that you were unable to address elsewhere in the application, please share that information here.
Optional Essay Tip
The optional essay is provided to give you an opportunity to explain any potential anomalies or ambiguity in your application. For example, you can explain why you did not use your current employer to write your recommendation, you might provide some clarity as to why there are significant gaps in your resume, or you may help us to understand why your grades declined in your junior year.
Please note this question is very functional in its design, it is to provide clarity on aspects of the application, not to give you an opportunity to write another creative essay.
If you read the above, it should be clear enough that this is primarily the place to explain anything negative or potentially negative in your background. Yes, you may have written a great essay for Tuck, Wharton, Harvard, Stanford, NYU, MIT, INSEAD, Columbia, or London Business School, but unless your objective is to tell that to Chicago don't include it here. Booth gives you two essays and a slide presentation to write about all the good stuff.
Unless you are perfect there is a reasonable likelihood that you will have something to write about here. If you don't think you have anything, just ask yourself the following questions:
1. What is the weakest thing about my application content? Do I have anything that I should say about that? Would it be obvious to a reader or something only I could know? If you can identify something that you think would likely be obvious to a reader, write about it.
2. What is the weakest thing about me as an applicant? Do I have anything that I should say about that? Would it be obvious to a reader or something only I could know? If you can identify something that you think would likely be obvious to a reader, write about it.
3. Is there anything at all that I did not have space in my essays to clarify? If so, write about it.
Finally, if you think there is nothing to write about, you need not do so, but I find that most applicants have something they need to discuss.
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