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MBA News: Videos, Personal Expression Essays Change the Admissions Landscape

Your application materials provide B-school admissions offices with their initial impression of you as a potential student, professional, alumnus/alumna, and leader. Given the quality of the applicant pool at programs such as the Yale School of Management (SOM), stellar GMAT scores and flawless undergrad GPAs are simply not enough to set candidates apart. Program leaders want future MBAs who will serve as successful, impressive, and interesting representatives of their schools. To get a better feel for applicants as distinct individuals, many schools are implementing new and innovative submission requirements.

Video Essay Questions

The University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management was the first program to introduce video essay questions—with Yale SOM and Kellogg quickly following suit. Rotman’s director of MBA recruitment stated the following in an admissions blog post: “We are hoping to take a big leap away from the essay writing contest that has become the norm in the MBA admissions world.”

Personal Expression Essays

NYU’s Stern School of Business offers prospective students the opportunity to showcase their individuality through a personal expression essay. Rather than writing a certain number of words on a specific topic, applicants can use virtually any medium to display their skills, background, and potential. Accepted students have submitted illustrations, videos, paintings, audio files, and even cook books.

Wherever you apply, representing yourself as both a captivating individual and a talented professional is key. To learn more about how to position yourself for acceptance, check out our mbaMission Interview Guides.




Upcoming Events


Upcoming Deadlines

  • Oxford Saïd (Round 2)
  • INSEAD (Round 2)
  • NYU Stern (Round 2)
  • Dartmouth Tuck (Round 2)
  • Michigan Ross (Round 2)
  • Virginia Darden (Round 3)

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2020–2021 MBA Essay Analysis

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MBA Program Updates