The application essay question for the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University gives candidates the opportunity to add a little detail and depth to their profile beyond the statistics and other basic data conveyed in the rest of the application. The school’s required essay is a rather traditional career goals statement, allowing candidates 500 words in which to outline their professional aspirations and explain their need for an MBA. If needed, a 500-word supplemental essay is also available for applicants with unusual or unclear elements in their profiles. All aspiring Fisher students must complete a video interview in conjunction with their application, and although this is not technically an essay, we offer tips on preparing for it as well in our complete analysis, which follows.
The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business Essay Analysis 2023–2024
You will be required to complete one written essay response. The essay question gives you the opportunity to present yourself more fully to our MBA Admissions Committee and to provide insight into your experiences, goals, and thought processes.
ESSAY TOPIC 1: What are your short-term and long-term goals? How/why will an MBA help you achieve those goals? (Maximum words: 500)
The Fisher admissions committee is hardly breaking any new ground with this essay prompt, though the information it is requesting is important to all top MBA programs. Fisher is interested in learning where you see yourself going after you graduate and how you believe a business degree will equip you to fulfill your vision. Because this essay question covers several of the main components of a traditional personal statement, we encourage you to download a free copy of the mbaMission Personal Statement Guide, in which we offer detailed advice on approaching these topics, along with multiple illustrative examples.
SUPPLEMENTAL ESSAY (OPTIONAL): This optional essay can be used to address any circumstances you’d like the Admissions Committee to be aware of (gaps in work history, academic performance, choice of recommenders, etc.). (Maximum words: 500)
This essay is your opportunity—if you need it—to address any lingering questions that an admissions officer might have about your candidacy, such as a poor grade or overall GPA, a low GRE or GMAT score, or, of course, one of the issues Fisher lists in the prompt. If you feel you might need to submit an additional essay for such a reason, consider downloading a free copy of our mbaMission Optional Essays Guide, in which we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay (along with multiple annotated sample essays) to help mitigate any problem areas in your profile.
Video Interview: Each applicant will be required to complete an online assessment comprised of pre-recorded video questions (delivered via Fisher’s Kira Talent platform). Since live interviews are by invitation only, the video interview is a way for us to virtually meet you and get a sense of your personality and potential beyond what you’ve included in your application. When you start an application, you’ll receive an email invitation to complete your video interview. While it’s recommended to complete the video interview within 2 weeks, the link will not expire. Your application cannot be reviewed until all items are complete, including your Kira video interview.
HOW IT WORKS: The process is simple—you will be asked a question, given prep time, and a set amount of time to respond. It should only take 20 to 30 minutes to complete and can be done on your own time. We recommend watching our “7 Tips to Ace Your Kira Video Interview” webinar to understand how it works and to improve your application.
WHAT YOU NEED: You will require an internet-connected computer with a functioning webcam and microphone. The system allows for unlimited practice sessions but once you start the formal interview questions you only get one chance—this allows us to see your candid responses. Be yourself!
We know that required videos often strike fear into the hearts of business school candidates, but let us reassure you a bit and unpack this component of the Fisher application process, in hopes of helping you relax and put your best self forward. First of all, keep in mind that these video questions are not meant to trip you up or entice you to do or say anything that would get you immediately disqualified from consideration. Video submissions, as the Fisher admissions committee largely explains here, are opportunities for the admissions committee to put a “face,” so to speak, on your written application and learn a little more about your personality, energy level, communication style, and other such intangibles. In an admissions blog post from the year this video element was first added, a Fisher representative stated, “We really like to get to know all of our applicants but given the volume of applications we receive, it is not possible to meet or speak to everyone. This platform allows us to get to know you much better than anything else you’ll submit.” If you focus on being authentic and sincere, you will provide the admissions committee with exactly what it is seeking.
Before you begin preparing for this portion of the application, take time to watch the recommended webinar (a good rule of thumb is that whenever the admissions committee encourages you to do something in preparation for applying, do it!), which is brief, at just under six minutes, but full of helpful guidance. Fisher does not reveal exactly what candidates will be asked in the video segment, but in the school’s recommended video, a practice question appears on the screen—“Imagine that you’ve been sent back in time to the year 1900. . . . How would you explain the internet to someone of that time period?” Just how reflective of the school’s actual questions this is we can only guess, though. In addition, the video shows (but does not overtly discuss) the option for a written response, so keep in mind that this might also be a possibility. Thankfully, Fisher’s Kira system is set up so that you can practice an unlimited number of times, so you will not have to go into this portion of the application cold. This is a valuable opportunity that we cannot encourage you enough to make the most of.
Fisher recommends using the STAR method when responding to its video questions to ensure that your answers include all the relevant information the admissions committee seeks, so be sure to do some research on what that technique entails, and then make it a central part of your practice efforts. We suggest practicing in front of a mirror to exercise maintaining a natural expression as you speak and timing yourself to ensure your answers do not tend to run long. Although you can prepare as much as you want, you will have only one chance to record your response(s) when you do the official interview. If you stumble while answering or ultimately are unhappy with your answer, unfortunately, you will not be able to rerecord anything or try again another time. This might make you nervous, but we encourage you to view the situation a little differently. As we have noted, Fisher wants to get to know the real you through these video essays. If you fumble for words or lose your train of thought, just laugh or shrug and continue with your response. Accepting a mistake with a sense of humor and grace will give the admissions committee a more positive and natural impression of your personality than rigid scripting and overpreparation ever could.
For additional sample questions—albeit more traditional ones than the example in the school’s video—you can use to practice, consider downloading a free copy of the mbaMission Interview Guide, in which we present a list of 100 common interview queries.