Rotman MBA Application Essays 2019-20
Essay 1 – Please upload 1-3 of your ‘spikiest’ pictures to the supplemental items section of your application here and use the space below to tell us why you have chosen these particular images to illustrate your ‘spike factor’. (up to 1000 words)
Essay 2 – Reflection Question: List 3-5 attributes or characteristics that best describe you.
Video Essay – Required video interview (2 questions) with a new timed written response component (10 minutes in length).
Rotman MBA Winning Sample Essay – 1
Rotman Essay 1: Please upload 1-3 of your ‘spikiest’ pictures and use the essay to tell us why you have chosen these particular images to illustrate your ‘spike factor’ (use up to 1000 words).
I am a corporate lawyer with seven years of professional exp and currently working with Deloitte. At Deloitte, I independently handle the Public Sector Industry projects as a part of Deloitte India corporate legal team. After undergraduation, I have crafted a successful career for myself while working with some of the biggest MNC’s and international clients. But things were not always like this, there was a point in time when being independent was a far fetched dream.
When I was eight years old, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis which rendered me bedridden and with limited movement for six years. Back in the day, the only known cure for my condition was regular penicillin injections which was an excruciating and painful procedure, to say the least.
In these six years, I was bedridden for the most part and could barely make any friends or enjoy any of the childhood pleasure. The only pleasure I had to indulge myself in was watching television. Given my lack of social life and inability to participate in physical activities, I developed a deep love for movies and television. Watching movies was the only pass time I had, I would often mimic dialogues, lip sync songs and hoped that one day I would get out of my state and be able to do these things in theatre. This was the beginning of my dream and passion for doing theatre one day.
At the age of 14 years, my condition improved and I started a new chapter of my life. I moved to a new city for my bachelor’s degree, and the first thing I did was to join the theatre club on my campus. The first picture I have is of my crew and I performing my first stage appearance in front of our college crowd. That performance was the accumulation of many dreams fulfilled and my first spikiest moment in life. I remember vividly how nervous I was for that performance and how it felt to be appreciated and cheered upon. From that day onwards I never looked back, the appreciation fueled me, and over the next four years I took part in more in 20 events, performed in full-fledged plays in front of crowds of 1000s of people and travelled across the country for various performances. These public performances gave me the confidence to face the crowd and developed skills such as public speaking, improvisation and people management which I could never experience during my early childhood.
My second picture is a collage of all my enjoyable and cherishable moments accumulated while travelling more than ten countries. In today’s globe tottering generation of millennials, travelling may not be the spikiest thing to do and highlight, but for me, it used to be a distant dream. Summer and winter vacations are a kids paradise, and that’s all they look forward to every year. All my friends went travelling with their families, came back and shared their adventures year after year. But, I was one of those unfortunate bedridden kids who dreaded vacations and desperately waited for them to get over so that my friends would come back. I hated the feeling of being alone during vacations and also my family was not able to go anywhere due to my regular treatment needs. But now I am cured and earning independently, I have made it a point to catch up on all those memories which I couldn’t form during my childhood or the moment my family sacrificed to stay with me. Since getting a Job in 2011, I have been to some of the most exotic places in the world like Bali, Thailand, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica, Hawaii, Iceland, Norway, Rome, Paris and Philippines.
So yes, travelling is more than just being a spike factor for me. Theatre and travelling both are more about giving myself the confidence to achieve my dreams and prove that nothing is out of bounds if you have the motivation to work towards it with sheer dedication and passion. This brings me to my third picture which is about giving back to society and where I share my journey with similar unfortunate kids to give them the motivation I had.
I regularly volunteer with NGO’s, and social work experiences have changed my whole perspective. Overtime, I realized that teaching was a very small part of my social work initiatives. The most beautiful thing about all teaching in NGO in my early years was that I changed. I began to care – really care about them because I can connect to their feelings. Before getting cured, all I cared was about myself and used to ask stupid questions as – will I fit in society? Will I be able to lead a life like normal kids? But with these kids, I forget about me and care for them overtakes my sensations. Since I have been through the hardship, I can connect with them. I know getting a good education is only a way out of the hardships of life. I have always used my story to motivate them. I believe teaching them Science or English is important but what’s more important is to inspire and motivate these kids to chase their dreams.
In Summary, these three pictures represents the most significant aspects my dreams and my life in a nutshell. It hasn’t been easy so far, but after all these experience I have never been afraid to dream bigger and better. Now I aspire to learn from the best institutes like Rotman and become a business leader who can not only lead but also inspire others to dream big in life. I can bring not only diverse and spiky experiences to class, but also a true story of grit and motivation to share with my peers.
“I got much valuable advice from Ameer and he inspired me a lot which made me think further about my strengths and weaknesses. He did me a big favor not only for the interview but also for my future learning experience at HEC”.
Dharam Nain Singh
“Ameer helped me in making a list of all the important events in my life, and used them to highlight what skills I have.I think I might not have been able to make the application so precise and to the point without Ameer’s help.”
Rotman MBA Winning Sample Essays -2
Rotman Essay 1: Please upload 1-3 of your ‘spikiest’ pictures to the supplemental items section of your application here and use the space below to tell us why you have chosen these particular images to illustrate your ‘spike factor’. (up to 1000 words)
There are three aspects of my early childhood life that have left an indelible mark on my life and defined the critical personality traits which have helped me craft a successful career for myself. First is my father’s public-sector job of a civil engineer as a government of India employee. He usually has regular job transfers every 2-3 years, and due to the transferable nature of my father’s job, I grew up in 6 different economically backwards cities spread across the breadth of India. I had to change schools every 2-3 years, made new friends and learned different languages. Second, everyone in my family is an engineer, so I genetically acquired an inquisitive mind which pushed me towards engineering as well. Although early on, my inquisitive mind ensured that I created more problems than I solved but over time I developed problem-solving skills as well, which coupled with my cultural adaptability and language skills made me a perfect fit for consulting world.
After my undergraduate, I joined ZS associates where I have successfully led and contributed to multiple projects. I have worked with various global teams on aspects of sales and marketing for large pharmaceutical companies and acquired significant client facing experience.
I worked on the development of a BI report catering to the analytical requirement for over 300 field sales representatives. The report enabled the users to gain strategic insights from their sales and marketing data, which helped improve their efficiency and increased sales. The project received multiple accolades from the client, an award for my team and myself, which brings to my first picture with my project champions award that I received at my organisation level for driving excellent client service. This is the first picture, which I believe was in recognition of the innovative and out of the box thinking I employed to derive insights for the data analysis. This award not only recognised my skills but also help me fetch my first promotion within the organisation. It was the first award that I received in my professional career and brought me the confidence that I can achieve even higher accolades, and therefore this award and picture are special to me.
My second picture is about an activity which I feel deeply passionate about and love to do whenever I get any free time, i.e. “Baking”. In this picture, I am baking one of my favourite chocolate cake and cookies, on a random Sunday for my friends and family. Being a complete foodie, I not only like eating different kinds of cuisines but also have a knack for cooking. My mom and her cooking were the inspiration that fueled my interest in cooking, and I started experimenting with different stuff in her kitchen. My uncontrollable desire for sweet and baked goods, compelled me to attempt baking and that’ when I found my passion and a new hobby.
I mostly bake over the weekend where it acts as a retreat from my hectic weekday. Baking not only helps me relax and disconnect from the work week but also teaches me some valuable life lessons. It shows me that little mistakes will blow over, you can accidentally add a little extra flour in the cake mixture which can potentially spoil the cake, but you learn a good lesson for the next time and improve your recipe. Similarly, in life sometimes we tend to beat ourselves up over little things, or little things that we don’t have the power to change, but we should always learn from them and aspire to get better at them. The second important thing I learn from baking is that things do get messy, but if you are patient enough the results are worth the wait, and there is always a sweet reward at the end for all my hard work. It gives me immense pleasure in seeing the smile and happiness, on the faces of my friends and family when they eat my cakes. It reignites my passion for baking and motivates me to help others so that I can bring in joy in their lives as well.
I believe, I have been very fortunate in life and had a comfortable life. My early upbringing in economically backward cities across India left an imprint on my mind which continually reminds me that not everyone is similarly fortunate. This is the third aspect of my early childhood that defines me and the third picture of my story. These experiences motivated me to step-up an NGO named “Gyankunj”, where my team and I help the low-income families in bridging the gap in their kid’s education. So far, we have raised more than INR 300,000 through crowdfunding and received a corporate social responsibility award of INR 100,000 from BAIN India. We are utilising these funds to impart a practical-oriented education to underprivileged children and conducted individual sessions to train the kids beyond their regular coursework. One important thing I noticed during my early social work experiences is that these kids rarely have knowledge and access to appropriate real-life role models to look up to. To bridge this gap, we created a concept under which we bring in high profile speakers from positions in different fields like civil services, engineering, bankers, etc., to motivate the kids.
Working at Gyankunj brings in the sense of self-satisfaction from giving it back to the society. It also helps me develop a sense of responsibility, ownership and leadership qualities that I can even use in my professional growth. In fact, spending time at Gyankunj helps me be a better leader at work too. I believe that all my professional and personal journey along with my diverse experience across consulting, baking and social work have given me a lot of learnings about patients, teamwork and leadership which I can share both in-class and out of class with my peers. The sum total of which makes me a perfect fit for the Rotman MBA class.
Rotman MBA Application Tips
The University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business is one of the leading business schools in Canada. Known for its design approach to MBA education and strong emphasis on problem solving, Rotman’s program has grown in renown.
This year Rotman is all about Spike Factor, asking you to upload 1-3 of your “spikiest” pictures and select 1,000 words to explain why you chose these pictures. This year’s essay should be fun to answer, providing you with a creative way to show Rotman what makes you a unique and valuable addition to their community.
Essay1: Please upload 1-3 of your ‘spikiest’ pictures to the supplemental items section of your application here and use the space below to tell us why you have chosen these particular images to illustrate your ‘spike factor’. (up to 1000 words)
• Think about your key strengths and accomplishments and select photos that show this in an engaging way. “Spike factor” allows you to highlight your resilience, grit and determination in setting and reaching ambitious goals.
• You might also think of this like “the Tokyo test”—something I have heard recruiters mention. Is this person interesting enough that I’d be happy sitting next to them on a flight to Tokyo? Make sure you share something interesting—and this can expand beyond work to interesting hobbies, sports accomplishments, businesses that you have started, charities you’ve founded or supported etc.
• Consider organizing your answer around a few key themes with photos that support each one.
• Organically weave your career goals around the picture(s) you upload—ideally one of those photos may help inform what you’d like to do after Rotman.
• Think not just about what you can get from Rotman but also how you will be able to bring value to the Rotman community through the photos and explanations you share.
• It may help to use a CAR (Challenge/Action/Result) model as you provide support for the examples you share.
• Presence and communication are valued by Rotman in the admissions process as it is stated right in the introduction; be sure to upload a visually appealing and well written submission. Edit, proofread and pay attention to detail.
Essay 2: Reflection Question: List 3-5 attributes or characteristics that best describe you.
With these scant words, you should both reinforce your main application and essay message(s) and, also, add a little something extra and new – but that doesn’t contradict those other points. So, if your main message revolves around excellent soft skills and persuasion, look for another complementary point, e.g., risk-taker, that may not be emphasized but that is still reflective of you – and that will also be consistent with your profile and application even if not the most prominent point.
Video Essay: Required video interview (2 questions) with a new timed written response component (10 minutes in length).
Without knowing what the questions are, your best approach is to approach the video interview with both your own application and the Rotman program fresh in your mind. This will help you to simultaneously avoid both (a) being redundant and (b) being contradictory or inconsistent. This written response is new this year. I suggest viewing and approaching it as a continuation of the dialogue. It presents special challenges, particularly for non-native English speakers and writers who may typically take more time to polish their writing in English. While it’s natural for a follow-up piece like this essay to be less polished and thought through than essays on which you reasonably spend much more time, it also shouldn’t sound like a different person or present such a gap in English writing fluency that it raises doubts in the adcom. If you are worried about these things – practice. Give yourself sample topics and a 5-10 minute response window. Use tough questions, to make the actual one (hopefully) seem easier! (NOTE: The Rotman website gives an example – not an actual sample – question).