Tips for UMich’s Ross School of Business Case Discussion
This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Robert Crystal in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info.
Applying to the Ross School of Business
Currently, the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business is ranked third in the nation for business schools. Given its quality of education and selectivity, students who are interested in getting into Ross should keep a few important factors in mind.
Apply by the Early Action Deadline
First, it’s important to note that the University of Michigan tries to fill its incoming class during the early action period. Applications received later will be considered only depending on available space. Students interested in applying to Ross School of Business should aim to submit their applications to the University of Michigan by the early action deadline.
Select a First-Year Admitting Unit
Next, when applying, applicants need to select a first-year admitting unit and preferred admission for the Stephen M. Ross School of Business. The first-year admission units available to prospective Ross students are the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA), College of Engineering, School of Kinesiology (Sport Management only), School of Music Theatre & Dance, and Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design.
Regardless of the school you choose, as long as it’s preapproved for transfer to Ross, you will still be able to take some classes at Ross as a first-year student and begin your prerequisite courses. Your admission to Ross is not guaranteed once you are admitted to the University of Michigan. You won’t be officially admitted to Ross until you apply for a cross-campus transfer, so it’s important to do well in the Ross prerequisite courses to remain eligible for the school.
The last component of applying to Ross is completing two additional essays along with your University of Michigan first-year application.
Ross School of Business Essay Prompt 1
The first University of Michigan Ross School of Business essay prompt is:
“Choose a current event or issue in your community and discuss the business implications. Propose a solution that incorporates business principles or practices. The review panel will look for creativity, drawing connections, and originality.
This case discussion helps us learn more about your understanding of business. The topic should be unique to your interests, experiences, and knowledge. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ business situation to choose — it’s truly up to you. We encourage you to select a topic that you are passionate about and not a global topic that you’re disconnected from.” (500 words)
Include Business Jargon
Through this prompt, Ross admissions officers are looking to better understand your grasp of business procedures. Because of this, it’s important to include some technical terms and business jargon to demonstrate your understanding of the business field. You don’t want your response to lack narrative flair either, as the prompt specifically asks for “creativity, drawing connections, and originality.”
Choosing a Topic
On choosing a topic, the prompt tells applicants to avoid selecting “a global topic that you’re disconnected from,” so instead, applicants should focus on something that they’re passionate about.
When approaching this prompt, try identifying a current event or issue in your community that matters to you, and incorporate it into your response. Don’t worry about the scale of the issue. Instead, make sure it’s something you can write about extensively. The prompt emphasizes it should be a preestablished passion, not a vague global topic that you’re not connected to, so it needs to hit close to home. Ideally, the topic you choose will be something you have experience with and that you’ve already made an effort to research or resolve.
Focus on the Solution
To start your essay, begin with an anecdotal line that provides enough context for readers to understand the issue at hand and your connection to it. Then, try to spend the majority of your response constructing some sort of business solution to the issue you chose.
The solution portion is the most critical part of your response as stating the issue is used as a jumping-off point for you to talk about your solution. The solution section should reveal a lot about you through how you choose to approach the problem.
When crafting your business plan, consider marketing tactics and relevant costs, then define what a successful outcome looks like. As you work on this, you can research different business models and plans online to make sure you’ve adequately grasped the best approach to your solution. However, don’t just copy one that you like. You need to use some creativity to splice different techniques together and make a business solution that’s uniquely yours.