What are your chances of acceptance?

Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
Duke University
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

An Overview of UMich’s Ross School of Business Prompt 2

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.


What’s Covered



The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business requires supplemental essays. These can be daunting, especially if the prompts aren’t quite what you’d expect from a college application. You need to get creative and analytical, and you have to show your individual personality. This article will take you through the second Ross School of Business prompt and provide you with advice and an example of a strong essay. 


General Information


The second Ross School of Business essay asks you to select an artifact that represents something significant about your life. Then, you’ll write a description explaining how your chosen artifact demonstrates learning in action.


This artifact doesn’t have to be related to business. You can pick something from your work in the classroom or some kind of representation of an extracurricular accomplishment. Try to find one that showcases something truly unique to you. You can also ask yourself: “What am I most proud of from my four years in high school?”


You’re only allowed 250 words for this prompt, which might feel like limited space. It’s also a challenge to come up with only one object of significant importance to you! If you’re struggling to narrow it down, a list of examples might help. Students have chosen objects like an academic project, community project, community newspaper article, or personal website piece on a school extracurricular or community program.


If none of that inspires you, think about what activities have meant the most to you and the ones you’re most passionate about. Then, consider what will look the most unique to the eyes of an admissions officer—after all, you should aim to stand out!


Writing your essay is just as crucial as choosing the object. Be sure to use specific and technical language that shows that you’ve truly learned something from your artifact. You need to be genuine. Use your limited space wisely, and emphasize what you’ve learned and your intellectual curiosity. An admissions committee wants to see how you’ve grown, so include specific details about your experiences.


Sample Essay Analysis


One student submitted a photo of a wooden playset. At the beginning of his essay, he paints a clear picture of the setting and establishes conflict right away by discussing how he doesn’t like his brother that much. He then transitions to talking about the difficulties that their mother is having during the COVID-19 pandemic. These details are great because they depict how the student responds to these hard moments, which demonstrates his sense of responsibility.


The writer then describes how he wants to distract his nine-month-old brother by creating a stimulating toy for him. The student sketches out a few 3D puzzle ideas in AutoCAD and then finds wood in the backyard to recreate his online work. 


In this part of the essay, the student does a great job of describing the steps that go into developing the puzzle. He delves into the details and shows that he is both a critical thinker and a problem solver. Rather than gloss over the whole design by saying that it was all complex, he fleshes out the different stages, transporting the reader into his mind and the process of development and creation. 


All of this emphasizes how learning is put into action. When we reach the end and the final prototype is put into the playpen, the student has learned and created something and has also developed a new sense of engagement with his little brother.


The writer is also looking toward the future: he says that he can’t wait to build another object like that. The entire essay makes clear how the student thinks, how he learns and acts on that learning, how he solves problems, and how he’s able to grow in empathy and compassion. Humor shines through too, enabling the reader to clearly see the personality of this young student and how much he has to offer.