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How to Write Every Ross School of Business Essay for the University of Michigan

In the Ross School of Business Application, there are two supplemental essays. These essays will give you the opportunity to showcase your problem-solving skills and your passion for business. This guide will help you develop compelling topics that show why you’re a great fit for Ross!

Let’s take a look at the first Ross School of Business essay prompt!


Prompt 1: Current Event or Community Issue

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. Please limit this response to approximately 500 words.

This Ross School of Business essay is all about applying your business knowledge to a real-life problem. How would you use business to improve your community?

To develop a great topic, start by making a brainstorming list of 2-4 problems in your community, big or small.

Let’s look at an example student’s brainstorming list:

  • Reducing food waste at local grocery stores
  • My school’s robotics club always struggles to fundraise enough money to attend competitions
  • None of the independent bookstores in my area are wheelchair-accessible

Once you’ve made your list, try to think of a solution for each problem that incorporates business principles or practices.

How to pick the right topic?

Don’t write about an issue with an obvious solution. This is a chance to show that you can be an innovative problem-solver!

Do write about a problem you feel excited about solving with your business skills. Pick a topic that you’re genuinely interested in!


Prompt 2: Document or Artifact

Upload a document or artifact that represents something significant about your life to show your learning in action. Describe how your artifact demonstrates your learning in action. Please limit this response to approximately 250 words.

This is a pretty quirky prompt – where to start? The key phrase in this prompt is “your learning in action.” Admissions readers will be looking for details about a learning experience that was important to you.

First, make a brainstorming list of 3-4 learning experiences that you really loved. Try to focus on experiences where you learned something about business. This could be a class, a personal project, an internship or summer program, or anything else that taught you about business! Which learning experiences have been exciting or memorable for you?

Tip: Focus on recent learning experiences, from the past four years or so. Your admissions readers will want to know how you’ve pursued your interest in business lately!

Let’s look at an example student’s brainstorming list:

  • Summer pre-college business program at Cornell
  • Starting an online business selling t-shirts
  • Organizing a Dog Beach Day in my community as a fundraiser for an animal shelter

Next, try to think of documents or artifacts that you could use to represent one of these experiences. If you can’t think of an artifact, cross that option off your list!

Here are the example student’s artifact ideas:

  • A business proposal written during the pre-college business program
  • A screenshot of the t-shirt business website
  • A photo from the Dog Beach Day event

From there, think about what each experience taught you. Take some notes on what you learned about business from each experience.

Finally, since this is a short essay, you’ll need to pick just one topic to write about. Choose one topic from your brainstorming list. If you’re not sure which one to choose, pick an experience where you learned something valuable about business.

Since this is a short essay, you'll want to be direct. For tips on structuring supplements with low word counts, check out our supplement guide.  For tips on the other University of Michigan essay prompts, check out our University of Michigan essay guide.


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