Booth Essay 1 - Evening/Weekend MBA

Why are you seeking an MBA from Chicago Booth, and why is Chicago Booth's Evening MBA or Weekend MBA your program of choice? (400 words)
The program is not “lockstep” vs Booth’s full-time or EMBA, so they want to know you have sufficient motivation to grind through it to the finish. Show that there is a clear upside you will gain from the program, the more specific the better. Self-actualization and personal growth (my jam) are obvious benefits but what is going to keep you enrolling in classes each semester despite the snow, the travel, the family, the demanding job?

You can tell they want specificity because you only have 400 words for 3 questions: Why MBA, Why Booth and Why Booth Evening/Weekend. What overlaps in the Venn diagram for these 3 things?
In other words, where is the intersection of your current situation, your goals, Booth, and your need to go part-time (stay employed.)
I suggest you use CAR – challenge/action/result – starting with the problem you are motivated to solve by way of Booth Evening/Weekend MBA. Think “pain points.”



A couple paths: one, looking at things from the standpoint of your current company. Would an MBA help you uplevel the company in some way? What are your core competencies and competitors? Would you help shape a new product or gain knowledge around finance options that would up their game? Maybe your company is set to scale 10X. The consequences of any decision are amplified and you having no business background is increasingly risky.

Another option is to look at yourself as the current company. Research your goals – make sure you are clear on what you are trying to make manifest by way of an MBA. This way you can concretely identify what gaps are standing in the way.




I call this your business plan for business school. Consider the goals and the gaps, and match this up with the 4 C’s: classes, clubs, community and culture.


Classes - Appears pretty direct – review the curriculum of what you want to take and how it will create a positive result for you personally or your company. However, make sure to incorporate what sets Booth apart (because to be honest 99% of the people I work with on Booth PT apply also to Kellogg PT and admissions knows that!)

How does the way you learn align with Booth? Appetite for debate? Passion for data-driven decisions? Interest in finding frameworks to solve problems? The interdisciplinary Chicago approach? There are some key cultural differences between the schools. Kellogg would choose teamwork, empathy and collaboration over analytics, bold individual contribution and spirited debate.

Clubs – One professional club and one social club is ideal. Make sure to network and to research here. If you are hoping to break into consulting, reach out to the Evening Weekend Booth Consulting Club (BCC) and what you quote will add specificity and color to your essay.

Community – How do you intend to socialize with others to build up a sense of shared community? This could be Boothies Breaking Bread, the rooftop happy hours, investigate the options.

Given the nature of the program, Booth is really looking for the “glue guys” when it comes to building community. Students are likely to be on different tracks and timelines. If you have concrete examples of culture-building, reflect them in the resume and maybe even share these stories in the optional essay.

Keep in mind it’s a short essay and better to go deep in a couple areas than shotgun a bunch of stuff where nothing really sticks with the reader; find your best points and elaborate rather than covering everything.

Again, to speak convincingly its best to speak with students and alumni - reach out to those hosting Booth admissions events and hit people up on LinkedIn. What you uncover will add sincerity, clarity and gravitas to the points you make in the essays and interview.




What’s the upside of solving the gaps, pain points or challenges mentioned in the beginning? How will an MBA catapult you on to a new career trajectory? How will you be adding more value at your current company, or where you want to work after graduating? Is there some unmet market need you will fulfill? If there is some socially beneficial aspect to the work you plan to do, mention that. Inspire Booth admissions to help you carry this out.


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