Rotman Application Essay Tips, 2022-2023
Rotman is all about “spike factor,” asking you to upload one to three of your “spikiest” pictures and select 500 words to explain why these pictures showcase your “spike” (i.e., something unique about you).
Even on campus, you can feel the excitement and positive momentum of this program firsthand. From the juxtaposition of old and new buildings woven seamlessly together to create the best of tradition and innovation, to the entrepreneurial opportunities being provided by the Creative Destruction Lab and the transformative experiences offered to students through the Self-Development Lab, Rotman is a school steeped in spike factor!
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 its community.
Rotman provides this introduction to consider for the essay:
Our admitted students stand out by doing interesting things with their personal and professional lives—something we describe as the ‘spike factor’; what are the things that you have done in your life that demonstrate Passion/Grit/Resilience/Innovation/Drive/Ambition and more? This can cross all or any aspects of life outside of work—hobbies, volunteerism, awards, entrepreneurial ventures, sports and the arts. We believe that exposure to a rich diversity of viewpoints makes for a superior learning experience, and pride ourselves on building a diverse class of exceptional individuals who will go on to make the School proud as professionals and alumni.
Explain your spike factor (something unique about yourself) that you believe will contribute to the Rotman community and is aligned with Rotman values. (up to 500 words)
Optional—Please upload 1-3 of your ‘spikiest’ pictures to the supplemental items section of your application here. Note: Your photos must be uploaded as a single PDF.
Here are some tips from Stratus for answering this question:
- Think about your key strengths and accomplishments, and then 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.
- Photos are optional, but consider them low-hanging fruit to bring your application to life and make you more memorable in the eyes of the admissions committee.
- You might also think of this like “the airport test”—something we have heard recruiters mention. Is this person interesting enough that I could handle being stuck at an airport with them? 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.
- 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 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, so be sure to upload a visually appealing and well-written submission. Edit, proofread, and pay attention to detail.
Required video interview (2 questions) with a new timed written response component (10 minutes in length). Check out our blog posts for more details on the video essay and the timed written component.
Keep in mind that Rotman’s holistic application includes a video interview and a written prompt that you will submit as part of your overall application. Kudos to Rotman for innovating in asking a question that is fun to answer. Rotman’s website provides further details about how to approach the video questions.