Rotman MBA, 2019 Essay

Rotman, one of the most prestigious MBA programs in Canada, has focused on something really unique. The admission committee wants students to express their ‘authentic self’ through 1 to 3 of your interesting pictures displaying passion, grit, determination, resilience, innovation, drive or ambition. The Rotman website says:

“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.

Please upload 1-3 of your ‘spikiest’ pictures and use the essay to tell us why you have chosen these particular images to illustrate your ‘spike factor’. ( use up to 1000 words)

Note that the institution wants to add diversity to its program by selecting exceptional individuals. The pictures and accompanying essay should make you stand out from others.

What steps should you take to achieve this feat? Well, here’s a guide.

Take a sheet of paper and note down all the interesting things you have accomplished. Write only those that make you an exceptional individual. Now, you can choose to write PAINTING in your hobbies and take a picture of your best painting. But, does that make you exceptional? How do you stand out from the crowd? Did that painting win accolades or awards? How is it unique?

Alternately, you can take a picture of you playing music with a group of friends. Or, you working in your own entrepreneurial venture. Again, do these make you unique?

Let me share my story in just a few words to present a hint of how this should be done.

I started a construction company in 2012 when none of my classmates was ready to break the comfort of a regular salary. I decided to take a leap of faith and make a difference to the world by making the world of construction more streamlined through automation. However, the venture failed spectacularly in the first year before being reborn in another avatar …….

The picture and the essay should explain in detail how I started the company, the automation I put in place and the results I achieved.

Let us reserve the remaining part of the story for another day.

The point is, I was different from my friends and acquaintances. I not only started a business but also tried to change the nature of an industry.

Did you do that?

Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself:

  1. Did I persist in any activity despite all odds?
  2. What were the problems/ obstacles that I faced – financial, personal, team, competitors, market acceptance?
  3. How did I overcome these obstacles? – Basically, an explanation of your grit and determination.
  4. Did I convince my teammates to persist against the flow?
  5. Did it satisfy the winner/ achiever inside you?
  6. What change did it bring to the world?

Sometimes, our accomplishments do not seem unique and special to us. However, if we share them with an expert, he is able to shed some light and discover ways in which we are special. This is all you need. Find that expert.

If you need any assistance, feel free to contact me at

One Admission Essay

My services include helping you brainstorm and discover your true self to answer this question in a unique manner. I will also make TWO deep edits your essay and polish it for final submission.


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