University of Michigan Ross Business School

Anonymous

Prompt: 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.

 

Essay:

After a century of service, the 180-acre Millington Quarry relieved its final slab of stone and was declared “defunct.”

When Millington entered its slumber of permanent closure, Basking Ridge committee members, mayors, and residents awoke to debate the future of the quarry. While Ridge’s local government favors building hotels, restaurants, retail complexes, new housing developments, and office buildings, which would bring business to the area, residents vehemently oppose increasing tourism to our historically tranquil community, as well as attracting too many new families and burdening the school system.

Instead of bickering over current proposals and tampering with our quality of life, I propose that the quarry be made into an outdoor community center. I plan on incorporating an organic garden, where all fruits and vegetables are grown using solar and wind power and sold to local restaurants and individuals, which would benefit the environment and personal health, and boost the local economy. By creating a lake in the center of the area, families could attend boat races during the spring and summer, kayak for leisure, and ice skate during the winter holidays. Moreover, I will build hiking and biking trails, ziplines, outdoor shooting and archery ranges, and rock climbing walls, offering the opportunity to participate in many athletic activities that can bolster participants’ health while having fun. With vast fields and a beautiful lake surrounded with trees and flowers, the quarry space would be an ideal place to hold anything from outdoor children’s summer camps, to movies under the stars, to outdoor yoga and cross-country classes, to concerts for all ages, etc. The solar and wind-powered gardens can serve as an outdoor classroom for environmental science, biology, and physics classes, providing a platform for experiential and applied learning, while the trails and lake can be used for after-school athletics.

This model is not only beneficial, but also economically sound: the center would remain community-oriented, but would earn revenue from the membership fees from local families (who would receive a discount) and individuals beyond our town (who would pay full price). This membership system would attract energetic, community-minded, nature-loving residents, revitalizing the area, stimulating housing prices, and boosting the district. By encouraging investments from local residents, we can secure community support and collaboration, as those who invest will become shareholders of the project and will share the profit. The center would also earn revenues from different organizations booking the space and one-time fees (charging for attendance at a concert, etc.), bringing income to our local government. We would make the best use of the quarry by promoting partnerships among local businesses, healthy food, and life habits, attracting dynamic people to our town, providing better education opportunities, and maintaining Basking Ridge’s residential aura while creating an entertaining way to connect with other communities and nature itself.

While the quarry may have taken its final breath, our community and our constant development of our vision will never rest. We will charge forward with everyone’s best interests in mind and with entrepreneurial spirit in heart.

 

Tips for Writing:

While writing this essay, it took me some time to figure out what “business issue” to cover. On one hand, it had to be complex enough to be considered a challenging issue that gave the admissions officers insight into my thought process, and on the other hand, it had to be simple enough to truly resolve. I ended up writing about the quarry, because it was an issue that truly mattered to many of us in Basking Ridge, and because I wanted to see if there was a middle ground that satisfied the residents, while benefiting our economy.

When writing this kind of essay, keep in mind that what admissions officers want to see is your mind: whether you can view the world through a business lens, find a win-win solution, and draft a proposal that is detailed enough to be implemented. Since the essay is only 500 words, a fancy introduction and profound conclusion aren’t absolutely necessary–focus on the content of the essay and make it tangible.