Arguably the most important aspect of a student’s application to University of Michigan Ross School of Business BBA program is the Portfolio.

The Portfolio itself consist of two parts: (1) Business Case Discussion Essay – 500 words; and (2) Artifact & Description – 250 words. While today we discuss winning artifact examples, if you can learn more about the entire Portfolio itself from our earlier blog: Demystifying the Michigan Ross Portfolio.

First, why is it important to share winning examples?
Many students today struggle with these essays and writing in general.

In fact, a recent study finds that only 27% of US high school students are proficient in writing.

Additionally, each year we see students drawn to common pitfalls with this application – for example, with the business case discussion students often fall into the trap of writing about a broad topic without presenting unique solutions and with the Artifact, students often find the artifact essay vague and not clearly defined.

So, what is the artifact?
From the words of Ross, it is “essentially, anything at all.” Let’s explore that with greater context next.


  • Purpose of Artifact
  • What is the Artifact?
  • Key Requirements of Artifacts
  • Winning Artifact Case Studies
  • Key Considerations
  • Takeaway

Average applicants to Ross are anything but average—they are exceptional, high academic performers, highly involved with extracurriculars, and have demonstrated pursuit of their future career goals.

So how does Ross Admissions differentiate?

Ross utilizes the Portfolio Artifact to allow each student an opportunity to demonstrate the key differentiating traits that make them a compelling candidate.

What is an Artifact?
An artifact is something that is unique to your personal identity and story that shines a light on what makes you a unique and reenforce your qualifications.

Key Requirements of Artifacts

  • They show an important part of your life not referenced elsewhere in the application.
  • The highlight your desire for growth and other values consistent with Ross BBA and UM.
  • They might NOT be business related.

Winning Artifact Case Studies
Two winning artifacts are shared by Ross below from Johanne and Priyanka. After you’ve had a chance to watch these winning examples, you’ll find key considerations below.

Key Considerations
Of primary observation is that these students are vulnerable, genuine, and authentic in their response. They are sharing a depth of personality, values, and identity that cannot be shown elsewhere in their application, and their examples demonstrate key traits consistent with the ideal Ross community member.

Determining what will make your artifact successful can be an extremely nerve-wrecking task. It’s a prompt unlike any other you’ve been tasked with, and one you may not be prepared to address on your own. If you are interested in learning more about how our team at The Application Authority guides can support Ross applicants with the Portfolio artifact, reach out today for a free consultation.


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