Wharton MBA Essay Questions – Fall 2016 Intake

If you’re dreaming about an MBA from Wharton, here’s one good reason to celebrate: The admissions team at Wharton has written two wonderfully straightforward essay questions. Nonetheless, make sure you spend some time reflecting on your motivation in pursuing an MBA and that you clearly articulatewhy Wharton is the place for you. Let’s look at the questions.

Questions, Class of 2017:

1. (Required) What do you hope to gain both personally and professionally from the Wharton MBA? (500 words)

* I like how Wharton’s MBA admissions team is using the word “HOPE” rather than “PLAN”. They’re showing that they know people’s plans and interests change during their two years of MBA coursework. Still, the Wharton MBA team wants to hear why you want to get an MBA now, and specifically how you believe Wharton is going to help you with your career goals.

* What do they mean by professional? That’s the easy part of the question: talk about preparing for your next move, advancing, finding new jobs, switching industries, changing roles within an industry (or both), coming to work in a new country, preparing for leading the family business, gaining skills to start, expand, or restructure your NGO, and so forth.

* What do they mean by personal? – that’s a whole other world. When the Wharton staff says “personal” they don’t mean that you should tell them about how you’re looking to find a partner or just enjoy your life and recover from the 80-hours a week you’ve been working in banking or consulting or tech. They’re really asking about the personal aspects of your professional profile. Do you want to become a better public speaker? Maybe you want to work on your ability to motivate large groups or reflect on your leadership skills and conflict management strategies.  You might also talk about how you will grow when you live, breathe and study with a group of 860 people from all over the world who are ambitious, hard-working, and excited about their careers.

* Don’t dedicate too much space to talking about the past; your resume and recommendation letters cover what you’ve already done. Tie that background to your future, whether it is your experience, your interests, or the versatility of your skills. Then explain how Wharton will provide whatever you’re lacking.

* Do your homework – learn about Wharton. Yes, it is an amazingly strong brand known globally for finance, but do you know anything about its curriculum? its clubs? Make sure you have a specific understanding of the resources and opportunities at Wharton and how they apply to your needs and ambitions.

2. (Optional) Please use the space below to highlight any additional information that you would like the Admissions Committee to know about your candidacy. (400 words)

Wharton is making life easier by including this second question. This is an open-ended question that allows you to cover avariety of topics. Many applicants use this space to talk about concerns regarding  academic performance, gaps in employment, or GMAT score. These are common issues for MBA applicants. If you need to discuss a flaw in your profile,focus on the facts. Don’t give excuses or try to blame others, just explain what happened.

* Recommendation letter: If you’re not telling your current boss about your plans to go to b-school, or at least not getting a letter of recommendation from her, you should write a short paragraph explaining your decision. Again, this is a common situation. The admissions staff just wants you to acknowledge the omission and clarify your decision.

* Best option: talk about something positive. Whether you are involved with a non-profit group or with company activities outside of your job description, whether you’ve completed a marathon or won a start-up competition tell them what you’ve achieved.

* If you’re also applying to MIT, you can use the essay about a success in this area, however, don’t just paste it here – you need to find a good reason why you’re sharing it with the Wharton team. Remember – the admissions officers at Wharton read thousands of applications and essays every year, you don’t want them to feel you’ve wasted their time. There should be a very good reason for you to mention something here.

If you are applying to more than one business school (which you absolutely should), and Wharton is on your list, these essays are a great place to start; they will help you define and articulate your career goals and the potential benefits of an MBA program. You can later use the ideas from these essays for other schools.

Not sure if your dream is what the school wants to hear? I can tell you. Fill out the form below and I will contact you within 24 hours, of you can give me a call at  1-917-300-1066.

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