Wharton MBA Essay Questions: 2013  – 2014

The article below is from last year, here’s a link to Wharton MBA essay questions for 2015-2016.

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In the spirit of many other top MBA programs, Wharton Business School decided to shake up their application essays. Last year, in addition to the mandatory question about applicants’ career goals, students were asked to pick two out of three questions and speak about a Wharton activity they were excited about, a free afternoon, or a quote from the Dean.  These questions were not a hit and it’s good to see that Wharton admissions decided to take them out and introduce a new ones.

The MBA admissions experts at admit1mba have read and analyzed these essay questions, so here we go…

1. What do you aspire to achieve, personally and professionally, through the Wharton MBA? (500 words)

Analysis: This is the tried-and-true “why MBA , why Wharton” essay, which has been used across MBA applications, from INSEAD to NYU to Columbia. If you are a career-switcher, like most full-time MBA students, talk about the career you are planning to pursue and how the Wharton MBA will support it; if you are looking to start your own company (immediately after grad school or later down the line) talk about it here. The interesting element that is easy to overlook (don’t let this happen to you!) is talking about the personal growth you will achieve during your time at Wharton itself. To answer this properly, one option would be to think about your weaknesses and how you hope to work on them during your business school education.

2. Academic engagement is an important element of the Wharton MBA experience. How do you see yourself contributing to our learning community? (500 words)

Analysis: While we like this question better than the set presented by Wharton last year, it’s still a little bit awkward as an MBA admissions essay, because it is asking about not a community but a “learning community.” Other schools have asked about community in their applications: last year’s Columbia MBA application asked about the community and the cohorts, and NYU Stern always puts great emphasis on the community, so this is not a new theme. Still, to crack this question and go beyond the trivial answer of “helping other students with their statistics/marketing homework,” you want to think about your passions and expertise. Remember that a lot of the learning in business schools (at Wharton, Stanford, HBS and elsewhere) happens OUTSIDE the classroom.
Let our experts help you craft the best possible application for Wharton. Contact our MBA admissions experts or drop us a line at info@admit1mba.com.

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Wharton Essay Questions: 2012  – 2013

How will Wharton MBA help you achieve your professional objectives? (400 words)

Analysis: The key to acing this essay is connecting the dots between your profile, your vision and Wharton MBA program.

  1. Analyze your vision and career goals. If you want to start a healthcare company in South-East Asia, think about the challenges of doing so: technology, funding, personnel, etc.

  2. List the skills that you will need to master this area.

  3. Based on your research and interaction with Wharton, figure out how the MBA program can help you build these skills

RESPOND TO 2 OF THE FOLLOWING 3 QUESTIONS:

1. Select a Wharton MBA course, co-curricular opportunity or extra-curricular engagement that you are interested in. Tell us why you chose this activity and how it connects to your interests. (500 words)

2. Imagine your work obligations for the afternoon were cancelled and you found yourself “work free” for three hours, what would you do? (500 words)

3. “Knowledge for Action draws upon the great qualities that have always been evident at Wharton: rigorous research, dynamic thinking, and thoughtful leadership.” – Thomas S. Robertson, Dean, The Wharton School. Tell us about a time when you put knowledge into action. (500 words)

Analysis: Wharton MBA Admissions did a fantastic job, giving applicants the liberty to select their own combination of essay questions. The first question – Wharton Activity – could be focused on a professional or personal interest, so if you feel that your overall application is very focused on your achievements and careers, this is a good way to add some color and personality.

The second question is somewhat challenging, and I find that most students use it to also address their personal or entrepreneurial interests or community involvement. It’s quite difficult to make this an extremely impressive story, but it’s still a good option to select if you are going to focus on an academic or professional Wharton activity in the first essay.

The third essay question presented by Wharton is more complex and requires a solid structure and a narrative; you should try to address all the elements of the question (research, thinking, leadership) in one story that will impress the reader (i.e., the Wharton Admissions team) and add something new. Don’t go just for your  biggest failure or achievement story, recycled from your Harvard MBA application; you need to come up with a story that answers this specific question.

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