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Posted by Chioma Isiadinso
The Wharton School of Business has released deadlines and essay questions for 2016-2017 MBA applicants. Wharton’s MBA admissions deadlines are:
Round 1: September 27
Round 2: January 5
Round 3: March 28
Wharton has made some changes to their MBA essay and I believe these changes are in the best interest of applicants. Wharton asks MBA applicants to answer two essay questions.
That is one more question than last year’s applicants were tasked with, a move that highlights Wharton’s desire to get more information from the essay section.
Wharton’s 2016-2017 MBA essay questions are:
– What do you hope to gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (500 words)
– “Teamwork is at the core of the Wharton MBA experience with each student contributing unique elements to our collaborative culture. How will you contribute to the Wharton community?” (400 words)
The first question is very straightforward. Wharton MBA admissions officials want to know how you will use the degree – and specifically how you will use their program – to advance your career.
– Highlight specific skills: All MBA applicants will say that they are hoping to gain leadership skills. You need to be more specific. What kinds of leadership skills are you looking for? Why do you believe Wharton is the best place to hone those skills? You may also lack analytical and quantitative skills that you can develop at Wharton that can help you with your career. Be as concrete as possible when highlighting what you intend to gain from Wharton, and bring in examples from your work experience where they are relevant.
– Show your zeal: This essay question is rather dry, but don’t let that stop you from showing your enthusiasm. Let the admissions committee see what drives you professionally. Tell them why your career matters to you, and how you hope your future could make an impact on something you care about.
– Do your research: Highlight unique Wharton programs that interest you. Be specific about which industries you are focused on and how that focus will shape your time at Wharton. Give admissions officials a preview of how you will take full advantage of the schools impressive academic and professional resources. There is no short cut with this essay. Failing to do enough research about the school will result in mediocre essays that will negatively affect your admissions.
The second question tackles the opposite side of the coin, asking prospective MBAs to share more about their personality and interests. Wharton added this question because they felt last year’s single essay question did not give them enough insight into applicants’ personalities and personal goals. Make sure you offer that insight.
– Share specific interests: Focus on quality over quantity. While Wharton has so much resources and opportunities for students to engage with, it is important to pick the items that matter the most to you. Pick a few, possibly three things and drill down to share how you will be able to contribute to those things. It could be planning a conference, being involved in the student show, serving as a coach to first year students, helping to lead a student group or even starting one that doesn’t exist. What is important is that you show how you will contribute to Wharton through your engagement with the particular things you choose.
– Share your track record: You could reference past experience where you have been engaged in the particular activity and connect that to why you wish to be involved with the activity you have chosen at Wharton. Be sure to sprinkle in the traits/value you will add through your involvement in those activities that you have highlighted. If you are having a hard time deciding which traits to focus on, think about your role in previous personal and professional communities. What might colleagues or friends remember as the best trait or interest that you brought to the table?
In adding a question back this year, Wharton is telling MBA applicants that they need more information, not just about your professional life, but also about your personal motivations, challenges and passions. They want to hear your story – don’t let that opportunity go to waste.
You can contact EXPARTUS for help with your Wharton MBA 2016-2017 essays.