Wharton - 2018-2019 Application Deadlines and Essay Question Analysis

June 1, 2018

 

 

The Wharton School has just released its application deadlines and essays for this season! Read below for Personal MBA Coach Founder Scott Edinburgh’s tips on tackling this year’s questions.

 

 

For the first time in 3 years, Wharton has changed the second essay question, while keeping the first question unchanged. The 2018-2019 application questions:  

 

Essay 1:  What do you hope to gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (500 words)

 

Essay 2: Describe an impactful experience or accomplishment that is not reflected elsewhere in your application. How will you use what you learned through that experience to contribute to the Wharton community? (500 words) 

 

Additional Question (required for all Reapplicants):

Explain how you have reflected on the previous decision about your application, and discuss any updates to your candidacy (e.g., changes in your professional life, additional coursework, extracurricular/volunteer engagements). (250 words)*

 

*First-time applicants may also use this section to address any extenuating circumstances. (250 words)

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As a Wharton Graduate, I am intimately familiar with the MBA program and culture at Wharton and advise candidates to think about each question differently to ensure answers complement each other while showing readers multiple aspects of their candidacy.

 

Essay 1: What do you hope to gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (500 words)

 

With this first question, you should discuss your specific short-term goals, but also think more broadly. Essay 1 allows you to reflect at a higher level on your aspirations. Where do you see yourself in 10, 20 or even 30 years? How will you get there? It is also expected that you touch upon your past successes, explaining how they are relevant to your future objectives. This question does not require you to walk through your entire resume, and candidates are advised not to do so. Instead, focus only on your past to establish what your key skills are as well as how and why you will succeed in the future.

 

As you think about your future, also think about your skills gaps and how a Wharton MBA, specifically, will help you to close these gaps. It is important that you allow adequate time to research all that Wharton has to offer. I suggest being very specific in detailing what opportunities you plan to take advantage of on campus, what classes you plan to take, etc. Do not include a laundry list, instead carefully think through how each area will help you fill in the necessary pieces of the puzzle and explain them. Be sure to show an understanding of Wharton’s culture here. Avoid vague statement and copy and pasting from other essays.

 

Essay 2: Describe an impactful experience or accomplishment that is not reflected elsewhere in your application. How will you use what you learned through that experience to contribute to the Wharton community? (500 words) 

 

For essay 2, most candidates will be best suited thinking about extra-curricular or personal experiences and accomplishments. While it is not required, sharing non-professional stories will allow you to shed some light on another area of your candidacy.

 

I like the new question because it gives you a chance to cover three things. I advise that all candidates consider each of these three areas as they draft the essay. First, you can share additional information about yourself that will further illuminate your unique strengths. In case you missed our recent blog – MBA Applications - How To Stand Out, this is a great essay for leveraging those recommendations.

 

Second, by sharing your learnings from this experience, you will be able to show a bit about your character as well as how you are able to adapt to and grow from situations. Finally, it gives you a chance to tell admissions committee members specifically how you will add value on campus. Be sure to do your research on all that Wharton has to offer and to be specific on the value you will add. By sharing this story and your learnings, you want to illustrate how you are uniquely suited to contribute to the Wharton community.

 

If you would like individual and personal support while applying to Wharton, please find information about Personal MBA Coach’s comprehensive packages or contact me to discuss your profile as well as how I can help! As a Wharton graduate, I regularly help many applicants navigate Wharton’s application each year, including conducting group mock interviews with former M7 interviewers. Email me at: scott@personalmbacoach.com or call +1 617-645-2424 today.

 

Curious About Last Year's Essay Questions For Wharton?

 

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