Wharton’s changes to its application this year are minor. They’re really just tweaks as the admissions office was preoccupied responding to COVID, moving all recruiting online, and preparing for the possibility of significant summer melt.
One of the concerns applicants have this year is that as a result of COVID-related deferrals there will be fewer spots available for the class entering in 2021 – even without the anticipated spike in applications this upcoming cycle. At the AIGAC (Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants) conference that I attended virtually in May, Blair Mannix indicated that Wharton was considering increasing class size to account for deferrals, but she couldn’t commit to that.
Wharton MBA application essay questions
Wharton MBA essay #1
What do you hope to gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (500 words)
This question is future-focused and exclusively professional. What do you want to do professionally that you can’t do now and that a Wharton MBA will help you do? What “soft” and “hard” skills do you hope to acquire at Wharton? How will a Wharton MBA – the education, the credential, and the experience – help you achieve your dreams?
In Blair Mannix’s words in December’s Admissions Straight Talk interview:
“We want students to do self-reflection on why they want this degree. We want students to explore the pivot moment (when they decided they wanted to do this) and unpack the talent and treasure they can bring to the MBA. Spend the time and really think about the top three things you will get out of the program.”
As with most MBA goals questions, Wharton wants to see how you plan to connect your Wharton education to your future. Keep in mind that Wharton has an incredibly rich curriculum. How will you take advantage of its premier offerings to prepare yourself to realize your vision?
To answer this question well, you need to have professional direction and you need to know which of Wharton’s myriad resources make it perfect as the next stop on your professional journey.
Wharton MBA essay #2
Taking into consideration your background – personal, professional, and/or academic – how do you plan to make specific, meaningful contributions to the Wharton community? (400 words)
Start with the end in mind: How do you intend to contribute to the Wharton community?
To answer that question, research the co-curricular opportunities and pedagogical approach at Wharton. How will you contribute? Based on your experience, what difference do you intend to make? How will you participate, and yes, contribute?
Now decide on the aspects of your experience and background that prepared you to have your intended impact. You can highlight achievements, challenges overcome, initiatives you’ve led, and teamwork, and that’s just for starters.
And now you’re ready to write.
You can start this essay with the impactful experience from your past and then analyze the lesson you learned from that accomplishment. Then bring it forward and apply it to your intended role at Wharton.
Alternatively, you can start with your intended impact at Wharton and then go back to your past experience.
Wharton MBA additional essay question
(Required for all reapplicants)
Please use this space to share with the Admissions Committee how you have reflected and grown since your previous application and discuss any relevant updates to your candidacy (e.g., changes in your professional life, additional coursework, and extracurricular/volunteer engagements). (250 words)
The name of the MBA reapplicant game is Growth and Improvement. Wharton is asking for reflection, and you need to provide it, but also show how that reflection led to action and improvement. Show Wharton that you are a better candidate this time than last.
Wharton MBA optional essay question
Please use this space to share any additional information about yourself that cannot be found elsewhere in your application and that you would like to share with the Admissions Committee. This space can also be used to address any extenuating circumstances (e.g., unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, areas of weakness, etc.) that you would like the Admissions Committee to consider.
“Addressing extenuating circumstances” means that you should describe those circumstances in a straightforward way. Give the admissions committee context. Avoid excuses and whining. If possible, provide evidence that those circumstances either no longer exist and will not affect your performance.
For expert guidance with your Wharton MBA application, check out Accepted’s MBA Application Packages which include comprehensive guidance from an experienced admissions consultant. We’ve helped thousands of applicants get accepted to Wharton’s MBA program and look forward to helping you too!
Wharton 2020-21 application deadlines
|Round 1||September 15, 2020||December 16, 2020|
|Round 2||January 5, 2021||March 25, 2021|
|Round 3||March 31, 2021||May 11, 2021|
*To be considered for a round, you must submit a complete application by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on the day of the deadline.
Source: Wharton website
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***
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