Wharton changed its first essay question last year and left its second required question and optional questions as they have been for the last couple of years. They did not change the questions this year. The “change” to the first question last year was really more of a clarification. Wharton is more specific in what it’s looking for. And that should help you provide a better answer.
In this post:
Wharton MBA application essay questions
Wharton MBA essay #1
How do you plan to use the Wharton MBA program to help you achieve your future professional goals? You might consider your past experience, short and long-term goals, and resources available at Wharton. (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 – when combined with your past experience and education help you achieve your dreams?
In Blair Mannix’s words during an 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 the perfect next stop on your professional journey.
There are many ways you could structure your response. You could start with a pivotal experience that either illustrates what you seek to accomplish or that shaped your short-term and long-term goals. Then why this experience — hopefully an accomplishment — is important to you and how it relates to the question. In doing so make sure you answer all elements of Wharton’s essay question.
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.
Regardless of how you structure your essay, you want Wharton to see you as a giver and contributor.
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/or will not affect your performance.
Also note that this question is broad enough where you can use it to bring to the committee’s attention an interest, achievement, obstacle overcome that you would like them to know about and that isn’t covered elsewhere.
Thinking ahead towards the TBD?
Here is some advice from Wharton Director of Admissions, Blaire Mannix:
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 top MBA programs and look forward to helping you too!
Wharton 2022-23 application deadlines
|Round 1||September 7, 2022|
|Round 2||January 4, 2023|
|Round 3||March 29, 2023|
|Deferred Admissions Round||April 26, 2023|
*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.***
Wharton MBA Class of 2024 Profile
Here is a look at the Wharton MBA Class of 2024 (Source: Wharton website):
Enrolled Class: 877
LGBTQ+ Students: 87%
- White: 29%
- Asian American: 23%
- Black/African American: 7%
- Hispanic/Latinx: 5%
- Native American/Indigenous/ Native Alaskan: >1%
- Did not report: >1%
International Students: 35%
Countries Represented: 77
- Average: 733
- Average Verbal: 162
- Average Quant: 162
Average GPA (from students who attended universities with a 4.0 grading system): 3.6
- Humanities: 34%
- STEM: 34%
- Business: 32%
Students Participating in Interdisciplinary and Dual Degree Programs:
- Lauder: 72
- Health Care Management: 75
- JD/MBA: 14
- Moelis (Deferred Admission): 19
Years of Work Experience:
- Range: 1–24
- Average: 5
Previous Industry Experience:
- Consulting: 27%
- Technology: 12%
- Nonprofit/Government: 11%
- PE/VC: 9%
- Other: 9%
- Investment Banking: 8%
- Investment Management: 7%
- Financial Services: 5%
- Health Care: 5%
- Energy: 2%
- CPG: 2%
- Media/Entertainment: 2%
- Retail: 1%
Are you dreaming of a Wharton MBA?
Get started with your b-school research:
- Which MBA Is Right for Me? The Ultimate Guide to Choosing an MBA Program
- M7 MBA Programs: Everything You Need to Know in 2022
Once you have decided that Wharton is the place for you, Accepted can help you make your application stand out from the rest:
- Get Accepted to Wharton Webinar
- What’s New at Wharton MBA, a podcast interview with Wharton’s Director of Admissions, Blair Mannix
- Applying to Wharton Lauder? Do Your Research!, a podcast interview with Kara Keenan Sweeney, Director of Admissions Marketing and Financial Aid
- Wharton Executive MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
With only 879 students attending Wharton out of 7,338 applications, you know that the competition is tough. Check out our MBA Services Packages to get the personalized, one-on-one attention that will help you GET ACCEPTED!
By Linda Abraham, founder of Accepted. Linda earned her bachelors and MBA at UCLA, and has been advising applicants since 1994 when she founded Accepted. Linda is the co-founder and first president of AIGAC. She has written or co-authored 13 e-books on the admissions process, and has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News, Poets & Quants, Bloomberg Businessweek, CBS News, and others. Linda is the host of Admissions Straight Talk, a podcast for graduate school applicants. Want an admissions expert to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!