Wharton has not changed its application essay questions for several seasons now. This is usually a sign that the admissions committee is happy with the kind of essays applicants are providing in response. Wharton asks candidates to share what they plan to do with their MBA in the short and long term and to discuss what they can contribute to the school’s community. The school’s optional essay then lets applicants address any issues with their profile, if needed.
Ready to get to work on your Wharton application? Read on.
Wharton application essay tips
Wharton 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 enable you to do? What “soft” and “hard” skills do you hope to acquire at Wharton? How will a Wharton MBA (the education, credential, and experience), combined with your past experience and education, help you achieve your dreams?
Wharton Director of Admissions Blair Mannix explains:
“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 MBA 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 might start with a pivotal experience that either illustrates what you seek to accomplish or shaped your short- and long-term goals. Then explain why this experience – ideally, an accomplishment – is important to you and how it relates to the question. In doing so, make sure you answer all the elements of Wharton’s essay question.
Wharton 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)
For this essay, start with the end in mind: How do you intend to contribute to the Wharton community?
To answer that question, research the cocurricular opportunities and pedagogical approach at Wharton. How will you add to the program and its community? 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 have prepared you to have your intended impact. You can highlight achievements, challenges overcome, initiatives you’ve led, and teamwork situations, and that’s just for starters.
You’re now 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 Reapplicant Essay
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, while also showing how that reflection has led to action and improvement. Demonstrate to Wharton that you are a better candidate this time than last.
Wharton Optional Essay
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. (500 words)
“Addressing extenuating circumstances” means that you should describe the issues and situations in a straightforward way. Give the admissions committee context, and absolutely avoid giving excuses or whining. If possible, provide evidence that those circumstances either were temporary or will not affect your performance.
Also note that this question is broad enough that you can use it to bring to the committee’s attention and interest, achievement, or obstacle overcome that you would like them to know about and that isn’t covered elsewhere in your application.
The Wharton MBA Team-Based Discussion
If you are invited to participate in a Wharton MBA Team-Based Discussion, be sure to listen to this advice from Mannix: What Is Wharton’s Team-Based MBA Interview Like? Tips From Director of Admissions Blair 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 application deadlines
|Round 1||September 6, 2023|
|Round 2||January 4, 2024|
|Round 3||April 2, 2024|
|Deferred Admissions Round||April 24, 2024|
To be considered for a round, you must submit a completed application by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the day of the deadline.
Source: Wharton website
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with Wharton directly to verify its essay questions, instructions, and deadlines.***
Wharton class profile
Here is a look at the Wharton MBA Class of 2024 (data taken from the Wharton website):
Enrolled class: 877
LGBTQ+ students: 8%
- 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 GMAT score: 733
GMAT range: 530-790
Average GRE Quant score: 162
GRE Quant score range: 146-170
Average GRE Verbal score: 162
GRE Verbal score range: 143-170
Average GPA (from students who attended universities with a 4.0 grading system): 3.6
- Humanities: 34%
- STEM: 34%
- Business: 32%
Interdisciplinary and dual degree programs (students):
- Health Care Management: 75
- Lauder: 72
- Moelis (Deferred Admission): 19
- JD/MBA: 14
Average years of work experience: 5
Range of years of work experience: 1-24
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 2023
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, a webinar
- What’s New at Wharton MBA, podcast Episode 440, an interview with Wharton Director of Admissions Blair Mannix
- Applying to Wharton Lauder? Do Your Research!, podcast Episode 465, an interview with Kara Keenan Sweeney, director of admissions marketing and financial aid at the Lauder Institute
With only 877 students attending Wharton out of 6,319 applications, you know that the competition is tough. Get Accepted! Speak with an admissions expert today in a free 30-minute consultation.
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