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Wharton 2016 Essay Analysis On Du

Hello there Whartonite hopefuls!

Admissionado back once again with fresh, off-the-shelves essay analyses for Wharton's 2017 application! We wanted to jump in and give you a head-start on those essays questions jog that imagination, and give you a few tips and tricks to get started on your Wharton essays to get you started on the best foot this year. Soooooo, without further ado:

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania MBA Essay 1

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


Maybe it comes in the form of a position, THROUGH WHICH you’re achieving something cool (remember, a position by itself isn’t an end — it’s a means to an end). It’s not that you want to be the CEO of Apple just to be the CEO of Apple. It should be more like this: AS THE CEO OF APPLE, I would like to change the way people… XXX YYY and ZZZ. The professional goal here is the XXX YYY and ZZZ piece, not “being the CEO of Apple.” See the difference? Fair enough, you’re all probably comfortable with that distinction by now.

Shaping this sucker shouldn’t be too hard. Maybe it can go something like this:

Walk us through the vision, same as you normally would. Quickly invite us in, show us the opportunity that you see, the problem you want to fix, the thing that spurs you on. Then, with broad brush strokes (high-level), a glimpse into what you want to do. (100 words)

Now give us your professional goals. Walk us through the plan—perhaps first in the short term. (100 words or so)

Part II of the goals, but longer term, where it’s headed. What you want to achieve (not just in job title, but what happens because of it). (100 words or so)

How does Wharton give you what you want? Focus on the how, and use specifics. Make an argument here, not in the abstract—treat it like a mathematical proof. (100 words)

In a neat twist, it may be strong to CLOSE with a solid, assertive justification of why you need an MBA. Restate your professional goals, and explain why this is a must for you at this time. (100 words)

There are a few ways this essay can take shape. This is just one example to get you going if you’re stuck.

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania MBA Essay 2

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)


Here’s some context for new applicants to the Wharton MBA. Years ago, these guys had one of the longer sets of required essays, close to 3,000 words. Recently, they swung the pendulum far in the other direction. Last year it was just a single 500-word essay. This year, they’ve added a second question to the mix. This should be a signal: the one essay was somehow not quite enough. So let’s look at this new question, and dig deep.

You’ll hear this theme a lot. Wharton would never claim a monopoly on the idea that they prize teamwork. Kellogg has probably been the most successful at BRANDING that aspect of their culture. When you think MBA programs that sport teamwork, you think Kellogg. Well, the fact is, teamwork, as it pertains to elite MBA programs, is a key universal element. Find me one elite MBA program where students felt generally isolated and independent. {Crickets.} There’s teamwork everywhere. And for all intents and purposes, it’s equal. So, first things first: let’s not waste time attempting to make the argument that you’re DRAWN to Wharton for that reason. Mkay? Mkay. Next.

Let’s remember what business schools are after: INDICATORS OF FUTURE SUCCESS. Cannot stress this enough. All they want to see (in your applications, in your interview) is as high a probability score that you are going to be successful in life. Well, there’s a twist. Let’s just say you had a first year class of 100 MBA students. If each of those 100 students scored an “A” on the promise of future success, that’s fabulous! That class will graduate and those individuals will achieve some version of greatness. Let’s call it a future success score of “A.” Let’s replay it though. Imagine another set of 100 students who showed signs that they will not only be successful as individuals, but that in addition, they scored high on the TEAMWORK index. Meaning, they scored high on their ability to improve FROM others, and to IMPROVE others. What happens THEN? Well, that same class of 100 business school students will begin with their already-destined success, and then IMPROVE IT based on the synergies between them. This means that their future potential as individuals inside THIS type of class – heavy with cooperative individuals – is even MORE impressive.

So, signs of teamwork are part of it. What they really want to see is evidence that your own abilities grow more powerful in the company of other motivated individuals. And that your energy and leadership and innovativeness has improved the brains and abilities of others. Where in your past (your recent past especially) can you find evidence of either or both of those two things? Put together a list, rank it. You’re off to a smashing start.

Now, let’s talk about structuring this sucker. They want to know how your addition to their class is gonna make the individuals in it… better. Well, first, consider that everyone applying will lay claim to the fact that THEY – no seriously – THEY really embody teamwork. So, saying it isn’t going to get you anywhere. We need proof. Go back to that list you made, and pick your top one or two stories. Start this essay by bringing us back to an experience that reveals – through your decisions and actions – your ability to interact with others, compromise, inspire, negotiate, repair, etc. One helpful way to “solve for X” in this problem (where X = teamwork-related-strength) is to imagine some of your most powerful wins, and to reimagine them WITHOUT the help of others helping YOU. Or, to reimagine them without YOUR helping others… to help you. Either of those scenarios should result in a “less good” version of the same story. And therein lies the GOLD that will anchor this essay. Whatever caused the DIFFERENCE between those two versions is some ability of yours either to contribute, or to respond, in a way that will be tasty to Wharton. Because it should be proof that when you are interacting with others… good things happen.

Build that argument through an example or two. This should take you through the first 250-300 words. Then for your final shot, see if you can make a case for why this trait of yours will create particularly exciting sparks for you in the Wharton environment. Yes, you can bring this teamwork talent anywhere (Stanford, Harvard, CBS, Kellogg, etc.). But if there’s something specific about Whartonians, or Wharton offerings, that convinces you that you are more likely to thrive in this environment, make that case here. Doing so will reveal just how much research you’ve done on this, and how intimately you know the program. (And therefore, how much more likely you are to succeed because you seem to be a tightly wound coil, holding a ton of potential energy.)

Specificity is your friend here. If we see you make any argument that can be applied equally to another program, we will smack you. Or, if you make an argument that anyone else who’s applying can make, we will double-smack you. Your arguments need to be both specific to you, and specific to Wharton. A great way to pull this off is first to express what type of environment YOU need in order for YOU to succeed maximally. Then, map certain specific aspects of Wharton TO those points. If you do that, we’ll give you a Borat-approved High-Fiiiive.

And that's that. Helpful, eh? If you have any questions on it or Wharton or anything, just reply here or shoot us a PM. And if you want more Essay Analysis Goodness, check out more schools here. We're updating 'em daily as new prompts are released, so keep checking back.

Jon Frank
Founder, Admissionado

Admissionado | Packages | Success Stories | Team

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University of Pennsylvania Wharton School Essay Analysis, 2016–2017

by mbaMission

How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough analysis, our friends at mbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out. You do not need to be actively working on a $5 billion deal or have won an Olympic gold medal to go to HBS. You just need to have done the everyday things remarkably well, and you must make sure that your essays reflect your actions.

By today’s standards, the essay questions for the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania are remarkably vast. The school presents candidates with two mandatory essays and, if needed, an optional essay that applicants can use to address any extenuating circumstances. Wharton provides applicants with a fairly extensive opportunity to tell their whole story, which is quite rare these days. So take advantage of it! Brainstorm thoroughly before you start writing, and carefully consider how to optimize your best anecdotes to showcase yourself in full.

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

In many ways, this prompt is asking for a typical MBA personal statement. In a mere 500 words, you must discuss your career goals—giving very brief context for why they are realistic for you—and then reveal how Wharton will help you pursue these goals by demonstrating a thorough understanding of what the school offers and a well-thought-out game plan for immersing yourself in the Wharton experience. To effectively do this, you must first familiarize yourself with the school’s various resources and pinpoint those that truly pertain to you and the direction in which you hope to go. Simply presenting a list of classes that you think sound interesting is not sufficient. Likewise, avoid vague statements about how great the school is. Focus on showing a clear connection between your aspirations, what you need to achieve them, and what Wharton in particular offers that will enable you to fulfill those needs.

A subtle tweak to this essay prompt that distinguishes it from last year’s is that Wharton asks applicants to address only the professional aspect—no longer both the professional and personal aspect—of their business school aspirations. This will allow you to share your career-related stories and goals much more fully, which means you can and should use the other essays to discuss non-work aspects of your life and thereby provide a more complete and well-rounded picture of yourself for the admissions committee.

Because personal statements are generally similar from one application to the next, we have produced the mbaMission Personal Statement Guide, which helps applicants write this style of essay for any school. We offer this guide to candidates free of charge. Please feel free to download your copy today.

Required Essay 2: 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)  

So, is this question about teamwork or about contribution? Although we see nothing wrong with relating some of your team-related experiences in your essay, what the admissions committee is really interested in learning is what you can contribute to a team—and these are not necessarily the same thing. You can contribute to the Wharton community and culture in many different ways. For example, perhaps you have specialized knowledge you could offer your Wharton Learning Team that would provide context in analyzing certain business problems and cases. Maybe you have a character trait that has enabled you to bring people together in past communities, such as a good sense of humor or even strong listening skills. You might even have specific experience that pertains directly to a club you would like to lead or join.

We can think of almost limitless examples, and the ones we have offered here are possibly even a bit banal, because the key to being effective with this essay is to really own your proffered contribution by sharing your unique personal stories and then relating them to specific resources at Wharton. We suspect that many applicants will discuss a certain trait or skill and then end their essay with a platitude like “And I will bring this skill to Wharton for the betterment of all.” To create a truly strong and compelling essay, you must convincingly show that you fully understand the Wharton experience and are prepared to make a distinct and personal contribution.

And for a thorough exploration of Wharton’s academic program/merits, defining characteristics, crucial statistics, social life, academic environment, and other key features, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Reapplicant Essay: All reapplicants to Wharton are required to complete this essay. 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)

All applicants, including reapplicants can also use this section to address any extenuating circumstances. (250 words)

If you are a Wharton reapplicant, this essay is pretty straightforward. Whether you have improved your academic record, received a promotion, begun a new and exciting project, increased your community involvement, or taken on some sort of personal challenge, the key to success with this essay is conveying a very deliberate path of achievement. Wharton wants to know that you have been actively striving to improve yourself and your profile, and that you have seized opportunities during the previous year to do so, because a Wharton MBA is vital to you. The responses to this essay question will vary greatly from one candidate to the next, because each person’s needs and experiences differ. We are more than happy to provide one-on-one assistance with this highly personal essay to ensure that your efforts over the past year are presented in the best light possible.

However, if you are not a Wharton reapplicant, pay special attention to the last line of this prompt: All applicants, including reapplicants can also use this section to address any extenuating circumstances. Here is your opportunity—if needed—to address any lingering questions that an admissions officer might have about your candidacy, such as a poor grade or overall GPA, a low GMAT score, or a gap in your work experience. In our mbaMission Optional Essays Guide, available through our online store, we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay (along with multiple sample essays) to help you mitigate any problem areas in your profile.

The Next Step—Mastering Your Wharton Interview

Many MBA candidates find admissions interviews stressful and intimidating, but mastering this important element of the application process is definitely possible—the key is informed preparation. And to help you achieve this high level of preparation, mbaMission offers free Interview Primers! Download your free copy of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Interview Primer today and be sure to check out our one-of-a-kind Wharton Team-Based Discussion Simulation Sessions.

mbaMission is the leader in MBA admissions consulting with a full-time and comprehensively trained staff of consultants, all with profound communications and MBA experience. mbaMission has helped thousands of candidates fulfill their dream of attending prominent MBA programs around the world.Take your first step toward a more successful MBA application experience with a free 30-minute consultation with one of mbaMission’s senior consultants. Sign up today at www.mbamission.com/manhattangmat.

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