Wharton MBA Essay Tips To Set Yourself Apart

Learn what Wharton is looking for in the MBA essay and how you can write an effective one to improve your chances of gaining admission.

Wharton has one of the most student-driven cultures of any MBA program. They value candidates who can show a habit of leadership, can work well in teams, and have the ability to create impact during their time at Wharton and beyond. The essays provide a great opportunity to showcase these areas and set yourself apart from other applicants.

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

This question is looking for you to articulate your career goals and show how a Wharton MBA will help you achieve these goals. A good response will display a strong understanding of the program’s resources – curriculum, clubs, faculty – in order to show potential success. Consider the following three points when responding to this prompt:

  1. Focus on the future and your goals. Explain the origin of your goals and the opportunity that exists. Although Wharton doesn’t ask about your past accomplishments or experience (which they will get through recommenders and your resume), providing context around pivotal moments in your past will help the admissions committee better understand your career ambitions.
  2. Connect the Wharton MBA to your future.  After defining your goals, you need to show an understanding of how the resources make Wharton the ideal place for YOU. Think – what can’t you do now that a Wharton MBA will enable you to do.
  3. Really know Wharton, and how you fit in. Research, visit the school, talk to alumni. Gain an understanding of clubs, courses, the city of Philadelphia, faculty, leadership opportunities etc. And be very specific with how these resources will help you on your road to achieving your goals.
Essay 2: (Required) 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)

Wharton is a highly collaborative, student driven culture. To answer this question effectively, it is important to show an understanding of the many ways in which you will work with your peers at Wharton (cohorts, learning teams, clubs, etc). Through these encounters and interactions, how will you learn from others and how will they learn from you?

Group work, both inside and outside the classroom, makes up a large part of the learning environment. In evaluating responses to this essay, it is important to display a habit of leadership, involvement, and impact. Have you ever contributed to a team? Your community? Demonstrated a collaborative approach to solving a team problem?

Wharton values students who will be actively engaged in the community, and looks to past behavior for patterns of involvement.  Show how those previous experiences will enable you to add value and contribute to the Wharton community, classroom, club, or event.

Through this, Wharton will begin to understand how you work with others, what kind of leader you are, and if they can expect you to meaningfully contribute to the program.

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