As a general note, first time applicants and reapplicants must complete both essays 1 and 2.
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 essay concentrates on two major themes: your post-MBA career (especially in the immediate future) and Wharton’s unique assets. Wharton knows that it can offer amazing educators, courses, clubs, and events, so they don’t want to read a hagiography about themselves. Rather, what they want to see is a series of logical connections between your needs, relative to your future professional goals, and their resources.
Many applicants try to bridge different concepts within this essay, especially relative to their backgrounds. While it might help to include a small number of relevant examples, keep in mind that the school is judging the seriousness and feasibility of the choices you’re about to make concerning your scholastic and professional future—not your past accomplishments.
However, if you’re struggling to identify what your future occupation should be and, therefore, how Wharton fits into your plans, it’s time to do some homework. Start by looking into potential roles and the skills they require, ideally by contacting individuals in the industry. Once you’ve got a hold of a potential future occupation, take some time to consider the services Wharton can offer you by poring over its MBA website, contacting alumni, attending Wharton events and visiting the campus.
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)
Wharton’s community is a cornerstone of its program. So, it’s no surprise that they’re looking for individuals eager to contribute to upholding the high standards and engagement the school has come to expect. This question contains both a personal and practical dimension, and asks not only what makes you an interesting/unique/outstanding candidate, but also how your qualities and/or experiences could benefit Wharton and its students.
As you begin considering potential events or attributes that you could link to Wharton’s community, try to highlight those which have impacted others beyond just yourself. For every point you consider mentioning, there are some potential questions that might help identify whether it’s one worth including in this essay. For example, did it push you to overcome some sort of difficulty or prejudice? What effect did it have on other individuals? Did it shape the way you interact with people going forward? Did it even change the way you behave to this day?
When describing how this trait or experience will affect your involvement with Wharton’s student body, try to mention concrete ways you foresee it being applied. These can be general examples, such as how you would interact or work with peers, or they can be more specific, such as what organization or events you could envision yourself contributing to. This will not only help Wharton understand your motivation to integrate into its community, it’ll also underline your deeper understanding of what this MBA has to offer.
Required Essay 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)
If you happen to be a reapplicant, use this space to focus on the positive changes that have occurred since you first applied. One obvious area to mention would be an improvement in your metrics, such as a higher GMAT or GRE score. However, if you faced other issues in your first application, it’s also important to demonstrate an evolution in your professional career or extracurricular activities, or to explain how reasonable changes in your goals have positively impacted your candidacy.
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)
While applying to Wharton, you’re also very likely applying to a host of other highly competitive MBAs. And, in those other applications, you might have written an insightful essay; for instance, you might be really proud of what you’ve penned for Stanford explaining what matters most to you. Or, perhaps, there’s a wonderful segment that you’re very proud of from your HBS essay. You may be thinking, wouldn’t it be great to show off that brilliant piece of writing to Wharton in this section? The answer is: no, it definitely wouldn’t be.
Applications are as much a test of what you don’t put into them as what you do. As stated by AdCom in this optional essay prompt, this section is exclusively for explaining away issues from your application that will be read negatively by the admissions committee. So, if you do have a problem with your profile, absolutely use this space to explain it away. Moreover, if possible and relevant, you can also provide a solid example of corrective steps you’ve taken to make sure that any problematic point in your profile will not resurface during your time at Wharton.
Getting admitted to Wharton is a very arduous process, yet there are many ways in which you can significantly improve your chances; so, be sure to reach out to our Wharton MBA Experts to find out what they are in your case. For additional information on the technical aspects of Wharton’s application, you can visit their official site.