Kellogg | Mr. Class President
GRE 319.5, GPA 3.76
Wharton | Ms. Future CEO
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0
MIT Sloan | Mr. Unicorn Strategy
GMAT 740 (estimated), GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBA Class of 2023
GMAT 725, GPA 3.5
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Military 2.0
GRE 310, GPA 2.3
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Emporio Armani
GMAT 780, GPA 3.03
Columbia | Mr. MD
GMAT 630, GPA 3.24
Harvard | Mr. MacGruber
GRE 313, GPA 3.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. 1st Gen Grad
GMAT 740, GPA 3.1
London Business School | Mr. Green Energy
GMAT 710, GPA 3.1
Harvard | Mr. Investment Banker
GMAT 750, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Ms. Media Entertainment
GMAT 740, GPA 3.3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Civil Engineer
GMAT 770, GPA 8.9/10
Harvard | Mr. Colombian Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 3.96
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Tech Evangelist
GMAT 690, GPA 3.2
Tuck | Mr. Winning Team
GMAT 760, GPA 7.95 out of 10
Berkeley Haas | Ms. Midwest Startup
GRE 328, GPA 3.51
Foster School of Business | Mr. CPG Tech
GMAT 770, GPA 2.9
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Agribusiness
GRE 308, GPA 3.04
Tuck | Ms. Green Biz
GRE 326, GPA 3.2
Kenan-Flagler | Ms. Nonprofit Admin
GMAT 620, GPA 3.3
Kellogg | Mr. Finance To Consulting
GMAT 700, GPA 3.7
Wharton | Ms. Healthcare Visionary
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Tepper | Mr. Tech Strategist
GRE 313, GPA 3.0
London Business School | Mr. Indian Electric Tech
GMAT 620, GPA 3.5
Duke Fuqua | Mr. 911 System
GMAT 690, GPA 3.02
Stanford GSB | Mr. Techie Teacher
GMAT 760, GPA 3.80

Winning Admission to Wharton: Four Steps

Shawn O'Connor is the chief executive of Stratus Admissions Counseling.

As one of the top three business schools in the country, Wharton has a highly selective MBA admissions process. While Wharton expanded its class size from 817 to 845 students last year, the school still accepted only 16.8% of applicants. And, Wharton is looking for a distinct profile from other top schools; so a personal story that would help you gain admission to Harvard or Stanford will not necessarily get you into Wharton. Instead, you must tailor your application in a way that clearly demonstrates to the admissions committee that you are a perfect fit for Wharton, and that Wharton is a perfect fit for you.

Drawing on decades of collective admissions experience, my colleagues (who include a recently-departed Wharton admissions reader and numerous Wharton admissions experts) and I have chosen the following four tips which will help maximize your chances of gaining admission to Wharton.

1) Leverage your unique work experience

If you are in finance:

Do not shy away from elaborating on your experience, leadership, and accomplishments in banking or private equity. While your finance background may not help you stand out at Harvard or Stanford (and can, in some cases, be considered at drawback at those schools), it will appeal to Wharton. Wharton’s greater emphasis on data-driven analysis make it an ideal fit for those coming from the world of venture capital, hedge funds, and investment banks.

If you are not in finance:

Do not assume that Wharton is only looking for financial geniuses. Do not try to be someone you are not in your application. Wharton is a much more diverse school than many applicants initially expect. Indeed, it may surprise you to learn that Wharton’s marketing program is regarded as one of the top in the country. The school also has a renowned healthcare program. Wharton actively seeks out leaders in these fields so if you have a background outside of finance be sure to connect it to Wharton’s specific programs through your essays.

Finally, Wharton is also more demographically diverse than many other top business schools. In fact, 45% of its incoming class is comprised of females (the highest ratio of any top business school). So, be sure to convey your unique personal background through your application and interview.

2) Show your love for Philadelphia

All business school admissions officers want to hear why you want to attend their particular school, but Wharton also wants to see that you are excited to study in Philadelphia. So, make sure your application emphasizes your passion not just for Wharton, but also for the West Philadelphia community. I’m a Philly native myself, and I love this diverse and vibrant part of the city along the banks of Schuylkill River. Consider emphasizing how you would give back in West Philly through, for example, the tutoring programs that Penn runs in local schools. Communicating your desire to interact with and improve the Philadelphia community will really resonate with the Penn admissions committee.