Personal MBA Coach’s Guide To The Wharton Essays

Guide to the Wharton Essays

As a Wharton alum and the founder of Personal MBA Coach, I wanted to share my tips for how to tackle this year’s Wharton essays

The Wharton School has confirmed that its application questions will remain unchanged for class of 2022 hopefuls. Once again, applicants will be asked two questions. Wharton has an additional required essay for reapplicants along with an optional essay.

The essays:

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

Essay 2: Describe an impactful experience or accomplishment that is not reflected elsewhere in your application. How will you use what you learned through that experience to contribute to the Wharton community? (400 words)

Additional Question (required for all Reapplicants):

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)*

*First-time applicants may also use this section to address any extenuating circumstances. (250 words)

Personal MBA Coach’s Tips:

I am intimately familiar with the MBA program and culture at Wharton and advise candidates to think about each question differently to ensure answers complement each other while showing readers multiple aspects of their candidacy.

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

With this first question, you should discuss your specific short-term goals, but also think more broadly. Essay 1 allows you to reflect at a higher level on your aspirations. Where do you see yourself in 10, 20 or even 30 years? How will you get there? It is also expected that you touch upon your past successes, explaining how they are relevant to your future objectives. This question does not require you to walk through your entire resume, and candidates are advised not to do so. Instead, focus only on your past to establish what your key skills are as well as how and why you will succeed in the future.

As you think about your future, also think about your skill gaps and how a Wharton MBA, specifically, will help you to close these gaps. It is important that you allow adequate time to research all that Wharton has to offer. I suggest being very specific in detailing the opportunities you plan to take advantage of on campus. Think about classes you are particularly interested in or perhaps professors you are looking to study with, etc. Do not include a laundry list. Instead, carefully think through how each offering will allow you to fill in your skill and/or experience gaps. Be sure to show an understanding of Wharton’s culture here. Avoid vague statements and copy and pasting from other essays.

Essay 2: Describe an impactful experience or accomplishment that is not reflected elsewhere in your application. How will you use what you learned through that experience to contribute to the Wharton community? (400 words) 

For essay 2, most candidates will be best suited to thinking about extra-curricular or personal experiences and accomplishments. While it is not required, sharing non-professional stories will allow you to shed some light on another area of your candidacy.

This essay is essentially 3 questions crammed into one 400-word essay. Be sure to consider each part carefully. By sharing this story and your learnings, you want to illustrate how you are uniquely suited to contribute to the Wharton community.

First, select an experience or accomplishment that reveals additional information about you and further illuminates your unique strengths. What have you done beyond what is in your resume? What makes you special? This the time to show this!

Second, think carefully about what you learned from this experience. By sharing your learnings, you will be able to show your character as well as how you are able to adapt to and grow from situations. These are crucial skills to demonstrate.

Finally, this essay gives you a chance to tell admissions committee members specifically how you will add value on campus. Be sure to do your research on all that Wharton has to offer and to be specific on the contributions you will make. As with essay one, avoid listing items. Instead, select a few unique areas where you will contribute and discuss the mark you hope to leave.

Reapplicants should use this required additional essay to demonstrate growth. I advise candidates to review our tips for reapplicants before tackling this essay. Finally, the optional essay should only be answered by those with extenuating circumstances. Read more on our approach to optional essays here.

 


Personal MBA Coach LogoScott Edinburgh is a Wharton MBA and MIT Sloan BS graduate and founded Personal MBA Coach over 11 years ago with the goal of providing customized one-on-one support. Scott also serves on the Board of Directors for AIGAC, the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants and is invited to speak at MBA Admissions events globally. Our clients have been accepted to all top schools globally with a 96% success rate. They received $4.5M in total scholarships last year