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Tips for Wharton’s 2022-2023 MBA Essays

Wharton’s 2022-2023 MBA application includes two required essays that are designed to gauge who you are as an applicant and why the B-school should offer you admission.  Stacy Blackman, founder of Stacy Blackman Consulting, recently offered insights into how applicants should approach each essay and what Wharton admissions is looking for.


The first required essay prompt asks:

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)

While this essay is framed as a careers goal question, Blackman says, the prompt is also designed to gauge your personality and potential success at Wharton. Blackman suggests that applicants consider their past experiences.

“Think about the critical moments of your professional life that led to your goals,” she says. “Focus on telling the story of those decision points. Remember, anything unique in your background is always worth describing.”

Self-reflection is key when it comes to writing this essay.

“Wharton wants to know why an MBA and why Wharton, and your response should reflect a deep understanding of the program’s values and culture,” Michel Belden, of Fortuna Admissions, says. “Assure the admissions committee yours is a viable path – they want to know the why, not just the what. Taking the time to summon this clarity of purpose for yourself will allow you to shape a narrative that’s coherent, authentic, and compelling.”

Most importantly, be sure to connect your goals to what Wharton has to offer.

“Consider including specific information from your Wharton research in this essay,” Blackman says. “For example, mention the faculty you want to study with or the unique classes offered at Wharton. Consider what it might be like to live in Philadelphia. Think about the many clubs and student activities. Also, research the unique leadership development opportunities, such as traveling to Antarctica with your classmates.”


The second required essay prompt asks:

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)

Similar to the first essay, you’ll want to approach this second essay with some self-reflection. Blackman suggests thinking about past experiences that demonstrate how you can contribute to Wharton’s community.

“You might bring your experiences launching a new product to your marketing case studies,” Blackman says. “Maybe you will lend creative ideas to your learning team as you prepare a research project because you have demonstrated creativity in your past accomplishments. Perhaps you have shown a tendency to teach and mentor others, and you plan to help your learning teammates with skills that they may not have learned in their past work.”

Sources: Stacy Blackman Consulting, P&Q