Wharton's 2023-24 essays have been released, with the questions remaining unchanged from prior years.
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)
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)
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)
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.
2023/24 essay question analysis
As in prior years, Wharton expects you to share your future aspirations, sharing how an MBA will help you to grow on a professional level. While may be helpful to share your short-term post-MBA career goals, your long-term career goals are more likely to differentiate you and inspire the reader.
Some clients have fallen into a trap of using a lot of words to narrate their goals in detail and with significant nuance. While safe, it is difficult to differentiate your essay from others with similar goals, and thus will likely not lead to success. Instead, leverage the short answer section to clearly articulate your goal(s), and instead use this essay to detail specific examples of how you will leverage Wharton to achieve those goals.
As with any school’s essays, before you start writing this essay, make sure that you’ve taken the time to learn about Wharton’s program. Talk with students and recent alumni (ideally 1-3 years after they graduate), visit campus (or attend an info session), learn about classes and groups, and even specific professors. For our clients, we’re happy to make introductions to help you.
Similar to prior years, aim to articulate a compelling contribution. The more specific and tangible you can make the contribution, the better. Organizing seminars tied to your unique experiences or creating new partnerships between disparate clubs are great starting points, whereas committing to passionately contribute in class won’t differentiate you sufficiently.
Some clients are wary of specialized contributions, for fear of appearing elitist and/or exclusionary. However centering a contribution around a specialized activity (i.e. fencing, football, Middle Eastern cuisine) can be powerful if you structure it to be inclusive. For instance, starting a fencing club doesn’t have to involve including only (or even, mainly) people who already know how to fence. If you’re good at fencing, you can offer to teach, or find another teacher. Organize socializing around the event (i.e. a potluck meal after practice), and soon the event will be about bringing diverse people together around a common interest and passion for self-improvement!
As with other schools, the optional question is available for you to explain any additional information that you may not have had the space to clarify in other parts of your application.
Deadline time: 5:00pm ET
Round 1: Application deadline: September 6, 2023; Decision date: December 14, 2023
Round 2: Application deadline: January 4, 2024; Decision date: March 26, 2024
Round 3: Application deadline: April 2, 2024; Decision date: May 13, 2024
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