Wharton School Essay Questions and Tips

The University of Pennsylvania's, Wharton School asks applicants to write two essays. The re-applicants also have to write an additional required essay along with an optional essay.

Essay #1

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

This question is future-focused and exclusively professional. What do you want to do professionally that you can’t do now and that a Wharton MBA will help you do? What soft and hard skills do you hope to acquire at Wharton? How will a Wharton MBA, the education, the credential, and the experience. help you achieve your dreams?

As with most MBA goals questions, Wharton wants to see how you plan to connect your Wharton education to your future. Keep in mind that Wharton has an incredibly rich curriculum. How will you take advantage of its premier offerings to prepare yourself to realize your vision?

To answer this question, you need to have professional direction and you need to know which of Wharton’s myriad resources make it perfect as the next stop on your professional journey.

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)

Start with the end in mind: How do you intend to contribute to the Wharton community? To answer that question, research the co-curricular opportunities and pedagogical approach at Wharton. How will you contribute? Based on past experience and accomplishments, what difference do you intend to make? How will you participate and contribute?

Now, decide on your achievement that prepared you to have your intended impact. Make sure it is one where you made a difference. To answer this question well, you need to know a lot about Wharton’s program and opportunities.

Additional Essay Question

This question is required for all re-applicants.

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)

Wharton is asking for reflection, and you need to provide it, but also show how that reflection led to action and improvement. Show Wharton that you are a better candidate this time than last.

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

Addressing extenuating circumstances means that you should describe those circumstances in a straight-forward way. Give the admissions committee context. Avoid excuses and whining. If possible, provide evidence that those circumstance either no longer exist and no longer effect your performance.