Articles published in Essay Analysis

University of Pennsylvania Wharton School Essay Analysis, 2016–2017

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - University of Pennsylvania Wharton School Essay Analysis, 2016-2017How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough analysis, our friends at mbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out. You do not need to be actively working on a $5 billion deal or have won an Olympic gold medal to go to HBS. You just need to have done the everyday things remarkably well, and you must make sure that your essays reflect your actions.


By today’s standards, the essay questions for the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania are remarkably vast. The school presents candidates with two mandatory essays and, if needed, an optional essay that applicants can use to address any extenuating circumstances. Wharton provides applicants with a fairly extensive opportunity to tell their whole story, which is quite rare these days. So take advantage of it! Brainstorm thoroughly before you start writing, and carefully consider how to optimize your best anecdotes to showcase yourself in full. Read more

Stanford Graduate School of Business Essay Analysis, 2016–2017

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Stanford Graduate School of Business Essay Analysis, 2016–2017 by mbaMissionHow can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough analysis, our friends at mbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out. You do not need to be actively working on a $5 billion deal or have won an Olympic gold medal to go to HBS. You just need to have done the everyday things remarkably well, and you must make sure that your essays reflect your actions.


The Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) may be known for educating great innovators—think Phil Knight and Jacqueline Novogratz, just for starters—but this year, the school’s admissions office is leaving the innovating to others and keeping its essay questions the same as last year’s. In fairness, maybe we should assume that the admissions office finished its innovation phase years ago and has iterated and tweaked its essay prompts enough to have arrived at its version of perfection. Who knows? And more importantly, does it even matter? The Stanford GSB’s task is to craft the questions, but your task is to answer them. With this essay analysis, we have done our best to help you do so successfully… Read more

Columbia Business School Essay Analysis: 2016–2017

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Columbia Business School Essay Analysis - 2016-2017 by mbaMissionHow can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough analysis, our friends at mbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out. You do not need to be actively working on a $5 billion deal or have won an Olympic gold medal to go to HBS. You just need to have done the everyday things remarkably well, and you must make sure that your essays reflect your actions.


A famous quotation, though one of murky attribution, states, “If I had had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.” Read more

Harvard Business School Essay Analysis: 2016–2017

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Harvard Business School Essay Analyses 2016-2017 by mbaMissionHow can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough analysis, our friends at mbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out. You do not need to be actively working on a $5 billion deal or have won an Olympic gold medal to go to HBS. You just need to have done the everyday things remarkably well, and you must make sure that your essays reflect your actions.


After just one year, Harvard Business School (HBS) has done away with its “introduce yourself” essay prompt, which gave applicants a lot of leeway to share their story on their terms, and has returned to an even broader prompt—one that at first may seem as though it has no parameters at all. This year’s question is almost exactly the same as the one the school used in 2013–2014, when it asked, “What else would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy?” This year, the question is “What more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy?” (italics ours). We presume that after seeing the essays candidates submitted in response to its “introduce yourself” prompt, the HBS admissions committee simply determined that the previous essay question generated “better” essays that proved more valuable in their decision-making process. Regardless of the reason behind the change, you will need to find the best way to approach this year’s prompt, which we will now analyze in more detail… Read more

Breaking Down B-School Admissions: A Four-Part Series

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Breaking Down B-School Admissions

 

Are You Prepared for B-School Admissions?

Join Manhattan GMAT and three other leaders in the MBA admissions space—mbaMission, Poets & Quants, and MBA Career Coaches—for an invaluable series of free workshops to help you put together a successful MBA application—from your GMAT score to application essays to admissions interviews to post-acceptance internships.

We hope you’ll join us for as many events in this series as you can. Please sign up for each sessions separately via the links below—space is limited.

 

Session 1: Assessing Your MBA Profile,
GMAT 101: Sections, Question Types & Study Strategies
Monday, September 8 (8:00 – 10:00 PM EDT)
Click here to watch the recording

Session 2: Mastering the MBA Admissions Interview,
Conquering Two 800-Level GMAT Problems
Wednesday, September 10 (8:00 – 10:00 PM EDT)
Click here to watch the recording

Session 3: 9 Rules for Creating Standout B-School Essays,
Hitting 730: How to Get a Harvard-Level GMAT Score
Monday, September 15 (8:00 – 10:00 PM EDT)
Click here to watch the recording

Session 4: 7 Pre-MBA Steps to Your Dream Internship,
Survival Guide: 14 Days to Study for the GMAT
Wednesday, September 17 (8:00 – 10:00 PM EDT)
Sign up here.

mbaMission: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan) Essay Analysis, 2014–2015

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We’ve invited mbaMission to share their Business School Essays Analyses as they’re released for the 2014-2015 application season. Here is their analysis for Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan).

The MIT Sloan School of Management bucks conventionality this admissions season and has added to the word count for its application essays—moving from a maximum of 1,000 words to 1,250. The school’s first essay question remains the same as last year’s, but its second essay prompt presents an interesting challenge in that the admissions committee asks you to do exactly what it does not want you to do in reality: write your own recommendation letter. At least in this case, the school is allowing you to do so in the light of day. Thankfully, perhaps, Sloan has dropped its befuddling optional essay, which had invited applicants to share any additional information in any format. Candidates will be content to see clearer directives in the program’s essay questions. As always, our analysis follows…

MIT SloanEssay 1:  The mission of the MIT Sloan School of Management is to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and to generate ideas that advance management practice. Discuss how you will contribute toward advancing the mission based on examples from your past work and activities. (500 words or fewer)
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mbaMission: University of Michigan (Ross) Essay Analysis, 2014–2015

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We’ve invited mbaMission to share their Business School Essays Analyses as they’re released for the 2014-2015 application season. Here is their analysis for University of Michigan (Ross). 

The Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan has refashioned its essay questions, going “smaller” with its requirements, as have several other schools this application season. Ross’s broadly worded essay prompts give you ample breadth—if not an overabundance of words—in which to tell your story. As always, think carefully about what you want to say and the impression you want to make before you start writing, because more opportunity lurks here than you might realize at first.

Michigan RossEssay 1: What are you most proud of professionally and why? What did you learn from that experience? (400 words)
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mbaMission: University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) Essay Analysis, 2014–2015

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We’ve invited mbaMission to share their Business School Essays Analyses as they’re released for the 2014-2015 application season. Here is their analysis for University of Pennsylvania (Wharton).  

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has decreased its number of application essays to just two this year and is giving candidates a whopping 900 words with which to distinguish themselves. We surmise that the influx of application essays can be overwhelming for the school’s overworked admissions officers, who find them somewhat deadening over time. So, by cutting back the program’s application requirements, they are able to stay sharp and still get what they need from you as an applicant. While this change may be helpful on the school’s end, the limitations make your job much harder. Wharton gives you a mostly boilerplate personal statement and a rather Harvard Business School–esque “discuss what you want” style prompt—seemingly not a lot of latitude with which to make an impression, but the key word here is “seemingly.” The smart applicant will make use of Essay 2 in particular to stand out from the pack. Our analysis follows…

WhartonThis year we require one essay, with a second being optional.  For the second optional essay, we recommend that you to use your best judgment and focus your energy on highlighting new information that we are unable to ascertain from other sections of the application.
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mbaMission: Columbia Business School Essay Analysis, 2014–2015

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We’ve invited mbaMission to share their Business School Essays Analyses as they’re released for the 2014-2015 application season. Here is their analysis for Columbia Business School. 

For the second year in a row, Columbia Business School (CBS) has kicked off the MBA application season. During an online event with mbaMission, Manhattan Prep and Poets & Quants, CBS’s director of admissions, Christina Shelby, told the audience that the school has added urgency in releasing its questions, because it has to meet the needs of its January-entry (known as J-Term) applicants, whose application deadlines come much sooner (October 8, 2014, versus April 15, 2015). Whatever its rationale for the “early” application release, CBS is basically staying the course with its essay questions, though it has again reduced the allowable character count in its “Twitter-like” goal statement; from 200 characters two years ago, it was cut to 100 last year and now stands at a mere 75. Our analysis follows…

Columbia Business SchoolShort Answer Question: What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (75 characters maximum)
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mbaMission: Stanford Graduate School of Business Essay Analysis, 2014–2015

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We’ve invited mbaMission to share their Business School Essays Analyses as they’re released for the 2014-2015 application season. Here is their analysis for Stanford Graduate School of Business. 

The Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) became the second top MBA program to release its essay questions this year, and the school follows a trend in application essays—“less is more.” Stanford has dropped its third essay question this season and stuck with two standbys, which we can summarize as “What matters most to you?” and “Why us?” The GSB’s choice to maintain its “Why us?” question is an interesting one, considering how selective the program is (the Princeton Review ranks it number one for Toughest to Get Into). Maybe one reason the school is so strong is that it still focuses on fit and does not take its desirability for granted (?).

Another big change in the Stanford application this year is that the number of recommendations required has dropped from three to two, leaving the candidate to make the vexing choice between a professional recommender or a peer for that second recommendation. Our guess is that most people will choose the far more straightforward professional recommendation option, because candidates who do so can be more confident that they have made the “right” choice of recommenders.

Stanford Graduate School of BusinessEssay 1: “What matters most to you and why?” (750 words)
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