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Wharton Essay Analysis, 2018-2019

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Wharton Essay Analysis, 2018-2019 by mbaMission

How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough Wharton essay analysis, our friends at mbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out.


Often spurned at the last minute for Harvard Business School, the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and, at times, Columbia Business School, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, possibly more than any other top MBA program, really wants to know that you want to earn your degree there. So we were not at all surprised to see that Wharton has maintained the prompt for its first essay, which requires applicants to explain their professional rationale for wanting to go to Wharton. (Note that by contrast, HBS does not ask candidates to spell out “Why HBS?”) Read more

Chicago Booth Essay Analysis, 2018-2019

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Chicago Booth Essay Analysis, 2018-2019 by mbaMission

How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough Chicago Booth essay analysis, our friends at mbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out.


After maintaining its somewhat unique “choose a photo” essay prompt for three years in a row, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business has completely overhauled its application essays this season, transitioning from that single open-ended and creative option to two short, direct essay questions. And notably, the school has shifted from having no limits at all to having a minimum expectation with respect to word count. In some ways, the minimum sets a range that a lack of limit does not. We have often suggested 1,000 words as a guide for the unlimited Chicago Booth essay, but now, we suggest keeping responses to 500–600 words each. Approximately double the minimum seems to be a reasonable high-end target, though you will not be thrown from the applicant pool for going even higher. That said, we do think 1,000 words would be as high as one might go, and only in exceedingly rare cases. Read more

Northwestern University Kellogg Essay Analysis, 2018-2019

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Northwestern University Kellogg Essay Analysis, 2018-2019 by mbaMission

How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough Northwestern University Kellogg essay analysis, our friends at mbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out.


The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University has not changed its application essay questions this year, after making only minimal changes to its prompts last season, when mbaMission Senior Consultant Rachel Hyman was an admissions officer at Kellogg. So, who better to ask than Rachel for an opinion on how to approach them? In discussing Kellogg’s questions, Rachel commented, “When I was in the admissions office, we looked for authentic personal self-reflection in essays. With one question about brave leaders and the other about personal and professional growth, Kellogg provides opportunities for applicants to reveal that they have it within them to reflect and develop their skills and characters. I would encourage applicants to really ensure that they give the admissions committee an opportunity to get to know the real you, your journey [growth] so far [to become a stronger leader], and why you are a critical piece within the Kellogg mosaic. Don’t hesitate to let them know about how you will create lasting value and grow as an individual through your relationship with Kellogg.” Consider this perspective—one in which you are opening yourself up to the admissions committee and sharing not just your accomplishments but also your experiences and values—as you write your essays. Our Northwestern University Kellogg essay analysis follows… Read more

Next Year Starts Now: A Free Webinar Series for 2019-2020 MBA Applicants

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Next Year Starts Now: A Free Webinar Series for 2019-2020 MBA Applicants by mbaMission

Are you planning to apply to business school in 2019–2020? It’s not too early to start preparing for your applications, and we can help! The leaders in the MBA admissions space—mbaMission and Manhattan Prep—are coming together to make sure you’ll be ready for next year’s MBA admissions season. Join us for a free, three-part webinar series called “Next Year Starts Now.” During this brand-new event series, senior consultants from mbaMission will address and explain different significant admissions components and provide a checklist for successful long-term planning, while experts from Manhattan Prep will help you tackle some of the toughest challenges GMAT and GRE test takers face, offering valuable insight and advice.

Please sign up for each session separately via the links below. Space is limited! Read more

MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Have No Managerial Experience

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Have No Managerial Experience by mbaMission

What have you been told about applying to business school? With the advent of chat rooms, blogs, and forums, armchair “experts” often unintentionally propagate MBA admissions myths, which can linger and undermine an applicant’s confidence. Some applicants are led to believe that schools want a specific “type” of candidate and expect certain GMAT scores and GPAs, for example. Others are led to believe that they need to know alumni from their target schools and/or get a letter of reference from the CEO of their firm in order to get in. In this series, mbaMission debunks these and other myths and strives to take the anxiety out of the admissions process.


Some might find it ironic that formal managerial experience is not a prerequisite for admission to a top MBA program. It is important to keep in mind that an MBA education is for those who aspire to become managers and is not exclusive to those who already are managers. If you are fretting about the fact that you have not had any subordinates to date and feel that overseeing a staff is a prerequisite to gaining admission to a top program, you are adhering to a myth and should worry no more. Instead, think about how you have simply excelled in your position and made the most of the leadership opportunities before you. Read more

Cornell Johnson Essay Analysis, 2018-2019

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Cornell Johnson Essay Analysis, 2018-2019 by mbaMission

How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough Cornell Johnson essay analysis, our friends at mbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out.


We can almost hear the collective sigh of relief from many of this year’s applicants to the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University as they realize that the program’s well-known (and often dreaded) Table of Contents essay prompt is gone. The “impact” essay question first added two years ago, which asks candidates to envision how they will contribute to the MBA experience, is still in place, as is the school’s straightforward approach to the standard goals statement, though a mini essay has been tacked on to that one. In place of the Table of Contents essay is one Cornell Johnson is calling its “Back of Resume” essay, for which applicants may submit a traditional written composition or a multimedia file/link. Despite the changes, the school’s suite of prompts still covers where candidates want to go and what they want to do after they graduate, their anticipated student experience, and what they feel are the most important facets of their lives, thereby allowing applicants to create a nicely rounded impression of themselves for the admissions committee to evaluate. Our more detailed Cornell Johnson essay analysis follows… Read more

MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Should Quit My Job to Study for the GMAT

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Should Quit My Job to Study for the GMAT by mbaMission

What have you been told about applying to business school? With the advent of chat rooms, blogs, and forums, armchair “experts” often unintentionally propagate MBA admissions myths, which can linger and undermine an applicant’s confidence. Some applicants are led to believe that schools want a specific “type” of candidate and expect certain GMAT scores and GPAs, for example. Others are led to believe that they need to know alumni from their target schools and/or get a letter of reference from the CEO of their firm in order to get in. In this series, mbaMission debunks these and other myths and strives to take the anxiety out of the admissions process.


The GMAT is the sole piece of data that is truly consistent from one candidate to another. Therefore, many MBA applicants get carried away and place undue emphasis on it, when the test is only one of several important aspects of an application. In extreme cases, some applicants consider quitting their jobs to focus on the GMAT full time—not a great idea! Read more

Yale School of Management Essay Analysis, 2018-2019

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Yale School of Management Essay Analysis, 2018-2019 by mbaMission

How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough Yale School of Management essay analysis, our friends at mbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out.


We hosted a question-and-answer session with several leading admissions officers earlier this year that featured Yale School of Management (SOM) Assistant Dean for Admissions Bruce DelMonico. Ever the straight shooter, Bruce told us that the SOM would not be changing its application essay prompt for this season. We likely should have just taken him at his word, but just to be sure, we waited to see whether Yale would indeed officially recommit to its single essay, and… it did! The school has made no modifications to its prompt. So, you have one 500-word essay with which to make an impression on the admissions committee. Our Yale School of Management essay analysis follows… Read more

Take Ownership of Your Post-MBA Goals and Show Their Attainability

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Take Ownership of Your Post-MBA Goals and Show Their Attainability by mbaMission

When admissions officers read your MBA application, they want to feel inspired by your personal statement; they want to know that you have a strong sense of purpose and will work energetically to attain your objectives. Thus, you must ensure that you are not presenting generic or shallow post-MBA goals. Although this problem is not industry-specific, it occurs most often with candidates who propose careers in investment banking or consulting but do not have a true understanding of what these positions entail. Read more

Stanford Graduate School of Business Essay Analysis, 2018-2019

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Stanford Graduate School of Business Essay Analysis, 2018-2019 by mbaMission

How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough Stanford Graduate School of Business essay analysis, our friends at mbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out.


If we were to choose an MBA essay question that we felt could be considered iconic, it would certainly be the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) mainstay “What matters most to you, and why?” For at least two decades, the program has asked this question, slightly tweaking the wording and word count over time, but always maintaining its spirit. We waited to see if the school might ultimately make a change this year, but the admissions committee clearly feels it is getting exactly what it needs out of candidates’ essay responses. The GSB has likewise made no changes to its somewhat standard “Why Stanford?” prompt (or its maximum word count allowance of 1,150 for the two essays combined). Our Stanford Graduate School of Business essay analysis of both follows… Read more