Tag Archives: Stanford GSB

Tuesday Tips: 2014 Stanford GSB Essay Tips

Stanford Graduate School of Business has followed the lead of the majority of top MBA programs and has reduced the essay count for this year’s application. Stanford is still focused on candid self-evaluation and authenticity, …

Stanford Graduate School of Business has followed the lead of the majority of top MBA programs and has reduced the essay count for this year’s application. Stanford is still focused on candid self-evaluation and authenticity, and has just cut out the optional shorter essays. The Stanford GSB MBA admissions website provides clear guidance and advice for what to do, and what not to do, that all applicants should read and follow.

What keeps you awake at night? When you look back at your life what will you admire and regret about your choices? These are the kind of questions to ask yourself as you approach topics for this set of essays. Your accomplishments and achievements are part of why you have developed into the person you are today, however it’s far more important to explain your influences, lessons learned and motivations. Introspection and honesty should persist through the entire set of essays.

Total word count for all three essays combined should not exceed 1,100 words, so applicants must be judicious in deciding how much or little to write for each prompt. As a general guideline, Stanford GSB suggests 750 words for essay one and 350 words for essay two. Check your deadlines before you get started to make sure you are maximizing the time on your essays.

Stanford GSB Essay 1: What matters most to you, and why?

This classic Stanford GSB MBA essay is your opportunity to demonstrate who you are, what motivates you, and why. Topics can range from personal history to grand visions of the future. While this topic should not be explicitly career related (and the strongest essays are likely not career oriented at all) it may raise themes that you will continue in your career essay.
To generate ideas, try brainstorming over a period of a few days. Ask friends and family what values they see you demonstrating in your life and choices. Keep a notebook by your bed so you can record your first thoughts upon waking up, and mine your personal history for ideas.

Though the essay question may seem open-ended, answering the question with vivid and specific examples will provide solid evidence that you have demonstrated or experienced “what matters most” throughout your life. Keep in mind as you select examples that Stanford GSB specifically advises focusing on people and experiences that have influenced you, rather than accomplishments or achievements.

Essay B: Why Stanford? Enlighten us on how earning your MBA at Stanford will enable you to realize your ambitions.

This year Stanford leads with the most important part: Why Stanford? Be specific in your response. You should know everything about the program and show that it is your dream school. Have you met current students and alumni? Who are the professors you are excited about? What are the unique programs?

This essay question is a somewhat standard career goals theme, but note that Stanford refers to it as a “personal essay.” Stanford GSB wants to know what you specifically need that will be uniquely satisfied by the program at Stanford GSB, and research will help you determine what aspects of the academic program, community and students are crucial to your aspirations.
When you discuss how Stanford will help you achieve your goals consider that Stanford likes to see applicants who dream big, and have the credibility to achieve their goals. So think big about your plans. Don’t focus on what your parents or partner want you to do. Don’t think about the next job on the corporate ladder. What do you, with your own unique background and values, want for your life?

If the question seems too vast, take a few minutes to close your eyes and reflect. Envision your life in twenty years. Where do you live? How do you spend your days? What is your favorite activity? How does this vision fit into your career aspirations? Don’t be shy about your ambitions. Once you have identified your dream career, you also need to make sure an MBA is an important part of achieving your plans.

Stanford wants candidates for whom an MBA will make an impact on their ambitious trajectory, not candidates who are looking for a prestigious piece of paper. Remember that MBA programs want to help promising candidates reach their goals, not admit perfect people with no need for development.

Posted in Application Tips, Stanford Advice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Stanford GSB 2014-2015 MBA Application Deadlines

The Stanford Graduate School of Business has released the MBA application deadlines for the 2014-2015 admissions cycle. The deadlines are: Round 1 Deadline: October 1, 2014 Notification: December 10, 2014 Round 2 Deadline: January 7, …

Stanford MBA ranking

The Stanford Graduate School of Business has released the MBA application deadlines for the 2014-2015 admissions cycle. The deadlines are:

Round 1

Deadline: October 1, 2014
Notification: December 10, 2014

Round 2

Deadline: January 7, 2015
Notification: March 25, 2015

Round 3

Deadline: April 1, 2015
Notification: May 6, 2015

All application materials are due by 5 p.m. PST on the day of the deadline. For more details, visit Stanford GSB’s admissions website.

Posted in General, School News | Tagged , ,

Stanford GSB Essay Questions for Class of 2017

The Stanford Graduate School of Business has updated its admissions website with the two essays required for the 2014-2015 MBA application. These questions remain essentially unchanged from last year’s application, but the number of required …

The Stanford Graduate School of Business has updated its admissions website with the two essays required for the 2014-2015 MBA application. These questions remain essentially unchanged from last year’s application, but the number of required essays this year has dropped from three to two.

Essay A: What matters most to you, and why?(650-850 suggested word count)

A strong response to this question will:

  • Focus on the “why” rather than the “what.”
  • Reflect the self-examination process you used to write your response.
  • Genuinely illustrate who you are and how you came to be the person you are.
  • Share the insights, experiences, and lessons that shaped your perspectives, rather than focusing merely on what you’ve done or accomplished.
  • Be written from the heart, and illustrate how a person, situation, or event has influenced you.

Essay B: Why Stanford? (250-450 suggested word count)

Enlighten us on how earning your MBA at Stanford will enable you to realize your ambitions.

A strong response to this essay question will:

  • Explain your decision to pursue graduate education in management.
  • Explain the distinctive opportunities you will pursue at Stanford.

Length

Your answers for both essay questions combined may not exceed 1,100 words.

For more information, visit the Stanford GSB admissions website.

Posted in General, School News | Tagged ,

Stanford to Award Africa MBA Fellowships

The Stanford Africa MBA Fellowship application is now live, and the deadline to apply is June 13, 2014. The Fellowship enables talented African citizens with a passion for making an impact on the continent’s future to …

The Stanford Africa MBA Fellowship application is now live, and the deadline to apply is June 13, 2014. The Fellowship enables talented African citizens with a passion for making an impact on the continent’s future to pursue an MBA at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

What is the Stanford Africa MBA Fellowship Program?
The Fellowship pays for tuition and associated fees for citizens of African countries with financial need. The Fellowship was created to reduce the financial barrier for African citizens to pursue an MBA at Stanford GSB.

Stanford GSB will award up to eight fellowships annually. Within two years of graduation, Stanford Africa MBA Fellows are required to return to Africa to work for at least two years in a role that contributes to the continent’s development.

Promising candidates are encouraged to apply now for the Fellowship. Applicants can find details about the new two-stage application process and timeline on the Stanford GSB website. In the first stage, applicants complete the free Stanford Africa MBA Fellowship pre-application.

Up to 50 finalists will be selected by mid-July 2014 based on financial need, as well as Stanford’s admission criteria of intellectual vitality, demonstrated leadership potential, and personal qualities and contributions.

Finalists then apply for MBA admission (the application will be waived for finalists) to the GSB in Round 1, October 2014. The school plans to enroll up to eight exemplary Stanford Africa Fellows in the MBA Class of 2016.

Why is Stanford GSB providing this fellowship? Africa is at the forefront of significant global economic growth and opportunity. African students provide direct insight into an emerging global economy that will be increasingly powerful in business.

The school hopes that the Stanford Africa MBA Fellowship will encourage talented Africans to leverage the Stanford MBA experience to make a big impact in Africa, executing the GSB’s mission to change lives, change organizations, and change the world.

For More Details:
Stanford Africa MBA Fellowship Webpage 

Posted in General, School News | Tagged , ,

Martoma: a Lesson for MBA Applicants on Owning Up to Mistakes

Earlier this month, Stanford Graduate School of Business made the unprecedented move of nullifying the MBA degree of Mathew Martoma, the SAC Capital Advisors LP employee convicted of insider trading. For those unfamiliar with the education …

Earlier this month, Stanford Graduate School of Business made the unprecedented move of nullifying the MBA degree of Mathew Martoma, the SAC Capital Advisors LP employee convicted of insider trading.

For those unfamiliar with the education angle of the story, Martoma was expelled from Harvard Law School in 1999 for falsifying his transcripts. He subsequently gained admission to the Stanford Graduate School of Business—without disclosing the expulsion from Harvard Law—and received an MBA degree in 2003.

As part of its admissions policy, prospective GSB students must disclose any prior academic disciplinary actions, including suspensions and expulsions. Therefore, Stanford’s decision to revoke the degree is based not on Martoma becoming a convicted felon, but because he gained admission under false pretenses.

According to Wall Street Journal‘s Melissa Korn, the move “highlights the lengths to which schools may go to protect their reputations when graduates become enmeshed in scandal long after leaving campus.”

I spoke to Bloomberg BusinessWeek in the days following the announcement, because while invalidating degrees isn’t common, I have seen instances where people have been accepted into school and then escorted out of class within the first couple of weeks. Admits can be revoked, and I believe Stanford is putting Martoma out there as a lesson.

B-school hopefuls should always come clean about a criminal record when applying, because this is not the sort of information you want discovered during a background check. This issue may seem insurmountable, but I have helped more than one client explain an embarrassing episode from their past.

Many MBA programs ask you to explain a mistake you have made, or discuss a challenge you overcame. The most interesting candidates have faced difficulty and learned from it, preferably changing their behavior for the better. If you can turn a setback into an opportunity, and show how the incident sparked a period of serious self-reflection and change, your story may actually become inspiring.

Showing who you are, your potential, and even how you have overcome blemishes to your otherwise perfect record gives the school insight into your potential as a student, and as a future business leader.

You may also be interested in:

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Stanford GSB Continues Pilot MBA Interview Process

In an effort to offer applicants a definitive answer sooner rather than later,  the Stanford Graduate School of Business MBA blog notes that the school will continue its new compressed interview timeline for applicants who …

Stanford MBA interview

In an effort to offer applicants a definitive answer sooner rather than later,  the Stanford Graduate School of Business MBA blog notes that the school will continue its new compressed interview timeline for applicants who submitted for the Round 2 deadline January 8th.

The pilot process comes in response to feedback from applicants who said they would like to know right away if the answer is no, to minimize the constant obsessing and allow them time to refocus on other schools.

With that in mind, invitations to Round 2 applicants will go out from February 3rd through March 4th only—not before or after those dates—and Stanford expects to issue the majority by February 25th.

The waiting period is a painful one, but Stanford MBA admissions hopes that knowing exactly when those coveted interview invites will go out might ease the stress just a little bit.

Posted in School News | Tagged , , , ,