Tag Archives: Wharton School

7 Qualities of the Ideal Wharton MBA

What does it take to land a seat at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School? As one of the top MBA programs in the world, Wharton is very selective about who it accepts—just 20% of …

What Wharton looks for in MBA applicants

What does it take to land a seat at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School? As one of the top MBA programs in the world, Wharton is very selective about who it accepts—just 20% of applicants in 2015—and the admissions team has some specific traits in mind when it assesses candidates.

Reflecting on my 15 years of experience helping clients get into Wharton, I recently shared my take on the seven characteristics Wharton is looking for in MBA applicants with Business Insider.

1. Global awareness is key.  

Candidates must show they are able to adapt, accept, and understand in a diverse environment. Wharton graduates will compete in a global marketplace, so experience with the challenges of doing business globally and a natural curiosity for learning more about other countries and cultures will be valued by the admissions committee and should therefore be emphasized during your interview.

2. Entrepreneurial abilities are a must.

Being entrepreneurial means knowing how to recognize and capture opportunity, minimize risk, make the most of limited resources, and make excellent decisions even with inadequate or incomplete information. You can demonstrate an entrepreneurial mindset if you have identified opportunities to make an impact above and beyond the call of duty.

3. Community involvement is paramount.

Finding time to do community service can demonstrate your devotion to making your community better. The hours required for a Wharton MBA are comparable to your current job, so you have to prove the ability to manage your time and energy and put it toward a good cause.

But admissions officers at Wharton aren’t only interested in whether you’ve done community service. They are also interested in the character revelations that come with the projects you took on.

To read four more traits Wharton looks for in the ideal MBA candidate, follow the link to the original post on Business Insider. 

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Wharton School Fall 2017 MBA Essay Tips

Image credit: Jack Duval (CC BY 2.0)

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Wharton Announces Application Fee Waiver for Military Veterans

Starting this admissions season, military veterans applying to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School will not have to pay an application fee. In an announcement recently posted to the Wharton MBA admissions blog, Maryellen Reilly Lamb, Deputy …

Wharton military veteran fee waiver

Starting this admissions season, military veterans applying to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School will not have to pay an application fee.

In an announcement recently posted to the Wharton MBA admissions blog, Maryellen Reilly Lamb, Deputy Vice Dean of MBA Admissions, Financial Aid and Career Management, explained that this change is part of an effort to attract top military talent in partnership with Wharton’s MBA Veterans Club.

“Last year, 224 active duty and honorably discharged U.S. veterans applied to Wharton,” says Reilly Lamb. “We hope this program encourages more to take that step as well. We thank all veterans for their service to our country and are pleased to offer this well-deserved incentive.”

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Wharton Fall 2017 MBA Essay Tips

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Curious About Working with an Admissions Counsultant? Join Us for GMAC’s Google Hangout!

If you’re working on your b-school application, you won’t want to miss our Q&A session during the Graduate Management Admission Council‘s (GMAC) upcoming Google Hangout, Behind the Scenes with MBA Admission Consultants, on Thursday, July 28 at 1pm EDT.   Hosted …

GMAC Google Hangout

If you’re working on your b-school application, you won’t want to miss our Q&A session during the Graduate Management Admission Council‘s (GMAC) upcoming Google Hangout, Behind the Scenes with MBA Admission Consultants, on Thursday, July 28 at 1pm EDT.  

Hosted by Eric Chambers, GMAC’s Market Development Director and former Wharton School MBA admissions representative, you’ll have a chance to ask your burning application questions, as well as learn about SBC’s consulting philosophy and approach to the MBA admissions process.

Register today and mark your calendar for what’s sure to be an enlightening conversation!

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Wharton Debuts Interactive Budget Model Tool

The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School has announced the launch of the Penn Wharton Budget Model. The nonpartisan, interactive budget model is a tool available at no cost to users and is available online and from the tap …

Penn Wharton Budget Model

The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School has announced the launch of the Penn Wharton Budget Model. The nonpartisan, interactive budget model is a tool available at no cost to users and is available online and from the tap of a tablet or smartphone.

The Model, a tool developed through the Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative, allows policymakers and the public to make more informed decisions and better understand the economic and fiscal implications of proposed policies.

Something as important as the federal budget – which impacts our ability as a country to create jobs and prosper – should be as accessible and transparent as the other important information we consume on a daily basis.

“At Wharton, we see an opportunity to make a difference at the intersection of business and policy – to help business, legislators and the public make crucial decisions based on rigorous data rather than ideological debate,” said Geoff Garrett, Dean of the Wharton School.

“With the accurate, accessible and transparent economic analysis of the Penn Wharton Budget Model, we’re harnessing the power of information for policy impact and using our analytics expertise to fuel data-driven decision making,” Garrett continued.

The first available modules of the Penn Wharton Budget Model allow users to test policies specific to immigration and Social Security. Additional modules in development include healthcare, criminal justice, education, retirement, housing and tax reform, which will follow.

Developed by a team of former Congressional Budget Office and Treasury Department economists and leading technologists, under the leadership of Wharton Boettner Professor and Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy Kent Smetters, the budget model uses macro assumptions that take into account constant changes over time, such as demographic and economic shifts, for more accurate long-range forecasting.

The model’s dial controls allow users to test a range of different forms of policies. For Social Security, the user can see the effects of 4,096 different policy combinations. For immigration policy, there are 125 policy combinations.

“Our goal in developing the Penn Wharton Budget Model is to provide a ‘sandbox’ to test the economic impact of different policy ideas,” said Smetters, who leads the Penn Wharton Budget Model team of more than a dozen researchers, analysts and economists. “Numerous policymakers have told us that they want reliable and speedy analysis, with transparent assumptions, while legislation is being drafted.”

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Tuesday Tips: Wharton School Fall 2017 MBA Essay Tips

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania released the essay questions for the class of 2019 with the inclusion of a second required essay. This additional essay focuses on teamwork and complements the main …

wharton school essay advice The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania released the essay questions for the class of 2019 with the inclusion of a second required essay. This additional essay focuses on teamwork and complements the main essay question that asks candidates to reflect upon their fit with Wharton both personally and professionally.

As you consider how to approach this set of essays make sure you are conducting thorough school research. Getting to know the Wharton community through campus visits, online research and the many admissions events around the globe will help you understand the personality of the school and the alumni network to write an effective set of essays.

Essay 1: (Required) What do you hope to gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (500 words)

This is both a standard career goals question and an inquiry into your personality and potential success in the program.

Be careful to answer the specific question in this career goals essay. Notice that you are not asked about your professional background or your key accomplishments. To answer the question asked, you will want to focus mainly on the future and what you are planning to pursue with your MBA degree.

At the same time, there is certainly room to add color by using your background information where it is most relevant to your goals. Think about the key moments of your professional life that crystallized your goals for you, and focus on illuminating those decision points rather than reciting your entire resume.

Understanding exactly how you fit in will help you describe what Wharton will do for you, as well as navigate interviews and other interactions with the Wharton admissions committee. Consider including specific information from your Wharton research in this essay such as Wharton faculty you would like to study with or unique educational opportunities at Wharton.

When you address your personal goals for the MBA make sure you are making the case for Wharton specifically. Consider what living in Philadelphia might be like, the many clubs and student activities, and leadership development opportunities like traveling to Antarctica with your classmates that may address some of your personal life goals.

Essay 2: (Required) Teamwork is at the core of the Wharton MBA experience with each student contributing unique elements to our collaborative culture. How will you contribute to the Wharton community? (400 words)

Wharton is an intense environment, but also one that takes pride in collaboration and community. This question seeks to understand how you work with others and what your leadership style is. Collaboration and teamwork are important key concepts to illustrate in this essay.

Your contribution to Wharton could be in the classroom, clubs or within small group projects. You might bring your experiences launching a new product to your marketing case studies. Maybe you will lend creative ideas to your learning team as you prepare a research project.

Perhaps you will tutor your learning team mate in accounting principles because he has never done accounting at work. Or you might contribute to the Media and Entertainment Club by leading a career trek or bringing a new speaker to campus. Think about what you have learned in your career and in prior academics that may help those around you.

This essay does not explicitly require examples of teamwork or leadership from your past experiences, but it will be a stronger essay if you provide evidence. Think about a time you demonstrated your collaborative approach to team problem solving, and consider how you can prove what you contributed to your community in your workplace or extracurricular activities.

All reapplicants to Wharton are required to complete this essay. 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)

All applicants, including reapplicants can also use this section to address any extenuating circumstances. (250 words)

All reapplicants are required to provide information that supports your renewed candidacy. The most successful version of the reapplicant essay will provide tangible evidence that you have improved the overall package you are submitting this year.

Improvements like GMAT score or new quantitative classes are especially tangible and convincing, but a promotion, increase in responsibility at work, a job change or even a change of goals and mission can serve as reasonable updates.

A rejection or waitlist last year is a form of feedback, and may have led to soul searching for you. When you describe your changes make sure reflect your ability to take feedback and improve. Describe how you approached the reapplication process after assessing your own strengths and weaknesses as a candidate and making the appropriate efforts to improve.

If you are not a reapplicant this essay is a potential space to address any areas of concern in your application. If you have a low GPA or GMAT, gaps in your resume, disciplinary action in undergrad or anything else that you want to explain, this is where you would provide a brief explanation and any supporting evidence to show you have moved past the setback.

Contact Stacy Blackman Consulting for customized advice to give you that competitive edge in your Wharton application

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Turn Failure Into a Great B-School Essay

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News. It’s the dreaded failure topic: “Describe a situation taken from your personal or professional life where you failed.” MBA applicants often freak out …

failure essay MBA

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.

It’s the dreaded failure topic: “Describe a situation taken from your personal or professional life where you failed.” MBA applicants often freak out when faced with this common admissions essay question because they fear that showing any weakness will torpedo their admissions chances. However, at one point or another, everyone faces adversity, failure or setbacks, whether at work or in life.

Your response to these situations demonstrates your character, and business schools understand that failure represents a learning opportunity.

This essay is your chance to demonstrate your maturity, flexibility and leadership qualities. Leaders aren’t always successful; rather, they are willing to admit to failure and find motivation in their misfortune.

So how do you tell the business school admissions committee how failure has truly affected you?

First, start with some real introspection. It’s important to use a failure that is emotionally important to you.

Your failure should also be real and something that led you to gain some insight about yourself. The negative situation could have led to a transformative experience for your team, a positive opportunity for someone else or a chance for you to better understand another person through a team challenge.

The admissions committee will easily see through an accomplishment that you frame as a failure; furthermore, that will not demonstrate your maturity or ability to grow. Think creatively about this aspect – do your best to describe how you have changed your approach as a result of the failure.

When brainstorming for this essay, think first about what you learned from the situation you plan to detail; then work backward to describe the circumstances and the initial challenge or hurdle. That will help you more optimistically view the whole situation. What did you learn from the experience and how did it impact your life or demonstrate a specific aspect of your character, goals or accomplishments?

Think honestly about all the emotions you felt. As ugly as they may have been, be honest and write them down.

From there, try to more eloquently describe your feelings in your essay. Remember, even the most difficult situations often lead to personal growth and likely have contributed to the individual you are today.

For example, one of my clients was caught plagiarizing a term paper during college. He was very lucky the school did not expel him, but he did fail and have to repeat that course.

This startling wakeup call became a valuable life lesson. It spurred him to join student government, help develop for the school policy guidelines on cheating and speak publicly about his plagiarism experience and the importance of respecting intellectual property. When he applied for business school, his transformative experience resonated with the admissions committee and he ultimately attended one of the top-three MBA programs in the country.

The key here is detailing not only your actions but also your feelings. Another client I worked with chose to write about her layoffs at three different companies over a five-year period. Although the layoffs had nothing to do with her job performance, each experience devastated her, and she struggled both financially and emotionally until she finally landed a position that allowed her to flourish.

She turned those low moments into a powerful admissions essay of resilience and problem-solving. She showed how the experience ultimately taught her waysto better evaluate career opportunities. Demonstrating this type of humility and self-awareness made a positive impact on the admissions committee, and she ultimately attended the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania – with a scholarship to boot.

As you finalize this essay, focus on embracing the positive aspects of your past mistake and demonstrating the ways you have used the incident as an opportunity to learn and grow. This may just be the factor that makes your candidacy stand out amid a sea of so-called “perfect” applicants.

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