Stanford asks for two personal essays in order to gain greater understanding into applicants’ character and hopes. “In each essay we want to hear your genuine voice,” the admissions team explains. “Think carefully about your values, passions, aims, and dreams prior to writing them.”
Stanford MBA Essay Questions
Essay A: What matters most to you, and why?
For this essay, Stanford would like you to:
- Do some deep self-examination, so you can 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.
- Write from the heart, and illustrate how a person, situation, or event has influenced you.
- Focus on the “why” rather than the “what.”
Essay B: Why Stanford?
Enlighten us on how earning your MBA at Stanford will enable you to realize your ambitions.
- Explain your decision to pursue graduate education in management.
- Explain the distinctive opportunities you will pursue at Stanford.
- If you are applying to both the MBA and MSx programs, use Essay B to address your interest in both programs.
Your answers for both essay questions combined may not exceed 1,150 words (1,200 words if you are applying to both the MBA and MSx programs). Each of you has your own story to tell, so please allocate these words between the essays in the way that is most effective for you.
We recommend up to 750 words for Essay A and up to 400 words for Essay B. We often find effective essays written in far fewer words.
Optional Short-Answer Question
The two required essays shed light on who you are and how you imagine Stanford will help you achieve your aspirations. We are also interested in learning about the things you have done that are most meaningful to you. In this section, we provide an optional opportunity to go beyond your resume to discuss some of your contributions more fully.
Please do not include your short-answer response in your essays upload; use the text boxes provided in the application.
Optional Short-Answer Question:
Think about times you’ve created a positive impact, whether in professional, extracurricular, academic, or other settings. What was your impact? What made it significant to you or to others? You are welcome to share up to three examples. (Up to 1500 characters, approximately 250 words, for each example)
For more information, please visit the Stanford GSB admissions website. If you need guidance on your Stanford MBA application, or wish to discuss your MBA plans, reach out for a complimentary analysis of your candidacy. We’re here to help!