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By Ben Feuer

Wharton, like most schools, has trimmed its essay offerings this year.  They are down to just one, and it is a variation on the time-honored goals essay.  Some things about Wharton from previous application years still apply in this one, though -- campus visits can still be a difference maker, as can any demonstrated interest in the target school.  Wharton wants to know why if selected, you will attend.

Required Essay Questions:

  1. What do you hope to gain both personally and professionally from the Wharton MBA? (500 words)

This is a lot to cover in just 500 words.  First and foremost, in order to properly answer this question you must identify what your professional goals are, and the way to do that is by starting off with a goals essay.  Write (briefly) about your short (immediately after business school) and long (~5 years after graduation) goals, but do not get bogged down in the details, and do not waste a lot of space talking about why you are a super qualified to attend, or all the awesome leadership experience you have had, or any of that -- Wharton didn't ask for it.  Instead, the second half (or more than half) of the essay should be focused on Why Wharton is the ideal fit for you.  Do research and campus visits, reach out to alumni and current students, whatever it takes to get interesting information about Wharton -- then tie those tidbits to your goals and ambitions.  And don't forget while you are doing this that Wharton asked about your personal goals as well -- don't shortchange those.  Talk about friends, family, and any social benefits you expect from your two years at Wharton.

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