How To Get Into Wharton | Essential Advice from an Admissions Expert

Wharton Business School has a very particular method of handling MBA applications, and you’re going to want to know it if you want to be accepted to a Wharton MBA program! Angela Guido is here to set you in the right direction in how to get accepted to Wharton, how to write your resume and how to approach the two main essays.

As usual on MBA Mondays, there is no great secret! But as you work out how to get accepted as you apply to Wharton, getting basic research out of the way as soon as possible gives you more time to write awesome and authentic MBA applications. For more on that, come back next week!

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Prefer to read? Here’s the transcript:

Welcome back to MBA Monday, I'm Angela Guido, the founder of Career Protocol, and today I'm talking about how to get into Wharton. If you're following along in our “School Secrets Series”, you already know that I don't think there is any such thing as secrets. And you've probably also noticed a trend that what most business school essays are really about is not your professional career. It's not how awesome you are. It's about who you are on the inside. So your values and your character are critically important evaluation criteria for every type of business school.

Wharton’s Innovative Approach To MBA Applications

And Wharton has been quite innovative. True to their brand, true to their commitment to innovation, they've been quite innovative in figuring out unique ways to assess student character that is a little bit different from what most top MBA programs are doing. So let's see what we need to do as we're tackling the Wharton MBA application.

  1. Number one is you want to make sure that you have a rock star resume. That means ideally you've had a lot of impact, you've achieved a lot, you've been promoted, you've gotten awards. You're just kind of like an awesome all-around person. But whatever you have to work with in your career – and plenty of people who get into Wharton are not rock stars per se, they're just solid professionals, they're just people doing great work – so whatever you have to show for your career, make sure that it's expressed fully in the resume by applying Career Protocol’s three tests for your resume. Click the link in the description below to read the MBA resume protocol. It will save your life. It will really improve your resume. And your resume is really important for Wharton. Because when you get into the essays, you're going to see you have much less space here than you do and a lot of the other top schools and the questions are very targeted. So you're not going to be able to work your own agenda at all. You're going to have to directly answer the questions that Wharton is asking. And if you try to veer off and talk about what a rock star you are, it's not going to work. So put all of that in the resume so that when you tackle the essays, you can really just answer the questions are asked. Question number one.
  2. OK, so the second piece of applying to Wharton that's really, really important is to have an amazing career game plan. We talk about this a lot on our channel because it's so, so, so important. But the entire first Wharton essay is all about your future. It's all about your career game plan. The question is: “What do you hope to gain professionally at Wharton?”. It's all about where you're headed professionally and how Wharton is going to help you. Now, this doesn't mean that you might not mention one or two accomplishments when you're tackling this essay. That is a strategy that a lot of people employ. And it can be very effective, especially if your goals are really grounded in what you've done before. But the essence of this question is checking out your career game plan. They're looking for employability, credibility in your plan, and inspiration as always. Schools want to be inspired by where you're headed and what you're going. They want to know that they're investing their seat in someone who is going to matter and make a difference. So that's essay 1.
  3. Essay 2 is actually; in a lot of ways similar. They're still asking you to talk about your experience at Wharton, but this time they're asking you how you're going to contribute. So the question is: “Taking into consideration your background, personal, professional and or academic, how do you plan to make specific, meaningful contributions to the Wharton community?”. This essay is a little bit shorter than the first one – four hundred words as opposed to five hundred. And of course, they're not asking you why Wharton or how is Wharton going to contribute to you, they're asking how do you want to contribute to Wharton? So in this essay you will talk about past experiences, making contributions, and you'll show them how those are going to map to the Wharton community. So you need to do lots of research on clubs, organizations, activities, ways in which you're going to make your mark when you are at Wharton. Even the Wharton recommendation questions are subtly different from other top programs because they're really, really focused on how Wharton fits in, how you're going to fit in to Wharton. So keep all of that in mind as you're tackling those two main essays. Because the truth is, Wharton isn't really looking very closely at your character in those essays. You will hint at your character as you talk about what contributions you're going to make and how you will benefit professionally from Wharton MBA. But the place where Wharton innovatively is truly assessing the kind of person you are is in their interview. And you may know that for many years now, Wharton has entirely issued a one-on-one conversation about you in favor of the team-based discussion. You're going to get together with a group of fellow Wharton applicants and discuss a topic, collaborate and come up with a plan of action to answer a question that Wharton is asking you. It's amazing what you reveal about yourself in group interactions. You show how collaborative you are, how inclusive you are, how much you respect and value the opinions of others. How focused you are on a solution versus argumentation or having your way or being right. So where Wharton is mostly assessing your character, it's not in the essays, it's actually in that interview. So that means that you even get to that stage where Wharton is entirely engaged in who you are as a complete human being.

3 Simple Steps To Wharton Success!

You've got to have a solid career game plan, a rock star resume and a very clear path to make an impact at Wharton and beyond. So as is very frequently the case with MBA applications, make sure you have an airtight career game plan and an airtight resume. Check out all the resources we're linking below to help you do that. And while you're at it, subscribe to our channel. Why don't you? We got great advice coming at you every Monday.

Speaking of which, I'll see you next week if you're following along in our “Schools Secrets Series”. School Secrets.

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Angela Guido

Student of Human Nature| Founder and
Chief Education Officer of Career Protocol

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