Stanford MBA Essay Questions 2016-2017 have been released by Stanford Graduate School of Business for the upcoming MBA admissions year following the announcement of the Stanford MBA Application Deadlines.
Stanford MBA Essay Questions
Mandatory Essay A: What matters most to you, and why?
For this essay, Stanford Graduate School of Business 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.”
Mandatory Essay B: Why Stanford?
Enlighten Stanford Graduate School of Business 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. Below are suggested word counts per essay, based on what Stanford GSB typically sees.
- Essay A – 750 Suggested Word Count
- Essay B – 400 Suggested Word Count
- Indicate the question you are answering at the beginning of each essay (does not count toward the word limit)
- Number all pages
- Upload one document that includes both essays
- Be sure to save a copy of your essays, and preview the uploaded document to ensure that the formatting is preserved.
Stanford MBA Admissions Criteria
As Stanford Graduate School of Business builds each class, Stanford GSB seeks the most promising students in terms of intellectual vitality, demonstrated leadership potential, and personal qualities and contributions.
Stanford Graduate School of Business bases its evaluation on the totality of information available. No single factor—whether your college performance, essay, test scores, interview, letters of reference, or work experience—is decisive. Stanford GSB considers each application holistically, and takes into account factors such as your background, experiences, perspectives, fit with Stanford GSB and its MBA Program, aspirations, values, and accomplishments.
In assessing intellectual vitality, Stanford Graduate School of Business believes that your attitude toward learning is as important as your aptitude. Stanford GSB hopes that your MBA application will convey your passion, dedication, and genuine interest in expanding your intellectual horizons.
Stanford Graduate School of Business also considers the initiative with which you seek out opportunities that enhance your knowledge. Stanford GSB wants to understand your willingness to master concepts that may not be immediately relevant to your intended career, to carve your path in ambiguous environments, and to support the school’s goal of developing knowledge that deepens and advances the practice of management.
Demonstrated Leadership Potential
As Stanford Graduate School of Business reviews your application, Stanford GSB is considering your leadership potential as demonstrated through your personal character and professional competence.
Your personal character matters not only because integrity is the cornerstone of any academic community, but also because of the vast responsibility our society places on leaders of businesses and social-sector organizations. As a result, Stanford Graduate School of Business looks for evidence of behaviors consistent with your ideals, even under difficult circumstances—a sort of directed idealism.
Stanford Graduate School of Business wants to understand your personal motivation and convictions, and your ability to confront complex, unfamiliar issues with good judgment. Stanford GSB also tries to uncover the ways in which challenges to your beliefs may have changed some of your perspectives and reinforced others.
In understanding your professional competence, Stanford Graduate School of Business looks for both leadership experience and potential. In doing so, Stanford GSB doesn’t limit itself to your professional life. Neither should you. Stanford Graduate School of Business looks at your background for evidence of the ways you have influenced the people and organizations around you, and the way those experiences have shaped you.
Stanford Graduate School of Business looks for evidence of your desire to make a lasting impact in the organizations you serve throughout your career, inspiring and motivating your colleagues.
Stanford Graduate School of Business considers your awareness of what you do well and the areas in which you can improve, and your openness to feedback. Ultimately, Stanford GSB gauges your commitment to utilizing fully your opportunities and available resources.
Personal Qualities & Contributions
The strongest applications Stanford Graduate School of Business sees are those in which your thoughts and voice remain intact. The Stanford MBA experience relies on authenticity among students. To understand how you will contribute to and benefit from the University community, Stanford GSB needs to know who you are, not simply what you have done. Your experiences, beliefs, passions, dreams, and ambitions will help form the Stanford community.
Take time to reflect on who you are, and have confidence in yourself. Stanford Graduate School of Business always remembers that there is neither an “ideal” candidate nor a “typical” Stanford MBA student. You should remember this, too.
While the Stanford GSB community does include students who have pursued incomparable opportunities, most Stanford MBA students have excelled by doing ordinary things extraordinarily well. What you make of an experience matters to us, not simply the experience itself. A few basic assumptions underlie Stanford GSB’s evaluation approach.
- No two applicants are the same, so Stanford GSB must pay careful attention to each applicant.
- Past actions usually are the best predictor of future behavior.
- How you’ve developed your talents is as important as what you have accomplished.
- While there is no single academic or professional background most suitable for the MBA Program, admitted candidates tend to have sound analytical skills, creative instincts, and strong performance in managing programs, processes, or people.
- Stanford Graduate School of Business looks for diversity in the MBA class because Stanford GSB believes that Stanford’s collaborative educational process le
Refer to the MBAPrepAdvantage post MBA Admissions Criteria for a more in-depth analysis on how business school admissions committees evaluate your candidacy.
Visit Stanford Graduate School of Business Admissions for more information about the Stanford MBA Essay Questions, Evaluation Criteria and Admissions Requirements for applying to the MBA program and business school.
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