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How to Write Stanford MBA Essays that Get You Admitted

Writing your essays to get into Stanford’s MBA program can be intimidating, especially when your competition will be writing about their years of experience in the investment banking industry and interning on Wall Street. However, with the right tips and strategies, you can write Stanford MBA essays that speak as much to your work ethic and character as they do to your financial acumen and analytical skills. Here are some tips to help you get started writing Stanford MBA essays that get you admitted.

Stanford GSB essays

Every year, the admission committee of the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University evaluates more than 9,000 applications. They read essays from all over the world and evaluate thousands of letters of recommendation. What they really try to understand through the essays is who you are as a person and how you think Stanford will help you achieve your aspirations.

Here are the essays that you are required to write:

1) What Matters Most to You and Why?

2) Why Stanford?

3) Optional: 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?

What matters to you most and why?

How do you explain who you are in an essay?

Before you begin to answer such a unique question, try to read some sample Stanford essays, and spend time reflecting with yourself, your family, or a good friend:

Think about your motivations, passions, and goals. What are your values and which ones seem to have influenced your path the most? What people or experiences shaped your perspective the most? Talk about your interests and accomplishments. Why are these important to you? What have you learned from these experiences? How have they shaped the person you are today?

What are your aspirations? What are your goals in the short and long term? Make sure your goals are realistic and that an MBA makes sense on your way to achieving those. Talk about how Stanford specifically fits this plan and will help you realize your goals. The more specific you are, the more convincing you will sound.

How to stand out from the crowd

Each of us is more than a GMAT score, a GPA, or years of experience. Your life experiences, set of values, and passions are some of the things that are unique to you. Speak in an honest voice and try to reflect your personality through the essays. Talk about the reasoning behind different actions or choices, and the feelings you had at the time. Explain why those things were important to you and how they are meaningful. The better you do this, the more likely it is that the reader will get a sense of who you are and why a person like you could enhance the MBA experience for the rest of the class.


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