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How to answer the Wharton Professional Gains essay

The professional gains essay is a reverse advertisement of the Wharton MBA curriculum, learning environment, and networking opportunities. As we had mentioned in other school essay tips, plain vanilla description of the program has low recall when the admission team is reading over 6000 application. To stand out, you must understand what Wharton values.

1) History of Learning and Growing

The school’s insistence of accepting the majority of students with a GMAT score above 700 is from the expectations of a quant-heavy program like Wharton MBA. Since 2012, when the school changed its curriculum in favor of an analytics-heavy core and elective, Wharton has been seeking applicants, who have a history of learning aggressively, growing meteorically and solving complex industry and functional problems.

The learning starts at your Academics. If you don’t have a 3.5+ GPA on a 4.0 scale or an 80% or a B+ grade, the next data point that the admission team has is your work experience.


Learning doesn’t stop with exam taking in your undergraduate years. You must demonstrate learning technology, process, markets, team dynamics, customer preference, and policy, in your professional career on a consistent basis.

Most top Business Schools believe in the learned philosophy that your past action and achievements are an indication of your capability to achieve post-MBA goals.

The resume and recommendation letter become a crucial source of information to validate the feasibility of the professional gains essay. Capture only the achievements that have a high recall for your background (profession, nationality, ethnicity, and education). Don’t fill the resume with trivial achievements or ask the recommender to quote mundane daily responsibilities as examples of strengths.


One of our clients from an accounting background included due diligence of accounts as an achievement. The only problem - the scale of the achievement was not clearly defined in the resume or the recommendation letter. When we dug deeper on what it takes to do due diligence, the complexity of the problem became clear. He had to coordinate with over 100 accountants, spread across 7 departments on a $12B deal.


Now the admission team realized the pressure the applicant faced while verifying data from over 500 financial reports and building a financial model incorporating the data that consolidated the accounts in a neatly summarized 2-page snapshot.

The summary determined the feasibility of the $12B deal.

Without context, your ability to learn and grow in a professional environment wouldn’t be believable. We can guide you with the edit (essays, resume, recommendation letters).

Another example that applicants miss is the cultural similarity of the undergraduate college/university. Wharton pioneered the learning teams, but the meme of small teams, group study and working with divergent personalities on real client problems have passed onto the far corners of Beijing, London, New Delhi, and Singapore. Most universities have some form of experiential learning, group projects, and industry visits – although not to the same scale as what Wharton offers. Don’t hesitate to mention such engagements at an academic level if you don’t have similar professional experience working with a global team on dynamic client problems.

Sample Wharton MBA Essay: What do you hope to gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (473 words)  (Consulting to Finance)

Sample Wharton MBA Essay: What do you hope to gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (482 Words) (VC to Consulting (Healthcare))

Sample Wharton MBA Essay: What do you hope to gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (497 Words) (Business Development to Finance (Non-Profit in Energy))


2) Feedback Seeking

When I worked with a multinational in early 2008, I was exposed to an interesting process. After each team meeting, the facilitator takes feedback from the attendee on the comprehension of the discussion and tips to improve the next discussion. The breakdown of the feedback included the effectiveness of the agenda, coverage of high-priority tasks, listening, and communication of the presenter - all were rated on a scale of 1 to 5.

If you had similar experience in your company with an interesting feedback process, mention it in the essay as Wharton’s learning is reliant on the applicant’s ability to take feedback.

Again, recommendation letter, specifically the question of whether the candidate would find success at Wharton should mention your tendency to seek feedback. It is a rare but effective quality to learn and grow.

3) Leadership

Leadership has so many contexts depending on your age, experience, environment (academic or professional), tolerance for uncertainty (high-risk industry), the scale of your responsibility (C-Suite vs. Managers) and exposure to criticism (individual performers vs. team).

We have expanded on leadership traits in the essay guide, but if we must summarize, they are:


• Reaching Out/Initiative

The defining characteristic of a leader is an ability to take the initiative, be it starting a conversation with a client representative, cross-functional expert, industry analyst, peers, or interviewing stakeholders in a consulting project.

The Wharton learning environment is designed with student clubs, global consulting projects, and non-profit (WISE) projects as key pieces of the learning puzzle. Any hesitation to act and fulfill the next milestone or dependence on the professors/supervisor/facilitators for the next step is looked down by the admission team.

The scale and the complexity of your professional achievements demonstrate your history of ‘taking the lead.’ There is no better example of reaching out and initiative than cross-functional projects where you had to come out of your comfort zone and interact with department heads and experts in other domain.

• Confidence

If you are intimidated by titles or reputation of the person, you wouldn’t be a fit for Wharton MBA where interacting with high-profile clients and personalities are part of your routine.

Could you drop some high-profile names in the essay? Hell yeah, if you have genuine experience working with a celebrity on a project that gained traction in the media.


Most of all, confidence comes from knowing what you are doing or when you have done enough research to speak coherently about a subject. It also comes from an attitude of ‘constant learning.’ Deep down, you are confident in your skill to learn complex multi-variate concepts and apply them to real problems.


• Personal Responsibility

The chairman of my previous employer used to conduct a private discourse for select few employees on ‘finding one’s purpose.’ This was a 3-day event with intense psychoanalysis and shedding all burdens of the self (past hurts, inflated egos, and biases).

All the participants had to be seated in the hall by 8:30 am.


Like in most metropolis, planning for the uncertainties of the morning traffic was a futile exercise in Bangalore. A couple of participants was late for the first day.

Assuming that a simple apology would suffice, the latecomers, addressed the chairman with an unemotional ‘sorry.’

He asked them, ‘why are you late.’ One found fault with the traffic while another found solace in the tried and tested ‘grandmother was ill’ story.

He asked again, ‘why are you late.’

Imagining that the chairman had some hearing deficiency, the latecomers shouted out the reason.

He asked again, ‘why are you late.’

By the third time, we realized the intent of the question. He wanted all of us to take absolute ‘personal responsibility’ for all our actions.

Ownership is a rare quality that the Wharton MBA admission team values. A pattern of seeking leadership, no matter the scale of the project, is a clear demonstration of personalities who cherish such responsibility.


• Trusting


Cynics don’t fit with the culture of ‘Wharton,’ primarily because a typical MBA class is filled with candidates who maximized their talent with the aid of the team. They are rarely lone wolfs strategizing for the hunt. They believe in the power of multi-faceted thinking and the value of the team’s collective years of experience. Most candidates are strong at spotting talent and finding the person who could solve their specific problem. Such trusting is necessary to thrive at Wharton and beyond.

Good leaders spend the most time in finding the right talent. Then, it is complete delegation and trusting the person to meet their share
of the responsibility. There is no micromanagement.

4) Insatiable curiosity with excellent time management  

This is one unifying quality of clients who were accepted to Wharton.

If you are a naturally driven person who wants to leave a mark in multiple facets of your life (professional, non-profit, and personal), Wharton is a natural fit.

The restless energy and the capability to manage time with immersive focus are two differentiating characteristics of a Wharton MBA candidate. Applicants try to fake fit with last-minute extra-curricular. But the inauthenticity is revealed when the clinical nature of the narrative is read. There is no passion or a history of standing up for a cause.

For Wharton MBA candidates, the projects through volunteering are not confined to one track. The interests spread across functions until the curiosity to ‘figure out’ the problem is met. Candidates are not pursuing growth opportunity for vanity but genuinely believe in their capability to change the world.

5) Entrepreneurial Thinking

Although Wharton is not expecting the ‘classic’ entrepreneurs to apply, if you have an inclination for maximizing your talent with the market, your mindset is useful for international projects where talents who could recognize hidden potential and flaws in client processes are appreciated the most.


We had a client who came from an impoverished neighborhood. He was the first in his village of 400 families to gain admission into a prestigious Engineering school in the US. If you read the resume, there is an entry of tutoring grade 11th and 12th students in Science and Math – a typical achievement of someone applying to M7 school.


The story was much deeper than that. He had a flair for breaking down complex mathematical concepts to simple visual cues – a talent that he developed in grade 6th. He leveraged the skill and developed a side-business of selling notes to his class. More than the lecture notes of teachers, his notes gained a cult following for an entire generation.

Could we capture such an achievement with an entry in the resume?

The context would be completely missed.

For such Entrepreneurial thinking, essay 2 on impact is the perfect place to narrate the achievement.

We are highlighting seven professional gains from the Wharton MBA program. Feel free to choose the ones that appeal to you the most or ‘mix and match.’

Download F1GMAT's Wharton MBA Essay Guide (6 Sample Essays and 292 Pages of Essay Writing, Editing and Review Tips)


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Only 1 in 900 gains admission to Harvard MBA program. If you write your essay focused only on your achievements, post-MBA goals, and your pre-MBA experience, you will be among the 899 rejected applicants.

ATTENTION is the secret ingredient. How will you get the attention of the essay reviewer?

You know why parables shared 1000 years ago are still shared among us?

Storytelling!

Yes, the art of storytelling has won presidency for Obama, transformed Apple from an unknown start-up to a brand synonymous with Quality, and gained admission for the average MBA Applicant.

F1GMAT's Winning MBA Essay guide will teach you how to transform your essay to an epic life journey with trials and tribulations that will move the admission team.

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Pages: 720

Winning MBA Essay Guide Includes
+Harvard MBA Essay Tips (2020 Entering Class) (NEW)
   Sample Harvard MBA Essay – Gratitude & Giving Back (318 Words)
   Sample Harvard MBA Essay – Entrepreneurship (Influence of Childhood) (667 Words)

   Sample Harvard MBA Essay - Volunteering (Mental Health Awareness)  (776 Words)
+ Columbia MBA Essay Tips (2020 Entering Class) (NEW)

   Sample Goals Essay 1: Enterprise Technology to Consumer Marketing (496 Words)    
   Sample Goals Essay 2: Healthcare (Finance to Consulting) (499 Words)    
   Sample Goals Essay 3: FinTech (Product Manager to Strategy) (482 Words)    
   Sample Columbia Good Fit Essay 1: Value from NYC (237 Words)    
   Sample Columbia Good Fit Essay 2: Entrepreneur Mindset (Persistence/Creativity/Opportunity Seeking) (237 Words)    
   Sample Columbia Good Fit Essay 3: Teamwork and Learning (242 Words)    
   Sample Columbia MBA Leader I admire Essay #1 (Elon Musk) (250 Words)    
   Sample Columbia MBA Leader I admire Essay #2 (Father) (244 Words)    
   Sample Columbia MBA Leader I admire Essay #3 (Mother) (243 Words)    
   Sample Columbia MBA Leader I admire Essay #4 (Math Teacher) (242 Words)    
   Sample Columbia MBA Leader I admire Essay #5 (Co-Founder) (250 Words)    

+ Wharton MBA Essay Tips (2020 Entering Class) (NEW)
   Sample Wharton MBA Essay: What do you hope to gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (473 words)  (Consulting to Finance)
   Sample Wharton MBA Essay: What do you hope to gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (482 Words) (VC to Consulting   
   (Healthcare))
   Sample Wharton MBA Essay: What do you hope to gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (497 Words) (Business Development to
   Finance (Non-Profit in Energy))

   Sample Essay #2: Math Tutoring and Experimental music’s value for the Wharton Community (388 Words)   
   Sample Essay #2: Non-Profit – Obesity Epidemic and Healthy Lifestyle at Wharton (399 Words)   

   Sample Essay #2: Non-Profit – Energy Efficient Offices for Start-ups and value of Design Thinking in the Wharton Community (395
   Words)   

+ Stanford MBA Essay Tips (2020 Entering Class) (NEW)

    Sample Why Stanford MBA Essay (Consulting)(400 words)    
    Sample Why Stanford MBA Essay (Tech Entrepreneur) (390 words)    
    Sample Why Stanford MBA: Career Switching (Finance to Green Energy Consulting) (389 Words)
    Sample Why Stanford MBA: Career Switching (Private Equity to Operations) (399 Words)    
    Sample Essay A: What matters most to you, and why? (740 Words)(Balance in Life)    
    Sample Essay A: What matters most to you, and why? (750 Words)(Vulnerability and Learning)    
    Sample Essay A: What matters most to you, and why? (748 Words)(Freedom and Commitment)

+ Chicago Booth MBA Essay Tips (2020 Entering Class)(NEW)   

   Sample Goals Essay #1: Oil & Gas to Consulting (475 Words)
   Sample Goals Essay #2: Social IMPACT to Marketing (Non-Profit) (472 Words)
   Sample Goals Essay #3: Accounting to Entrepreneurship (Fashion)(495 Words)
   Sample Goals Essay #4: Technology (Programming to Product Development) (493 Words)
   Sample Leadership Experience & Choices in Life Essay #1 (492 Words)(Technologist - Father’s Restaurant Business and Leadership)
   Sample Leadership Experience & Choices in Life Essay #2 (639 Words) (Education - Teach for America and Leadership)
   Sample Leadership Experience & Choices in Life Essay #3 (496 Words)(Physician - Opioid Crisis and Healthcare Innovation)   

   Sample Leadership Experience & Choices in Life Essay #4 (500 Words) (FinTech and App Revolution - Disrupting the Food Supply Chain)
+ MIT Sloan MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)

    Personality Type (Accepted MIT Sloan Students)   
    Cover Letter Checklist   

    Sample Cover Letter – Technology Consulting (286 Words)
    Sample Cover Letter – Healthcare Entrepreneurship (296 Words)
+ Kellogg MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)(NEW)  
   Sample Essay: Demonstrated Leadership, the challenges you faced and what you learned (Marketing) (449 Words)   
    Sample Essay: Demonstrated Leadership, the challenges you faced and what you learned (Technology) (447 Words)   
    Sample Essay: Demonstrated Leadership, the challenges you faced and what you learned (Non-Profit) (441 Words)   
    Sample Essay: Values important to you and how have they influenced you? (Changing the Traditional Recruitment Formula)(443 Words)
    Sample Essay: Values important to you and how have they influenced you?(Seniority-Based to Performance-based Culture)(444 Words)
    Sample Essay: Values important to you and how have they influenced you?(From machine-centric to Human-centric customer support)(446 Words)

+ INSEAD MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
   Sample Essay 1: Candid Description, Strengths & Weaknesses
    Sample Essay 2: Achievements and Failures

    Sample Essay 3: Extra-Curricular and How enriched you are
+
Haas
MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
     Sample MBA Essay: Non-Profit   
     Sample MBA Essay: Technology   
     Sample MBA Essay: Marketing   
     Sample MBA Essay: Getting Fired   
     Sample MBA Essay: Diverse and Inclusive Culture   
     Sample MBA Essay: Leadership   
     Sample MBA Essay: Post-MBA Goal & How Pre-MBA Experience will help  
 
+ Yale SOM MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    
Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Business Development (Mobile Start-Up)(486 Words)
     Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Investment Banking (IB)(404 Words)
     Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Consulting (442 Words)   
     Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Technology (452 Words)   
     Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Marketing (492 Words)
     Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Entrepreneurship (497 Words)
 
 
+ Ross MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    Sample MBA Essay: Finance Professional who was a former member of a rock band (96 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: Marketing Professional with a hidden talent to do Impression (100 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: Life Philosophy through the prism of an Entrepreneurial failure (94 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: Consulting for a Pharma Giant (Made a Difference) (91 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: Three-Level Sanitation Campaign (100 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: Water Conservation Kit (99 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: Losing client (100 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: Misreading Market Conditions (93 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: Strategic Planning vs. Tactical Dominance in Chess (97 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: Out of my comfort zone(extra-curricular) (93 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: Out of my comfort zone (Daily Science Show) (99 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: Simplifying Operations for Manufacturing (extra-curricular) (90 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: I am aware that I am different (Leadership and Culture) (98 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: I am aware that I am different (Technology Project and Last-minute change) (98 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: I am aware that I am different (Making Business metrics relevant to a Creative team) (91 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: I find it Challenging when People (Timidity)(98 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: I find it Challenging when People (Laziness)(100 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: I find it Challenging when People (Pessimism) (96 Words)   
   Sample Essay – Short-term Goals and why the goal is the right choice for you (Technology to Marketing)(299 Words)   
+ London Business School MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    London as the Financial Hub   
    London as the Technology Hub   
    London as the Consulting Hub   

    How to Cite the Curriculum (Example)
    Sample LBS MBA Essay (A Career Switcher from Technology to Consulting for FinTech) (489 Words)
    Sample LBS MBA Essay (A Career Switcher from Hospitality to Consulting) (499 Words)
+ Duke Fuqua MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    Framework for Answering the Duke Fuqua Short-Answer Essay Questions   
    Sample Short-term Goals Essay – Technology to Consulting (100 Words)   
    Sample Long-term Goals Essay – Consulting for Government (100 Words)   
    Sample Long-term Goals Essay – Plan B (89 Words)   
    Framework for Answering the Duke Fuqua 25 Random Things   
    Sample Duke Fuqua Essay: The Fuqua community and you (Max 2 Pages)  
+ NYU Stern MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
     Sample NYU Stern Essay 1: Goals (498 Words) (Finance)
     Sample NYU Stern Essay 1: Goals (494 Words) (Consulting)
     Essay 3:  Personal Expression (a.k.a. "Pick Six")    
     5 Examples with Images

+ Darden MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    Sample Darden MBA Essay – About yourself (100 Words) (Near Death Experience)
     Sample Darden MBA Essay – About yourself (100 Words) (Networking and Job Offer at an Unlikely place)   
     Sample Darden MBA Essay – About yourself (100 Words) (Mountaineering)
     Sample Darden MBA Essay – Where you want to go with Darden (47 Words)
     Sample Darden MBA Essay – Evolving Leadership Style (198 Words)
     Sample Darden MBA Essay – Meaningful IMPACT (200 Words)
     Sample Darden MBA Essay: Short-term Post-MBA career goal (149 words)

+ Sample Essays
+ The Art of Storytelling 
+ Leadership Narratives
+ Review Tips
+ Persuasion Strategies
+ The Secret to "unleashing" your unique voice
+ How to write about your Strengths
+ How to write about your Weaknesses

Download Winning MBA Essay Guide (2020 Entering Class)




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