Stanford MBA Essays for 2014-15 has been released. The number of essays has come down from three to two, and the second essay question has been rephrased, with the word count going down to 350 words from 450.
In this Stanford MBA Essay Tips article, we will cover the qualities that Stanford GSB value, the strategies that will help you with a productive writing process, and tips to answer each question.
Stanford MBA Essay Questions for Class of 2017 (Entering Fall 2015)
Essay 1: What matters most to you, and why? (750 words)
This essay requires you to do a thorough self-examination. To start the process, list the important events in your life in chronological order
How did it make you feel?
What motivated you to achieve the goals?
Did you achieve a bigger goal for your society or team?
b) Failures – Lessons learned & Values created
Often Failures gives you the opportunity to introspect, change directions, and create a new set of values. Answer the following questions to get a better understanding of Failure in your life.
What lessons did you learn from failures?
Did you get a chance to introspect?
What values were created with that experience?
What positive change happened with each failure?
c) New Interests (Hobbies, Extracurricular)
When did you start developing new interests?
Who was influential in introducing new interests?
What did you love about the new interests?
d) Events, and People that have influenced you
List 3 Major events that influenced you the most – it can be personal or something that you remember
List 3 People who have influenced you the most – family, friends or other personalities
List 5 qualities that you admire the most in these 3 people
Once you have answered the above questions, you will have an overview of achievement, failures, interests, events, and people that have influenced you the most. The word limit is 750. Start writing a cohesive essay about who you are and what matters to you the most, but don’t dwell on the ‘What’ part. Instead, introspect on ‘Why’ it matters to you the most. Since you are aware of all the elements that have shaped your personality, the ‘Why’ will come to your mind more easily. Don’t stop writing in one iteration or if there is a roadblock. You will get several opportunities to edit, re-write, and review it. Keep writing at least one-hour everyday, for one week. Don’t worry about grammatical errors or word limit. We will address best practices in the Tips section, below.
Essay B: Why Stanford?
Essay 1, with 750-word limit, offers the opportunity to summarize your achievements, and the AdCom has already read it. With 350-word limit, be stringent with the words that you use for describing your career aspirations and why Stanford is a perfect fit. 75% of the essay should be spent on describing how Stanford can help you with career goals. You should convey that the program is a privilege, and will act as a crucial step for fulfilling your unique career choices.
To summarize career aspirations, answer the following questions
a) Which industry would you like to work after Stanford MBA?
b) Which Roles would you like to take after Stanford MBA?
c) What is your long-term career goals?
To get an overview of how Stanford MBA can help you with your career aspirations, answer the following questions:
a) What courses, activities, and student-led clubs interest you the most?
b) Why do you prefer Stanford over MIT and Harvard?
c) Do you have evidence that Stanford MBA has enabled students with a similar profile to achieve their career goals? (Your interaction with current students and Alumni will help you with this answer)
d) How have Current Students and Alumni Leveraged the Stanford Brand?
Even though you might not use all the answers to the above questions, the answers will reinforce your belief in Stanford MBA as a brand. The AdCom is interested in learning about your passion for Stanford MBA program, and it can only come across in the Essay if you are truly convinced that a Stanford MBA program is right for you.
5 General Stanford MBA Essay Tips for 2014-15
1) Focus on your Motivation
Even though the AdCom is interested in your achievements, it is already visible through your Resume, GMAT Score, GPA and Recommendations. Essays are a great opportunity to convey your motivations. Focus on it, and you will have the foundation for a great essay.
2) Events and People that Influenced your Values
Logically showing how events and people influenced your personality would give hints on your potential contribution in Stanford MBA program. After motivation, the emphasis should be on events and people that have influenced your values.
3) Unique Voice
If you consider essays as a tool to impress the AdCom, then you will fail. Find that unique voice that truly represents you. Answer the questions that we had asked in Essay 1 to get an overview of your personality.
4) Start Early
To Target Round 1 Stanford MBA Deadline in October, start early. It would take several re-writes and introspection to get the right tone and words for your essay.
5) Share Essays with Close Network
After you finished your first draft, share it with your closest network - friend, partner/spouse, siblings, and parent. Don’t ask them to review it, instead ask them whether the essay is a true representation of you. You might have missed events, people, or personality traits that your close family might have observed. Close network will also be the first to point out exaggeration of life events and their influence on you as a person.
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2019-20 Stanford MBA Essay Guide
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)
3. Demonstrates how to answer Essay B in three ways (as a Career Enhancer, as an Entrepreneur and as a Career Switcher) .
4. Shows how to use ‘The Big Five Model’ to evaluate your unique personality for Essay A.
5. 200+ pages of General Essay Writing, Storytelling and Editing Tips
6. Stanford MBA Essay Guide will show you, with examples, on how to use the elements of Storytelling like Incorporating "The Struggle", using Emotional connectors, narrating the Journey and the use of Chronology, Vividness and Active Verbs to transform your essays.
Download 2019-20 Stanford MBA Essay Guide