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Stanford GSB 2016 MBA Essay Tips

Posted by Chioma Isiadinso

Are you looking for tips on how to navigate your 2016 Stanford GSB essays? Have you seen Stanford’s 2016 MBA application deadlines?

You’ve probably checked out our Stanford MBA profile which shows that Stanford’s MBA program  is one of the best in the world.

The Stanford GSB MBA essay is one of the most challenging essays you’ll face in your MBA application process.

Developing a winning set of MBA essays can make all the difference between getting accepted to Stanford for your MBA.

Or not.

So, here are a few tips to help you in building a winning set of essays for your Stanford MBA application.

Stanford GSB 2016 MBA Essay Tips

Stanford MBA Essay #1 – Focus On What Matters Most to You

The first essay question is:

What matters most to you, and why?

Stanford provides these tips for this essay:

– Focus on the “why” rather than the “what.”

– 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.

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– Write from the heart, and illustrate how a person, situation, or event has influenced you.

Derrick Bolton, Assistant Dean for MBA Admissions, advises MBA applicants, “In the first essay, tell a story — and tell a story that only you can tell,” advises:

“This probably sounds strange, since these are essays for business school, but we really don’t expect to hear about your business experience in this essay.

Your task in this first essay is to connect the people, situations, and events in your life with the values you adhere to and the choices you have made.”

In other words, this essay should be the essence of your personal brand and the product of lengthy introspection.

Certainly, it’s a daunting task.

To get started on the first Stanford MBA essay, here are a couple of tips you can use:

– Consider completing our personal brand audit and defining three key themes in your personal brand.

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– Then, make a list of the people and events that have most shaped your life.

– Start thinking about the stories that you could tell, and how those stories would illustrate your personal brand.

– Once you hit upon a story, or a set of stories, that is both close to your heart and illustrative of your personal brand, you’ve found your topic.

Stanford MBA Essay #2 – Focus On Why Stanford

Here’s the second Stanford MBA essay question is:


Why Stanford?

Enlighten us on how earning your MBA at Stanford will enable you to realize your ambitions.

The school provides these tips for this essay:

– Explain your decision to pursue graduate education in management.

– Explain the distinctive opportunities you will pursue at Stanford.

Bolton advises MBA applicants on this essay:

“Key here is that you should have ideas for your best self after Stanford, and related objectives for your Stanford education,”

To get started on the second Stanford MBA essay, here are a couple of tips you can use:

– List one overarching career goal and possible trajectories. These goals should be ambitious enough to warrant an MBA, but well grounded in reality.

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– List several ways an MBA will help you reach those goals.

– List the resources that make Stanford the best place to reach those goals.

– Do your research and be as specific as possible- name the classes, professors, clubs and other resources that would be most helpful to you.

Your Turn

You now have a good set of tips that you can use to start writing your Stanford MBA essays.

“This is a process in which you look inside yourself and try to express most clearly what is there,” Bolton concludes.

“We are trying to get a good sense of your perspectives, your thoughts on management and leadership, and how Stanford can help you realize your goals.”

From these tips, you should be able to write a clear, concise essay explaining how Stanford is uniquely suited to your personal and professional ambitions.