Tips For Applying To Wharton MBA


Here’s the advice I give when folks ask me for tips on applying to Wharton MBA.

  • GMAT prep courses are expensive and worth the money (I did Princeton, it cost a boatload)
  • Take lots of practice courses (I took over 20 practice exams and pretended like they were the real thing each time)
  • Try to get the first GMAT questions right, because those allow you to get to the hard questions which improve your GMAT score
  • Wharton takes your best GMAT score, not an average like law schools do, so take the GMAT “early and often” (I took it four times)
  • Give your recommenders 4 weeks to write recommendations
  • Tell your recommenders to grow/buck-up if they ask you to write their recommendation for them
  • Give yourself months to write your essays (It took me 5 months to write them the first time, 2 days to write them when I reapplied)
  • Take advice on your essays, but not so much that the essays don’t sound like you (I made this mistake in my firsttime application, then fixed it the second time I applied)
  • Apply first-round, it improves your chances (I applied first round both times)
  • Reapplicants have a much higher admission rate than first-time applicants — so plan on reapplying if you don’t get it (it took me two tries)
  • Prepare for it to suck time (it did for me, both times)
  • Prepare to learn a lot about yourself during the application process (I did)
  • In your application Wharton will look for team building, facilitative leadership and persuasive communication. Exhibit these characteristics in your application and interview and you will do well
  • Optional interviews for Wharton are typically 30 minutes long and consist of an introduction, 3-5 career-focused questions from the interviewer and 10 minutes for questions for the candidate at the end. Interviewees should dress in business casual in the USA and maybe fancier internationally
  • Get advice along the way from people that did an MBA

I’m grateful to Penn for teaching me much of what I know (undergrad and grad) and I like giving back and meeting people interested in Penn and Wharton. If you’d like to connect with me, call me. My number is on the top right of my website.

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