Essay A: What matters most to you, and why?
For this essay, we would like you to:
- 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.
- Write from the heart, and illustrate how a person, situation, or event has influenced you.
- Focus on the “why” rather than the “what.”
Essay B: Why Stanford?
Enlighten us on how earning your MBA at Stanford will enable you to realize your ambitions.
- Explain your decision to pursue graduate education in management.
- Explain the distinctive opportunities you will pursue at Stanford.
- If you are applying to both the MBA and MSx programs, use Essay B to address your interest in both programs.
Your answers for both essay questions combined may not exceed 1,150 words (1,200 words if you are applying to both the MBA and MSx programs). Each of you has your own story to tell, so please allocate these words between your essays in the way that is most effective for you. Below is a suggested word count, based on what we typically see.
|Essay||Suggested Word Count|
- Write the question you are answering at the beginning of each essay (does not count toward the word limit)
- Number all pages
- Upload one document that includes both essays
Be sure to save a copy of your essays, and preview the uploaded document to ensure that the formatting is preserved.
Editing Your Essays
Begin work on the essays early to give yourself time to reflect, write, and edit.
Feel free to ask friends or family members for feedback — especially about whether the tone and voice sound like you. Your family and friends know you better than anyone. If they think the essays do not capture who you are, what you believe, and what you aspire to do, then surely we will be unable to recognize what is most distinctive about you.
Feedback Vs. Coaching
There is a big difference, however, between “feedback” and “coaching.” You cross that line when any part of the application (excluding the letters of reference) ceases to be exclusively yours in either thought or word.
Appropriate feedback occurs when others review your completed application — perhaps once or twice — and apprise you of omissions, errors, or inaccuracies that you later correct or address. After editing is complete, your thoughts, voice, and style remain intact. Inappropriate coaching occurs when you allow others to craft any part of your application for you and, as a result, your application or self-presentation is not authentic.
It is improper and a violation of the terms of this application process to have someone else write your essays. Such behavior will result in denial of your application or revocation of your admission.