Top Tips to Get Into the Best US MBAs: The Wharton School | TopMBA.com

Top Tips to Get Into the Best US MBAs: The Wharton School

By Linda M

Updated May 14, 2021 Updated May 14, 2021

Wharton offers one of the world's best MBA programmes with a fierce admissions cycle. Here's everything you need to know about maximising your chances of getting in. 

Getting into an MBA programme isn’t an easy job, especially if you dream of securing a spot at a top American business school such as The Wharton School.

Consistently ranked as one of the best programmes in the world, the Wharton MBA boasts a network of over 99,000 alumni, granting you access to unique business opportunities and connections.

Here are our top tips to help you stand out in every big step of the application process.

Good test scores can take you far

Numbers aren’t everything, but they can definitely give you a good shot at getting in.

While there is no minimum GMAT or GRE score requirement to apply to the Wharton MBA, competition is guaranteed to be fierce. You’ll want to make sure you can meet the average score for the programme’s class profile.

The average GMAT score of a Wharton MBA candidate from the Class of 2022 is 722. For GRE test-takers, the average verbal score is 161 – same as the average for quant –, with a 4.7 for the writing section.

The average GPA is 3.6. However, remember this only applies to candidates who attend universities with a 4.0 grading system.

Use your essay wisely

The MBA essay is your best chance to tell your story and convey to admissions committees that you’d be a good fit for the programme you’re applying to.

The Wharton School asks candidates to submit two short essays.

Here are the two essay prompts for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle:

  • Essay 1: What do you hope to gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (500 words)
  • Essay 2: Taking into consideration your background – personal, professional, and/or academic – how do you plan to make specific, meaningful contributions to the Wharton community? (400 words)

You may be think these are suspiciously easy questions to answer, or you may be panicking at the thought of having only a few hundred words to sell yourself. Here are some top tips to help you get started:

  • Write down all your career highlights: It’s nearly impossible to fit all of your educational and professional background in 400 or 500 words, which is why it’s crucial that you focus on the experiences that’ll make you stand out in the eyes of admissions committees. Before you start writing, take note of a few examples from your career that showcase why you’d be a motivated candidate and a good addition to the programme. These could be a project that you kick-started, a business solution you came up with, or an issue you championed in the workplace
  • Remember you’re not just applying to an MBA programme: When you’re focusing on getting into a specific MBA programme, it’s easy to forget that you’re also trying to convince recruiters that you deserve a spot at their school. After all, you’ll be representing the institution beyond the MBA as part of an extensive alumni community. When thinking about why you’d be a good fit for the programme, research what it is about Wharton as a business school – beyond its prestige – that excites you. Your essay should demonstrate that you’ve done your research and that you know exactly why the school can help you become the person you want to be
  • Think beyond business: This might sound strange to you, but there’s more to going to business school than doing business. For starters, you’ll be joining a vibrant student community on campus, and you’ll also have to form meaningful relationships during the MBA programme. When talking about how going to Wharton could benefit your career, think about what you could bring to the table beyond your business skills. It’s important that you let your personality shine through the essay and convey to recruiters that you’ll be able to make an impact outside of the classroom

Refresh your teamwork skills for the interview

Unlike other business schools, Wharton has a team-based approach for the interview.

Candidates who have been successful in the written applications are invited to a Team Based Discussion (TBD) with four or five other applicants, where recruiters will be looking for good communication, great levels of engagement, leadership skills and solid decision-making.

The discussion will begin with a prompt and a purpose given to applicants by admissions staff, which they will have 35 minutes to work together to complete. After the group exercise, each candidate will have a 10-minute one-on-one interview with a member of the Wharton admissions team.

While it may seem difficult to prepare for an exercise without much guidance, here are some things you should think about prior to the interview:

  • Look back: Teamwork has likely played a big role in your career so far. When thinking about the approach you’d like to have in the TBD, try and remember any previous experience when you’ve had to work in a team and focus on the skills that you developed. Did you have to compromise? Did you lead people? Did you resolve conflicts? These are all situations that might arise during the exercise, and that you should be prepared to tackle
  • Be a leader, but don’t overpower: A key component of teamwork is collaboration. While you may want to impress recruiters on the day of the interview, remember that the aim of the TBD exercise is to achieve a common goal with other applicants. Listening to others and making decisions together will be just as important as making your voice heard

This article was originally published in May 2021 .

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Written by

Linda is Content Writer at TopMBA, creating content about students, courses, universities and businesses. She recently graduated in Journalism & Creative Writing with Politics and International Relations, and now enjoys writing for a student audience. 

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