As a top-tier MBA program, thousands of candidates apply to Wharton each year. Based on my experience, there are three main qualities that Wharton looks for when evaluating candidates for admission; these are impactful leadership, strong analytical skills, and the ability to collaborate. My thoughts on each of these characteristics is below.
Being able to demonstrate leadership should come as no surprise; this quality is extremely important to all of the top-tier MBA programs. And as I’ve pointed out with other top-tier MBA programs, leadership combined with impact is what Wharton also values highly. Through projects and initiatives that you have led, both in the workplace and through your extracurricular activities, how have you positively made a difference to people and organizations? Wharton will draw upon your examples of impactful leadership to determine whether you will be an impactful leader as a student on campus and in your post-MBA career.
Strong analytical skills
Having strong analytical skills is extremely important for Wharton given the rigor of the curriculum, which will require being comfortable with numbers and running analyses. Similar to other top-tier MBA programs, Wharton assesses a candidate's analytical and quantitative prowess in multiple ways – undergraduate GPA, GMAT/GRE score, and professional work experience. Recommenders can also emphasize an applicant's analytical and quantitative skills through their recommendation letters.
Ability to collaborate
Wharton is one of the few schools that utilizes the group interview when determining whether to admit a candidate. Through this action, the school is making it very clear that it places a high importance on its students being able to collaborate with others. Not only does Wharton want to see how you have collaborated with others in your prior endeavors (which will come through in the application), but the school wants to see your collaborative skills in an actual, team-based setting through the group interview. Here are some questions to think about as it pertains to collaboration: How do you go about interacting with others? Are you respectful of others? Are you able to work with others to arrive at a desired outcome? Can you lead when you have to and take a step back, when necessary, according to what is best for the team and the desired outcome?
Keep these qualities in mind, and you will be on your way towards putting together a strong application for Wharton!
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Ivy Groupe is a boutique MBA admissions consulting company founded by Shaifali Aggarwal, who received her MBA from Harvard Business School and undergraduate degree from Princeton University. Shaifali’s philosophy focuses on authenticity and storytelling to help clients craft compelling and differentiated applications that stand out. With this approach, Shaifali’s clients have gained admission to top-tier MBA programs such as Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Kellogg, MIT, Columbia, Booth, Tuck, and Yale, among others.
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