Stanford MBA Essays

We read your essays to get to know you as a person and to learn about the ideas and interests that motivate you. Tell us in your own words who you are. In other parts of the application, we learn about your academic and professional accomplishments (i.e., what you have done). Through your personal essays (Essays 1 and 2), we learn more about the person behind the achievements (i.e., who you are). Because we want to discover who you are, resist the urge to “package” yourself in order to come across in a way you think Stanford wants. Such attempts simply blur our understanding of who you are and what you can accomplish. We want to hear your genuine voice throughout the essays that you write and this is the time to think carefully about your values, your passions, your hopes and dreams. In your short answer responses (Essay 3, options A, B, or C), we learn more about the experiences that have shaped your attitudes, behaviors, and aspirations. Truly, the most impressive essays are those that do not begin with the goal of impressing us.

Stanford Essay Length & Format: Your answers for all of the essay questions cannot exceed 1,600 words. You have your own story to tell, so please allocate the 1,600 words among all of the essays in the way that is most effective for you. We provide some guidelines below as a starting point, but you should feel comfortable to write as much or as little as you like on any essay question, as long as you do not exceed 1,800 words total. Essay 1 – 750 words, Essay 2 – 450 words, Essay 3 – 400 words.

Stanford Essay 1: What matters most to you, and why? (750 words – suggested)

Stanford Essay 2: What do you want to do -REALLY- and why Stanford? (450 words suggested)

Stanford Essay 3: Answer two of the four questions below. Tell us not only what you did but also how you did it. What was the outcome? How did people respond? Only describe experiences that have occurred during the last three years. In your short answer responses (Essay 3, options A, B, C, or D), we learn more about the experiences that have shaped your attitudes, behaviors, and aspirations.(400 words)

Option A: Tell us about a time in the last three years when you built or developed a team whose performance exceeded expectations.

Option B: Tell us about a time in the last three years when you identified and pursued an opportunity to improve an organization.

Option C: Tell us about a time in the last three years when you went beyond what was defined or established.

Stanford Additional Information Essay (optional): If there is any other information that is critical for us to know and is not captured elsewhere, please include it. Examples of pertinent additional information include: Extenuating circumstances affecting academic or work performance; Explanation of why you do not have a Letter of Reference from your current direct supervisor or peer; Explanation of criminal conviction, criminal charges sustained against you in a juvenile proceeding, and/or court-supervised probation; Explanation of academic suspension or expulsion; Any other information that you did not have sufficient space to complete in another section of the application (please begin the information in the appropriate section); Additional work experience that cannot fit into the space provided; Additional information about your academic experience (e.g., independent research) not noted elsewhere.

Stanford GSB Resume: After completing the Employment History section, please upload a current copy of your resume. Suggested length is one page – maximum is two pages.

Stanford Application Deadlines 2013 – 2014

Round 1 (2 Oct 2013), Round 2 (8 Jan 2014), Round 3 (2 Apr 2014)

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