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.

Published by Neal Mueller