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Optional Short-Answer Question: Think about times you’ve created a positive impact, whether in professional, extracurricular, academic, or other settings. This is simply not true, but we understand that this can be a difficult truth to accept.We suspect that many past Stanford GSB candidates simply could not resist talking more about their achievements in Essay A than about their values, personal interests, beliefs, and emotions—ultimately depriving the admissions committee of the information it truly wanted.
Do not overlook that your response must not exceed 1,150 , which to our understanding includes spaces. (Up to 1500 characters, approximately 250 words, for each example) We know from experience that when asked to write an essay that is more personal than professional or that focuses on a “why” rather than a “what,” some applicants get extremely concerned that the admissions committee will not understand or recognize how successful they have been in their career or life to date.
This is just a little shorter than the length of the previous two paragraphs (together). Perhaps they feel their greatest strengths are demonstrated by their accomplishments and therefore believe that not highlighting these for the admissions committee will mean certain rejection.
As we noted earlier, on the school’s application essays page, the Stanford GSB admissions committee stresses that it has no “right” answer in mind for its essay questions and wants applicants to share their story in their “genuine voice.” It does not have a preferred job or industry in mind that it is waiting to hear you say you plan to enter.
It really just wants to understand your personal vision and why you feel a Stanford MBA (or MSx) in particular is necessary to facilitate this vision.
If you need to explicitly declare, “And what matters most to me is…,” your essay is not making a strong enough point on its own.
A well-constructed essay that is infused with your values and motivation and that clearly conveys why you made certain decisions should effectively and implicitly reveal the “why” behind your chosen topic—and will almost always make a stronger point. However, the odds are very low that you could write on a theme that the Stanford GSB’s admissions committee has never read about before.
Required Short Answer Question: Tell us about a time within the last two years when your background influenced your participation at work or school.
(1,150 character maximum) Although this is not technically posed as an essay prompt, candidates must essentially craft a mini essay in response to this required query.
Once you have identified what you believe is an appropriate theme, discuss your idea(s) with those with whom you are closest and whose input you respect.
Doing so can help validate deeply personal and authentic themes, leading to an essay that truly stands out.