Stanford MBA Essays
Stanford MBA Essay Questions (Last Year's Essays)
Tell us in your own words who you really are. Answer essay questions 1, 2, and one of the three options for essay 3.
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 1,600 words total.
Essay 1: 750 Words
Essay 2: 450 Words
Essay 3: 400 Words
Essay 1. What matters most to you and why?
Stanford Comments: The best examples of Essay 1 reflect the process of self-examination that you have undertaken to write them. They give us a vivid and genuine image of who you are—and they also convey how you became the person you are. They do not focus merely on what you've done or accomplished. Instead, they share with us the values, experiences, and lessons that have shaped your perspectives. They are written from the heart and address not only a person, situation, or event, but also how that person, situation, or event has influenced your life.
Essay 2. What do you want to do - REALLY - and why Stanford?
Stanford Comments: Use this essay to explain your view of your future, not to repeat accomplishments from your past. You should address two distinct topics: (1) your career aspirations, (2) your rationale for earning your MBA at Stanford, in particular.
The best examples of Essay 2 express your passions or focused interests, explain why you have decided to pursue graduate education in management, and demonstrate your desire to take advantage of the opportunities that are distinctive to the Stanford MBA Program.
Essay 3. Answer one of the three 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.
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.
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
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Last Year's Stanford MBA Essays
The essay questions that appear on this page are outdated. We'll add the 2013 - 2014 questions as soon as they have been released.
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To return to a list of the essay questions from all schools, click the link below.
Stanford MBA Application Deadlines
Stanford has three
The deadlines below are for the full-time MBA program. Note that these deadlines have been updated for 2014 applicants but the essay questions have not yet been confirmed.
- October 2, 2013
- January 8, 2014
- April 2, 2014
Stanford MBA Class Profile
Middle 80% 680 - 770
Median Age ----
Median Work (Mos.) 48
Acceptance Rate 7%
BW Ranking 6
U.S. News Ranking 1