While we cannot perfectly predict the future, our 16 years of experience as an MBA admissions essay consultant and careful analysis of past trends can help us assess what MBA candidates should expect with this year’s MBA essay questions.
Many MBA hopefuls who have already narrowed their target school lists are anxiously awaiting the release of the 2023-2024 MBA application essay questions and deadlines. In previous years, we have seen MBA essay questions released as early as the beginning of May. Using our insider knowledge of what each school is looking for, as well as successful business school essay examples from past admissions cycles, Personal MBA Coach has already begun working with our round 1 clients on a number of essays.
For this year’s prediction, we have divided top MBA programs into three categories and have included details on which MBA essay or essays to begin working on today!
- MBA programs where at least one MBA application essay is unlikely to change
- MBA programs where smaller changes are most likely
- MBA programs with a higher likelihood of changing the MBA application essay questions
MBA Programs Where at Least One MBA Essay Is Unlikely to Change:
For the programs below, Personal MBA Coach believes that at least one of the 2022-2023 MBA essay questions will return for the 2023-2024 MBA application cycle. If any of the MBA programs below are on your list, we urge you to get started on the relevant MBA application essay questions today!
- Harvard Business School
- Stanford GSB
- Columbia Business School
- Chicago Booth
- MIT Sloan
- Yale SOM
Harvard Business School
HBS has asked the same MBA application essay question over the past few years, and we expect this year’s question is likely to remain the same.
HBS’s 2022-2023 MBA Essay Question was:
As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA Program?
Stanford Graduate School of Business
Like HBS, Stanford GSB has not changed its MBA essay questions in recent years. While Stanford GSB has made some changes to the required essay length, we would be surprised to see a major essay question change from Stanford.
Stanford’s 2022-2023 MBA essay questions were:
Essay A: What matters most to you, and why?
For this essay, we would like you to reflect deeply and write from the heart. Once you’ve identified what matters most to you, help us understand why. You might consider, for example, what makes this so important to you? What people, insights, or experiences have shaped your perspectives?
Essay B: Why Stanford?
Describe your aspirations and how your Stanford GSB experience will help you realize them. If you are applying to both the MBA and MSx programs, use Essay B to address your interest in both programs.
Columbia Business School
Columbia Business School’s first MBA essay has taken a similar form over the past years. While the exact wording could vary, we do not expect any significant change in CBS’s first MBA essay question.
Columbia’s 2022-2023 first MBA essay question was:
Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next 3-5 years and what, in your imagination, would be your long-term dream job? (500 words)
We also anticipate Columbia Business School’s essay about program fit to remain on the 2022-2023 CBS application.
This MBA essay question was:
Why do you feel Columbia Business School is a good fit for you? (250 words)
Watch Personal MBA Coach’s quick tips video for Columbia Business School application advice:
As with CBS, Wharton has kept its first MBA essay question largely the same for the past few years, and we expect some version of the same essay question this year.
Wharton’s 2022-2023 first MBA essay question was:
How do you plan to use the Wharton MBA program to help you achieve your future professional goals? You might consider your past experience, short and long-term goals, and resources available at Wharton. (500 words)
As with Wharton and CBS, Kellogg also is unlikely to change its essay questions.
Kellogg’s 2022-2023 first MBA essay question was:
Kellogg’s purpose is to educate, equip and inspire brave leaders who create lasting value. Provide a recent example where you have demonstrated leadership and created value. What challenges did you face and what did you learn? (450 words)
Similarly, Kellogg’s second MBA essay question has stayed the same for the past few years, and we do not anticipate that it will change.
Kellogg’s 2022-2023 second MBA essay question was:
Values are what guide you in your life and work. What values are important to you and how have they influenced you? (450 words)
Chicago Booth joins the list of schools for which Personal MBA Coach clients are working on essay #1.
Chicago Booth’s 2022-2023 first MBA essay question was:
How will the Booth MBA help you achieve your immediate and long-term post-MBA career goals? (Minimum 250 words, no maximum)
MIT Sloan’s cover letter essay has not changed in a while, and we expect it to stay the same in the 2023-2024 cycle.
MIT Sloan’s 2022-2023 MBA essay question was:
MIT Sloan seeks students whose personal characteristics demonstrate that they will make the most of the incredible opportunities at MIT, both academic and non-academic. We are on a quest to find those whose presence will enhance the experience of other students. We seek thoughtful leaders with exceptional intellectual abilities and the drive and determination to put their stamp on the world. We welcome people who are independent, authentic, and fearlessly creative — true doers. We want people who can redefine solutions to conventional problems, and strive to preempt unconventional dilemmas with cutting-edge ideas.
Taking the above into consideration, please submit a cover letter seeking a place in the MIT Sloan MBA program. Your letter should conform to a standard business correspondence, include one or more professional examples that illustrate why you meet the desired criteria above, and be addressed to the Admissions Committee (300 words or fewer, excluding address and salutation).
We do not expect the Yale SOM essay question to change from the previous cycle.
Yale SOM’s 2022-2023 MBA essay question:
Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. (500 words)
MBA Programs Where Smaller Changes Are Most Likely:
- London Business School
- Duke Fuqua
Aside from minor tweaks or word limit adjustments, we would be more surprised to see major MBA application essay question changes from these programs.
If one or more of these schools is on your list, we suggest that you begin brainstorming, outlining and hopefully writing your essays as soon as possible. This will free up time (both personally and professionally) as summer nears.
MBA Programs with a Higher Likelihood to Change the MBA Essay Questions:
Below is a list of MBA programs for which Personal MBA Coach recommends that our clients hold off drafting their MBA essays. For some schools in this list, we suggest that you begin brainstorming now as the risk of a change is smaller. For other schools, hold off entirely until the MBA applications open later this spring. There are plenty of other MBA application components that candidates targeting these MBA programs can get started on today!
- NYU Stern
- Michigan Ross (brainstorm only)
- UVA Darden
- UCLA Anderson
- Berkeley Haas (brainstorm only)
- Dartmouth Tuck
Keep in mind, the details shared above are predictions only! As soon as this year’s MBA application essay questions are released, Personal MBA Coach will let you know what has changed and will share advice on how to tackle each MBA essay question.
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