Stanford MBA Essay Questions 2015 - 2016 and Writing Tips

Stanford University MBA Essay Questions And Writing Tips

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2010-2011 MBA Essay Questions
Q1. Matters Most (750 words)
  What matters most to you, and why?
R) There are two important parts -'what matters' and 'why'. Both these must be well connected, logically and through the examples you give, so choose the answer to 'what matters' carefully. Also, be genuine, and do not try to appear lofty. You could talk about a value/principle that you strongly believe in e.g. integrity at the workplace or a goal that you are deeply committed to e.g. social entrepreneurship. Trace the genesis of why and how this particular value/goal became important to you. With examples, show how you practice this value/ are working towards the goal.
Q2. Career aspirations (450 words)
  What are your career aspirations? What do you need to learn at Stanford to achieve them?
R) Stanford GSB offers a degree in general management with the option of tailoring your courses to meet your specific needs including course planning mentoring by faculty. - Therefore be sure not to say that "I intend to specialize in Finance etc'. That said, what direction do you wish to give your career post the Stanford MBA - e.g. do you wish to work in the healthcare or consumer products industry? What is your current skill set and to achieve your career goal, what specific additional skills/competencies that you want to add at Stanford? In what way does Stanford offer you a unique advantage in doing this, e.g. the right mix of courses (for which you should give examples), access to certain companies/industries (again, give examples), a practicum on leadership/entrepreneurship etc
Q3. Building a team (300 words)
  3) Option A: Tell us about a time when you built or developed a team whose performance exceeded expectations.
R) As this and the next three essays are short ones, be precise and specific. Start by stating the purpose for which your team was formed and what the expected deliverables from the team were. Compare the actual results achieved against these to show how your team excelled. What was your role vis-a-vis the team- were you the designated leader or maybe you took on an informal leadership role? What steps did you take to motivate the team and what was your personal interest in doing so? Did you come across roadblocks and as a leader how did you help your team to surmount these? You can end by briefly mentioning what this leadership experience taught you.
Q4. Impact on organization (300 words)
  3) Option B: Tell us about a time when you made a lasting impact on your organization.
R) The key word here is 'lasting'. This is not just about meeting your routine work goals but rather being responsible for significantly affecting the organization. Maybe you suggested an innovative work practice which had far reaching impact, or due to your efforts, your company secured a major client. You could organize the essay to first briefly explain your accomplishment/initiative and how it has made a lasting impact. Thereafter, elaborate your role in this, highlighting the special efforts you might have put in or your unique talents/ideas which made this possible.
Q5. Generated support (300 words)
  3) Option C: Tell us about a time when you generated support from others for an idea or initiative.
R) Are you a persuasive leader and how do you respond in the face of opposition to your ideas? Try to bring out these elements in this essay. What was your initiative and in what form did you need the support of others to achieve your result? What might have happened if you did not succeed in getting their support? If you met with resistance to your initiative, how did you go about overcoming this? You could round off by summarizing upon the measures you took to reach out to the group and what the whole experience taught you.
Q6. Went beyond (300 words)
  3) Option D: Tell us about a time when you went beyond what was defined, established, or expected.
R) First of all, why did you make the extra effort to go beyond the expected? In what way was the outcome particularly meaningful to you which made you strive to better yourself? Give a comparison of what was the expected outcome and to what extent you exceeded meeting this outcome. In doing so, what skills/abilities did you use and what personal qualities such as perseverance, risk-taking etc helped you go beyond? Finally, did you set a new standard through your efforts - you could mention this.

Previous years' Stanford University MBA Essay Questions

2009-2010 Stanford Essay Questions and Analysis 2011-2012 Stanford Essay Questions and Analysis 2012-2013 Stanford Essay Questions and Analysis 2013-2014 Stanford Essay Questions and Analysis 2014-2015 Stanford Essay Questions and Analysis 2015-2016 Stanford Essay Questions and Analysis

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