Photo: Jack Duval via flickr
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is among the most competitive schools in the nation.Do you have what it takes to get accepted?
In an interview with PoetsAndQuants.com, J.J. Cutler, Wharton’s deputy dean of admissions and career services, emphasises just how selective the process is. The 817 member class of 2012 was chosen from a pool of 6,819 applicants. That’s 8 applicants for every seat.
Do you have what it takes to snag one of the 817 spots? If you come up short on even one of these questions, it’s unlikely you’ll get a second chance.
The test is over and you brace yourself for the results. You need what score to match the 2012 Wharton MBA class average?
Wharton applicants are required to describe their professional objectives in 300 words and respond to three of these four questions:
1. If you were able to create a Wharton course on any topic, what would it be? (700 words)
2. Reflect on a time when you turned down an opportunity. What was the thought process behind your decision? Would you make the same decision today? (600 words)
3. Describe a failure that you have experienced. What role did you play, and what did you learn about yourself? How did this experience help to create your definition of failure? (600 words)
4. Discuss a time when you navigated a challenging experience in either a personal or professional relationship. (600 words)
A. Facilitative leadership, problem-solving strategies, and future goals
B. Team building, facilitative leadership, and persuasive communication
C. Team building, analytical skills, and innovative ideas
D. Professional goals, team building, and economic policy
A. 10 minutes
B. 7 minutes
C. 5 minutes
D. 1 minute
During the 30-minute interview, interviewers are told to spend five minutes on an introduction, then five minutes each on three questions, leaving the remaining 10 minutes of the time for questions from applicants.
A. Admissions staff
Wharton mainly relies on alumni and second-year MBA students to conduct these sessions with applicants, according to Poets & Quants. Admissions staff does a minority of the interviews.
A. Driving innovation
B. Making the school more international
C. Cultivating a culture that is a force for good
D. All of the above
A. It is extremely competitive
B. It is team-oriented
C. It's expensive
D. Its students are encouraged to make mistakes
'I still think the biggest misperception probably revolves around this notion of Wharton being an overly intense finance school,' says J.J. Cutler, deputy dean of admissions and career services at Wharton. 'The perception is that it is intense and competitive, but they are myths. We have put a number of things in place to make it more team oriented. Our students are very competitive, but while they are here we try to build an environment where people can make mistakes and try out new things.'
As an applicant, you want to be invited for an interview. 'If you are not invited for an interview, then the process for you is over at that point,' says J.J. Cutler, deputy dean of admissions and career services at Wharton. 'The director signs off at everything from that stage. The process is designed to have one person look at it all. The bigger risk is the 'not interview' because you will never see them again.'
A. 10% to 20%
B. 15% to 35%
C. 25% to 40%
D. 30% to 50%
'Typically, we interview from 30% to 50% of the entire applicant pool, and in a given year, we accept 800 to 850,' says Cutler. 'So we have a pretty good sense of what our yields are that way.'
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