Stanford Essay Questions 2016-2017

V P Essays

Stanford University – Stanford Graduate School of Business

Full-time MBA program – Application essays

Your answers for both essay questions combined may not exceed 1,150 words. Suggested split: first essay 750 words, second essay 400 words.

  1. What matters most to you, and why?
    For this essay, we would like you to:

    1. Focus on the “why” rather than the “what.”
    2. Do some deep self-examination, so you can genuinely illustrate who you are and how you came to be the person you are.
    3. Share the insights, experiences, and lessons that shaped your perspectives, rather than focusing merely on what you’ve done or accomplished.
    4. Write from the heart, and illustrate how a person, situation, or event has influenced you.
  2. Why Stanford?
    Enlighten us on how earning your MBA at Stanford will enable you to realize your ambitions.

    1. Explain your decision to pursue graduate education in management.
    2. Explain the distinctive opportunities you will pursue at Stanford.


  • Double-spaced
  • Indicate the question you are answering at the beginning of each essay (does not count toward the word limit)
  • Number all pages
  • Upload one document that includes both essays

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