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High-impact Wharton Application/Re-Application Tips: Case Example

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Schools: Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, Columbia, Chicago, MIT, NYU, Yale, +
High-impact Wharton Application/Re-Application Tips: Case Example  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Mar 2016, 09:10
From Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts),, email:

Interested in learning if we think you can be successful as an applicant or re-applicant?

Feel free to sign up for a FREE Profile Evaluation directly from Dr. Shel Watts, a Harvard and Oxford graduate with Harvard admissions experience and over 25 years of work with MBA applicants, fill out the form on our homepage at


Sign up for a Ding Analysis, in which we can review your prior application and give you detailed feedback about how to improve your next application. Current Special Pricing: $265. For a Ding Analysis, send an inquiry to or visit

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High-impact Wharton Application/Re-Application Tips: Case Example

For those of you who received disappointing news from Wharton and need some inspiration, we will be posting profiles of applicants who fall into one of two categories: either they gained admission to Wharton with a re-application the very next year after applying to Wharton on their own and being rejected, or they gained admission to Wharton on a first try against the odds given some clear weaknesses in their profile. Here’s an example.

How she gained admission to Wharton from a tiny company with a less-than-ideal career trajectory.

Candidate: This candidate had a fairly general profile and she had moved from a large, industry-leading auto company to a small family-owned business. This was a poor career move for her and she had made this move for a very personal, non-career reason. The candidate nonetheless aimed to gain admission to Wharton.

Age: 27-year old female

GPA: Outstanding GPA at her undergraduate university in China, where she graduated at the top of her class. She had also obtained a graduate degree in engineering from a small US university and graduated with an A-average.

GMAT Score: 720, with a very strong quant score

# Years WE/Industry: 6 years of work experience before applying to MBA program. The first 3 years were at a large multinational Japanese company (with no promotions). She then spent one year at a top US automotive company (with no promotions) and progressed to a very small automotive-related US family-owned business. If presented poorly, this trajectory would hurt her odds of admission.

Extracurricular activities: Very strong in undergraduate years, extremely weak in graduate years, and outstanding in professional years (about as strong as they get!)
Citizenship: China

General Assessment, Strengths/Weaknesses: As a foreign national candidate from East Asia, the move from a large market-leading US automotive company to a small US-owned family business was strategically not the best move when applying to a Top-5 business school, as those business schools often tend to favor candidates from multinational, market-leading companies. She had also spent only one year at the top US automotive company and the reason for the move was personal. In fact, because of how personal it was, we could not use the reason to explain the move in the candidate’s essays. The challenge was to address the move in a positive light. Her extracurricular activities and GPA were first-rate, and the main challenge was what appeared to be a questionable career trajectory.

MBA Strategy: We started by highlighting outstanding extracurricular activities and academic contributions, working with her recommendation writers and carefully crafting essays. One of her extracurricular activities was off-the-charts strong, giving her an A++ in the extracurricular bucket, so we made certain to give it space in the essays.
After holding multiple brainstorming sessions with her, we identified a storyline that could help us explain her career trajectory in a way that would serve as a strength of her candidacy rather than a weakness. We projected a very strong long-term goal that helped make her small company experience look very useful and relevant. We also made certain to get a recommendation from the large former US company to attest to her high-value work at a company we knew the admission committee valued. We showcased the unique blend of her overall work experiences.

Outcomes: Admitted to Wharton!

Ask about our current specials – Comprehensive packages beginning at $1495 (Compare with our competitors who charge $4,400!); Basic editing of one application for $925. Valid through March 30, 2016. Opt to work directly with Dr. Shel on your MBA applications!

Best wishes,
Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)
President, MBA

Dr. Shel Watts, the Founder of MBA Admit,.com, is a Harvard and Oxford graduate with Harvard admissions experience and over 26 years of work with MBA applicants. Clients can opt to work directly with Dr. Shel in the admissions process.

Direct email address:


High-impact Wharton Application/Re-Application Tips: Case Example &nbs [#permalink] 29 Mar 2016, 09:10
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High-impact Wharton Application/Re-Application Tips: Case Example

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