Stanford Application: Ready to Take the Leap?

HSW is a popular slang in the MBA community and comprises three ‘star’ schools, Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton. Why are they called ‘star’ schools needs no further explanation. Among these, one with no more than a 5% acceptance rate, Stanford Application has become a pinnacle of the MBA world. And so, it attracts a huge number of applicants from across the world. But it exactly knows the cream it wants to admit for its MBA program and filters out the rest.

But the more interesting fact is that the people who get their way into this school are not some ‘magic people’. They are among us who are aware of themselves, have clarity about their vision, and just want to make a difference in this world. So, if you are aspiring to be one of those ‘magic people’, here is a guide for you. Before moving forward, I would like to clarify that it’s not really a ‘guide’ or does not have any success formulae but insights for you to introspect. As the Stanford philosophy says, the school’s application is a by-product, the primary motive is to learn about yourself, and your motivations in life and shift your focus from ‘how’ to ‘why’. 

The First Step

The first step is crucial: answer your ‘why’ for applying to Stanford or any school. Delve deeper to uncover genuine motivations, beyond superficial factors like name or rank. Stanford Application looks for candidates with untapped potential, seeking those who go beyond quantifiable metrics. Here’s a tip: To increase your chances at Stanford, demonstrate leadership and commitment to meaningful causes. Your actions shape your profile for Stanford; ensure they align with the institution’s values. Before applying, honestly assess if you meet these criteria. If not, don’t lose hope; many excellent MBA programs await your exploration.

Step Two: The First Essay

‘What matters most to you, and why?’

Your work achievements? Recent promotion? Writing about these? You’re already out. This question delves deeper into your beliefs and motivations. It’s about what truly matters to you. Why do you do what you do? Know and exhibit your personal values. Your professional life reflects your fundamental values. Bring your authentic self to the essay. If your values revolve solely around you, pause. Stanford seeks those dedicated to impacting others’ lives.

So, now that you have finally thought of going ahead with the process, let’s try to make your life a little easier. While you answer this question, try to connect the experiences you have gained in your personal and professional domains to your values and motives. How they’ve helped to shape you into the person that you are today and contributed to your goals and aspirations. Bring a genuine person on the paper and explain how you have become this person.

Step Three: Understanding the Stanford Application Filter:

Before completing or even starting your essays, do foolproof research on Stanford. If possible, visit the campus, sit in the classrooms, talk to students there, and experience what it means to be a Stanford student. And if this scenario is not possible, research as much as you can. Read guides and blogs, have a free evaluation from consultants, talk to alumni and current students, and try to know the school as much as possible from whatever means.

Now after having done this, sit back and pen down all the good things about Stanford that you think you strongly resonate with. See which values are in alignment with yours and pick those through which you can bring the best narrative of how you fit and contribute to GSB.

For example, you are a male engineer who has, all his life, worked and studied in a predominantly male-dominated environment but you have always believed in equality and participation of more women in different spheres of life, bring that on! Stanford Application, more than any school, believes in diversity and inclusion, especially when it comes to women. You may put the narrative of how you’ve helped women in your personal life or how you envision helping this community grow.

This is just one example, you can pick out the other values and philosophies that Stanford believes in and bring stories out of your life in alignment with those. To give you an overview of the values that Stanford respects the most, try to connect empathy, collaborative leadership, passion, intellectual curiosity and maturity. For those who are in the early years of their career and still want to apply to Stanford, I would suggest they join some community service as it will help to exhibit the ‘maturity’ aspect.

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And, this is how you get the answer to its second essay question, ‘Why Stanford?’. Yay, another ‘why’ tackled successfully!

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The Perfect Consultant

MBA Consultants are taking a major role in helping students reach their dream schools. You always need someone who can help you understand the perspective of the admissions committee. And this is Stanford, a school with one of the slimmest acceptance rates. You anyway can not take a chance.

As I reiterate, the school’s motive is to make you self-aware and help you dive deep into knowing who you are. And so, as the school clearly says, each aspect of your application should be able to bring who you are. And, here comes the role of a consultant. For Stanford, or for any other school, your consultant should be your partner, not a ghostwriter! He should be able to bring the best, the most genuine self, and a unique person out of you. So, before choosing the ‘perfect’ consultant for you, talk to them and see, if their vibe matches yours, if they are able to craft your story in your voice and then you are all set to ace the game!

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