If you want to get started on your essays and recommendations, the questions are now posted on our website.
Like previous years, there are 4 required essays. The legendary--or notorious--"What matters most to you, and why?" of course remains.
The second essay about your career aspirations has a new follow-up, which asks what you need to learn at Stanford in order to achieve your career aspirations. We want to know how you're going to use the learning experience at Stanford to bridge the gaps in your knowledge, skills, and development so that you can reach your career aspirations.
For the last two essays, you have a choice of four different questions. Three of the four are the same as last year. The new question is: "Tell us about a time when you generated support from others for an idea or initiative."
The biggest change in the recommendation questions is that we have a slightly different set of questions for your two professional/workplace recommenders and for your one peer/team recommender. Be sure to remind your recommender to answer the correct set of questions.
Peer/team recommenders are asked, "Describe how the candidate has generated support from others for an idea or initiative" while professional/workplace recommenders are asked "How does the candidate's performance compare to other well-qualified individuals in similar roles?" This is because peers get to see you in different circumstances than professional (typically supervisors or those above you) do. Your peer recommender is also asked about any lasting impact you may have made on the organization while your professional recommenders are asked about a legacy you may have left. Someone higher up in the organization is more likely to be in a better position to comment on something as far-reaching as a legacy.
As you can see, both the essay and recommendation questions are meaty and require a lot of thought. So good idea to give yourself and your recommenders plenty of time. Get going and good luck!
Associate Director of MBA Admissions