Insider Tips: Preparing the Best EMBA Application

There is no magic formula used to calculate the perfect Wharton EMBA candidate. Rather, the Admissions Committee puts a lot of time into getting to know candidates, considering all facets of the application, to gather as talented and diverse a class as possible.

Of course, there are a few basics: resume, grades and GMAT scores. But beyond that, applications should reflect the passions and contributions of the applicants, which the Committee views as an indication not only of what they will bring to the program, but also get out of it.

To get to know applicants — their backgrounds and interests — the Admissions Committee prefers to meet all applicants, preferably before they apply. But the interview is mandatory for Fellows candidates – those younger than 30 and with less than eight years of work experience. For all others, an interview is strongly recommended. Plus, coming to campus for an interview provides a great opportunity to sit in on a class session and meet current students.

So, in addition to scheduling an interview and visiting campus to learn about the program first-hand, are there any insider tips for successfully completing the application process? Admissions Committee members and recent graduates agree that it’s important to allow yourself plenty of time for rewrites as well as to prepare and take your GMATs early.

W. Trevor Uhl, who graduated in 2006 and is the vice president of Reliance Management, says: “If you haven’t done the GMAT, get it out of the way early! For most of us, the last standardized test we took involved filling out lots of tiny dots on a scorecard. The computer test will be completely unfamiliar for most people, so it’s worth doing the practice exams,” he says.

They also recommend taking time to focus on your goals. “All but the most self-aware among us will need to spend a considerable amount of time sorting out exactly why we want/need/deserve to pursue an MBA,” says Uhl.

And, of course, alumni say to be yourself throughout the process!  Derrick Goh, who graduated in 2006 and is vice president of finance for the International Consumer Card, American Express, perhaps says it best: “There is no need to try especially hard to set yourself apart from other applicants — I think that approach always seems contrived. Do your best and be yourself.”

Get details on how to prepare and submit a Wharton EMBA application.