On the heels of HBS, which released its essay questions earlier this week, Stanford has released its essay questions ahead of the typical June/July schedule that most schools follow….or, at least, used to follow. When he posted the essay questions, GSB Admissions Director Derrick Bolton offered some insight that we believe is applicable not just for Stanford applicants but for applicants to any school:
“Because we want to discover who you are, resist the urge to ‘package’ yourself in order to come across in a way you think Stanford wants. Such attempts simply blur our understanding of who you are and what you can accomplish. We want to hear your genuine voice throughout the essays that you write and this is the time to think carefully about your values, your passions, your hopes and dreams.”
Stanford’s essay questions are posted below. We will follow up with our essay analysis shortly.
Essay 1: What matters most to you, and why?
Essay 2: What are your career aspirations? How will your education at Stanford help you achieve them?
Essay 3: Answer two of the four questions below. Tell us not only what you did but also how you did it. What was the outcome? How did people respond? Only describe experiences that have occurred during the last three years.
Option A: Tell us about a time when you built or developed a team whose performance exceeded expectations.
Option B: Tell us about a time when you made a lasting impact on your organization.
Option C: Tell us about a time when you motivated others to support your vision or initiative.
Option D: Tell us about a time when you went beyond what was defined, established, or expected.