Wharton LOR Questions: WTF?
I was hoping Wharton would change its inane MBA letter of recommendation questions this year, but, alas, no. Here they are:
Question 1: Please provide example(s) that illustrate why you believe this candidate will find success in the Wharton MBA classroom. (Word count: 300)
Question 2: Please provide example(s) that illustrate why you believe this candidate will find success throughout their career. (Word count: 300)
I say “inane” because while most top schools are easing the LOR process for recommenders through the GMAC Common LOR, Wharton’s vague prompts require recommenders to guess at the school’s intentions, and in the case of question 1, presume that letter writers are well-versed in the Wharton MBA classroom.
Having said that…
For Q1, my advice is to showcase soft skills, the leadership and teamwork (and all their accompanying sub-skills: negotiation, vision setting, conflict resolution, idea generation, etc.) that will make you a “Learning Team” hero. Your actual academic potential is covered by your GMAT and transcripts, but you could also include significant initiatives you’ve taken to push your learning and growth beyond your job requirements.
Q2 is much easier. Since the best predictor of future success is past success, I suggest focusing on your greatest accomplishments and expanding on how you achieved them to illustrate your winning qualities.
This framework might lead to some initial overlap or gaps, but it should give you and your recommenders a clear starting point. And if you already have LOR you’ve developed, you should be able to use some of those examples. But customization is key, and that’s what Wharton wants.