And…Stanford GSB jumps into the act. Not sure whether the HBS announcement of it’s “essay” topic prompted this late-night email from Derrick Bolton and his team, but the GSB has reduced the essay word count and recommendation burden. I always thought the final 3rd essay was the least important. And yes, they are keeping the peer review option!
Here’s the announcement:
We’re gearing up for a new application season and we hope you are, too. We’ve made some changes to this year’s application. To help you prepare, whether you’re a first-time applicant or are reapplying, here’s a sneak peek at what’s new when the application launches in early July.
Letters of Reference
This year, we are asking for two references. One reference must come from your direct supervisor (or next best alternative) at work. Your second reference may come from either someone senior to you (i.e.,who has observed your performance) or a peer. This recommender may be someone from your work, or not. For example, someone senior to you could be a client or previous work supervisor or board member. A peer could be a work teammate or a colleague in an extracurricular activity. You get to choose.
With choice comes responsibility. You’ll need to decide what works best in your situation. Do you have a former direct supervisor that knows your work exceptionally well? Then a second professional reference is probably in your best interest. Have you worked on a significant project with peers outside your workplace? You might want your second reference to come from a peer.
The most important consideration is, choose recommenders who can best express your abilities and potential — people who know you and believe in you.
We streamlined here, as well. This year we will ask two essay questions, instead of three. “What matters most to you and why?” remains the primary essay prompt (750 words). The second question, “Why Stanford?” (350 words), asks you to explain how the Stanford MBA Program, specifically, will help you get where you’re trying to go. This question is designed to help you assess how you will contribute to this specific program and community and whether/how it will, in turn, serve you well.
Luckily, some things don’t change. There are three application rounds for admission in fall 2015; you may apply in one of them.
Round 1: 1 October 2014
Round 2: 7 January 2015
Round 3: 1 April 2015
As always, you can find complete information about the application process, including tips, in the Admission section of the website. Here’s to your journey toward business school!
If you’ve got questions, you know where to find me: firstname.lastname@example.org