Looking Ahead to the Lauder Class of 2017

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It is hard to believe that it is already summer—that the newest Lauder class has long departed for summer immersion, that the annual Culture Quest is complete, and that our beloved Class of 2014 are now Lauder alums. For the Lauder admissions team summer is a time to regroup and focus on the next application cycle. We have already had a few prospective students visit campus, but we hope to meet many more of you during our travels this summer and in the fall when the official campus visit programs begins.

As we look ahead to the Class of 2017, I wanted to update you on a change to the Lauder admissions process. Instead of requiring Lauder applicants to complete two additional essays as part of their application, both Lauder/MBA and Lauder/JD applicants are now asked to complete just one additional essay, which asks “Please explain why you are currently applying to Lauder. How do you expect the Lauder joint-degree experience to benefit you on both a professional and personal level?” This is your chance to explain to the Lauder admissions committee why you interested in Lauder (versus just the Wharton MBA, Penn Law JD, or other programs), how your previous experiences have prepared you for Lauder, and how Lauder will prepare you to achieve your goals. Our second essay asked applicants to share a cross-cultural experience, and while this essay is no longer part of the Lauder application, I can certainly envision ways in which applicants could speak about cross-cultural challenges and experiences in the 1,000 word Lauder essay that remains. Additionally, some applicants may wish to discuss something additional in their Lauder essay. The wonderful thing about the essay is that there is no formula. We see many fantastic essays every year, and no two look or sound the same. The most important thing is to be authentic and to clearly explain to us “why Lauder”.

The Lauder essay is similarly worded to the required Wharton essay, which asks applicantsWhat do you hope to gain both personally and professionally from the Wharton MBA?”, but our advice is to distinguish between the two essays. While many Lauder applicants’ Wharton essay will touch on their desire to be a part of the Lauder program and/or pursue a global career, the Lauder essay is your place to elaborate, in detail, on why you are applying to Lauder and what you hope to gain from the Lauder experience.

As you begin to prepare your Lauder application for the Class of 2017 I strongly recommend reading the most recent post from the Wharton MBA Admissions blog on changes to the Wharton application and reviewing the post on tips and hints for the OPI in the Lauder admissions blog. Of course, you are also always welcome to email directly with questions.

Have a wonderful summer!

Meghan Ellis
Associate Director of Lauder Admissions
ellismeg@wharton.upenn.edu