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Stanford MSx Application Tips

The MSx application consists of two questions:

What matters most to you, and why?

Why this program now? What are your personal and professional objectives, and how will the Stanford MSx Program help you achieve them?

What matters most to you, and why?

This question is one of the more challenging questions in any business school application. The goal of this essay is to share who you are and what makes you unique. The best essays are those that after a thorough read, the reader will feel as if they already know you. Your motive is for the reader to become so interested in your story that they would want to continue the conversation with you in person and invite you for an interview.

As you brainstorm topics for this question, write down various events and life experiences that were important to you or that served as a turning point in your life. Consider other influences in your life such as the people that are important to you and how they have impacted your life. Additionally, think through the lessons that you have learned and how they have shaped your interaction within your professional and personal life.

With this essay you should aim to share who you are. You should also include why Stanford should admit you into the MBA program.

There is no one formula for answering this question. To be successful, here are some general guidelines. First, approach this essay as if it were the only business school essay that you are writing. Do not use the same essay that you used for a different application. Second, make sure that your essay feels authentic and true to your personality. Third, get a lot of feedback. The feedback should come from people that you know you well: family members, friends, colleagues, mentors, and others.

Why this program now? What are your personal and professional objectives, and how will the Stanford MSx Program help you achieve them?

Taking a year off for a full-time program at the later stages of your career is a major time commitment. Making sure that now is the right time to complete your degree is an important question for Stanford. The program states that it values clarity in goals and this is the area of your application where you can convey to the admissions committee that you have a well thought out plan for when you finish the program.

Showing the research that you have completed into the program is valuable. Take your time to understand how the MSx is unique and how you will benefit from being at Stanford. You can speak to current or past students or attend information sessions. Make sure to go beyond the website to learn about the program.

Above all, with this question, make sure to answer all of the components. There are four different questions being asked here. Specifically, pay attention to the question about your personal objectives as this is something that is not asked in many applications. Sharing some of your personal goals is another way to express who you are.

Length of the essays

Although there is no word limit set by Stanford, you should always exercise caution with the word count and aim to be concise. For MSx applicants who are older and more experienced than MBA candidates, you can complete longer essays. Between the two essays, the combined word count of 1200-2000 is a good range to limit yourself too.

At Oriel Admissions, we have helped applicants to gain entry to Stanford’s MSx and other top EMBA programs. If you would like to know more about our services and how the Oriel team can help you with your applications, please contact Rona at for a free consultation.

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