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Stanford’s “What Matters Most to You, and Why” Essay

By Kyle Watkins (last updated: October 15, 2019)

I’ve found that most admissions consultants provide the same advice on how to answer Stanford’s first essay question, and frankly it’s no different than the advice Stanford provides in the prompt itself: a good answer requires deep self-examination. Unfortunately, I’ve also found this advice to be remarkably unhelpful for MBA applicants setting out to answer the most difficult essay question in business school admissions.

So, while I agree that this essay requires significant self-examination and reflection, I hope to provide some more concrete advice for how to approach that process and how to know when you’ve gotten to a quality answer.

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