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Sample essays (from Great Application Essays for Business School)


The following are essays from the book Great Application Essays for Business School (McGraw-Hill, 2005) that is being made available on BusinessWeek Online. CONTENT
1. Kellogg - Career Progress Essay...............................................................................................10 Vassily K. (Admitted by Kellogg) ..................................................................................................10 Essay prompt: Briefly assess your career progress to date. Elaborate on your future career plans and your motivation for pursuing a graduate degree at Kellogg. (1-2 pages doublespaced).............................................................................................................................................10 "You came all the way from Israel?" Though my initial reason for visiting Honolulu was in fact a study abroad program at the University of Hawaii, my tour guide at Olakino Life's international headquarters could have been forgiven for getting it wrong. My personal pilgrimage to Oahu to see the birthplace of the firm that epitomizes socially and environmentally responsible business on the Pacific Rim was one of the true highlights and lasting influences of my semester. My conversion was total: I studied Vance Nakamatsu's book "Pacific Healthy," visited Olakino Lifes all across the Pacific Rim, and even sent a letter to Mr. Nakamatsu himself. [Effective word choice ("pilgrimage," "conversion") convinces reader that Vassily is a true believer in corporate social responsibility]...................................10 Though I had learned about Olakino Life during my international marketing course at University of Hawaii, it only crystallized a realization that had been forming since my first marketing class at the Jerusalem College of Technology: marketing, not software engineering, was my real calling. [Deftly introduces essay's second theme-marketing-by tying it into story he opened essay with] I was gripped by the world of consumer behavior, brand management, and marketing strategy I glimpsed through that class, and after returning to Israel added a second major in marketing. Since that semester abroad, my career path has become an unconsciously choreographed dance between two themes: corporate marketing and social responsibility. My experiences with Olakino Life and Wolfgang Puck Worldwide have shown me that, with an MBA, it will be possible to fuse these two themes into one. [Wisely ties story into need for MBA at earliest opportunity].....................................................11 I joined Tel Aviv Consulting after graduation because I knew that as a mid-sized management consulting firm specializing in marketing and sales it would offer me an ideal blend of functional focus and project variety. Over the next two years, I helped grow its first global product marketing strategy project to more than 35 people; rose to manager of the firm's

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html flagship market analysis tool, MarketTouch; and, in my last assignment, helped plan the launch of a new $17 million data security product for one of the firm's largest clients. I moved to Wolfgang Puck Worldwide in 2002 to gain exposure to qualitative, more traditional consumer-focused brand marketing and to work with a corporation with a fully developed corporate responsibility program. Starting with the Market Research department enabled me to lead both quantitative and qualitative consumer research market studies while I learned about the industry. I transferred to the brand marketing team for Wolfgang Puck's Catering & Events Group in November 2002 because I knew working in the company's smallest operational unit would expose me to many different functions and enable me to assume greater responsibility than marketers working on larger brands have. I did everything from manage the marketing campaigns, develop long-term event schedules, and create custom marketing programs to ensure integration between reputation and execution and train the marketing department. [Paragraph deftly interweaves accomplishments with his explanations for his career shifts]........................................................................................................................11 The responsibilities of jump-starting the Catering & Events Group were demanding. Almost immediately after joining Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, I had joined its Community Participation Team for the environment, where I had the pleasure of participating in such events as a local park clean-up and an Earth Day clean-up/celebration. Because the Catering & Events Group was undergoing a transitional period, however, I frequently had to work 12-hour days, which left me virtually no time for the community involvement that gave my career balance...........12 To find that balance I seek a career that will marry my parallel interests in marketing and corporate social responsibility. My long-term career goal is to start or join a consultancy that specializes in corporate social responsibility issues or cause-related marketing/branding like The Wishnow Group or Sutton Social Marketing. By showing for-profit companies how to integrate values and social issues into their brand equity, organizational identity, and daily business practices, I will help firms build sustainable competitive advantages in a socially and environmentally responsible way. Toward that end, my short-term goal is to work for one of the elite socially and/or environmentally responsible companies or brands such as a Brand Manager for Avon or Marketing Manager for Olakino Life or Chiquita Brands. [Compact but meaty description of two-stage career plan]..........................................................................12 To establish a foundation to make my career goals plausible, I chose to leave Wolfgang Puck Worldwide in August 2003 and pursue an experience that would bring my dual community and marketing interests back into balance before beginning an MBA program in 2004. In August 2003, I became a member of Points of Light Foundation, a Washington-based volunteer center and national network that recruits and mobilizes millions of volunteers nationwide to solve serious social problems in thousands of U.S. communities. Today, through Points of Light Foundation's Youth & Family Outreach program I analyze data from the national evaluation of the Points of Light Youth Leadership Institute; help create reports to communicate results of the PLYLI evaluation to stakeholders and funders; and help design and format the Service-Learning Impacting Citizenship curriculum..............................12

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html The Kellogg School of Management--renowned for the excellence of its marketing program and its commitment to community--represents the same fusion of marketing and community I seek in my career. [Nicely establishes paragraph's theme: the tight link between his career goals and Kellogg's program] As a dual marketing and public/nonprofit management major, I can build an in-depth understanding of such advanced topics as product development and design, marketing channel strategies, and sales promotion to prepare myself for a position in brand/marketing management after graduation. To develop a framework for socially responsible business, I will study nonprofit management, social entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and change management among other topics. Supplemental courses in subjects like finance, management and strategy, and organizational behavior will help prepare me for my longer-term interests in consulting and entrepreneurship.........................12 More generally, the accelerated, flexible nature of Kellogg's four-quarter MBA program will enable me return to the workforce as quickly as possible. [Note shift in this paragraph from curricular to extracurricular reasons for choosing Kellogg] I plan to participate actively in such student organizations as the Social Impact Club, Marketing Club, and Business With a Heart. I am also interested in participating in a Kellogg Service Initiative before the fall quarter and in one of the Global Initiatives in Management (GIM) in the winter. Finally, Kellogg's noncompetitive, team-oriented culture is an excellent fit for me. Three campus visits and conversations with Kellogg friends Norm DeVry (Class of '02) and Sharon Weisberg (Class of '00) have already made me feel a part of the Kellogg community. [References to multiple campus visits and specific Kellogg people show true interest] Time and again I have witnessed students' cooperative, supportive team spirit in my visits to the Jacobs Center to attend classes, Social Impact Club meetings, and TGF social events. I am continually impressed by the caliber of Kellogg students and their willingness to help others even during this year's ultra-competitive recruiting season. [Ends somewhat abruptly but only after making very strong case]..............................................................................................13 2. Wharton - Personal Achievement Essay ..................................................................................13 Naomi K. (Admitted by Wharton) ..................................................................................................13 Essay prompt: Describe a personal achievement that has had a significant impact on your life. In addition to recounting this achievement, please analyze how the event has changed your understanding of yourself and how you perceive the world around you. (3 pages, 1000 words)..............................................................................................................................................13 Since 1997, I have been volunteering as a Big Brother for a 12-year-old boy named Lonnie through the Alameda County United Way's Big Brother/Big Sister program. [Naomi's story is strong enough that she can get away with a direct, "uncreative" lead sentence] When I joined the organization, it was clear that Lonnie needed someone to boost his self-esteem. At the end of his school term, Lonnie's mother told me that he did not do very well in math so I also started to help him with his homework. We spent last summer doing extra math work, and I tried to spark his interest in math by explaining things to him using examples from his favorite activity: sports. Once he understood that math had practical value for things in his

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html own life, he was able to catch up to other students. In the fall term Lonnie improved his grade from a C to a B. Hearing this news was one of the proudest moments of my life.....................14 Later in the spring term, however, Lonnie experienced behavioral problems emanating from his inability to control his anger at his school, and the school authorities moved him to a special school. [Effective use of a "plot reversal": apparent happy ending leads to deeper challenge] He told me he missed his old school a lot and was willing to do anything for a chance to go back. He also admitted that he knew he might get his chance if he could control his anger. Seeing that Lonnie needed somebody to help him control his emotions, I worked to give him a sense of security and urged him to reason out the implications of the actions his anger drove him to. I also encouraged him to get a summer job to develop a sense of responsibility. He listened to and practiced my advice, and by the end of summer the authorities allowed him to return to his old school.....................................................................14 My friendship with Lonnie over the past two years is one of my proudest achievements because I have seen the tangible effect my help is having on his confidence and his life. The feeling that I can improve someone else's life by giving of myself is deeply satisfying. Before Lonnie let me help him, I used to divide the world into two parts: good and bad. The Good were the law-abiding citizens like you and me, and the Bad were the criminals we often see on TV being arrested. I firmly believed that all criminals had to be incarcerated and held responsible for their deeds. But by helping Lonnie through his behavioral problem, I realized that had all those "bad" people gotten help in their formative years, they might not have chosen the path they did. [Strong "lesson learned": life is more complicated then she used to believe] Because of my experience with Lonnie, my whole outlook toward society and the world has changed. I no longer believe that incarcerating young people who break the law is the only solution. Though incarceration might help in the short term, the longer-term solution is to take care of the problem proactively. If we all were to devote some time and effort and influence to the lives of the less fortunate, the world would definitely be a better place to live in.......................................................................................................................................................14 Motivated by the positive impact I had on Lonnie's life and the change it had on my outlook, I began participating in other community activities where I can make the world a better place. [Effectively uses impact of one personal accomplishment to tell a second personal accomplishment] While reading about the recent skirmishes between the Bosnian and Serbian armies, for example, I was moved by the sacrifices made by the Bosnian armed forces to protect their country from internal or external invasion. My research showed me that although the Bosnian Army provides sufficient financial support to soldiers killed during war, it does not provide the same level of support to the families of soldiers killed in internal counterinsurgency operations.......................................................................................................15 The amount of money the average American spends eating one restaurant meal could pay for an entire month's education and living expenses for one child of a slain soldier in Bosnia. I therefore decided to found an organization that would establish a scholarship fund for these children. [Shows impressive ability to translate her social concern into concrete action] My

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html friends greeted my idea enthusiastically, and I soon had five volunteers who were willing to support the cause by paying a nominal amount every month for the education of these fatherless children. However, I encountered bureaucratic red tape when I presented Bosnia's Veterans Wives Welfare Association with my plan. To cut through it, I contacted the adjutant general of Bosnian Army, Lieutenant General S. L. Nemosevic, and detailed my plan directly to him. [Shows she can go straight to the top when necessary] Impressed by the idea, he promptly offered all the help he could give..................................................................................15 Leveraging my experience as a volunteer for Big Brothers/Big Sisters, I then formed an organization, [organization name] (Slavic for "helper of brave warrior") whose sole aim is to bring together host families and beneficiary families. The Adjutant General's Office provides us with the contact information and estimated financial needs of the families of the slain soldiers, and we match them with a host family living abroad who donates up to $30 a month. The beneficiary family is required to write the host family every month about the child's academic performance and furnish them and [organization name] with grade reports. [Paragraph is full of specific details that make achievement credible]......................................15 While talking to some Bosnians living in the United States about my plan to set up the fund, I learned that they were uncomfortable with the lack of transparency in the way funds would be disbursed. To address their fears and ensure the appropriate disbursal of the donated funds, I am now contacting Bosnia-based banks to help us facilitate a one-to-one transfer of funds between the host and beneficiary families. I am also setting up a web site (http://www.organizationname.com) to promote the cause amongst Bosnians living abroad. I plan to recruit more volunteers and meet a target of ten host families by year's end by starting low-cost campaigns like chain e-mails and by setting up information booths at Yugoslavian functions. [magnifies impact of her achievement by showing she plans to expand it].........................................................................................................................................16 The change in my outlook that Lonnie effected opened my eyes to the responsibility each of us has to serve our local community, whether it's down the street or on the other side of the globe. Because Lonnie let me help him in his community I was able to establish [organization name] to serve my own community by rehabilitating the families of soldiers who sacrificed their lives for Bosnia's security.....................................................................................................16 3. MIT Sloan Cover Letter Essay ...................................................................................................16 Ingrid T. (Admitted by MIT Sloan) .................................................................................................16 Essay prompt: The cover letter serves as a sort of executive summary for your application. It is also the written equivalent of the first impression which you make when meeting someone for the first time. As such, it should reflect a great deal of time, thought, and energy. Ideally, we will finish reading your cover letter eagerly anticipating reading the rest of the application. (500-800 words)..........................................................................................................16 Dear Admissions Committee Members:........................................................................................17 It is with the single-minded determination to become a new product development manager in the supercomputing industry that I am applying for a seat in the MIT Sloan MBA Class of

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html 2003. [This lead would be too stolid for an essay, but because of MIT's business-letter format it works here] Pursuing an MBA at this time fits perfectly with my career goals and eventual desire to start my own venture......................................................................................................17 Ambition, achievement, and acceleration are common themes in my academic and professional experiences. I chose the Hamburg Technische Institute (HTI) for undergraduate studies not for its top-ranked Advanced Computing program, but for its unparalleled emphasis on developing well-rounded leaders and managers who can take charge in tough situations, readily address any audience on any topic, and provide effective and efficient solutions for challenging problems. No other college in the world offers its students such extensive practical summer training; by the time I graduated, I had been a contributing member of a hot-air balloon team, a Baltic resort design group, a Berlin art museum renovation technology team, and a DM400 million government supercomputer project. [Responds to MIT's instructions for a "summary" by telegraphing several key projects that intrigue reader in her other essays]..............................................................................................17 I was one of only a select few engineering students to pursue a minor in Arabic, and was among only 4% of my classmates admitted to an early-entrance fast-track graduate program in my third year at HTI. Now, in considering graduate business programs, I am seeking a rigorous academic curriculum with parallel opportunities to put theory into practice. In this regard Sloan stands out among the top MBA programs, setting the standard with programs like the MIT $50K Entrepreneurship Competition and by providing MBA students with special access to the world-renowned Media Lab.....................................................................................17 The leadership and service experiences I had as an HTI honors student and government consultant have had a tremendous impact on my interests outside of work. Whenever possible, I have committed my time and energy to my local community whether co-directing an orphanage in Ethiopia, helping the children of Turkish Gastarbeiter seek job opportunities, or raising funds for the reconstruction of the Marienkirche in Dresden by participating in cross-country skiing events................................................................................17 I feel very fortunate to be able to share my most substantial accomplishments with you: [Use of bullets provides visual relief and allows Ingrid to cover wide-ranging material without seeming to ramble].........................................................................................................................18 - Graduating first in the HTI Supercomputing Department's Scientists Training Program, and later ranking 1st among 35 peer HTI undergraduate researchers assigned to the Bundes Wirtschaftliche Agentur (BWA); being personally selected to serve on the BWA Director's East German Integration Team......................................................................................................18 - Leading, managing, and motivating 106 scientific and business personnel in four different organizations responsible for computer design, marketing, commercialization, and supercomputing project evaluations.............................................................................................18 - Earning the designation Zeugnis fr Supercomputing Systeme Bauweise Fachmann (ZSSBF), earned by fewer than 4,900 high-speed computing professionals and equivalent in the industry to the CPA and CFA certifications............................................................................18

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html - Achieving success as a commercial project and account manager for China's largest chemical products distributor and the world's largest robotics manufacturing company, delivering over DM$15M in scientific consulting services[Ingrid offsets her letter's somewhat formal tone with several truly impressive mini-accomplishments]............................................18 My past scientific and commercial experiences involved immersing myself in the management issues of high-tech organizations, honing my leadership and organizational skills, and allowing me to develop extensive expertise in supercomputing. I now wish to apply these experiences and knowledge towards improving existing private-sector computing applications by employing advanced computing designs, as I am certain that the next few years will witness a surge in the efforts of businesses to exploit the data-mining and modeling benefits supercomputers permit...................................................................................18 Considering my rapidly building career momentum and interests, now is the most appropriate time for me to pursue an MBA and grow my new technology product development skills. Sloan's MBA curriculum will supplement my engineering background with a solid understanding of marketing, finance, and technology management. A new product development manager must interface effectively with different business functions, identify and manage the best design strategies, and quickly make sound decisions on the basis of often limited information. The New Product and Venture Development track's focus on innovation will help me to become an adaptive and strategic-minded new product development manager. The chance for hands-on experience through MIT's Entrepreneurship Lab will enhance my grasp of the management tools and techniques successfully applied by rapidly growing ventures. Immediately following my MBA, I intend to assume a position as a technology design manager at a high-intensity startup where I can lead teams in building innovative, useful, high-quality, and profitable supercomputers, such as those now offered by Siemens, Cray, and IBM.............................................................................................................18 Reflecting on the strong relationships I have maintained with my Hamburg Technische Institute classmates, I welcome the chance to build equally strong bonds with my Sloan classmates, enriching my classroom experiences by interacting with them on both social and professional levels. Looking five to 10 years into the future, I would like to start my own venture involving supercomputing technologies. Being able to tap into the extensive experience of Sloan School alumni and the greater MIT alumni communities will be a powerful catalyst for my efforts to create a viable business plan, secure funding, and successfully build a profitable company......................................................................................19 My direct and very recent experience as an early employee of a startup reveals that the road of an entrepreneur is freshly paved with calculated risks and varying uncertainty. Since experiencing the German government's rejection of my application for research funding earlier this month, I am undeterred in my resolve to improve myself as a leader, manager, and supercomputing professional, and am eagerly awaiting my next opportunity for growth and success. [Takes risk by mentioning a setback so near end of essay, but preceding

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html paragraphs have shown Ingrid's successes, goals, and knowledge of MIT's resources to be so strong that her admission only enhances her credibility]......................................................19 I look forward to the opportunity for a personal interview and would be pleased to answer any questions you may have regarding my candidacy...............................................................19 With warm regards,.........................................................................................................................19 4. NYU Stern - Creative Essay .......................................................................................................20 Ashish S. (Admitted by NYU Stern) ..............................................................................................20 Essay prompt: Creatively describe yourself to your MBA classmates. You may use any method to convey your message: words, illustrations, etc. (2 pages) ......................................20 Like any other test day, I was extremely nervous on August 3, 2003, and had slept poorly the night before. [Uses intriguing lead-in to pique reader's interest] The horror stories I had heard about Master Chang's black belt tests had been gnawing at me since I began my training, thirty-three months earlier. Knowing that this test was going to be even more grueling than that for my red belt, I was amazed at my courage in even showing up. ............20 As I entered the gym, I remembered the beginning, the day I had asked the owner of the fitness equipment store next door what he thought of Master Chang. He said simply, "He offers real martial arts instruction. Most places don't." More than two years of continuous training and countless competitions against other schools' students had convinced me that the storeowner was right. I was part of a training program that had no equal. As my training progressed, I became fascinated by the philosophical underpinnings of our style of martial art, traditional Tae Kwon Do. I learned everything I could about the principles of sustaining determination and focus, maintaining an unassuming demeanor, and constantly remaining attentive to my surroundings so as to better respond to any situation. [Shows his dedication to this hobby has a deeper, "philosophical" side] The milestones of my journey to my black belt were still vivid: my first sparring match, my first successful spinning heel kick, the first time one of the high-ranking students told me my technique looked good. With each new achievement my resolve to complete the journey grew stronger ..............................................20 So, despite our anxieties, here we were, the seven students who had risen through the ranks together, steeling ourselves for the most arduous exhibition we had ever experienced: the black belt test. But as I listened to Master Chang count us through our 1,500-crunch warm-up a feeling of calm fell over me. I was experiencing a pivotal moment in my life, but I had been through such moments before. I recalled the day in June 1997 when I decided to leave Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee to gain a Western business education at University of Michigan. [Use of flashback here shows Ashish's response to Stern's invitation to be creative] I had enjoyed my year at IIT, from the academic awards in my first semester and the invitation to join a prominent student club to making several lifelong friends. University of Michigan's fit with my goals was inescapable, however: an entrepreneurial atmosphere in the American business environment coupled with a substantive natural resources & environment program that would enable me to build my own environmental consulting

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html company after graduating. When Michigan offered me an expedited spot in the semester beginning in January, I knew what I had to do. ...........................................................................20 At 600 crunches, I ignored the pain in my abdominal muscles and remembered the summer vacations in Ann Arbor I had spent working at Musgrave Enviro Systems. [Effectively uses the stages of the 1,500-crunch warm-up exercise to work in self-revealing examples from different parts of his life] I decided to work for Musgrave, a local environmental consultancy, because it would give me a working knowledge of environmental consulting. At Musgrave I learned how to do work in an analytical laboratory and gained an understanding of wastewater treatment and solid waste management as well as familiarity with local environmental regulations. Moreover, I was able to interact with environmental consultants, engineers, concerned citizens, corporate executives, and government officials-the dramatis personae of the industry. Dealing personally with all of these individuals showed me what they were like, what their jobs demanded, and how they responded to inevitable changes and problems. This six-month apprenticeship became not only a foundation but also a prerequisite for my career with my startup, New Earth Services, a colloquium on the art and science of environmental consulting. ..........................................................................................21 At 1,200 crunches the pain and fatigue were harder to ignore, but I focused on the day two years before when I had stood glowing triumphantly in a reclaimed greenfield site outside Flint, Michigan. As I waited for Bundy Motors' attorneys to arrive for the final handover ceremony I reflected on the deal about to crystallize, my most significant to date. The Environmental Protection Agency's ruling against Bundy had vindicated New Earth Services' study of the hazards posed by the old Bundy facility and opened the door for a public buyout of the site for remediation as a public park. My in-depth analysis concluded that there was sufficient equity in the deal to turn a profit and cash out investors. The deal made headlines in the local press and doubled New Earth Services' business. Standing there scanning the early-spring grass, I felt a surge of pride at my accomplishment. ......................21 At 1,500 crunches, it was time to leave my life's pivotal moments behind and face my latest one: Master Chang. In a grueling four-hour marathon we were required to perform every strike, block, form, and board break we had learned before finally sparring with multiple attackers. Both our physical and mental stamina were tested as we threw unremitting combinations of kicks and punches with little time to stop and regain equilibrium. When fatigue brought me to the verge of full collapse during a flurry of push-ups, I fixed my mind on the number "10"-the percentage of students who ultimately earned their black belts from Master Chang-and rode through the exhaustion. ........................................................................22 Three weeks later Master Chang presented me with a black belt before the entire advanced class. My martial arts career has taught me the same lesson as my entrepreneurial environmental consulting career: with dedication and determination anything is attainable. Humble perseverance is superior to impulsive audacity. Cumulative action speaks louder than words. [Effectively draws distinctive and well-earned lessons from his moment of truth and triumph]....................................................................................................................................22

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html ..........................................................................................................................................................22 5. American (Kogod) - Essay 1 ......................................................................................................22 14. UC Berkeley (Haas) - Essay 2 ..................................................................................................41 15. UC Berkeley (Haas): ) - Essay 3 ..............................................................................................42 16. UC Berkeley (Haas) - Essay 4 ..................................................................................................44 21. Cambridge (Judge) - Essay 2 ..................................................................................................51 22. Cambridge (Judge) - Essay 3 ..................................................................................................52 23. Case Western Reserve (Weatherhead) - Essay 1 ..................................................................54 24. University of Chicago - Essay 2 ..............................................................................................56 25. Chicago School of Business - Essay 3 ...................................................................................57 27. Columbia - Essay 4 ..................................................................................................................62 31. Cranfield - Essay 3 ...................................................................................................................69 32. Cranfield - Essay 4 ...................................................................................................................71

1. Kellogg - Career Progress Essay


Vassily K. (Admitted by Kellogg) Essay prompt:

Briefly assess your career progress to date. Elaborate

on your future career plans and your motivation for pursuing a graduate degree at Kellogg. (1-2 pages double-spaced)
"You came all the way from Israel?" Though my initial reason for visiting Honolulu was in fact a study abroad program at the University of Hawaii, my tour guide at Olakino Life's international headquarters could have been forgiven for getting it wrong. My personal pilgrimage to Oahu to see the birthplace of the firm that epitomizes socially and environmentally responsible business on the Pacific Rim was one of the true highlights and lasting influences of my semester. My conversion was total: I studied Vance Nakamatsu's book "Pacific Healthy," visited Olakino Lifes all across the Pacific Rim, and even sent a letter to Mr.

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html Nakamatsu himself. [Effective word choice ("pilgrimage," "conversion") convinces reader that Vassily is a true believer in corporate social responsibility] Though I had learned about Olakino Life during my international marketing course at University of Hawaii, it only crystallized a realization that had been forming since my first marketing class at the Jerusalem College of Technology: marketing, not software engineering, was my real calling. [Deftly introduces essay's second theme-marketing-by tying it into story he opened essay with] I was gripped by the world of consumer behavior, brand management, and marketing strategy I glimpsed through that class, and after returning to Israel added a second major in marketing. Since that semester abroad, my career path has become an unconsciously choreographed dance between two themes: corporate marketing and social responsibility. My experiences with Olakino Life and Wolfgang Puck Worldwide have shown me that, with an MBA, it will be possible to fuse these two themes into one. [Wisely ties story into need for MBA at earliest opportunity] I joined Tel Aviv Consulting after graduation because I knew that as a mid-sized management consulting firm specializing in marketing and sales it would offer me an ideal blend of functional focus and project variety. Over the next two years, I helped grow its first global product marketing strategy project to more than 35 people; rose to manager of the firm's flagship market analysis tool, MarketTouch; and, in my last assignment, helped plan the launch of a new $17 million data security product for one of the firm's largest clients. I moved to Wolfgang Puck Worldwide in 2002 to gain exposure to qualitative, more traditional consumer-focused brand marketing and to work with a corporation with a fully developed corporate responsibility program. Starting with the Market Research department enabled me to lead both quantitative and qualitative consumer research market studies while I learned about the industry. I transferred to the brand marketing team for Wolfgang Puck's Catering & Events Group in November 2002 because I knew working in the company's smallest operational unit would expose me to many different functions and enable me to assume greater responsibility than marketers working on larger brands have. I did everything from manage the marketing campaigns, develop long-term event schedules, and create custom marketing programs to ensure integration between reputation and execution and train the marketing department. [Paragraph deftly interweaves accomplishments with his explanations for his career shifts]

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html The responsibilities of jump-starting the Catering & Events Group were demanding. Almost immediately after joining Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, I had joined its Community Participation Team for the environment, where I had the pleasure of participating in such events as a local park clean-up and an Earth Day clean-up/celebration. Because the Catering & Events Group was undergoing a transitional period, however, I frequently had to work 12-hour days, which left me virtually no time for the community involvement that gave my career balance. To find that balance I seek a career that will marry my parallel interests in marketing and corporate social responsibility. My long-term career goal is to start or join a consultancy that specializes in corporate social responsibility issues or cause-related marketing/branding like The Wishnow Group or Sutton Social Marketing. By showing for-profit companies how to integrate values and social issues into their brand equity, organizational identity, and daily business practices, I will help firms build sustainable competitive advantages in a socially and environmentally responsible way. Toward that end, my short-term goal is to work for one of the elite socially and/or environmentally responsible companies or brands such as a Brand Manager for Avon or Marketing Manager for Olakino Life or Chiquita Brands. [Compact but meaty description of two-stage career plan] To establish a foundation to make my career goals plausible, I chose to leave Wolfgang Puck Worldwide in August 2003 and pursue an experience that would bring my dual community and marketing interests back into balance before beginning an MBA program in 2004. In August 2003, I became a member of Points of Light Foundation, a Washington-based volunteer center and national network that recruits and mobilizes millions of volunteers nationwide to solve serious social problems in thousands of U.S. communities. Today, through Points of Light Foundation's Youth & Family Outreach program I analyze data from the national evaluation of the Points of Light Youth Leadership Institute; help create reports to communicate results of the PLYLI evaluation to stakeholders and funders; and help design and format the Service-Learning Impacting Citizenship curriculum. The Kellogg School of Management--renowned for the excellence of its marketing program and its commitment to community--represents the same fusion of marketing and community I seek in my career. [Nicely establishes paragraph's theme: the tight link between his career goals and Kellogg's program] As a dual marketing and public/nonprofit management major, I can

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html build an in-depth understanding of such advanced topics as product development and design, marketing channel strategies, and sales promotion to prepare myself for a position in brand/marketing management after graduation. To develop a framework for socially responsible business, I will study nonprofit management, social entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and change management among other topics. Supplemental courses in subjects like finance, management and strategy, and organizational behavior will help prepare me for my longerterm interests in consulting and entrepreneurship. More generally, the accelerated, flexible nature of Kellogg's four-quarter MBA program will enable me return to the workforce as quickly as possible. [Note shift in this paragraph from curricular to extracurricular reasons for choosing Kellogg] I plan to participate actively in such student organizations as the Social Impact Club, Marketing Club, and Business With a Heart. I am also interested in participating in a Kellogg Service Initiative before the fall quarter and in one of the Global Initiatives in Management (GIM) in the winter. Finally, Kellogg's noncompetitive, team-oriented culture is an excellent fit for me. Three campus visits and conversations with Kellogg friends Norm DeVry (Class of '02) and Sharon Weisberg (Class of '00) have already made me feel a part of the Kellogg community. [References to multiple campus visits and specific Kellogg people show true interest] Time and again I have witnessed students' cooperative, supportive team spirit in my visits to the Jacobs Center to attend classes, Social Impact Club meetings, and TGF social events. I am continually impressed by the caliber of Kellogg students and their willingness to help others even during this year's ultra-competitive recruiting season. [Ends somewhat abruptly but only after making very strong case]

2. Wharton - Personal Achievement Essay


Naomi K. (Admitted by Wharton) Essay prompt:

Describe a personal achievement that has had a

significant impact on your life. In addition to recounting this

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achievement, please analyze how the event has changed your understanding of yourself and how you perceive the world around you. (3 pages, 1000 words)
Since 1997, I have been volunteering as a Big Brother for a 12-year-old boy named Lonnie through the Alameda County United Way's Big Brother/Big Sister program. [Naomi's story is strong enough that she can get away with a direct, "uncreative" lead sentence] When I joined the organization, it was clear that Lonnie needed someone to boost his self-esteem. At the end of his school term, Lonnie's mother told me that he did not do very well in math so I also started to help him with his homework. We spent last summer doing extra math work, and I tried to spark his interest in math by explaining things to him using examples from his favorite activity: sports. Once he understood that math had practical value for things in his own life, he was able to catch up to other students. In the fall term Lonnie improved his grade from a C to a B. Hearing this news was one of the proudest moments of my life. Later in the spring term, however, Lonnie experienced behavioral problems emanating from his inability to control his anger at his school, and the school authorities moved him to a special school. [Effective use of a "plot reversal": apparent happy ending leads to deeper challenge] He told me he missed his old school a lot and was willing to do anything for a chance to go back. He also admitted that he knew he might get his chance if he could control his anger. Seeing that Lonnie needed somebody to help him control his emotions, I worked to give him a sense of security and urged him to reason out the implications of the actions his anger drove him to. I also encouraged him to get a summer job to develop a sense of responsibility. He listened to and practiced my advice, and by the end of summer the authorities allowed him to return to his old school. My friendship with Lonnie over the past two years is one of my proudest achievements because I have seen the tangible effect my help is having on his confidence and his life. The feeling that I can improve someone else's life by giving of myself is deeply satisfying. Before Lonnie let me help him, I used to divide the world into two parts: good and bad. The Good were the law-abiding citizens like you and me, and the Bad were the criminals we often see on TV being arrested. I firmly believed that all criminals had to be incarcerated and held responsible for their deeds. But by helping Lonnie through his behavioral problem, I realized that had all those "bad" people gotten help in their formative

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html years, they might not have chosen the path they did. [Strong "lesson learned": life is more complicated then she used to believe] Because of my experience with Lonnie, my whole outlook toward society and the world has changed. I no longer believe that incarcerating young people who break the law is the only solution. Though incarceration might help in the short term, the longer-term solution is to take care of the problem proactively. If we all were to devote some time and effort and influence to the lives of the less fortunate, the world would definitely be a better place to live in. Motivated by the positive impact I had on Lonnie's life and the change it had on my outlook, I began participating in other community activities where I can make the world a better place. [Effectively uses impact of one personal accomplishment to tell a second personal accomplishment] While reading about the recent skirmishes between the Bosnian and Serbian armies, for example, I was moved by the sacrifices made by the Bosnian armed forces to protect their country from internal or external invasion. My research showed me that although the Bosnian Army provides sufficient financial support to soldiers killed during war, it does not provide the same level of support to the families of soldiers killed in internal counterinsurgency operations. The amount of money the average American spends eating one restaurant meal could pay for an entire month's education and living expenses for one child of a slain soldier in Bosnia. I therefore decided to found an organization that would establish a scholarship fund for these children. [Shows impressive ability to translate her social concern into concrete action] My friends greeted my idea enthusiastically, and I soon had five volunteers who were willing to support the cause by paying a nominal amount every month for the education of these fatherless children. However, I encountered bureaucratic red tape when I presented Bosnia's Veterans Wives Welfare Association with my plan. To cut through it, I contacted the adjutant general of Bosnian Army, Lieutenant General S. L. Nemosevic, and detailed my plan directly to him. [Shows she can go straight to the top when necessary] Impressed by the idea, he promptly offered all the help he could give. Leveraging my experience as a volunteer for Big Brothers/Big Sisters, I then formed an organization, [organization name] (Slavic for "helper of brave warrior") whose sole aim is to bring together host families and beneficiary families. The Adjutant General's Office provides us with the contact information and estimated financial needs of the families of the slain soldiers, and we match

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html them with a host family living abroad who donates up to $30 a month. The beneficiary family is required to write the host family every month about the child's academic performance and furnish them and [organization name] with grade reports. [Paragraph is full of specific details that make achievement credible] While talking to some Bosnians living in the United States about my plan to set up the fund, I learned that they were uncomfortable with the lack of transparency in the way funds would be disbursed. To address their fears and ensure the appropriate disbursal of the donated funds, I am now contacting Bosnia-based banks to help us facilitate a one-to-one transfer of funds between the host and beneficiary families. I am also setting up a web site (http://www.organizationname.com) to promote the cause amongst Bosnians living abroad. I plan to recruit more volunteers and meet a target of ten host families by year's end by starting low-cost campaigns like chain e-mails and by setting up information booths at Yugoslavian functions. [magnifies impact of her achievement by showing she plans to expand it] The change in my outlook that Lonnie effected opened my eyes to the responsibility each of us has to serve our local community, whether it's down the street or on the other side of the globe. Because Lonnie let me help him in his community I was able to establish [organization name] to serve my own community by rehabilitating the families of soldiers who sacrificed their lives for Bosnia's security.

3. MIT Sloan Cover Letter Essay


Ingrid T. (Admitted by MIT Sloan) Essay prompt:

The cover letter serves as a sort of executive summary

for your application. It is also the written equivalent of the first impression which you make when meeting someone for the first time. As such, it should reflect a great deal of time, thought, and energy. Ideally, we will finish reading your cover
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letter eagerly anticipating reading the rest of the application.


(500-800 words). Dear Admissions Committee Members: It is with the single-minded determination to become a new product development manager in the supercomputing industry that I am applying for a seat in the MIT Sloan MBA Class of 2003. [This lead would be too stolid for an essay, but because of MIT's business-letter format it works here] Pursuing an MBA at this time fits perfectly with my career goals and eventual desire to start my own venture. Ambition, achievement, and acceleration are common themes in my academic and professional experiences. I chose the Hamburg Technische Institute (HTI) for undergraduate studies not for its top-ranked Advanced Computing program, but for its unparalleled emphasis on developing wellrounded leaders and managers who can take charge in tough situations, readily address any audience on any topic, and provide effective and efficient solutions for challenging problems. No other college in the world offers its students such extensive practical summer training; by the time I graduated, I had been a contributing member of a hot-air balloon team, a Baltic resort design group, a Berlin art museum renovation technology team, and a DM400 million government supercomputer project. [Responds to MIT's instructions for a "summary" by telegraphing several key projects that intrigue reader in her other essays] I was one of only a select few engineering students to pursue a minor in Arabic, and was among only 4% of my classmates admitted to an early-entrance fast-track graduate program in my third year at HTI. Now, in considering graduate business programs, I am seeking a rigorous academic curriculum with parallel opportunities to put theory into practice. In this regard Sloan stands out among the top MBA programs, setting the standard with programs like the MIT $50K Entrepreneurship Competition and by providing MBA students with special access to the world-renowned Media Lab. The leadership and service experiences I had as an HTI honors student and government consultant have had a tremendous impact on my interests outside of work. Whenever possible, I have committed my time and energy to my local community whether co-directing an orphanage in Ethiopia, helping the children of Turkish Gastarbeiter seek job opportunities, or raising funds for the

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html reconstruction of the Marienkirche in Dresden by participating in cross-country skiing events. I feel very fortunate to be able to share my most substantial

accomplishments with you: [Use of bullets provides visual relief and allows Ingrid to cover wide-ranging material without seeming to ramble] - Graduating first in the HTI Supercomputing Department's Scientists Training Program, and later ranking 1st among 35 peer HTI undergraduate researchers assigned to the Bundes Wirtschaftliche Agentur (BWA); being personally selected to serve on the BWA Director's East German Integration Team - Leading, managing, and motivating 106 scientific and business personnel in four different organizations responsible for computer design, marketing, commercialization, and supercomputing project evaluations - Earning the designation Zeugnis fr Supercomputing Systeme Bauweise Fachmann (ZSSBF), earned by fewer than 4,900 high-speed computing professionals and equivalent in the industry to the CPA and CFA certifications - Achieving success as a commercial project and account manager for China's largest chemical products distributor and the world's largest robotics manufacturing company, delivering over DM$15M in scientific consulting services[Ingrid offsets her letter's somewhat formal tone with several truly impressive mini-accomplishments] My past scientific and commercial experiences involved immersing myself in the management issues of high-tech organizations, honing my leadership and organizational skills, and allowing me to develop extensive expertise in supercomputing. I now wish to apply these experiences and knowledge towards improving existing private-sector computing applications by employing advanced computing designs, as I am certain that the next few years will witness a surge in the efforts of businesses to exploit the data-mining and modeling benefits supercomputers permit. Considering my rapidly building career momentum and interests, now is the most appropriate time for me to pursue an MBA and grow my new technology product development skills. Sloan's MBA curriculum will supplement my engineering background with a solid understanding of marketing, finance, and

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html technology management. A new product development manager must interface effectively with different business functions, identify and manage the best design strategies, and quickly make sound decisions on the basis of often limited information. The New Product and Venture Development track's focus on innovation will help me to become an adaptive and strategic-minded new product development manager. The chance for hands-on experience through MIT's Entrepreneurship Lab will enhance my grasp of the management tools and techniques successfully applied by rapidly growing ventures. Immediately following my MBA, I intend to assume a position as a technology design manager at a high-intensity startup where I can lead teams in building innovative, useful, high-quality, and profitable supercomputers, such as those now offered by Siemens, Cray, and IBM. Reflecting on the strong relationships I have maintained with my Hamburg Technische Institute classmates, I welcome the chance to build equally strong bonds with my Sloan classmates, enriching my classroom experiences by interacting with them on both social and professional levels. Looking five to 10 years into the future, I would like to start my own venture involving supercomputing technologies. Being able to tap into the extensive experience of Sloan School alumni and the greater MIT alumni communities will be a powerful catalyst for my efforts to create a viable business plan, secure funding, and successfully build a profitable company. My direct and very recent experience as an early employee of a startup reveals that the road of an entrepreneur is freshly paved with calculated risks and varying uncertainty. Since experiencing the German government's rejection of my application for research funding earlier this month, I am undeterred in my resolve to improve myself as a leader, manager, and supercomputing professional, and am eagerly awaiting my next opportunity for growth and success. [Takes risk by mentioning a setback so near end of essay, but preceding paragraphs have shown Ingrid's successes, goals, and knowledge of MIT's resources to be so strong that her admission only enhances her credibility] I look forward to the opportunity for a personal interview and would be pleased to answer any questions you may have regarding my candidacy. With warm regards,

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4. NYU Stern - Creative Essay


Ashish S. (Admitted by NYU Stern) Essay prompt:

Creatively describe yourself to your MBA classmates.

You may use any method to convey your message: words, illustrations, etc. (2 pages)
Like any other test day, I was extremely nervous on August 3, 2003, and had slept poorly the night before. [Uses intriguing lead-in to pique reader's interest] The horror stories I had heard about Master Chang's black belt tests had been gnawing at me since I began my training, thirty-three months earlier. Knowing that this test was going to be even more grueling than that for my red belt, I was amazed at my courage in even showing up. As I entered the gym, I remembered the beginning, the day I had asked the owner of the fitness equipment store next door what he thought of Master Chang. He said simply, "He offers real martial arts instruction. Most places don't." More than two years of continuous training and countless competitions against other schools' students had convinced me that the storeowner was right. I was part of a training program that had no equal. As my training progressed, I became fascinated by the philosophical underpinnings of our style of martial art, traditional Tae Kwon Do. I learned everything I could about the principles of sustaining determination and focus, maintaining an unassuming demeanor, and constantly remaining attentive to my surroundings so as to better respond to any situation. [Shows his dedication to this hobby has a deeper, "philosophical" side] The milestones of my journey to my black belt were still vivid: my first sparring match, my first successful spinning heel kick, the first time one of the high-ranking students told me my technique looked good. With each new achievement my resolve to complete the journey grew stronger So, despite our anxieties, here we were, the seven students who had risen through the ranks together, steeling ourselves for the most arduous exhibition we had ever experienced: the black belt test. But as I listened to Master Chang count us through our 1,500-crunch warm-up a feeling of calm fell over me. I

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html was experiencing a pivotal moment in my life, but I had been through such moments before. I recalled the day in June 1997 when I decided to leave Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee to gain a Western business education at University of Michigan. [Use of flashback here shows Ashish's response to Stern's invitation to be creative] I had enjoyed my year at IIT, from the academic awards in my first semester and the invitation to join a prominent student club to making several lifelong friends. University of Michigan's fit with my goals was inescapable, however: an entrepreneurial atmosphere in the American business environment coupled with a substantive natural resources & environment program that would enable me to build my own environmental consulting company after graduating. When Michigan offered me an expedited spot in the semester beginning in January, I knew what I had to do. At 600 crunches, I ignored the pain in my abdominal muscles and remembered the summer vacations in Ann Arbor I had spent working at Musgrave Enviro Systems. [Effectively uses the stages of the 1,500-crunch warm-up exercise to work in self-revealing examples from different parts of his life] I decided to work for Musgrave, a local environmental consultancy, because it would give me a working knowledge of environmental consulting. At Musgrave I learned how to do work in an analytical laboratory and gained an understanding of wastewater treatment and solid waste management as well as familiarity with local environmental regulations. Moreover, I was able to interact with environmental consultants, engineers, concerned citizens, corporate executives, and government officials-the dramatis personae of the industry. Dealing personally with all of these individuals showed me what they were like, what their jobs demanded, and how they responded to inevitable changes and problems. This six-month apprenticeship became not only a foundation but also a prerequisite for my career with my startup, New Earth Services, a colloquium on the art and science of environmental consulting. At 1,200 crunches the pain and fatigue were harder to ignore, but I focused on the day two years before when I had stood glowing triumphantly in a reclaimed greenfield site outside Flint, Michigan. As I waited for Bundy Motors' attorneys to arrive for the final handover ceremony I reflected on the deal about to crystallize, my most significant to date. The Environmental Protection Agency's ruling against Bundy had vindicated New Earth Services' study of the hazards posed by the old Bundy facility and opened the door for a public buy-out of the site for remediation as a public park. My in-depth analysis concluded that there was sufficient equity in the deal to turn a profit and cash out investors. truonghang297@gmail.com

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html The deal made headlines in the local press and doubled New Earth Services' business. Standing there scanning the early-spring grass, I felt a surge of pride at my accomplishment. At 1,500 crunches, it was time to leave my life's pivotal moments behind and face my latest one: Master Chang. In a grueling four-hour marathon we were required to perform every strike, block, form, and board break we had learned before finally sparring with multiple attackers. Both our physical and mental stamina were tested as we threw unremitting combinations of kicks and punches with little time to stop and regain equilibrium. When fatigue brought me to the verge of full collapse during a flurry of push-ups, I fixed my mind on the number "10"-the percentage of students who ultimately earned their black belts from Master Chang-and rode through the exhaustion. Three weeks later Master Chang presented me with a black belt before the entire advanced class. My martial arts career has taught me the same lesson as my entrepreneurial environmental consulting career: with dedication and determination anything is attainable. Humble perseverance is superior to impulsive audacity. Cumulative action speaks louder than words. [Effectively draws distinctive and well-earned lessons from his moment of truth and triumph]

5. American (Kogod) - Essay 1

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html Question:

Why do you wish to pursue a master's degree from the

Kogod School of Business? (Your statement should include short- and long-term career goals and your ability to undertake graduate education at this time.)

I moved to New York in 1998, intent on becoming a professional writer. In my mind, that meant supporting myself solely by my writing and eventually having a book published. At the time, I expected these career goals would take at least ten years to achieve. But due to hard work, perseverance, and a little bit of luck, I had been successful. Not only had I become a staff writer for a Wall Street-based financial website less than two years after arriving in New York, but had made the difficult transition into self-employment and freelancing. Yet by the time my wife and I relocated to Richmond, this was no longer enough. I knew that I wanted to pursue an MBA, but still had not achieved all my existing goals. Although I was a professional journalist, I still had yet to publish a book. I decided to pursue this goal before returning to school, and took the opportunity to breathe new life and drive into my day-to-day work by expanding into new areas of writing. Soon, I was no longer just a journalist, but a ghostwriter for private clients, a copywriter for corporations, and a published author. At the beginning of 2003, I had never published a book in my life. By year's end, I had written four one published under my name, and three ghostwritten for clients published under their names. As I worked on these books last summer, I considered the next step in my career. Feeling proud of my ability to achieve both goals in less than five years, I also realized that my opportunities as a self-employed writer were narrowing. My success was encouraging, yet I had not reached my full potential. I wanted to take my career in a new direction, and acknowledged that I am at my best, both professionally and personally, when I am challenged to learn something new. Although I had written for a variety of clients and publications on various topics, and had written books both for a national publisher and self-published individuals, I had run out of challenges in the world of self-employment. So as I began creating new goals for myself, I realized that one thing was essential to the next step in my career an MBA. I say this because although I intend to continue writing, I want to eventually run my own publication and/or business. At this point, I'm uncertain just what that would be, but I've learned that few executives in the publishing

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html world are accomplished writers themselves. By getting an MBA and working towards an executive position at a media or publishing company, I would have an opportunity to do something few in the business can bridge the gap between content and management. As I discussed this with colleagues, clients, my mentor, and others, my opinions were reinforced and I was encouraged to pursue this route. Today, I am confident and ready to gain the business education necessary to achieve the goal I've set for myself.

6. Arizona (Eller) - Essay 1


QUESTION:

What are your current career objectives and what role

does the MBA have in helping you achieve them?

My long-term career goals are in the field of marketing with a specific interest in brand management. The importance of well-managed brands in a competitive market cannot be overstated. They create significant value and consistently generate higher returns than industry competitors. Effective brand management benefits all stakeholders: customers, shareholders and employees. In many respects a brand is an identity, effectively managing that identity will have significantly positive long-term effects on a companies competitive position in the marketplace. In order for these continuing effects to be realized a brand management strategy must move beyond the initial placement of a product in the market. Developing a platform on which a brand may extend its reach is critical to success of these long-term positive impacts. Without such a strategy, products will move in to the market and move out just as quickly. The development and maintenance of these strategies in increasingly competitive and fragmented markets is truly where my career interest lies. Knowing that this is the direction in which I intend to take my career, the next logical step is to take inventory of my skill sets and experiences. This inventory reveals that while I have a strong background with respect to leadership and management skill sets, I do not have a functional knowledge truonghang297@gmail.com

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html base in the field of marketing. My past successes have been that result of effective employment of my functional expertise in naval logistics and my leadership, management and team building skills. From a functional expertise or functional knowledge point of view, these experiences and successes have little or no relation to neither marketing nor brand management. This is a significant problem if I am to realize my career goals. Now that I have identified the major roadblock to realizing my career goals what do I do next? First I decided I had to leave the Navy. However, separating from the Navy was not an easy decision. I had a good job and one that was largely enjoyable. However, it did not fit into my long-term plans. Thus, when I made the decision to leave the Navy it was paired with the decision to acquire the skill sets and knowledge that will allow me to make my career goals a reality. My post Navy experience has shown me that I have a base of leadership and management skills that are well developed and competitive in a corporate environment. However, my functional expertise in naval logistics has not transferred into a set of skills or knowledge base that is easily utilized in the same environment. Through an MBA program I will seek to develop the knowledge and skill sets that will allow me to compete in the corporate world in the field of marketing. In choosing Arizona's Eller School of Management as a perspective MBA program I considered many factors. First, it goes without saying that Eller has an impeccable reputation for producing top-notch MBAs. Further, Arizona is clearly making a run up the rankings in recent years. I intend to focus my MBA on marketing, however, I also wish to develop general management, finance and entrepreneurial skill sets as well as to learn how to leverage information systems technologies within the marketing arena. These areas play right into Eller's strengths. Developing these skills will enable me to understand how marketing fits into the larger corporate picture, utilize entrepreneurial knowledge to compete within an organization as well as on my own and hone the leadership and management skills required of future leaders in industry. The Eller School of Management gives me the best chance at attaining these skills and developing them to such a level that I will be able to achieve my long termcareer goals. Second, Arizona's location in the Southwest and its diverse student body are assets of which few schools can boast. The resources and opportunities that exist in this area are unparalleled and growing everyday. The southwest offers a plethora of opportunities for expanding both your professional and personal horizons in a very diverse environment. Eller's efforts to embrace that diversity,

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html both on and off campus, ensure the students a truly robust learning environment, one in which the free exchange of ideas is encouraged. The University of Arizona's environment gives me the best chance to experience culture and ideas in a truly diverse environment. Lastly, I have chosen Eller because it is hard. I do not have the traditional background that is required of most MBA students. Arizona's MBA program is not a cakewalk for anyone, and that will be especially true of me. However, I will succeed and I will contribute and I will make Arizona's MBA program a better experience for my classmates. Earning my MBA from Eller will be an accomplishment I will be supremely proud of and it gives me the best chance to realize my personal and professional goals.

7. Baylor (Hankamer) - Essay 1


QUESTION:

Explain

how

your

academic

background,

prior

professional experience, ideas and goals would contribute to the educational experiences of your fellow graduate classmates.

Completing my degree in computer science and mathematics has given me a strong technical foundation in computer development. My undergraduate work covered areas such as hardware architecture, data structure concepts and software development. One of the most interesting programming assignments I was given was to develop an algebra tutor software package to be used by college algebra students. I worked with a team of developers to design a program that could solve any set of linear equations and display a 2D or 3D graph of the equations. The aspect I liked most about our project was the fact that it was used to teach a difficult subject in a clear and simple manner.

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html I have always enjoyed teaching others. For three semesters at [deleted], I had the unique opportunity to teach College Connection courses with a professor. College Connection is a course designed to help incoming freshman make a smooth transition from high school to college. As a peer leader, I covered material such as personal responsibility, personal finance, relationships and the study habits of a master student. My job was using my experience as a student and young adult to give practical advice to the class. One of the main aspects of being a peer leader was being a friend to whom the students could come for help, advice and guidance. I brought many of the skills I learned in the College Connection classroom to my job as a certified pharmacy technician. Two of my prominent responsibilities as the most experienced technician on our staff are training new I.V. technicians and preparing new employees for the pharmacy technician certification exam. In a hospital I.V. room, sterile technique and cautious procedure must be followed in order to prevent the accidental infection of patients. I have created a formal training program each new technician must complete before meeting I.V. room qualification for our pharmacy. I have also devised the curriculum and quizzes for new employees to follow in order to prepare for the pharmacy technician certification exam. This test covers all areas of pharmaceutical work including I.V. technique, drug families, narcotics and pharmaceutical mathematics. Many of our new technicians do not have previous pharmacy experience, and one of the challenges I face is presenting this new pharmaceutical information in a manner in which they can relate and understand. I look forward to the challenge and realize explaining foreign concepts may be a large facet of my future career. As I look forward to a profession of combining my computer science background with the business capabilities an MBA will provide, I realize explaining technical information may very well be a part of my job description. When explaining new concepts to coworkers, managers or clients, it is important to be able to present the information in more than one light. People have diverse styles of learning and it is necessary to have the ability to adapt to each person's particular style. It is also important to be able to convey a sense of what information is vital and what information is supportive. Instructing others has helped me develop both my ability to look at problems in different ways and my ability to decipher what information is most significant. I feel this experience will prove to be very beneficial in both my business and my academic careers.

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html The prospect of both teaching and learning from others is one of the key elements that attracted me to pursue a computer science/MBA/MSIS combination. I look forward to working with other students from diverse academic backgrounds. I will be willing to help my classmates with any technical aspects I am familiar with from my experience as a computer science undergraduate. I will be able to apply my background of teaching both at [deleted] to the and at the hospital to helping my classmates can my classmates me from with technical their particular information covered in [deleted] course work. At the same time, I will be open assistance give undergraduate field of study. I will enjoy the opportunity to work with highly talented and motivated students. Sharing ideas and experiences will give me the chance to improve myself while helping my peers.

8. Boston College (Carroll): Essay 1


QUESTION:

What are your career goals upon graduating from the

Carroll School of Management at BC? Please be specific. What steps do you plan to take before, during, and after your degree program to achieve career success in this field?

I have worked in the nonprofit world for seven years and witnessed the elemental nature of nonprofits' role in small communities. I have also observed that they operate under their own terms, often overlooking business trends and omitting basic strategies that could lend stability to their vital programs. While nonprofits largely depend upon the corporate world for financial support and expertise, they struggle to develop mutually beneficial relationships with these corporations. This factor handicaps their ability to be both entrepreneurial within their mission and competitive in current markets. My goal is to become a leader in the nonprofit sector supporting the visual arts. I hope to become an executive director for an arts institution, such as a museum. I believe that the arts are valuable agents for social change, capable of

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html building tourism and economic stability, educational opportunities and mutual understanding among people. My goal is to find creative ways for arts institutions to take full advantage of their cultural resources and provide solid economic development within communities. Museums have a unique capacity to drive tourism and retail sales that exponentially increases a community's economic strength, all while adding to its cultural breadth. I wish to develop these facets to their fullest potential. I envision leading a nonprofit that specifically works to build markets for local artists and integrates arts curriculum into public schools. At the Museum of [deleted] Foundation, I have built funding constituencies for four museums. These museums consistently integrate education into many aspects of their public programs and exhibitions at great benefit to local families and visitors. While these elements are at play in museums they can also occur in a distinct capacity, as with Aid to Artisans. This global nonprofit represents artists and simultaneously builds their marketing acumen, facilitates the distribution of their products and fortifies their livelihoods. For four years I have devoted myself to the Museum of [deleted] Foundation. Housed in a beautiful 200 year-old adobe house on the [deleted] Plaza, surrounded by 400 years of multicultural history, the work accomplished by the foundation brings progressive ideas to an historic community. In this extraordinary setting, I have learned the strengths and weaknesses of the four museums whose funding is my charge. Our dynamic foundation manages $12 million in endowment and builds private support for these state museums. The foundation effectively ties together arts, education and economic development by offering state museums an entrepreneurial avenue for growth. We incorporate both the museum shops and a licensing program into fundraising operations, and steady income streams are growing as a result. As Director of Development, my experience has encompassed communications, funding campaigns, finance, donor cultivation, estate planning, management, and marketing inclusively for the museums. Fundraising is the central focus to the foundation's mission and my work has a major influence on our direction and success as an institution. I am the primary liaison between the museums and their donors and my role is both to promote institutional credibility in the eyes of constituents and to gain their financial commitments. One unexpected benefit of working with the foundation is that I have been given tremendous responsibility. I was promoted to a senior leadership position two years ago, becoming the youngest woman to hold this

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html position in foundation history. I have excelled in building cooperation among museum departments, involving donors in our organizational vision, and improving intra-office relations with museum staff. Additionally, my fundraising colleagues are primarily volunteer board members who are active community leaders 50 to 80 years of age. The ability to gain their respect has developed my confidence as a leader early on in my career. I have learned to work within the [deleted] community to build private funding sources within the political context of a state institution. I seek an MBA degree from Carroll School of Management because it will empower me to improve the level of professionalism and management in the nonprofit world, while also working to increase sustainable income in a competitive economy. I plan to build relevant finance, marketing and management skills through business studies. Nonprofits need to better translate their needs into a message that communicates with corporate sponsors, engaging businesses to fulfill their corporate goals and fundraising goals at the same time. I intend to gain a better understanding of the private sector and apply it directly to the unique issues and politics of nonprofits. Charles DuBois once declared that the important thing is, "To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become." This eloquently embodies my motivation to enroll in graduate school at this time. While I am currently in a career that offers much growth potential, I believe that it is more important to gain skills now that will not readily be learned on the job. MBA training will dramatically broaden my scope of business vision and I will be able to apply this new knowledge immediately. In return, my contribution will be to bring maturity, humor, determination and a passion for nonprofits to the Boston College community. Carroll School of Management will lend structured business acumen to the experience I have already gained, truly bringing renewed creativity to my nonprofit arts career.

9. Boston College (Carroll) - Essay 2


QUESTION:

Discuss the accomplishment of yours which required the

most effort to achieve. What intermediary steps were necessary? How did you overcome challenges along the way? (1-2 pages)
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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html

As life progresses, the significance and related difficulty of achieving accomplishments also changes. I can recall winning a photography contest in the local newspaper and thinking it was a great accomplishment, but by the time I reached high school, the achievement decreased in relative importance. Similarly, the accomplishment which requires the most effort to achieve is often the most recent one, perhaps only due to fading memories of the effort required for earlier achievements. During my adult life, I have tried to continually re-establish new goals every few years. These have grown from simply wishing to see the world to furthering my education, both personally and professionally. Attaining a patent by the age of 30, co-founding a start-up company by 35, and now pursuing an MBA are examples of such goals - each requiring substantial effort to achieve. But one of my most recent goals was difficult to accomplish due to an unexpected lack of support from my family, which was very unique for me considering the closeness of my family in other matters. Learning to fly had always been an interest of mine even before I briefly considered aeronautical engineering while in college: I always requested a window seat on commercial flights, and enjoyed small planes while traveling. So at the age of 33, I decided to pursue a private pilot's license. Investigating flight schools, instructors, and costs were the first steps in my typical engineering analysis. The time commitment, both ground-school and in the air, would be substantial and would require cut-backs in other recreational activities, such as golf, softball, and skiing. Budgeting time between work and personal life would also be a challenge, since family visits with grandparents and a new niece were high priorities. My search led to a part-time flight instructor who was also an engineer and a flight-school with brand-new equipment and a need for students. The one initial obstacle that I did not foresee in my analysis was that of my family's lack of support. Virtually my entire extended family lives in the [deleted] area: Parents, sister, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins - quite a nice crowd at holidays and birthdays. They have always been supportive, even during difficult times such as when I divorced. But learning to fly small planes was not something that they could appreciate or support: They questioned my safety, the costs, the benefits,

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html and the reasons. Instead of sharing my eagerness and excitement, they only questioned and dampened it. Dealing with the rigors of flight training, bumpy landings, and windy weather, all require fortitude of mind and body. Pushing personal limits of fear and mental acuity, while making reasoned, safe decisions can be learned, so that soft landings even in high winds can be accomplished. Soloing and a few cross-country solo trips were major milestones where hours of training and studying won out over apprehension and self-doubt, not to mention complicated weather. But the issue of my family's support of the whole endeavor was the most difficult obstacle to overcome. Throughout life we tend to highly value family's opinions about our life choices. Most are reasonable and do not often conflict other than in some specific situations that can be reasoned through. But wholehearted disagreement and concern are difficult to appease. Being unable to discuss my progress and accomplishments with my family was the most difficult aspect of the learning process. Being able to share one's goals and experiences is a key part of any relationship and separating this from my relationship with family members was certainly a challenge I had not expected, and had much difficulty with. Fortunately, I have a wide and diverse group of friends who were supportive and with whom I could share my experiences, personal achievements, and disappointments. Without these people who are close to me, I doubt that I would have reached my goal. But now taking friends up for short trips has become a well-earned point of pride and enjoyment for us all. Within my family, I have been able to break down misconceptions and inform some of them of my recent license. A famous aviation author did not inform her mother about her license for eight years, so my goal is to improve on that timeline. It will surely be a slow process, but as with any difficult endeavor, the opportunity for continued learning and growth is an on-going benefit of the process, and one that I look forward to every day.

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html

10. Boston University - Essay 1


QUESTION:

Describe

how

your

personal

distinctiveness

will

contribute to a stronger learning environment at Boston University and will serve to further your success as a manager.
When I am asked to define myself I smile and explain that I am a "financial translator". Professionally, I translate financial needs and transform these requisites into effective solutions with the aid of technology. In fact, everyone tells me I am quite a rare species because I am able to combine the best out of economic and business knowledge with experience in information systems creation, design and implementation. My whole array of intangible tools helps me everyday to redefine business processes and interact with a wide spectrum of individuals. Naturally, I have become the reference person in all the financial departments of my company supporting the decisions made regarding financial systems. As a teenager, I clearly interpreted that it was fundamental to understand the best of both worlds and that this equilibrium was going to be the key to my success as a professional. Indeed, it has been very rewarding since. My personal attributes are singular. I am definitely a well-rounded person, including personal achievements, a wonderful family and extraordinary life experiences. All of these combined with professional success and self-reliance helps me identify the special things. For example, sharing a cooking session with my wife on a Saturday afternoon before our guests arrive is a perfect balance after nearly killing myself in a tough hockey match. This is special. My mind is also ethically at ease. My core values are respected throughout my activities and feelings towards the rest of the society. There is no use in going forward with some kind of action that can hurt or damage anyone. I tend to look for win-win situations in which every member gets his share. This constant aim has focused my short and long term objectives in every new venture. If there is anyone involved in the project who does not benefit from it,

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html then something has to be revised and corrected. Every participant should have his incentive. In Argentina, youngsters usually live with their parents until they get married at the age of 25 or 30 years old. That was not my case. My struggle for independence was such that at the age of 21 I was already feeling restless at home. It was a perfect occasion for moving together with my fiance at that time, today my wife. This forced us to become economically independent and to make essential decisions at an early age. However, this was of enormous help in the years to come and forged us both as individuals and as a couple. Today I am completely prepared for facing one of the most important decisions of my life. Because my father's family came from Ohio to Argentina and my mother's directly from Spain, my education had a smooth mixture of Anglo-Saxon rationality with Latin energy. On the one hand this may seem as water and oil mixed together, but on the other hand it magnificently helped me to understand how both cultures coexist and how to use the best out of each one. At work, I absolutely know how to communicate with a local subordinate as with an international business manager. Undoubtedly I have made good use of this skill. Boston University's classroom will assuredly be enhanced with my whole set of working situations and experiences ranging from entrepreneurship in my early days, family small business, consulting activity and current corporate exposure. Moreover, Argentina does not fall back in all my non-formal education and capacity: having been exposed to Argentine reality since a teenager gave me the grip I now need to manage in easy and in difficult times. Also, my compulsory military service showed me how to understand hierarchies. Only now can I realize how much these experiences have added value to my personal and professional life, and in what a manner will they continue to mould me and enrich BU's classroom. There are really no boundaries for my growth and the only limits that I might find are the ones created just by me. I will definitely bring different South American point of views and creative perspectives to the widespread classroom discussions. I hope that my complete development as a person and personal experiences will have effects on other's minds and feelings. Every member of the BU community should benefit from this wonderful contribution.

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html

11. Boston University - Essay 2


QUESTION:

Your reasons for applying to the Executive MBA Program

at this time, and the role you expect the MBA degree to play in changing your future.
I am applying to the Executive MBA Program because I am confident the program is ideally suited to my personal and professional development needs. I believe my contributions and participation will benefit the experience for the other participants. After reading about the program, attending an information session including classes, meeting with current and former students and speaking with some of the staff, I am eager for the opportunity to become a member of the 16th EMBA class. My background matches the EMBA Executive Profile. I have been working professionally for 15 years and have enough experience to be familiar with many of the problems facing business leaders today. In recent years, I have taken on more leadership and management responsibilities within [deleted]. I recognize the experience offered by the Executive MBA program is ideally suited to help me meet the challenges I face on a daily basis. While at [deleted] I transitioned from an individual contributor as a software developer to software project lead to engineering manager. Although I found this transition a natural progression, I recognize the need to improve in many areas, especially as my responsibilities require me to interact with other functional organizations outside of engineering, such as marketing and finance. As I interact with other functional organizations within [deleted], I realize I can better contribute in a collaborative environment if I have a more thorough understanding of their needs and how these organizations run. I expect my MBA degree to be more than a "resume bullet". I intend to gain knowledge in areas that I have not studied before such as in marketing and finance. I hope to develop lifetime friendships and forge professional relationships that extend well beyond the completion of the program. Finally, as I share and relive my personal and professional experiences with others, I will

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html gain new insights to these experiences and will be able to better internalize them. In addition to my personal and professional experiences, I believe my personality and style are ideally suited for the team learning environment. I have been recognized for my leadership, energy, drive and ability to "get the group moving". I am consistently upbeat and maintain a positive attitude. I am particularly proud of the following highlight from my recent performance appraisal, "[deleted] not only makes it ok to laugh and have fun, he makes it a part of our daily lives. Every organization in the company would be better off if they had a [deleted] in this area." As I have transitioned to management, I have been privileged to work for two extremely seasoned and competent managers. The lessons, guidance, mentoring, leadership and insights they have provided me have been instrumental in my growth and development. They have been excellent role models and have inspired and encouraged me to follow management as a career growth path. I believe I can bring their lessons and experience to the classroom. The experiences I can contribute come not only with former managers but also with the diverse companies I have worked for. I have worked for two startup companies with less than 30 employees, as well as larger companies. My employment with startup companies has given me significant exposure to the executive staff and insight into the roles of these positions within a company. Working for larger companies has provided me the opportunity work in and observe more complex organizational structures. The most critical issue facing my organization, as well as all of [deleted], is the collapse of most of our market segments, especially the optical telecommunications market. This collapse has impacted all aspects of our business and poses some of the greatest challenges that [deleted] has ever encountered. The first major challenge we face is to remain focused on customer centered product development and on execution of new product development processes. Our customers have also been severely affected by the downturn in the economy and many have been through significant reorganizations and have radically changed their product roadmaps. It remains more critical than ever to work and partner with our customers to ensure we can deliver product solutions to meet their needs.

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html The next challenge is to be fiscally prudent, improve gross margins and manage expenses. Gross margins can be improved through disciplined discount management and reducing the cost to build and manufacture our products. We continue to manage expenses through staff reductions, shutdowns and delayed capital investments. The final challenge is to continue to invest in our people. We need to communicate honestly, encourage collaboration and give people opportunities to work on exciting and challenging projects. We need to remain positive regarding our future, continue to reward success and lead through the downturn. The most significant challenges I face in my immediate job are extensions of the items listed above with an emphasis on keeping my organization focused on creating products to enable [deleted] to make it through the downturn. In closing I want to reemphasize that I believe I am an ideal match for the EMBA program. If accepted to the program I assure you I will not let the school, faculty or my fellow students down. I am mentally and emotionally ready for the challenge of the program and will tackle it with all my drive, energy and enthusiasm. I have shared my desire with family, friends and coworkers and have their full support and encouragement for taking on this endeavor.

12. Boston University - Essay 3


QUESTION:

Describe

how

your

personal

distinctiveness

will

contribute to a stronger learning environment at Boston University and will serve to further your success as a manager.
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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html I have never lived in a developing country. I did not have to overcome social and economic hurdles to make a better life for myself. I am an American from a middle-class family brought up in the suburbs of New York City. Other than being a woman who is committed to her career during a time when executive suites are still male-dominated, I am not the stereotypical picture of diversity. Yet, I am also more than what I fill in on a census card. The experiences that have shaped me have brought distinctiveness to my business approach and to my interactions with others that is clear to those who know me. Perhaps the first trait that new acquaintances notice is my ability to voice my ideas and opinions, even when they differ from those of the group. As one of five outgoing siblings, I learned at a young age to express myself loudly and clearly, lest I get drowned out. Although I am no longer concerned about my voice being heard above the din at the dining room table, this training affects my professional life. If I believe that a project is misdirected, I will let the team know, even if I am not the team leader. I voice my ideas at meetings without timidity. As a student, my classmates can expect spirited discussion that may challenge their conclusions or help them learn from my mistakes, successes, and experiences. As a manager, this trait will help my firm to improve their thinking or processes each time that I question the status quo. Speaking my mind, however, is not all that my home environment has taught me. When you come from a large family, you also learn to take turns. As a team member, I respect and try to learn from the expertise of others in the group. As a manager, I encourage and listen to the ideas of my staff. By appreciating differences and encouraging new ideas, I will be able to contribute to a team-based learning environment in which innovative solutions to problems can be discovered. This holds true in a work environment as well. Departments I've headed have been noted for thinking that is smarter than the competition's as a result of teamwork and collaboration. This talent will continue to aid me in fostering innovation within my organization and among my staff members as my career progresses. Formative training and experiences have undoubtedly left their mark on me, but much of my business and personal style has formed as a result of lessons I've learned during my career. One of the most valuable lessons has been the importance of developing good relationships both inside and outside of the company. I have worked for organizations in which the culture has been open and nurturing, and for others that have been elitist. In the latter case, arrogance becomes pervasive, straining external partnerships. Teamwork is

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html often constricted internally as the condescending attitude affects individual and inter-departmental relations. Furthermore, when business becomes difficult, I have witnessed that few help as the mightiest and most arrogant fall. As a result, my perspective on competition may differ from the "crush all competitors at all cost" attitude that is often associated with business students. I hope to contribute to an atmosphere of rigorous but friendly competition within the classroom. As a business manager, I am aware that change is constant and that it has become more rapid over the past few decades. Sound relationships are key to survival during changing times because today's competitor may be tomorrow's partner.

13. BYU (Marriott) - Essay 1


QUESTION:

Because the Marriott School MBA program receives

substantial financial support from the tithes of the LDS Church, the faculty and administration are committed to advancing the mission of the Church as they operate a nationally recognized MBA program. Thus, the goals of the MBA program include the melding of spiritual and secular truths in your studies, as well as sharing the benefits of your education with people throughout the world. Please describe ways that the program might realize these goals and what role you might play in those efforts.

I plan for the mission of the church and the goals of the MBA program to play out through me in the actions, experiences and people that I imagine in my "life vision." The concept of my "life vision" started in my adolescence. My parents and grandfather were a big part of this ongoing sculpting process. My parents always believed in me. They always encouraged, and supported me in my goals. I remember my mother regularly staying up into the night talking with me about my desires, my dreams, and stories of people in my life. My mother used to say, most kids bring home stray dogs and cats, but I would bring home

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html stray kids. In hindsight, it seems to be true. I guess I was always a champion of those left out. My grandfather further impacted me with the only letter he wrote me while I was serving a two-year church mission in Argentina. In his own rite, he had quite a personal "life vision". He was a hermit of sorts and spent his last years writing and philosophizing, absorbed by his pursuits of ontology, which is concerned with the nature, and existence of being. He graduated in 1967 with BYU's first ever dual PhD in Philosophy and Ancient Eastern Religion. He told me in that letter, among other things, that he had a vision of me, and that he felt I would become a great ambassador some day. I always thought it interesting that he spent his life trying to understand and express the importance of human existence and that somehow, his studies may have given him a more intimate understanding of my importance and potential. Since that letter, I have been trying to better understand my grandfather's vision for me. I knew that some ambassadors were foreign diplomats and I also knew its basic definition to be one sent to serve and represent a great cause to others. I haven't figured everything out about this idea of ambassadorship, but it feels right and the idea of leading and bringing others along is what I would like to do with my life. For the last eight years since that letter, I think time and time again about the quest of becoming a great ambassador, the accomplishment of which will be the capstone of my "life vision." My BYU experience has been an important part of this quest to understand ambassadorship. It has been a time of much self-discovery as I have experienced the melding of spiritual and secular truths. I listened to Elder Henry B. Eyring, a church apostle, speak about this principle to a group of BYU student leaders. He reminded us of the importance of our example and that the spiritual and secular are melded together as we apply the spiritual to understand the secular. On occasion, while studying, I have felt an extra bit of comprehension because of the spirit that was in a classroom. And beyond the classroom, we have an obligation to bless others lives and affect them for good. Personally, the melding of the spiritual and secular that happens at BYU is one of the main reasons I want to continue my MBA here. Afterward, in my business career, these classroom experiences of applying the spiritual to the secular will guide my ethical and moral principles. My peers won't feel religion pushed on them, but they will recognize my leadership and know me as a man of integrity. This commitment to high ethical and moral standards is the foundation of my "life vision".

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html Along with the great opportunity of attending BYU comes the realization that I am taking a seat that many others long and wish for. Most of the people I taught in Argentina had no access to an advanced college education but they all knew about BYU and longed to study here. I can see the faces of these people. I can hear their voices. I remember their dreams and while I can't help all of them now, I feel motivated by them and someday hope my experience at BYU touches their lives by something I do for them. I realize I have a great opportunity, and I want to seize this chance to learn and be taught by some of the world's greatest faculty. I am committed to making a difference for the people of Argentina and others like them. Serving these people make up part of my "life vision". Later, after my career has matured, I want to do many things; most of which don't deal with business or money. I want to give back to the people, communities and universities that affected me for good. I want to be remembered as a good person who rewarded others for their effort and hard work. I want to be remembered as kind and caring. Maybe someday I'll discover that I have become a great ambassador and maybe I'll realize that that just means I was a great leader and friend to others. Maybe someday all those stray kids I brought home will remember me as the person who gave them a chance, who gave them hope and who helped them write their own great "life vision."

14. UC Berkeley (Haas) - Essay 2


Question:

If you could change one characteristic about yourself,

what would it be?

One year ago I called a meeting with [Company 1]'s commercial team to present my new Direct Marketing campaign and wrap up final implementation details. I was excited: the company had never approved such an innovative idea. My excitement contaminated the team so thoroughly that they wanted to implement it quickly and unconditionally. My IMPULSIVENESS was almost blinding my reasoning when I suddenly remembered an occasion when the same

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html impulsiveness brought me a big headache. Years before, as a trainee at [Company 2], I had to launch a promotion that could be a real blast. Torpid by my impulsiveness, however, I simply forgot that our recently hired bread vendor might not be prepared for a fast increase in sales. The campaign itself was a hit, but when we ordered the extra necessary bread supply, the brand new vendor simply said: "I am sorry guys, terribly sorry! Even working under full capacity I cannot cover your needs. I lack personnel to handle the packaging section". I started cold sweating. I pictured the guy behind the counter, "Pardon me, customer. We are out of bread". Terrified at this possibility, I immediately gathered a team and there we went to the vendor's packaging section to help the supplier (and me) to deliver the product. We worked overnight and fortunately guaranteed that no customer hear the infamous apology. Back to [Company 1], I interrupted the meeting and suggested that we implement the direct marketing action according to our commercial team's capacity to follow up the prospects. As predicted, the piece provided a return of over 60%, far outweighing the market average of 3%. Impulsiveness can get the engines running, but today, whenever I make an important decision, I resort to an ancient Roman poet, "Grant us a brief delay; impulse in everything is but a worthless servant."

15. UC Berkeley (Haas): ) - Essay 3


Question:

What are your professional goals? How do your past and

present experiences relate to those goals?

I PICTURE myself PERFORMING a Marketing ROLE in the Media and Entertainment Industry. In the very short term I want to be working with a large M&E company, in charge of a significant division of that business. Among the many sectors available, I have a special interest in the New Media and Media Convergence

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html sectors. But the range of possibilities within the M&E industry is so wide that I would be naive to point one that attracts me the most; I am confident that Haas will provide me with the necessary information and tools for a deeper evaluation of these the segments, allowing me to make my best choice. Moreover, I wish to hold larger responsibilities. Knowing marketing principles is certainly an advantage in the tremendously competitive scenario we live in, but I need to learn further, I need to improve my General Management Skills to guarantee a successful path towards higher management positions. In the long term I intend to make a particular dream come true. I will run my own business within this industry, developing an investment fund based on the Cultural Industry in [Country] - a daring dream with potential to transform the [Country] M&E Industry - which has always lacked financial and professional human resources. My work experiences have matched perfectly the Marketing career I designed in the very beginning. I have gathered many different experiences in diverse industries, to experience distinct Marketing realities, which can be applied in most industries. I worked with start-up companies and large multinationals and I have been given the opportunity to cross the traditional boundaries of Marketing touching the General Management field. I believe choices cannot be motivated by single issues, such as financial rewards, success, pleasure or learning but by a combination of them all. The demanding reality of the business environment in our age, based on fast and increasingly results, can only lead me to a career which will enable me to deliver the expected outcomes and feel absolutely passionate about everyday. Aligning my passions with my job will grant me with a bright and successful future. Thus, that is the reason I have chosen the Media and Entertainment (M&E) industry, one in which I have been involved during most of my career. From the publishing of [Company 3]'s first CD-ROM in [Country] when I was still a trainee to the promotion of Sports Events for [Company 4] as part of a global Marketing action during the 2000 Olympics. From my involvement with the [deleted] the largest music festival in Latin America managing its Interactive Communication Strategy to my own personal entrepreneurial venture gathering people for cinema and gastronomy sessions. These are among the experiences I cherish the most, for they are also the most rewarding in my career. My Ecommerce graduate course also helped me get involved with M&E since it broadened my mind to the amazing possibilities that will be opened with the

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html convergence of different types of media and the development of new distribution channels in the industry. Apart from that, my most recent experience at [Company 1] though not directly related to the Media & Entertainment industry - provided me with the knowledge of the particularities of Marketing in the Business-to-Business. A knowledge that I will certainly put into practice in the relations with the trade and the distribution segments within the M&E industry. My decision to follow the M&E industry is also based on the great perspectives and challenges that the segment will face in the next decade. It is a 1.1-trillion-dollar industries experiencing great technological changes which will soon redefine the way people consume information and joy. Development of broadband channels will modify and expand the distribution market; traditional retail chains will confront the growing on-line marketplaces. Analog technologies will be replaced by digital radio and television. Simultaneously, cautious consumers, hesitant advertisers and piracy will temper growth, making it more difficult to implement new business models, models that will require a comprehensive strategic analysis and combination of the economic, cultural, and technological factors that will affect the industry's forecasted average annual growth of 4.8% until 2007. This challenge excites me as much as the opportunity does. It is a risky option. But no other industry could better translate a motto that marked my whole career: NO RISK, NO FUN.

16. UC Berkeley (Haas) - Essay 4


Question:

Describe your greatest professional challenge and how

you resolved it.

It's tough to launch a new brand. Now picture how much tougher it can get to re-launch a wounded brand. [Company A] represented a huge challenge for any Marketing professional, for its brief history in the [Country] market had

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html been all trouble. A combination of a mistaken brand positioning, a high price point, and intensive competition had forced their withdrawal from the market in less than 2 years. At the time I started working with [Company A], a customer's perception towards the brand was probably, "Well, you know, those guys don't offer the traditional Italian pizza and charge way above any pizza place on every corner". Thus, my challenge was to reintroduce [Company A] in [Country], breaking all misconceptions that customers had. The solution was a customercentric Marketing Strategy based on consumer behavior analysis and surveys which I conducted. Through this strategy I decided which of [Company A]'s products could and could not be in the Market and what message to deliver in order to please the customer. I changed the focus of the old operation thoroughly, redefined the target group (from adults to young adults) and repositioned the brand to the deliveryonly market, avoiding the intensive competition of the whole market. I set up more competitive prices and decided not to simply import the products and concepts from the US, but rather adapt the product to the regional characteristics and customers' expectations. Today, a customer perception towards the brand is much different, "Man, these guys rock, there's no better pizza to ask at home. It's always delivered hot and crispy, way different from ordinary pizzas." I am proud to see that, through a customer-oriented strategy I was able to change the customer's perception, set new quality standards, and sediment the base for a consistent and effective growth of what today is a 30store chain in the [Country] Market. It was also a truly entrepreneurial venture in which we made dough from flour, literally.

17. University of California, Irvine: - Essay 1

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html QUESTION:

What are your short term and long term career goals (be

as specific as possible)? How do you feel your MBA experience will enhance your career development? (250 words)

My primary career goal is to own and operate my own radio station. Prior to this I will complete an MBA in order to acquire the additional knowledge and skills necessary in order to be a successful entrepreneur and businessman. While working towards the degree I plan to do a summer internship and immediately after the degree work full-time in operations for an established radio station. Besides the educational component, an MBA will allow for greater opportunities for internships and full-time positions that otherwise may be unavailable to me without the degree. Once I have my own station, I have a number of marketing ideas I intend to try such as using billboards along the freeways to indicate what is currently playing and what is coming up next in order to encourage listeners to switch stations. Longer-term goals focus on establishing a strong brand name for the radio station. I want to develop a strong social aspect to the overall radio station brand including charitable functions and fundraising along with events to simply draw people together such as "speed dating". In time I plan to leverage the established brand name to start sister companies, such as a restaurant chain, then each sister company will mutually strengthen the reputation and brand awareness of the others. I have chosen to apply to the UC Irvine Graduate School of Management because the strength and quality of both its overall MBA program and its Entrepreneurship concentration will provide the knowledge, skill building and team experiences needed to achieve these goals.

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18. UCLA (Anderson) - Essay 1


QUESTION:

How have people, events and/or situations in your life

influenced who you are today?


Choice. A wonderful word, filled with political napalm but wonderful nevertheless. Given the chance to totally control my destiny, my choices would result in a secure, promising future. Life being what it is, however, I am sometimes faced with events or situations outside my influence. How I respond is my choice. When I was 19 years old my parents joined the majority of married couples and divorced. For reasons too complex for children to understand, our family unraveled and spun out of control. My brother was 14 and my sister was 9. Both were too young to choose how to respond. They fell victim to the anger and hatred that grew between my parents. I was old enough to sort through the deception and choose how this event was going to affect my life. My faith in marriage was put to the test. I had watched my parents' relationship dissolve after 19 years. Did I really want to commit one quarter of my life to someone only to end up with nothing? Perhaps the most devastating event in my life brought the most positive, long lasting effect. I chose how it was going to affect me. If I ever married, I would make sure it lasted. I sought the help of someone five years my senior whom I respected. [Deleted] had known me for four years and was my role model. He took me under his wing and he taught me what made a marriage work. He taught me how to communicate, the importance of honesty and the value of being committed to my word. When I fell in love with [deleted], I was well down the road to understanding how to make our relationship and marriage succeed. [Deleted] officiated at our wedding in [deleted] 1981. This year we

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html celebrated our 22nd anniversary. We have spent over one quarter of or our lives.together. Shortly after my parents' divorce, I was diagnosed with diabetes. It was the worst of times. The doctors could not even tell me what caused it. So there I was again, swept off my feet. My life changed forever. I faced days filled with needles, glucose testing and no candy! If the statistics were correct, I had a good chance of developing heart disease. Because of poor circulation, retinopathy could take my eyesight and I could easily develop infections and lose fingers, toes or limbs. My future was not very bright. One thing could save me from these dangers: discipline. I had to eat right, exercise regularly, test my glucose levels daily and see my doctor twice a year. That sounds easy, but diabetes is a shrewd disease. Lose the discipline once or twice and no one will know. Your body does not send up a flare. Lose the discipline for months or years and the side effects creep up on you. There is no grand announcement. You do not notice the disaster just around the bend until it is too late. Within a short period of time doctors must take extreme measures to save your life. I have lived with diabetes for 26 years. I exercise regularly and referee soccer. I test my glucose several times a day and I see my doctor twice a year. This is the same discipline I established when I was 20. At my last visit, my doctor said I show absolutely zero diabetic side effects. My lab tests are normal and my blood pressure reeks of longevity. In my life adversity has served as a catalyst, forming my determination to uphold the values that define me. I learned from my parent's divorce the importance of being committed to my word, whether to my wife, a friend, or a business associate. I can trace the balance between my relationship with my wife, my relationships with my children, my professional career and my personal interests to [deleted] teaching me how to make my marriage last. Discipline in my life is rooted to my experience with diabetes. Whether working full time and graduating with an accounting degree, working at [deleted] Company and passing the CPA exam or volunteering as an [deleted] soccer referee and mentordiscipline was the key. Bad things happen but I can choose a positive, constructive response that will make me a better person. Life has taught me that I can develop and mature through the best of times and the worst of times.

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19. UCLA (Anderson): ) - Essay 2


QUESTION:

Describe

your

most

challenging

team-building

experience.

I had just reported back to work after a two-week vacation. There was an urgent call from my manager; he wanted me to take charge of product validity testing in different languages for the complete OS/2 TCP/IP package! This $100 million product was to be built in eighteen languages at our site, and then we were to ship it to different countries. The language testing centers in these countries test for specific language needs and interact with us to solve any problems. My manager identified five members for my team to take care of the build and testing aspects. We started well, but soon I found myself dealing with an extremely reluctant group of people, none enthusiastic about the repetitive work in eighteen languages. The fact that most of them were my peers over whom I could not exercise managerial power did not help much either. I realized that I had to do something about it. I started making presentations about how language translations were important to maintain the global image of [deleted], and what an important contribution it would be if we could make a truly international product. I circulated schedules among the teammates to solicit their opinion. After a lot of debate on the best schedule, we came up with an extremely robust plan, one that everyone agreed to. These intra-team interactions generated a strong team spirit that proved very helpful when the going was difficult. Only once did we miss a deadline, and that too for factors beyond our control. Soon everybody stood as one, and shouldered the responsibility as a team. Apart from gaining a set of trustworthy friends I learnt some valuable lessons from this experience. Each person is an individual and has distinctive character traits. A successful team leader should know how to deal with each person in an appropriate and unique way. One individual would show application truonghang297@gmail.com

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html and do well if left to work independently while another would need constant supervision. Effective leadership is a blend of camaraderie and authority, and is also the ability to strike a balance between them. It needs advance preparation, an understanding of human psychology, and some diplomacy. Any work can be made important and interesting to people by making them understand its relevance and significance, and above all, by granting them due importance and recognition.

20. UCLA (Anderson): ) - Essay 3


QUESTION:

Discuss a situation, preferably work related, where you

have taken a significant leadership role. How does this event demonstrate your managerial potential? (Limit to 500 words.)
On Monday, June [deleted], 200X, at 10:30 p.m., I received a call from my boss telling me that the plant where [deleted] operates was in great danger of flooding, it was the worst storm that Chile had faced in almost a hundred years. I grabbed my fishing waders and rushed to the plant. When I arrived to the site, the property was under more than a meter of water. We decided to go inside and try to save as much as we could; files, records, computers, etc. But the damage was done and we thought that it was the end of the group. The next day, the management team gathered in front of the property to plan an emergency course of action. As the Administration Manager I felt the responsibility of taking the initiative, so I talked to the personnel and asked them to go home for the day until the water level diminished, telling them to get ready for the next couple of weeks that were crucial to save our jobs. Then, some of us went into the plant. Sitting wet, in my office, using a cell phone, I called all of our banks and major suppliers. I described to them the situation and assured them that we would be back in business in less than a week. TV news reporters were interviewing the C.E.O, who asked help from the government. They sent machinery in the afternoon, which resulted in the water retreat. It was now Wednesday, all [deleted]'s employees arrived in "combat clothing" and I told them the exact same thing I told the banks and suppliers,

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html we have a week. I explained to them how important was everybody's collaboration and help. It was pretty amazing to watch 258 people working together, cleaning, brushing, etc., from Security Guards to Managers. We worked very hard and 5 days later; we were dispatching products again and attending our customers. Now we needed to collect the insurance money. Insurance Companies are very reluctant to pay, at least in Chile, so the collection process was really exhausting. I had to lead the process with my accounting team in order to present detailed inventories to the Company and explain each item on every financial statement that they asked for. Finally I had to present and defend my last report on the losses caused by the rain. We were able to collect a 100% of the losses and now [deleted] is an even stronger position than before the flooding. After this experience I understood that to be a leader you must not only give orders, but also motivate people showing them how to achieve a common goal working together. I was also able to strengthen my managerial skills that will be useful for the rest of my career and life. I have maintained the attitude that I had during the flooding towards my subordinates and peers and I am convinced that we work in a much better way now.

21. Cambridge (Judge) - Essay 2


Question:

Describe a project or a piece of work in which you have

been involved since university, which you found difficult or which did not go well. What did you learn from this experience and what would you have done differently in retrospect?

At [Company 1], nearly everyone in the company had a tense, almost adversarial relationship with the woman who produced the films we developed. We reported to her directly, and all of our input on particular projects was hers

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html to judge and critique. She did not believe in constructive criticism. As a result, I found myself timid to introduce new writers and projects to her for fear of a rather harsh rejection by her. When we implemented a new policy in which each member of the company was forced to submit a number of new writers and projects that we believed to be the promising "up-and-comers" in Hollywood on a regular basis, several writers sprang to mind that had written quirky scripts very far out of the mainstream. When the time came for the first company meeting to discuss each of the projects that we had submitted to our boss, I chose to present a safe bet scripts that had already been purchased by film studios. In fact, one of them is currently in theaters in the United States under the name Cold Creek Manor, starring Dennis Quaid and Sharon Stone. I took what I believed to be the safe route, because I found it difficult to stand up to the head of my company with a riskier idea. As a result, I was publicly skewered for my lack of original thought. Perhaps I would have suffered the same tongue-lashing had I chosen a project that a believed in, rather than one that I knew others had already taken a chance on, but at least then I would have felt that I didn't capitulate out of fear of rejection. In retrospect, I should have presented the scripts I was passionate about, even if I knew my boss hated them. This experience helped me to realize that I cannot present ideas solely because I think that others will like them in future meetings I presented material I explicitly believed in to much better results.

22. Cambridge (Judge) - Essay 3


Question:

Describe a moral dilemma you have encountered, how you

responded to it, and what you learnt from it.


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While I have always considered myself to be a person with integrity, I initially chose to work in the film industry, a business which actually encourages duplicity. One of the most cutthroat areas of the industry is management and representation, where I first worked after university. From the beginning, my job as an assistant was first and foremost to lie for my supervisor. I was even asked to lie to his family members. Although there were relatively few major tests of my honesty, I encountered small dilemmas every single day. While I wish I could say that I completely disregarded my supervisor's instructions, I did not. However, as time passed, I did choose to remain tight-lipped when faced with questions that would force me to lie, even knowing that I would incur his ire. In particular, my boss was extremely slippery in his dealings with other agents. He spent hours on end attempting to woo clients away from other agencies, while at the same time asking me to speak with those agents to smooth over any questions they had as to his ulterior motives. Rather than make those calls and lie bold-faced to people that my supervisor called friends and colleagues, I refused. I was unwilling to sully my own reputation and integrity for the sake of my boss' own vanity. He eventually got this very important client, but destroyed a slew of a relationships along the way. As a result, I knew that I would never advance in the double-dealing world of management and representation. However, by this time I had learned everything I could from my boss and then used my newfound understanding of the industry as a springboard to a considerably better job in feature film development. Though I did not disclose my supervisor's immoral and hypocritical backroom dealings, I did choose to distance myself. Therefore, I have maintained a positive relationship with the agency from which he has been effectively barred.

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23. Case Western Reserve (Weatherhead) Essay 1


Question:

How will your background and experiences enhance the

quality and diversity of the entering class of Weatherhead MBA students?

"India is shining," screams the caption to the country's latest marketing strategy to advertise a steady and growing economy to the business world. India is the largest growing economy in the Asia-pacific region with impressive growth rates averaging 8% every quarter. Jumping up the ladder on the Competitive Index at a rapid pace of nine ranks a year; India surely demands lots of respect as an investment market. Marketing to the world's second largest democracy with a varied population and ideas is definitely a challenge and I believe that I have the experience in such dealings in the growing industrial sector. Business outsourcing deals are inventing the market, turning jobs over from around the world to India. And, when I join the Weatherhead School of Management, I plan to bring with me, the backing and knowledge from one of the swiftest growing economies in the world, the India that I have described above. As an employee of a growing Indian engineering firm, I have been lucky to literally study the growth and have also been a victim to the rising demand scenario. Engineering goods exports have increased by nearly 35% over the last few months, an indication in the trust and the high quality standards being maintained. I had to take important and major decisions during this period to keep the productions costs low and yet maintain standards. This has given me the ideal of making bold decisions and also witnesses strong growths as a result. Even though at the initial stages when the manufacturing lines were tight, I had to incur a disappointing dry season, but that did not deter my interests from experimenting with a lean budget and subsequently attain a satisfying growth trend. With a degree in engineering from one of India's oldest

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html university, [deleted], I also shoulder the intellectual 'know-how' required to take technical challenges, involving the spur in electronics and information technology related areas, in my stride. With my mathematical background, I am sure I have the necessary prerequisites to study the changing marketing statistical columns and recommend suitable solutions. Indian business managers the world over are known to have strong ethical beliefs and discipline, not to mention the commitment to execute bold decisions and to stand their grounds. This is an inherent quality of the India culture, growth and education. I believe that I have these qualities and will surely use them to my credit to strongly influence my fellow students in the course of my graduate program. With due respect to qualifications and experience, I have an exceptional back-ground with a mix of both technical and marketing skills which I am sure will be productive to your school, given the highly varied background of your previous students. This would help me understand and interact in par with a global audience that is so obvious from your distinguished alumni listings. From my point of view, I find that the Indian business style differs from its peers with the simple fact that we believe in simplifying the most complex situations to attain simple goals that is a result of very exhaustive evaluation procedure. More than anything, I believe that the present business motives demands discipline to define an optimistic approach to global business solutions. Such developments has had a positive influence on me and has enforced my believes that the Indian individual has a lot to offer when it comes to superior will-power and a urge to contribute to a motley crowd of professionals from different economies, cultures, thoughts and ideas. I am sure that with my experience and knowledge of the Indian business fraternity and its contributions to the world, and also the impact of the Indian economy on its Asian business counterparts, I will be able to exhibit wide and varied qualities and ideas that will help in keeping with the ideals of the Weatherhead School of Management, of creating distinguished global managers.

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24. University of Chicago - Essay 2


Question:

Why are you seeking an MBA? What are your plans and

goals after your receive your degree? (500 words)


Having been a management consultant for nearly three years, addressing business issues in four industries, for seven clients, in five countries, I can confirm that I want to return to that field, but I also want to rank among the most senior executives at Fortune 500 companies. While I remain open to opportunities I may discover at the GSB, my present goal is to become a partner in a professional services consulting firm. To accelerate my achievement of that goal, I would like to complete a concentration in Strategic Management at the GSB. Fundamentally, I seek the toolkit that will enable me to counter a complex business problem with a creative, outside-the-box solution. And when I can't come up with a solution on my own, I will need to assemble and effectively collaborate with a team that can. An MBA will give me the skills I need to develop my own innovative solutions, to recognize the talent I want on my team, and to lead even the most diverse group to success. In the short term, the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business (GSB) will provide me with unparalleled analytical skills. While I believe my undergraduate major in Finance has served me well thus far in my consulting career, I need more rigorous quantitative coursework to develop the analytical skills required for solving more challenging business problems. In addition, I look to the GSB to help me become a more effective manager. For example, I expect to implement such principles as set forth in the LEAD program as the managerial groundwork, the feedback approach, and the teamwork principles it sets forth. Therefore, the near-term reason for seeking an MBA is to enhance my analytical and managerial skills. Now, as a woman with clear career and family goals, timing of the pursuit of an MBA is everything. I do not have the luxury of "letting things fall into place". If I wish a family and a career, I have to move swiftly, with conviction. I recognize this year as the right time for me for three reasons. First, I have gained extensive and varied work experience that will allow me to contribute in

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html the classroom, as well as benefit from others' experiences. Secondly, I am no longer convinced that I can achieve my long-term career objectives within my company, given the changing focus of the company toward such areas as outsourcing and away from strategic consulting work. Finally, an MBA is a critical part of my personal development plan to constantly challenge myself by pursuing learning opportunities beyond those I have already encountered.

25. Chicago School of Business - Essay 3


Question: You find yourself on an elevator with the Dean of Chicago GSB. Please tell him why this is the right school for you, and what you hope to contribute if admitted. (500 words)
The Coat and the Candidacy "Good morning! Which floor do you need? Seventh? Well, you'll have some company, then. I have to tell you I just love your coat! Very classy and smart, not something trendy you see every day. And what a great fit! That reminds me of my candidacy for the GSB, actually. You are Dean Snyder, right? I recognize you from the school brochure. Well, if you have a minute, I would love to tell you what your coat and my candidacy have in common." A Perfect Fit

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html "I have to start by saying that the GSB is where I belong. On my two visits, I experienced camaraderie that exactly reflects the business school culture I wish to enjoy. During Homecoming weekend, I went to a party hosted by some of the GSB first-years. On my second visit, I went to "TNDC" with my friend and current first-year, [Name], where I felt accepted into the GSB circle. I found that I share similar goals and interests with the students I met, making 'fitting in' effortless. In addition to the culture, many other attributes draw me to the University of Chicago. During my two visits to the GSB, I saw how concerned the faculty is, was impressed by the flexible curriculum, and visited the top-rated career services center. I also love Chicago and have returned many times since first visiting in the fall of 2001. My experiences with Chicago and the GSB have left me feeling that I want nothing more than to attend the University of Chicago." Classy, Smart, Different. "I will also be a 'smart and different' addition to your 2004 Entering Class. Two attributes that stand out in my mind are that I am Southern and I am smart. With my Southern hospitality, I will help you with your goal of fostering a sociable and warm environment at the GSB. As for intelligence, I graduated in the top 1.5% of my class with a double major and a minor. Selective admission into the Honors College at my university is comparable to that of many top tier schools, with requirements of 1300 on the SAT and a top 5% ranking in one's high school class. I achieved my 3.9 GPA while heavily involved on campus, serving on the executive board of six organizations. Which reminds me - I am excited just thinking about the extracurricular opportunities offered by the GSB! I anticipate pursuing membership in the Management Consulting Group and Chicago Women in Business. I also know I will strive to become a LEAD facilitator in my second year, if accepted to the GSB. Dean Snyder, I hope my short introduction has demonstrated that I am as unique and well-fitting as that coat of yours. It would be my pleasure to bring these attributes and more to the University of Chicago. Perhaps we'll meet again on the elevator in the new GSB campus building next fall."

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26. Columbia - Essay 1


QUESTION:

What are your short-term and long-term career goals?

How will a Columbia Business School MBA help you achieve these goals? (Limit 1000 words)
My long-term career goals entail working as a positive catalyst in the development of a more entrepreneurial environment in Canada by influencing public policy and creating aggressive venture capital investment programs. I intend to bring about the creation of public and private venture capital partnerships, drawing on my professional and academic experiences as well as the study of such programs in other countries, to stimulate growth in this area. I believe that Columbia is the right place to pursue this goal, not only for the school's traditional strengths in finance, but also for innovative programs in entrepreneurship and social enterprise. The opportunity for students to take classes outside of the Business School, in programs like International Affairs, also fits perfectly with my career goals. As a young Canadian with extensive international experience, I have mixed emotions about having left the country to pursue career opportunities. While I have grown both personally and professionally by living and working abroad, I have often reflected on how national attitudes and government policy have limited aggressive entrepreneurial activity in Canada. When I left Canada several years ago, I did so with the intention of ultimately returning to apply the skills and experiences that I gained abroad. Recently, I began working with [deleted], a group of young Canadians working to improve opportunities for talented young people domestically. The project struck a nerve with me as I left

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html Canada, in part, due to the absence of an aggressive, risk taking culture. The aim of the group fits well with my goals and aspirations and I have had significant input on how the entrepreneurial spirit in Canada could be stimulated to compete for talent with the United States. I plan to eventually return to Canada to found public and private partnership programs aimed at stimulating opportunity growth for entrepreneurs, implementing the skills and lessons I have learned in Asia, Europe and the United States. I believe that there is significant need for improvement in order for Canada to become, and remain, a country capable of attracting and retaining talented young entrepreneurs. One of the goals of [deleted] is to address the regularity with which talented individuals from most every field go abroad to pursue their professional development. My primary long-term goal is to work with government agencies and private corporations to create a first class venture community in Canada, drawing on lessons gleaned from similar programs in the US and elsewhere. Obviously, such ambitions are not achieved quickly or easily and there are many short-term goals that must be achieved in order to build a foundation from which to work towards long-term goals. Over the course of the next few years, I intend to complete an MBA, ideally at Columbia Business School, which will provide me with an academic base from which to pursue my career goals. In addition to education, I will need to develop my professional experience in both public policy and entrepreneurial finance. My current position, at [deleted] has required me to become deeply involved with the Small Business Administration and specifically, the [deleted] program. I intend to continue, and increase, my involvement with this program over the course of the next ten months, prior to attending business school. I plan to learn more about the workings of this program, as it has demonstrated significant success in stimulating entrepreneurial activity. At the same time, I do not believe that any program is perfect, so I plan to research and consider opportunities for improvement. An internship within a Canadian governmental agency will be necessary in order to gain a better perspective on exactly how I can influence public policy and create the kind of programs that I intend to. My goals in completing such an internship would be to learn first-hand, about current public policies affecting the entrepreneurial community and to establish contacts, in the private and public sectors, that I will work with to make my ideas reality. During my MBA study, I would hope to pursue opportunities abroad, in the form of a full term or

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html perhaps independent study for a shorter period of time. The availability of such opportunities at Columbia certainly attracts me. Following completion of my MBA, I plan to extend my experience in three key fields: public policy, entrepreneurial finance and international business. I will pursue opportunities internationally (including those in the US), working with other entrepreneurial-minded people to study, create and implement combinations of aggressive public policy and private financing opportunities for new companies. In my career, I have met many people who share ideas similar to mine that I am excited to work with. I am anxious to further develop my skills to help me achieve all of my goals and I believe that Columbia offers the best opportunity to do so. Pursuing a Columbia MBA is a natural progression, from both a personal and professional standpoint. The Columbia name is internationally recognized, many political leaders have completed this course of study and professionals in the private equity industry regard the program as being highly innovative. My interests in public policy, entrepreneurial finance and international business would all thrive at Columbia Business School in ways not possible at other schools. Being located in New York, with international students, professors and curriculum, there is the opportunity to focus on the aspects of my career that are most important to me. The public policy strengths at Columbia are also of great interest to me, as I believe that as globalization continues to progress, there will be an increasing blurring of the line between business and public policy. I plan to pursue a career at the crossroads of these two historically divided disciplines. My academic, professional background and personal interests will make me additive to the overall learning environment of the Columbia Business School and I would make a valuable asset for classroom discussion. I possess the intelligence, creativity, determination and compassion necessary to excel at Columbia and after. The combination of these attributes with the management, interpersonal and analytic skills offered by the MBA program at Columbia would ultimately prepare me to return to Canada to pursue my career goals. Over the course of the past five years, I have attended university in [deleted] and worked in Seoul, London, and New York. Each one of these living situations has taught me something about myself, the world and has shaped my ideas about the contributions that I wish to make. A course of study at Columbia would enrich my life personally and professionally, but I also believe that the business school would be enriched by my attendance.

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27. Columbia - Essay 4


Question:

Clearly state how you will apply the tools of the MBA in

meeting your short term and long term goals. In additions, discuss your cultural, social, and civic commitments.
As a supplement to my initial application, I would like to address three areas: First, I will chronicle my professional advancements since submitting my initial application. Second, I will discuss my community service activities since my initial application submission, activities planned for the coming year, and those in which I intend to participate while at Columbia Business School. Finally, I will detail why a Columbia MBA is still the best way to attain my short- and long-term goals. At the time of my initial application, approximately six months ago, I was a relatively new hire at [Company 1]. Because of this, my responsibilities were not indicative of my abilities, particularly in the management arena. While I quickly proved myself to be worthy of greater responsibility, I kept my initial assignment until it was completed in May 2003 due to its high priority and my superior skills. I was then assigned the management of the product design team of a major module of a different project. After three months of successfully managing the design of that module, two other product design teams were assigned to me. In addition, I took on the management of the product design team of a subsystem related to the two new teams. Responsibility for a derivative of the initial module I was managing was also assigned to me. While the subsystem has been completed, I am currently managing product design teams, ranging in size from three to six engineers, on three major modules and a derivative of one of those modules. None of my peers

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html have managed more than two modules at one time. In a relatively short span I have gone from a new hire with unknown abilities to one of my department's most valued members. Even with my increased professional responsibilities, I have continued with my community service activities while adding additional activities, and I intend to continue to do so until enrolling at Columbia Business School in the fall of 2004, when I will transition into new community service opportunities. I still tutor a learner with a learning disability twice a week. Soon after submitting my application, I participated in a four-day trip to Mexico to build houses for poor families of which I had been assisting in the organization. I have also participated in a number of workdays on a local Habitat for Humanity construction project. In addition, this past July I spent a week teaching Vacation Bible School at my church after work. I intend to continue tutoring my learner and participating in Habitat for Humanity workdays throughout the coming year. In addition, I expect to be an organizer and participant in the annual trip to Mexico to build houses. While I am sure that I will not have an opportunity to participate in all of the community service programs offered by Columbia Business School, some of the ones I intend to participate in are the Harlem Tutorial Program, Managers in International Development Initiative, and Small Business Consulting Program. Community service is a major part of my life, and it will continue to be so while I am at Columbia Business School and beyond. While I enjoy the challenges of my new projects and responsibilities at work, my current community service work continues to fuel my passion for helping others. In particular, my passion for helping emerging markets develop environmentally and socially responsible, modern economies has not wavered. Specific to that broad ideal, my short- and long-term goals have not changed either. I still intend to enlist in the MBA Enterprise Corps upon the completion of my Columbia MBA, followed by several years in the private sector leveraging my engineering background and Columbia MBA to develop and manage nonexploitive production facilities in developing nations. After gaining a thorough understanding of the issues affecting international development, I intend to segue into changing some of the well intentioned, yet misguided, policies affecting the fate of developing nations. Since my goals have not changed, a Columbia MBA is still undoubtedly the best preparation for accomplishing these goals. Specific to my short-term goals, a Columbia MBA will provide me with the skills and knowledge I do not currently possess that are necessary to succeed. Courses in areas such as emerging markets, finance, and operations will provide

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html me with the strong academic foundation necessary to accomplish my objectives. From my classmates, professors, and the general populace of New York City, my understanding of the various cultures in which I will be working will be greatly enhanced. Columbia's proximity to innumerable corporations working in emerging markets will also be quite helpful to me. Networking with Columbia alumnae and other executives at these companies while attending Columbia Business School and in the years following will be greatly beneficial to me. Interning with one of these corporations throughout the year will allow me to graduate from Columbia Business School with a significant amount of work experience directly related to international development. Clubs such as the Emerging Markets Club, Net Impact, and the Africana Association will provide an additional avenue for improving my understanding of emerging markets and corporate social responsibility. Finally, study abroad opportunities and the Chazen / Berlitz Language Program will also improve my abilities to succeed in developing nations. Combining the skills I currently have and my passion for international development with a Columbia MBA will assure me of great success during my MBA Enterprise Corps service and while establishing non-exploitive production facilities in emerging markets in the years following. Many of my same experiences while at Columbia Business School that will help me succeed in my short-term goals will be of great use to me as I develop policies affecting the development of emerging markets. However, aspects of my Columbia MBA education that may not be used as prevalently during the early stages of my career will become more important as I segue into a career of policy development. One of these is my coursework in public and non-profit management. In addition, while at Columbia Business School, I intend to leverage the proximity to and many connections within the United Nations for networking opportunities. While many of the clubs and activities that will assist me in my short-term goals will do the same for me during my career in policy development, a few additional ones will also be useful to me. Three of these are the Columbia Business School Political Association, the Social Enterprise Club, and the Global Social Venture Competition. My years at Columbia Business School and my experience in the years following will provide me with the skills and knowledge necessary to develop prudent and effective policies affecting emerging markets. Since submitting my initial application six months ago, I have continued to show myself to be a superior manager and a tireless worker for causes in which

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html I believe. These traits and a Columbia MBA will provide me with the skills and opportunities necessary to succeed in my objective of developing emerging markets in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.

28. University of Connecticut - Essay 1


QUESTION:

What is it about your background and your experiences

that would make a contribution to the diversity of the entering class and the educational experience of the other students?
I was born in [deleted] Angola during a volcanic year that symbolized the eruption of a colony's desire to end five hundred years of Portuguese occupation in their country. Cultural commonalities, such as the Portuguese language, were not enough to unify Portuguese and Angolans, nor was it sufficient to dissipate the Angolan desire for independence. Ultimately, after years of prolonged civil unrest and protests Angola was freed from its ties to Portugal. As a result of beginning life on the brink of a waking volcano, I cultivated a strong will and a sensitivity to the plights of different cultures. Living in Angola during a time of severe change, I felt the impact of the events even as a child. It was fatal to walk through particular parts of the city during the day. The Angolan dialectic language of Kimbundu gradually replaced Portuguese and schools were closing to be used as shelters to provide safety for citizens. I became intimately familiar with the feeling of separation and not being able to exercise all of the freedoms that I normally possessed. All of these events were poignant for me because they marked my first understanding of adversity and the differences that divide people. Amidst this revolution, I saw my parents work hard to salvage the normalcy of our lives and remain hopeful that Angola would once again become a peaceful country. My parents were my grandest teachers and they showed me through their words and actions that our differences should unite us and create an even greater humanity. When most

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html parents were transferring their children to private schools in an attempt to limit their children's exposure to the African culture, my brother, sister and I remained in the predominantly Black public school system. My parent's decision to keep me in public school gave me a profoundly rich experience and made me awake to the beautiful yet complex Angola that I lived in. I was determined to not yield to the negative ideology that was permeating through Angola and believe that one day peace would return. In all the years that I have lived in America I have remained connected to the African, Portuguese and American sides of who I am. I speak Portuguese and Spanish laced with some African idiomatic expressions. I'm immersed in the Portuguese Community that is vibrant in its celebration of gastronomy and religious festivals. I collect first edition novels from 20th century American Literature authors such as F.Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway and have traveled over the course of 4 years to 30 U.S cities. I look to share all of these experiences with my peers and be further enriched from their own life lessons as well. Witnessing the devastation of civil war unravel and arriving into a New World with the challenge of fusing three cultures has shaped me into an individual that does not falter in the face of adversity, possesses a strong will and a heightened sensitivity to other cultures. My observations, perspectives and approaches are an amalgam of the worlds that I have seen and will define my contribution to the classroom.

29. Cornell (Johnson) - Essay 1


QUESTION:

Why are you seeking an MBA from the Johnson School?

What do you hope to experience and contribute here and what are your plans/goals after you receive your degree? What factors have influenced your career decisions to date?

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html My short-term goals are to enhance my knowledge base in business related topics, meet new friends and colleagues, and succeed in my studies. Fulfillment of those goals will lead to the longer-term goals which also constitute my postgraduation career plans, namely, building a solid and professional career in business or academia. I believe that an MBA will assist me in furthering my academic and professional experience in order to achieve both short and longterm goals. I also believe that a business education will help me to strengthen my capabilities in the business world. In many ways, a business education will perfectly complement my current skills and experiences. I consider myself fortunate enough to possess highly developed social and intellectual skills and in addition, I have been working as an intern in a law firm and as a lawyer. This enabled me to become familiar with many business transactions and get involved in the drafting of numerous business oriented legal documents. Nevertheless, during this period I was having concerns about the nature of the job and my professional objectives. I soon realized that I need to expand my professional horizons, and acquire a solid business education that will complement my legal training. Currently I am working with a computer company in which I act as the Head of the Marketing Department. In this capacity I not only exercise my leadership skills, which I perfected during my service in the Israeli army, but also take part in business meetings and strategic decisions making. In my view, this gives me an advantage for successful completion of my business education. I believe that those experiences give me an advantage for successful completion of my business education. Studies at Cornell will provide me with a unique opportunity to gain access to the knowledge and the experience of a varied body of students and teachers. In my view teamwork is a key element for success in today's world. It facilitates interaction between students and helps absorb information and retain knowledge. It also acquaints students with different approaches to business problems. In addition, the exposure to outstanding people from all areas of life does not only enrich but also helps forge friendships that remain for life. By that I do not only mean students but also Professors who are at the forefront of knowledge. Hence, they can become role models, influence, and drive students for success. Another important aspect of a Cornell business school education is the variety of courses and subjects from which a student can shape his program to suit his specific career goals.

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html I believe that my social background, personality and education can contribute to Cornell's student body. The program can help me by providing me with a strong education, the ability to absorb cutting edge knowledge, and the opportunity to study with the best minds in American business education.

30. Cranfield University - Essay 1


QUESTION:

What single event or achievement has been most

significant in your life? What were the results of this event or achievement?
When my grandfather died in October 1998, I was a bit relieved. I had been afraid of him for most of my life not for anything he had ever done or said, but because he was a quiet man given to complete stillness or very measured actions that had no hesitancy or wasted motion to them. He didn't have the swagger of my American dad or the easy bravado of the kids I grew up with. He didn't thrill me. And I loved to be thrilled. He was so utterly foreign that even among the Greeks of his own community he seemed a kind of distant cousin. But there was an insistence in his presence. You could not be in a room with him and not feel the weight of his existence there with you. He was so different from other men, so singular in his manner, that he unnerved me. When he died, I realized that, despite a tentativeness on my part that had bordered on rudeness, he had always treated me with complete kindness. He never said a cruel word or had been, in any way, unjust to me. He was a man

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html composed of subtle gestures he would give a small hop when he first laid eyes on me during my visits, but never told me that he loved me. Since his death, I've stopped looking for grand gestures of personality in people. In a room, my eye seeks out the quiet, subtle, details of unassuming kindness details so small that they can have no other source but a deep affection passing from one person to another. These are his actions, and they are what I aspire to now. Because I find that, like that revelation about my Papou's kindness, while in reverie my memories increasingly turn to moments of just such subtle kindnesses done for me and done by me for others, and I can scarcely recall the flitting, obvious, spectacles that once so easily caught my eye.

31. Cranfield - Essay 3


Question:

Describe

yourself

as

person.

What

positions

of

responsibility have you held (not necessarily business related)? What have you gained from this experience?
A. You as a Person After twelve years of interesting assignments, I have built up my career to reach a regional head position. Thanks to my diverse exposure, I have acquired functional skills as well as practical knowledge of different industry sectors and their unique challenges. I have worked in many organizations, each role requiring acquisition of new job knowledge. Today, I am confident of my capability to switch job roles and industries without wondering whether I would be able to handle it. I have throughout sought responsibilities that would increase my

understanding of diverse industries. However, my career has progressed largely in the Finance & Commercial (F&C) stream, making me an F&C specialist. Although, my job profile at [Company 1] has evolved over the years, it has remained within the realms of F&C. truonghang297@gmail.com

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html My dream role would combine the strategic elements of product development, finance, marketing and operations. In order to achieve my ambition of becoming a general management person in the senior cadres of a professionally managed concern, my current knowledge and experience may be inadequate. I aim to build upon my knowledge base, incorporating it into a career opportunity that offers a wider range of disciplines and challenges. To broaden my horizons and reach the senior management cadre, I need to gain experiences beyond my hometown and country. I would like to move into international management for cross-cultural exposure and challenges. I need to educate myself once again on all major business disciplines, aside from F&C, this time from a practitioner's point of view. I therefore intend to pursue a one-year MBA program at a world class institute. This would be a lifetime opportunity to learn from the experiences of a culturally diverse student and faculty body, obtain international exposure and acquire knowledge. Another reason that I am considering an international MBA is that sometime later in life, I would like to become an entrepreneur. I took a conscious decision to not join my family business right after graduation. Before taking the plunge, I wanted to work in a professionally managed concern and learn about the business environment, and also build up some capital to act as a financial cushion. Once I realize these aims, I intend to turn entrepreneur. B. What positions of responsibility have you held (not necessarily business related)? What have you gained from this experience? My first supervisory role with a wide span of responsibilities came when I was appointed as Branch Finance & Commercial Manager at [Company 2]. From handling a limited function in my previous assignment, I was placed in charge of entire North Indian operations. This was my first role as a multi functional team leader and it augmented my technical knowledge, giving me significant professional growth. The organization culture encouraged freedom and respect, providing me with opportunities to test my skills and deploy them effectively. Within eight months of my joining, my team delivered on a cost optimization drive by achieving savings of about INR 1.6 million, the highest by any region. [Company 2] had assigned me a position of responsibility despite my youth and negligible prior exposure of handling teams. The fact that I was able to measure up to their expectations gave a tremendous boost to my self-confidence.

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html Since then, I have held positions of increasing scope and responsibilities. Today, I head the Commercial operations, leading a team of fourteen at [Company 1]. In this role, I am not only responsible for various Commercial operations, but also for administrative duties, team building, grooming my subordinates and shaping their careers, and giving direction and focus to the Commercial function. When I joined [Company 1], I felt that my team found their operations jobs monotonous and dreary. Since I feel that individuals who are not charged up do not deliver their best, I decided to bring in some excitement. I joined a voluntary committee titled [Company 3] (translated, the word means 'Communication') that looks after [Company 1] staff welfare. I set up a mechanism through Sampark whereby all staff in North India have been divided among four houses, and inter-house competitions are organized Carrom, music, quiz, dumb charades, family get-togethers and many more. The [Company 3] events have been a runaway success. I have earned recognition in the organization for this effort, which has resulted in team building on the one hand, and better inter-departmental relationships on the other. This was my first attempt at trying to implement an "out-of-the-box" morale boosting technique. I introduced a new concept into a structured environment, sold the idea to my seniors, improvised on the initial idea, and most important of all, successfully implemented it. I was thus able to initiate a major change in not only my department, but also the entire North region.

32. Cranfield - Essay 4

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html Question:

What

single

event

or

achievement

has

been

most

significant in your life? Describe an ethical dilemma you have experienced firsthand. Other activities - give details of your hobbies, sporting activities and other outside interests.
When I joined [Company 1], I inherited a team suffering from internal friction. To bring harmony into the team, I employed Total Quality Management (TQM) tools like Kaizen, 5S and Small group activity. I introduced my team to the principles of TQM by creating a manual and conducting a workshop. I then set up a three-member facilitator team responsible for conducting Kaizen meetings and selecting the best Kaizens every month. I personally monitored the facilitator team. As judges, the facilitators had to look beyond their own desk and understand functional diversities, handle group activities and organize structured meetings. They were trained to ignore personal biases in order to work as a cohesive unit. Since everyone in the department got a chance to be facilitator through periodic rotation, all members grew to appreciate the others' contribution to the department. Today, we work smoothly as a team, and the department is a happier workplace. The Kaizen meetings continue. The idea and implementation for this initiative was entirely my own. To my mind, my biggest achievement is the fact that [Company 1] recognized the impact of the TQM initiative to my department, adopted it as a part of its strategic imperative in India, and implemented it across all 47 offices in India, including the Franchisees. B.Describe an ethical dilemma you have experienced firsthand. Discuss how you thought about and managed the situation. In the selection process for a position with one of my earlier employers, one of the personal interviews focussed on my ethical beliefs. I was selected after other rounds of interviews and accepted the offer. After I joined, I was assigned the responsibility of day-end settlements. I collected the daily sales proceeds from the sales team, and accounted for the stocks and collections. Either sales or bonafide stock movements accounted for the difference between the daily opening and closing stock balance. Over a period of time, I observed persistent unexplained shortages from some salesmen. I questioned the concerned sales officers, who were incidentally related to my supervisor. They

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html asked me not to report the shortages, and to make it up in the books through fake transactions. At that time, my family's financial position was not very good, and my salary was crucial to meet the household expenses. In such a scenario, I was tempted to close my eyes to the misdemeanours and thus salvage my job. However, I could not bring myself to be dishonest to my employer. I not only recovered the shortages by debiting the concerned staff accounts, but also brought the matter to the notice of my supervisor. Much to my annoyance, my supervisor instructed me to back up the sales officers. He was however not willing to give this authorization in writing. I found myself in a situation where instead of being praised for protecting the interests of the organization, I was rebuked for the same. My supervisor also held back my promotion and increment when they fell due. Disheartened by such unprofessional attitude and lack of integrity, I started looking for other job openings and soon found an excellent position. Despite undergoing professional setback and upheaval, I have never regretted my decision to highlight and rectify the financial misappropriations. This incident has given me the belief that any adverse impact of following the straight path is at best temporary. The personal satisfaction of knowing that what I have done is fair and correct offsets any short-term upheavals that I may have to face. C. Other activities - give details of your hobbies, sporting activities and other outside interests, for example work in the community. I have recently involved myself with a Non Government Organization in India called [edit]. I not only make regular financial contributions, but also on a weekly basis teach English to children from deprived communities. I also enjoy creative writing. A few of my articles had won the Best Theme Writing competition in Siemens' in-house magazine. I am also a regular contributor to [Company 1] India's staff magazine. I enjoy collecting and reading books on management. I have been instrumental in rolling out an innovative mechanism within [Company 1], inspired by Stephen Lundin's "Fish". The idea is to boost employees' morale and motivation levels, by making the work environment a fun place. I love to organize events and am associated with an [Company 1] team called [Company 3] that organizes various activities towards recreational and social causes. Carrom and table tennis tournaments, quiz competition, music

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Collected from http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/mbainsider/sample_essays.html festival, year. I am an associate member of the [edit], New Delhi and have volunteered my services to undertake coaching classes. This stems from my desire to be associated with academics. I used to play as right-winger for the school hockey team and participated in various inter-school tournaments. I still follow the game closely though I do not play now. family excursions, theme parties and donations to charitable organizations are just a few of the events that Sampark has organized in the last

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