How to write Essays for MBA

how to answer mba essay questions and how to write mba essays
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Dr.OliviaSimpson,France,Researcher
Published Date:03-07-2017
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A COLLECTION OF 10 SUCCESSFUL MBA ESSAYS Gateway to your dream schools - Written by students who were accepted into top 20 schools Poonam Tandon CEO, myEssayReview Table of Contents Contents Introduction ............................................................................................................................................................................... 2 About myEssayReview ..................................................................................................................................................... 2 Why Choose MER? ............................................................................................................................................................. 2 More Personal ................................................................................................................................................................ 2 A proven track record ................................................................................................................................................. 2 A snapshot of MER’s Recent Successes ........................................................................................................... 2 Success rate and scholarships: ........................................................................................................................... 3 Admits to Ivy League: ............................................................................................................................................. 3 Admits with low GMAT score: ............................................................................................................................ 3 Simple ................................................................................................................................................................................ 3 High Value ........................................................................................................................................................................ 3 Why Poonam’s Students Love Working with Her? ............................................................................................... 4 Free Resources ....................................................................................................................................................................... 11 Importance of ‘Sample’ Essays in this collection ...................................................................................................... 11 Sample 1- Goals Essay – Booth .................................................................................................................................... 12 Sample 2 - Leadership Essay - Booth ........................................................................................................................ 13 Sample 3 - Team work /Challenge Essay - Kellogg ............................................................................................. 15 Sample 4- Setback Essay- Kellogg ............................................................................................................................... 16 Sample 5 - Background Essay- Wharton .................................................................................................................. 17 Sample 6- Contribution Essay – INSEAD ................................................................................................................. 19 Sample 7 - Ethical Dilemma – Kelley ......................................................................................................................... 20 Sample 8 - Best Mistake - Kellogg ............................................................................................................................... 21 Sample 9 - Culture Essay – Emory .............................................................................................................................. 22 Sample 10 - Strengths/Characteristics Essay - UNC ........................................................................................... 23 1 Introduction About myEssayReview Founded in 2011, myEssayReview (MER) is a simple, dedicated, effective, and personalized B- school essay-review service that believes in the principle that all applicants possess unique perspectives and life experiences that set them apart. Because of this personalization, 90% of MER students have been accepted into majority (not one, but majority) of the schools of their choosing. MER students with scores between 610 and 680 have secured admission to schools such as Kellogg, Booth, ISB, CMU, Manchester, HAAS etc. Similarly, MER students with high GMAT scores (typically 700+) have not only secured admissions but also fellowships from Darden, Ivy Richards, Emory, Tippie, Cornell, CMU, etc. Why Choose MER? More Personal Every customer works directly on a one–on-one basis with Poonam, the founder and CEO of myEssayReview. Unlike other consultants, she works full time on her business and takes a lot of pride in her work. She goes above and beyond to ensure that your application reflects the quality that she is known for. Also, if she has bandwidth, she can even complete your application in a week at no extra charge. Last year, she helped one customer turn around his application in 3 business days (and yes, he was accepted). A proven track record Poonam recently released the stats of students who she recently worked with. A snapshot of MER’s Recent Successes School Name GMAT Score Received Admit Wharton 760 Yes MIT 760 Yes Kellogg 660, 720, 720 Yes (Multiple) Booth 660, 720,610 Yes (Multiple) INSEAD (Global No GMAT Yes EMBA) Darden 680, 760 Yes (Multiple), with scholarship Tippie 720 Yes, with scholarship LBS 680 Yes ISB 620 Yes Ross 670 Yes HAAS ( EMBA) 720,700,630 Yes, Multiple UCLA (MISM) 630 Yes Kelley 680 Yes, with scholarship UNC Kenan Flagler 680 Yes, with scholarship Emory 680, 700, 720 Yes(multiple), with scholarship (multiple) Tepper 680 Yes, with Scholarship Ivy Richards 620,720 Yes (multiple), with scholarship Cornell 720 Yes Georgetown 700 Yes, with scholarship 2 School Name GMAT Score Received Admit Tepper 620 Yes, with scholarship Manchester 610 Yes, with scholarship Schulich, Rotman 620 Yes UC Davis 710 Yes, with scholarship Rice 650 Yes, with scholarship Rochester 650 Yes, with scholarship RSM 590 Yes Purdue 620 Yes with scholarship Wisconsin 580 Yes with scholarship William & Mary 630 Yes with scholarship Success rate and scholarships: As is evident from the table above, Poonam has a great success rate with her students who not only received admission but received scholarships as well. For example, Nitya (710) worked with Poonam in R-3 and received 50% scholarship; Rajeev (720) got accepted into 3 out of 4 schools and finally joined Tippie with 70 % scholarship. Similarly, Amrita (680) got through and secured scholarships from schools such as Kelley, CMU, and Emory. Most recently, Carlos worked with Poonam for 4 schools and got admits from Ivy Richards, Emory, and Cornell with more than US 70K in scholarships. Also, Muhammad (630) worked with Poonam on 4 schools (Babson, William & Mary, Purdue, and George Washington University. and has been accepted into Purdue and William & Mary with 10,000 and 20,000 in scholarships respectively. Admits to Ivy League: Poonam has helped many students get admits from Kellogg, Booth, INSEAD, HAAS, and Wharton etc. Admits with low GMAT score: Poonam has helped students get into ISB and Manchester with GMAT scores of 620. Recently, she helped a student get admission with scholarships in Cornell and Wisconsin with a 580 GMAT score. Also, one of her students recently got accepted into Kellogg with a 660. Simple Poonam believes that every customer deserves the best. Hence, unlike some of the other companies, she does not segment the packages into Silver, Gold, and Platinum. You will get the same level of service regardless of whether you purchase a single essay or a 3-school package. High Value At 999 for one school package and at 1799 for three schools, MER offers unbeatable value, any way you look at it. The contrast becomes more prominent when you consider that it offers better service than the expensive Gold packages offered by some companies. This has been made possible by minimizing technology and personnel overhead. 3 Why Poonam’s Students Love Working with Her? Read below to learn why her students love working with her. You will find below screenshots of some of the many reviews of Poonam’s services as posted on GMAT Club Reviews section. 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Free Resources To benefit from the free resources offered by MER, visit Poonam’s blog. Some of her most useful articles are listed below: 1. Mistakes You Should Avoid in Application Essays 2. MBA Resume- Mistakes You Should Avoid 3. Goals Essay 4. Accomplishment Essay 5. How to show leadership without having managerial responsibilities. 6. How Can IT Applicants Distinguish Them Selves in their Essays? 7. Proofreading Tips for Non-Natives 8. Business School Application Essays- ‘Less is More’ If you are interested in light reading, you may click here to read about her travel pieces and articles on various other topics published in Valley India Times. Importance of ‘Sample’ Essays in this collection When working with MBA applicants, Poonam receives one common request from almost all of them, “Could you provide me with a sample for this essay? Even though all applicants possess their own unique writing style that they use to showcase their unique traits and accomplishments and backgrounds, it is also true that a model can provide them pointers to brainstorm ideas for their own essays, making their essay writing process a little easier. Hence she picked 10 essays on ten different topics written by some of her most recent successful students for the top 20 schools. 11 Sample 1- Goals Essay – Booth How will an MBA from Chicago Booth - from the Evening MBA Program or Weekend MBA Program specifically - at this point in your life help you achieve both your short- and long- term goals? (500 word maximum) As a teenager, I was fascinated by personal computers which could screen movies, engage me for hours in visually-striking games and find me answers to all my questions. I picked computer science as my major for bachelor’s degree and was drawn to the practical applications that access to real-time data can provide. My curiosity led me to pursue my Masters in computer science at the University of Illinois, where I started my career as a Research Programmer. Noticing my communication, leadership and organizational skills, the IT director soon tasked me with leading a multi-campus team to implement a student portal. The transition from a non-profit to a startup software company gave me the opportunity to help architect the digital buying system which played a vital role in transforming the company to a market leader. My deep knowledge of the products earned me Product Manager’s role which is more aligned with the core business and provides more opportunities for growth. My experience as a technologist has been invaluable in performing my current role as a product manager, helping me provide commercially viable and technically scalable solutions. My short-term goal is to rise to a senior product role in the advertising technology industry, and in order to achieve that I need the marketing, operations and management skills that an MBA has to offer. Also, working together with future leaders at Booth will help me identify my unique style of leadership. The skills and the network I will acquire through an MBA, along with my industry experience, will help me achieve my long-term goal to be an entrepreneur in the digital marketing technology space. 12 Sample 2 - Leadership Essay - Booth What leadership characteristics do you feel make for the best leaders, and how do you strive to obtain them? And, on the flip side, what are you doing to avoid any potential leadership pitfalls that you observe in yourself or others? (750 word maximum) In my opinion, a good leader should be able to communicate and collaborate, and in the process, inspire people to work towards the goal. Working closely with others, listening to the issues they are facing, and collaborating with them to work towards a solution creates a bond. Later, when faced with problems they will reach out to their leaders for solutions to deal with the situation. A few months ago, I was working as Product lead on a critical and time-sensitive project to upgrade one of our key external integrations. The project had a huge operational impact for our clients and had a tight deadline which required the team to put in several extra hours. I worked out a plan with the technical team and stayed back late nights with the technical team though I did not have a role to play. My action boosted the morale of the team who volunteered to work harder to meet the deadline. However, a few days before the deadline, we ran into a serious issue that jeopardized the project. The solution I proposed was deemed risky as it involved significant coordination and required an explicit approval from all of our clients. In 24 hours, I coordinated a mass effort with 10 different account teams to get the needed permissions from 100+ clients. Finally, the project was delivered on time and in the process has saved the company hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. When my group’s VP praised me for my effort, I told him that the real credit should go to the technical team who worked round the clock to make this project a success. Later that day, the technical lead informed me that my VP had appreciated the team’s effort. The technical lead thanked me for my gesture and mentioned that in the past projects the team was not given the due credit. Another quality of a great leader, I believe, is the ability to identify the right talent in his team, groom their skills and build efficient teams. Earlier this year, our company went through a merger. We welcomed five new team members to our team, and as the lead of the digital product, I was tasked with integrating the team. The members of the team had varying experience and technical backgrounds and were spread across three different time zones. I first identified the strengths of each of the new members and assessed how their qualities and abilities could complement the team. Through discussions, I found out their interests and skill set. I then created several two-people groups and assigned them to work on specific areas so each member would complement the other’s skill-set, pick up new skills in the process and lead to cross training. Every few weeks, the members changed teams and the areas they worked on. Within a few months, this process created a well-knit and skillfully diverse team, which was efficient in handling various tasks. The integrated team was able to handle 30% more workload and improve their average response time for support by 50%. Its huge success motivated two other teams to implement a similar approach. I think the largest pitfall that I have observed in a leader is being deceitful. Giving false promises and skewing the facts may work in the short term, but will eventually lead to losing peoples’ trust. A leader should be able to communicate factually and set realistic goals to inspire others. If 13 I had not been truthful in communicating to the technical team that they will have to work long days and nights and set real expectations on the end results, the project would have been a failure. Another major negative quality of a leader I have noticed is being selfish and putting one’s self interest before that of the team/organization. I keenly notice the contributions of every specific team member and make sure everyone gets their due recognition. If I had taken the credit for the success of the project, the word would have gotten out which might have affected my chances of expecting the same level of cooperation for the next project. I strongly believe that having leadership in thought and vision is not enough to make one a leader. The small personal gestures enhance the perception of a true leader and can motivate others to work towards the ultimate goal. I am excited to further enhance my leadership qualities through the courses and workshops offered through the Lead Exploration and Development program offered by Booth. 14 Sample 3 - Team work /Challenge Essay - Kellogg Describe an instance where you encountered resistance in a professional team setting. How did you address the situation? (300-500 words) “Don’t try to re-invent the wheel.” said my colleague, Deepak after I showed our team, consisting of 6 IT professionals and myself, my solution for a framework for Johnson Controls (JCI) enterprise applications. The solution was a re-engineered process to build a framework for the foundation services for the JCI enterprise applications that is the heart of our client Johnson Control’s 30 Billion multi-industry business. I had developed a similar solution to several other major clients before, so I was confident that my solution was efficient and versatile enough to handle the upcoming product upgrades. I, therefore, expected no resistance from the team. Deepak was wary about the changes to the framework as it is utilized by many client applications, whereas I knew that the existing framework will not support the future product upgrades and is bound to fail. The next day, I approached my client manager and told him how confident I was about my solution and explained to him the benefits of adopting it. But he told that he and the team were not confident about my solution. He also told me that since I was dealing with a system that was an important part of JCI IT infrastructure, it required more than just a presentation to convince the team. Disappointed, but confident, I decided to prove my results by gathering the supporting data and demonstrating the team with sample prototypes. Over the next one month, I worked on building application prototypes, developed a presentation to demonstrate the benefits of using my framework, and collected few cast-studies to support my theory. A month after the last meeting, I approached my client manager and proposed him my plan. I also showed him few case-studies and explained him how the new solution could help the client cut down 20% of maintenance cost that is spent on supporting the applications. Then I addressed some of his concerns related to security and code migration. Impressed with my analysis, the client manager agreed for the presentation. A couple of days later, I presented the solution to the team with a complete analysis on the benefits of the solution. I also demonstrated the prototype that I developed using my solution. After multiple rounds of presentations and discussions, the team was convinced that my solution offered greater benefits, so they agreed to adopt it. We later presented this solution to the IT directors from other JCI divisions and showed them the benefits the solution offered to their enterprise IT applications. Six months later, this framework was established as a standard for enterprise IT applications across all JCI divisions. Personally, overcoming this challenge is significant to me in terms of my confidence. Challenging the client team at a client location and winning my proposal made me more confident in speaking my mind about the project issues at work. Since then, I have never hesitated in expressing my opinion, and it has helped me provide many valuable contributions to the projects. 15 Sample 4- Setback Essay- Kellogg What’s the greatest obstacle you’ve overcome (personally or professionally)? How has overcoming this obstacle prepared you to achieve success now and in the future? (350 word limit) In 2004, during my junior year, when I was at my parents’ house for the mid-year vacation, I received the terrible news during a medical check-up: I was diagnosed with cancer. I felt devastated- my world had fallen apart. I was frightened with the possibility of never being able to have children. During two weeks of vacation left, I underwent a delicate surgery and faced the dilemma “Should I request a leave of absence or not?” Requesting the leave of absence would be like admitting that cancer could beat me. Although I understood the seriousness of my medical condition and the need for continued treatment, I was not willing to pause my life as I had worked hard towards my academic goal for three years. I asked the doctors if I could continue my studies for the semester and start radiotherapy treatment during the year-end vacation. They told me that there were some risks attached, but that could be mitigated with monthly follow-ups until I started radiotherapy. I decided to continue with my studies. It was an extremely demanding academic semester, where I had to conciliate my studies, the research assistant internship and the constant fear of bad medical news. The GPA for that semester was the lowest, yet the most ‘celebrated’. After exams, I returned to my parents’ house and underwent a month of radiotherapy. Finally, after five years of semiannual medical follow-ups, I was declared clinically cured. This setback taught me to go against the stream and take calculated risks. In my last project, I suggested going beyond the initial scope. I knew if my plan failed, I would be blamed, but I still decided to take the risk and succeeded in getting the project got back on track. I strongly believe that one of the most important business skills is to believe in your intuition and take the leap; the higher you climb the corporate ladder, the faster you have to make important business decisions. Learning to trust my intuition and taking calculated risks has made me a better prepared professional for present and future success. 16 Sample 5 - Background Essay- Wharton We'd like to get to know you beyond your professional life. You may tell us about the people or experiences that have shaped you, what inspires and motivates you, and anything interesting that we wouldn't otherwise learn from your application. (1000 word limit) Having grown up in a joint business family of 30 members – Grandparents, parents, 10 uncle and aunts, and 15 siblings, qualities of working for agreement among conflicting views, organization, belongingness, teamwork and sharing are engrained in me. I still recall the time th when, as an 8 grader, I had to convince my grandfather, eldest uncle and my father separately and altogether to allow me to go on a 15 days’ educational school trip to New Delhi and Shimla. Since my growing up years, my eldest cousin brother has been a role model for me – he was a top ranker at high school and in Chartered Accountancy Exams. Also, he has always been thoughtful of the needs of all individuals in a joint family. Today, he is thriving in his business that he set up solely on his own. Another person who influenced me significantly is my mother. She used to save almost every penny of her pin money for my future advanced studies. Thus, she taught me great lessons of saving for the future while living a simple life. At the tender age of six, I learned a lesson that shaped my success in later life. I flunked in kindergarten grade and had to repeat KG for another year at a convent school in my hometown Bhagalpur. I was frustrated to see all of my classmates advancing to the next grade, and myself amidst a new group of students. I still remember the first few days in my second year at Kindergarten when I used to peep into next grade class to get a glimpse of my old friends. This event engrained values of hard work in me; since then, I was in the top ten percentile of students in my class and later excelled in in my professional career. While working in more than ten cities across India and USA in the last fifteen years, I have interacted with co-workers and customers across continents - in Canada, Mexico, Italy, UK, France, Germany, Singapore, Japan, and Australia. These experiences have taught me to work with people from different cultural groups effectively, appreciate their culture and build trusted friendships while working towards common goals. My cultural adaptability has enabled me to resolve conflicting situations more effectively. One of my passions is traveling various places. In the last 20 years, I have travelled to over 100+ cities, towns and villages in USA, India, Singapore and China – from pilgrim spots to beach towns to mountainous terrains to fast-paced cities. I enjoyed varied cultures and experienced different way of life in these places. I am now looking forward to alternate travel experiences during my executive MBA at Wharton. I am a true family person. I love to spend quality time with my wife and two sons aged 9 and 4. I enjoy playing with my sons in the park, helping them with their home-work, and sharing with them stories of my growing up years. I try to inculcate in them distilled ethics and values that are key to my culture. My wife has been always there for me in time of joy and sorrow. I love to share with her my daily life experiences. The sudden death of my father in late 2004 had suddenly matured me. On Nov 10, I, along with my wife and older son, had reached my hometown and the whole family was jubilant to be jointly celebrating the festival of Diwali for 17 the first time after my marriage. However, destiny had other plans for us. That evening my dad had severe cardiovascular attack; we rushed him to local hospital and then to heart center at Kolkata, where he breathed his last on Nov 13. Those four days of my life were extremely challenging as we desperately tried to save him. This experience of those last moments with my dad had taught me to live each day to the fullest and be of service to others My continuous urge to serve others has led me to various opportunities at work and community. In December 2011, while talking to some of my colleagues I came to know that most of them were spending huge amounts with most expensive health plan option – ‘Premium Health Plan’. It was their general perception that costliest health plan option would provide best health risk coverage To break this perception, I quickly compiled related information and conducted 5 sessions covering 150+ colleagues in the bay area – presenting health insurance expense scenarios and related risk coverage. A year later, I was amazed to see that many of these colleagues reported significant savings with better health coverage provided by economic Plan – a consolidated savings of 250+ K for my them. My passion to serve others motivated me to join a charitable institution called Tej Gyan Global Foundation, headquartered in Pune, India. Many of my beliefs were shattered when I came across Tej Gyan Global Foundation –My strongest belief “Nothing is free in life” was crushed and transformed into much stronger belief that “Best things in life are all free”. After my association with this organization, I realized that helping others is the best way to help yourself. I attend weekly session to deepen my understanding of core purpose of life, happiness, and world peace. Also, I have organized and conducted 15+ seminars in the last four years to spread the message of happiness. Currently, I am preparing and refining training content focused on development of school children to build confidence and self-esteem, and I plan to conduct these trainings in local elementary and middle schools in 2013. As I have grown in my life, I have cultivated humility and openness as key values. I believe my personal values of determination, cultural understanding, and serving others, combined with my professional attributes of leadership, global experience, and team working skills will reinforce the values of Wharton community. At Wharton, I am not just looking for an executive MBA, but a lifetime bonding with fellow students, professors and alumni. 18 Sample 6- Contribution Essay – INSEAD What can you bring to the program and how will you contribute to the experience of your fellow students. (Limit - 300 words) My life’s journey has taken me from kinder garden in France, elementary and middle school in communist Angola, high school in post-apartheid South Africa and university in a pre and post 9/11 United States. Over my nine years of professional experience, I have taught at the university and have helped to establish a financial institution in Angola and its sister institution in Portugal. I am now attempting to transform a 25 year-old core-banking software vendor with clients in seven countries. What can I bring to IESE’s Global EMBA program and how will I contribute to the experience of my fellow students? Well, when pondering on this question , I thought about my education, my work experience, my values, but it was not until I thought about my late father that I found my real answer. My father had kept a positive attitude towards life even though he was going through eight months of treatment for pancreatic cancer more than 12,000 kilometers away from home. He built a 130 million business from scratch, yet what I always admired him the most for was his ability to make a positive impact on people’s lives. I believe I will not only bring to the IESE the internationally diverse experience I have had, the academic awards I have won, or the potentially interesting projects I have participated in, but also the lifelong influence of a man who understood his place in the world and throughout his life, strived to make a difference in the lives of those around him .The one true contribution that I believe I can make to my fellow students is the commitment to fully dedicate myself to an educational experience and continue my personal attempt to make the world a better place. 19