I chose direct management because I wanted to drive these same inspirational improvements in an operation I owned. My role was to manage and improve the operation, and through my experience, I learned the nuts and bolts of the supply chain industry. However, my dream of innovating supply chain operations pushed me to consider transitioning to an organization with an ambitious, transformative purpose.
In fact, last year I had a unique opportunity to reflect on what type of impact matters to me. As our guide lamented on the dreary prospects of the Page 2 of 2 town, I was amazed to see just how important these two industries had been to its development. Through this real world example, I was able to clearly visualize the impact businesses can have on their broader environment, an understanding that had not been as evident to me while working in the larger, more complex American economy.
For example, I had spent hours walking among the dilapidated buildings speckling the warehouse district in Cleveland, but only after my trip did I connect them to the decline of the Midwestern manufacturing industry. Upon my return, armed with this broader perspective, I decided my next step would be to attend business school. So, that is how I arrived in front of you today. My goal is to humbly learn as much as I can from our section, our professors, and our experiences.
I am excited to get to know you, and will always do my best to support our section intellectually and athletically we will be the future section Olympics champions! I think the most important part of the essay writing process is to ensure that your story and personality come through — and this is perhaps the most difficult part! To help with this, I had individuals who were not as familiar with my story and why I wanted to go to business school provide me with feedback in addition to those with whom I worked closely.
Wrong response. And yes, the author is accomplished too. I chose this essay from the Harbus collection because I know there are many engineers applying. Some — both in and out of their field — think of the profession as boring or common. But this essay is neither boring nor common. I loved it because the writer comes to life, and his passion and personality shine through. He tells his story with energy and clarity, from his perspective, and with a focus on his impact.
We can see your resume, academic transcripts, extracurricular activities, awards, post-MBA career goals, test scores, and what your recommenders have to say about you. What else would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy?
The author sets the stage for the remainder of the essay by first presenting a notable accomplishment of hers and then explicitly illustrating the entrepreneurial drive and diligence she used to see it through.
Beyond highlighting her gift, or passion for the art of storytelling, the author goes on to connect this theme with her future career ambitions, as well as describe how this could also serve the HBS community. In , I realized a life ambition — I completed my first novel, all while working full time at [Top U. Investment Bank]. I could not wait to share it with the world and eagerly went in search of a literary agent. But each agent I contacted declined to represent my novel.
Storytelling is my lifelong passion; it saw me through a difficult childhood. After my father left, my mother raised me as a single parent in [U. We did not have much money and that coupled with my bookishness made me a target for bullies.
Books and writing were an escape; they gave me an avenue to articulate the feelings of abandonment and powerlessness I otherwise did not want to express. Writing made me happy and the more I wrote, the more my talent blossomed. I began to win awards and my work was published in youth literary journals.
These experiences made me more confident, a key part of my success later in life. It all started with a pen, a notebook, and my imagination. In true entrepreneurial fashion, I self-published my novel through the digital platforms Smashwords and Createspace.
I worked with a promotional expert to organize a month-long book tour to promote the book to prominent book bloggers and their readers. The result? My novel has received multiple 5-star reader reviews, from Amazon to Goodreads, and was a semifinalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Stories are an integral part of the human experience. They uplift and inspire, give us permission to dream and to visualize what could be.
Storytelling has been an integral part of my career, from building financial models at [Top U. My passion has also informed my growth as a leader; I believe my most impactful expressions of leadership have been my efforts to help others write the narratives of their own lives and careers. At [Top U. Being a mentor gave me the privilege of guiding another first generation college student along what I know can be a lonely, difficult path.
This fall, she started college with a full scholarship. Storytelling will be a part of my future career path; as an MBA graduate, my goal is to obtain a position in strategy and business development at an entertainment company that specializes in film or television. Long term, I want to start a multimedia and merchandising company with a publishing arm books and magazines as well as film, TV, and digital operations. My particular focus is creating compelling, multidimensional characters to inspire young women of color, who are constantly bombarded by negative images of women who look like them in media.
Also, I want to further develop my leadership and presentation skills as I will manage professionals on the content and business side; it will be my task to unite them behind a shared strategic vision. My varied background in finance and media has given me a unique perspective that will be valuable in classroom discussions and team projects.
Not sure on the hours. The time came for me to embrace the strength and adaptability of my forefathers this past November, when my mother suffered a sudden and fatal heart attack. Moving forward seemed inconceivable, but the following year turned out to be the highlight of my career to-date. The same week that my mother passed, I was offered a role directly supporting a Human Capital Partner in building a new practice grounded in the thought leadership I helped to develop in the Future of Work space.
Despite my personal hardships, I could not pass up the opportunity to be involved in transforming the face of Human Capital. I took on the role, and was immediately immersed in setting the strategy for the new business that will deliver large-scale transformations following Future of Work discussions. This has meant gaining experience with cognitive technologies, considering how they will fundamentally change jobs, and developing new ways to transform the workforce for the future.
It has been a fast-paced role, vastly different from traditional Consulting client work. My insight into adaptability has been a personal journey that impacted not only my professional focus, but also my community work. Much of the struggle my father experienced in changing his career path came from not having a college degree. As a first generation college graduate, my passion for literacy and education access has steered me to become a leader in my community as a founding Board member of X and a volunteer high school mentor.
I try to instill adaptability in the students I mentor and the non-profit leaders and school administrators I have the pleasure of working with, sharing the opportunities afforded by the same disruption my clients face such as rethinking the skills we teach our students, crowdsourcing global expertise to the classroom, and augmenting the physical classroom with digital tools. Adaptability in this context does not only mean prevailing over hardship to pursue your passions, but also fundamentally changing the way we think about delivering education in the future.
Grounded in the concept of adaptability, my personal, professional and community experiences have informed my dream of becoming an eminent strategist on transitioning Fortune s to the Future of Work and a Board member of innovative education NPOs transforming how we develop the future workforce. In pursuing an MBA from HBS, I will be able to bring my own unique perspectives and ability to adapt to the unparalleled case method, peer and alumni network and global community.
I was initially fascinated by the adventure each medal, dog-tag and faded photo held. As I matured, and learned more about others who served before me, I saw my fascination was rooted in becoming a leader. Along this journey, I learned that servant leadership is about self-awareness, humility, inclusion and above all, people. HBS will provide the interactive, case-based environment to continue learning, reflecting, and developing.
One mission during Vietnam was coined Recon by Fire — a tactic designed to find the enemy by shooting without provocation into suspected areas. Despite dialogue with superiors on the unnecessary risk, the order stood. He decided to disobey; he took his team out, helped in a village, set up security for the night, and reported completion. I can only imagine the self-awareness and humility it took for my grandfather to make that decision. These critical qualities are only honed through experience.
This day leadership course tests your ability to lead in a simulated combat environment. Although I would be given another attempt, I was crushed mentally because of the personal nature of peers. For the first time in my life I thought about quitting. Debating whether to try the phase again, I got a letter from dad with some motivational thoughts. The next week, I restarted with a smile on my face and a mental cue to remember who I was.
The world, and war, have changed drastically since Vietnam and even since my time at Ranger School, but the timeless lessons on leadership remain. These experiences remind me to know myself, be humble and build relationships. I saw the true power of this equation when I deployed to Iraq in as the Executive Officer, or second-in-command, of an Airborne Infantry Company. We had a unique mission to re-train the recently defeated Iraqi Army. Our Company Commander, or leader of the soldier organization, was not great at building consensus or communicating vision.
The ambiguous, grand scope of our mission, and pressure from higher, made him apathetic; a dangerous affect while deployed. I empowered this ad-hoc task force to analyze the current Iraqi shortfalls and build a plan to prepare them for combat. Simultaneously, I built relationships with our Spanish Legion partners to gain buy-in and leverage their specific strengths.
Now, any time I feel overwhelmed, I remember to look to those around me. The challenging, interpersonal nature of my Iraq deployment inspired me to stay in the Army past my initial obligation. It also gave me the unique opportunity to apply my understanding of leadership and transform an organization as an Infantry Company Commander.
I took command of a soldier team from an authoritative leader. The first thing I did was engage all the key leaders to build a vision; not a generic mission statement, but a tailored picture of who we wanted to be. With this ground work laid, I changed how I interacted with the Platoons, or subordinate organizations in the Company.
Our weekly all hands meeting, or training meeting, shifted from the commander dictating tasks and identifying shortfalls, to a participative structure; I talked less, subordinates talked more. Then, we developed a new structure to plan Company operations. During the meeting, I provided broad intent and assigned responsibility for the training operation 12 weeks away. Platoon leaders, or Lieutenants, then presented key milestones for shorter term operations and garnered input from our whole team.
The dialogue and ideas that percolated from this small change were astounding. This set the tone for how we would work together under stress. Two months after these changes, we were praised for our performance in a hour training operation to secure an enemy-held village. After the operation, my boss asked why I thought we succeeded. I never even met my grandfather — he passed away just before I was born. Yet, he inspired me to know myself and think freely even in a hierarchal environment. My experiences, and mantras like STOP-P, remind me that leadership, much like life, has no perfect equation.
But, if you properly weight some critical variables along the way, it is truly rewarding. I would like to share with the admissions committee several unique personal and professional experiences that have helped shape my leadership style and qualities.
I learned the art of communication and became articulate with much confidence and poise at an early age. As the son of a first-generation immigrant in the US, I have maintained the household for my divorced father since the age of nine including speaking on his behalf during job interviews, filing annual income taxes, and negotiating apartment lease terms. My public interactions representing my father have taught me that in order to be taken seriously at any age, I need to project gravitas.
For example, when I was 12 years old, my father traded in his car to the dealer to purchase a new car. I used Kelley Blue Book and recent sales postings of similar vehicles in the local newspaper to determine a comparable trade-in value.
Leveraging my research, I haggled with the car dealer to obtain a favorable price for the trade-in automobile. While the dealer initially held steadfast at a lower estimated value, he conceded to the comparable trade-in value after I presented such convincing research. The development of these communications skills from an early age has been very helpful in my professional career as well where I often need to command the attention of peers and senior leadership during presentations and meetings.
During a project last month, I led the identification of potential North American and Australian buyers in association with the deployment of a new B2B client product. After I presented to him quantified sales volumes of potential customers and a thorough approach for engaging his prospects by geographical region, he became convinced and prescribed to adopt my proposed strategy.
I grew up attending an inner-city middle school where few extracurricular activities were offered due to minimal public funding. It was not until I started playing chess that I learned valuable lessons in weighing risks and rewards, forming contingency plans, and learning from mistakes. Now that I am in a fortunate position to give back to my community, I founded a c non-profit organization featuring the game of chess to provide public school students with extracurricular opportunities that I never had.
I designed the chess nonprofit organization to improve academic performance and build self-esteem among elementary and middle school students by teaching chess lessons through an afterschool program and organizing nationally rated chess tournaments. Additionally, the nonprofit chess organization partners with schools around Columbus, Ohio, by providing both financial and resource sponsorship to help set up their chess programs and tournaments.
Through this program, I intend to inspire urban youths to utilize critical thinking and problem-solving skills acquired through playing chess as tools for a lifetime of success and achievement. A year ago, I completed a project providing talent management advice to an asset management company seeking to establish a coast-to-coast footprint through an acquisition.
As the upfront due diligence phase of the deal had been rushed with inadequate attention focused on retention planning, many of the financial advisors had left the target firm upon hearing rumors of the acquisition. During the next three months, I managed a support team based in India that assisted our US team in executing the plan.
Due to the support team working remotely in opposite time zones, it was initially challenging to involve them with daily developments of the project and win their trust. To quickly gain their support, I accommodated to their work schedule, debriefed them with daily client meeting takeaways, and delegated client deliverables to them.
That uncertainty must have been apparent to everyone, because my manager pulled me aside and bluntly told me that my attitude was affecting the entire team. I cried in front of him, devastated that I had let my doubts bleed into my work.
The third time was just a year ago. I was overseeing a process redesign and struggling to balance the many changes needed. I need to know that you care about this as much as I do. Each of the first three times was driven by frustration and anger. I had tamped down my emotions to the point where they overwhelmed me. Particularly as a young woman in business, I never wanted to be viewed as a stereotype or incapable.
I was ashamed of my tears and terrified at how others would perceive me. However, each of those experiences proved to be a turning point. My tears motivated me to ask for help when I needed it, pushed me to restructure my mindset and approach, and gave me a moment to breathe, rebalance, and reprioritize. In each case, my work was better for it. I have also used each experience as a learning moment. Each time I asked myself what decisions led me to the point of tears, and what I could have done differently.
I could have raised my hand earlier for help, initiated a conversation with my manager about my uncertainty and dissatisfaction, or involved the Partner more actively in the planning and prioritization. Emotions are an inevitable part of the human experience, and as such, an inevitable part of the office. Rather than keeping them at bay, I have begun embracing my emotions to be a better manager and leader, and build more authentic connections.
As a manager, I understand my team as people, not just colleagues. I have regular conversations with each of my team members to understand their individual goals and motivations, so I can take those into consideration when building the team structure and delegating responsibilities. As a leader, I invest in traditions and events that foster camaraderie and high morale. The fourth time I cried was at the rollout of a process redesign I oversaw.
This was our first time demo-ing the new process end-to-end for the rest of the team. This time, I cried not with frustration or anger. This time, I cried with joy for our success and with pride for my team. I am no longer ashamed of my tears, and I am proud to demonstrate that a strong leader can be pragmatic and emotional all at once.
I started by laying out potential themes and stories for my essay, and while there are a lot of similarities, the core message changed quite a bit. What I found most helpful was having close friends that I trust wholeheartedly review multiple drafts, because they were able to provide continuous feedback and help me combine pieces from multiple drafts.
None of them had ever gone to or applied to business school, but were experienced in writing and communication e. Analysis: The author focuses his essay on two themes — his professional experience as an operations consultant and an experience which motivated him to go for an MBA. Through the essay, the author is able to highlight his professional skills, achievement as well as give a clear picture of his long-term career plans and his reasons for doing an MBA. Today, my dream centers on helping companies leverage technology to propel their operations into the future, providing unparalleled customer service and delivery, with an operational efficiency to match.
It was my job to walk into a manufacturing plant and drive significant operational change — for example, I once spent 3 months walking the sticky floors of a milk plant in [MID-SIZED U. We accomplished this goal with zero capital spend, a feat many had believed was impossible.
In our projects, the biggest challenge was almost always convincing managers to reach for that extra tad of unseen opportunity hiding within the operation, because oftentimes it was very difficult to look beyond the daily struggles that plagued their operations. I left those milk, water and oil sands plants with many enduring friendships and inspiring operational victories borne from our journey from ambitious goals to concrete results.
I chose direct management because I wanted to drive these same inspirational improvements in an operation I owned. My role was to manage and improve the operation, and through my experience, I learned the nuts and bolts of the supply chain industry. However, my dream of innovating supply chain operations pushed me to consider transitioning to an organization with an ambitious, transformative purpose. In fact, last year I had a unique opportunity to reflect on what type of impact matters to me.
As our guide lamented on the dreary prospects of the Page 2 of 2 town, I was amazed to see just how important these two industries had been to its development. Through this real world example, I was able to clearly visualize the impact businesses can have on their broader environment, an understanding that had not been as evident to me while working in the larger, more complex American economy.
For example, I had spent hours walking among the dilapidated buildings speckling the warehouse district in Cleveland, but only after my trip did I connect them to the decline of the Midwestern manufacturing industry. Upon my return, armed with this broader perspective, I decided my next step would be to attend business school. So, that is how I arrived in front of you today.
My goal is to humbly learn as much as I can from our section, our professors, and our experiences. I am excited to get to know you, and will always do my best to support our section intellectually and athletically we will be the future section Olympics champions!
I think the most important part of the essay writing process is to ensure that your story and personality come through — and this is perhaps the most difficult part! To help with this, I had individuals who were not as familiar with my story and why I wanted to go to business school provide me with feedback in addition to those with whom I worked closely. Wrong response. And yes, the author is accomplished too. I chose this essay from the Harbus collection because I know there are many engineers applying.
Some — both in and out of their field — think of the profession as boring or common. But this essay is neither boring nor common. Growing [Company] taught me to build brand salience through product differentiation. Building consumer loyalty highlighted the importance of product quality, and the need for an unobtrusive service-oriented culture. This introduction immediately captured my attention. Not only is it humorous and engaging, but it establishes that the writer is about to embark on a story focused on leadership and change.
Two of the most common mistakes I see candidates make are 1 beginning their essay with a sentence that essentially reiterates the question and 2 writing an introduction that is interesting but long-winded. Admissions officers read application essays from morning to night. At the same time, it is important to ensure that the essay establishes its thesis early. In this case, the writer has done both by the third sentence. After establishing context, the writer spends the rest of the essay focusing on her actions.
She addresses four different sub-topics: establishing a value proposition based on fit; reaching women in rural areas through e-commerce, creating stores in micro-markets, and building a service oriented culture. Addressing different strategies allows the writer to showcase the variety and magnitude of her experience. She demonstrates her deep knowledge of marketing from e-commerce to customer experience to social media to the use of influencers.
Business schools want to know that each of their students will bring a new perspective and point-of-view to the classroom. By using a leadership essay to demonstrate a deep understanding of marketing, the writer sets herself up as an expert who can add value to Kellogg both inside and outside the classroom.
While the essay asks about leadership, Kellogg is known for its focus on teamwork. The writer does an excellent job interweaving the two. She writes about collaborating with the Sourcing Head and she makes sure to credit her team for much of the work.