College Application Essays Mba

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Business School / MBA Sample Essays
I have been hoping and planning to earn an MBA for the past six years since graduating from college and am excited to now be on the cusp of making that dream a reality. I’ve come a long way from the painfully shy college freshman who initially could hardly even stomach the thought of being a resident advisor because it would involve so much interaction with students I didn’t yet know. I conquered those first fears and went on to become the Resident Hall Council President and Freshman Orientation Leader...
In my experience one of the best places to learn true leadership skills is on the playing field. There are few situations in this world as intense, fraught with danger, and adrenalin inducing as participating in full-contact competitive sports. I have played soccer in a league for over __ years, and while this pastime is certainly not the focus of my life, the camaraderie and interpersonal skills I have learned from it will last me a lifetime...
I consider myself extremely fortunate to be here in the United States earning my education because I know how easy it would have been for this never to take place. Moving here all by myself from Shanghai to attend college was the most difficult thing I have ever done. I had never been away from my family before, I hadn’t even traveled outside of China prior to this trip, and I knew I was in for a big change...
Question: In 250 words or less, discuss your leadership or managerial style as it plays out in an organizational or group setting.

I have had the good fortune to work on several teams consisting of disparate people in a corporate setting. While many individuals shy away from trying to bring un-like minded people together, I see it as a challenge in which, if handled carefully, everyone can bring something unique to the group that will ultimately help us move the selected project forward in a more complete manner than if we all had similar ideas and styles...
Question: In 250 words or less, please describe your career goals and your educational objectives in participating in _____ University’s program.

I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This is the home of my heart even though I relish traveling to other countries and experiencing and learning from other cultures. I am in the United States now in order to further my education, improve my English, and make sure that I have the skills to work effectively with business leaders from everywhere in the world...
I come from a land of unparalleled physical beauty but sadly one that is also still struggling to overcome a strict class system that does not reflect the changing values of today’s Argentine people. I am one of the fortunate ones who has had access to an education and the opportunity to go to college in America, but many in my country are not so lucky...
Lying on my back, looking up at the stars while the camp fire crackles beside me, I can feel the utter peace of the ranch this I have loved since I was a boy. I would say that it would be a paradise to spend the rest of my life trekking through the rugged lands that, even though I have traveled them from my earliest memories on, still hold mysteries and new found beauty every time I come here...
Question: Please describe your experience of working in and leading teams, either in your professional or personal life. Given this experience, what role do you think you will play in your study group, and how do you intend to contribute to it?

Though I have had two work experiences outside of college, one as an accountant and the other as an investment analyst, in which I have had the chance to work on teams, contributing valuable experience and information that has been used to make multimillion dollar decisions, I still think my most vital experience of leadership took place in college simply because it was my greatest challenge to step up and take on a leadership role at that time, whereas in my jobs it was expected and I was prepared to do it...
Question: Student involvement is an extremely important part of the MBA experience and this is reflected in the character of students on campus. What type of student club or campus community event do you envisage yourself initiating? How would you set about organizing this, and how would you communicate it to the wider School community?

Having already learned first had the importance of becoming a part of clubs on campus during my undergraduate years I will most certainly be an active member, and possibly founder, of new ones at ________ University. My transition from Japan to America was made much smoother by my active participation in the Japanese Students Association, and if there is not yet a chapter such as this at ____ University, you can count on me to found it...
Question: Newton’s First Law of Motion states that an object in motion tends to stay in motion in the same direction unless acted upon by an external force. Tell us about an external influence (a person, an event, etc.) that affected you and how it caused you to change direction.

There is no event that has so affected my life trajectory as much as my decision to move to the United States to pursue my education. Prior to making this decision I was living what many would consider a perfectly satisfactory life in Cairo, Egypt. I come from a middle-class family, my parents are educated and kind, and I get along well with my two sisters...

Crafting a well-written essay for your MBA application is a daunting exercise for most applicants. After all, if you’re applying to a highly selective business school, the admissions staff is typically looking for a reason to ding you. An essay that reveals any weakness in your candidacy could quickly put you in the reject pile.

So what does a successful essay to a top business school look like? For the past two years, The Harbus, the MBA student newspaper at Harvard Business School, has collected and published essays from successful applicants now enrolled as students at the school. What those collections clearly show is that an essay doesn’t have to be a masterpiece to get you an invite to attend Harvard. “They just need to serviceably present your story and not be annoying of odd or offensive or confusing,” says Sandy Kreisberg, founder of HBSGuru.com, the MBA admissions consultant.

The new 51-page essay guide costs $49.99, the proceeds of which go to support the non-profit Harbus Foundation. It contains 16 essays written by students admitted to Harvard’s Class of 2017. For just $20 more, The Harbus will toss in last year’s essay guide which includes an additional 23 essays. You can buy them here. Unlike much of the drivel written about how to write an MBA essay, the advice and the essays come from incoming HBS students who are willing to share the questions they were asked and the essays they wrote.

NO PAINT-BY-NUMBER APPROACH FOLLOWED BY SUCCESSFUL MBA APPLICANTS TO HARVARD

The new essay guide includes 16 successful essays written by this year’s incoming HBS students

What the successful essays clearly show is that there is no cookie-cutter formula or paint-by-the-numbers approach. Some start bluntly and straightforwardly, without a compelling or even interesting opening. Some meander through different themes. Some betray real personality and passion. Others are frankly boring. If a pattern of any kind could be discerned, it is how genuine the essays read.

Of course, one issue with these essays is that they address a different question asked by the school’s admissions staff. In the past two years, HBS used this prompt: “You’re applying to Harvard Business School. We can see your resume, school transcripts, extra-curricular 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?”

All the essays published in both books address that question rather than the 2015-2016 prompt to introduce yourself to your classmates. The big difference between the two questions is the audience. Last year, applicants addressed the admissions committee. This year, they need to address their own peers. The actual content may or may not be all that different which makes these essays valuable and worthwhile.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO WRITE LIKE MALCOLM GLADWELL TO GET ACCEPTED INTO HBS

What you can’t do, of course, is crib from an existing essay. That is the quickest route to rejection. As Kreisberg points out, reading and even studying the essays of those who have made the cut “can loosen you up, show you some useable gimmicks, and prove that you do not need some extensive career road map and belabored rap on why HBS.”

The four samples that follow from the past two years, reprinted here with the permission of The Harbus, may well surprise you. In most cases, content trumps style. Admissions staffers aren’t expecting master storytellers. After all, the Harvard Business School (or any other business school for that matter), does not enroll the likes of a Malcolm Gladwell or a Stephen King.

That doesn’t mean they didn’t take real effort. One MBA student says she labored over 15 drafts that consumed something like 50 hours of time to do her 703-word essay. “It was like six hours on the first eight drafts, then probably just one hour of tweaking on each of the next seven drafts,” she confides. Another says her HBS application 895-word essay was “a work in progress for two months. Wrote it, edited it, let it sit, edited it again, etc. I would say (I wrote) five drafts and (took) 20 hours.“

The greatest benefit of reading these samples? They’ll take a lot of pressure off of you because, although we picked some of the best examples to guide you through the process of doing your own essays, they are quite imperfect.

DON’T MISS: WINNING ESSAYS OF HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL STUDENTS or BEFORE YOU WRITE THAT HBS ESSAY….DO’S & DON’TS

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