Tips for writing about your contributions to the MBA experience of your peers in the class you join
The amazing variety of perceptions, experiences, passions, values, and goals among participants in an MBA program guarante that an MBA student will learn tremendously from the cohort. Therefore, the admission officers aim in assembling candidates from a broad range of nationalities, culture and work backgrounds. Their goal is to identify applicants who will not only become important researchers and leaders in their field but also great contributor to the learning experience of their cohort. For this reason, the admission officers do not solely rely upon the GMAT scores or undergraduate GPA grades, as they are only a part of the process criteria, and there are still some more important elements to look after. They focus on the diversity of the candidates to shape a well-rounded class, keeping in mind the class dynamics.
Every individual is unique in some way or the other. Similarly, you might also be possessing some unique interests, exceptional experiences, and a distinctive background that will help to distinguish you in a positive way in the tough competition. These out of the ordinary passions indicate the admissions committee that you can contribute an unique outlook to your class you would be admitted to. Your principles, personality, personal and professional past experiences, and unmatched interpersonal skills can prove you as an asset for your dream school.
In this MBA admission essay express your incomparable skills and unmatched ideologies. To support your illustrations, do narrate a few of your past experiences that would prove your uniqueness. Discuss those experiences that reflect your confidence and ability. Narrate incidents where you have brought about a difference by implementing the unique aspects you have in you. Let the admissions committee see the distinctive qualities that you can contribute to your peers in the class you join and that would further help to enhance the diversity of the program.
The admissions people want to see what kind of contributions you have made to the organizations that you had been a part of, what advantages you had taken of your opportunities, and your growth graph. They are mainly concerned with the quality of your work experiences and not quantity. They want to know your plans so that when you come to school you’re going to be ready to contribute, take part in student activities, take part in the recruiting process and just in general be successful because business school is a very busy place and you don’t have time to really figure it out once you get in there.
You need to convince the admission officers that you have got a variety of perspectives to offer to the class. Persuade them that you are here to learn from the program as well as your classmates, letting them learn from your experiences. Your contribution to the MBA program and your peers will be equally beneficial. Remember, an MBA program in your dream b-school requires uniqueness that you would be able to contribute to the class. So, you need to be one out of the crowd, rather than being one amongst the crowd.
This is one of the most common essay questions virtually asked on almost every MBA application form. In this MBA essay, the admission officers are interested in finding out who you are and what unique aspects in you make you different from other applicants. They are also interested to know what uniqueness you can bring to the b-school and to the MBA class, if accepted. The MBA admission oficers focus on the diversity of the candidates to shape a well-rounded class, keeping in mind the class dynamics. To serve the purpose they invite applications from people belonging to diverse streams. The b-schools aim in creating an all round class consisting of people from various work backgrounds as all the top business schools believe that diversity of knowledge is one of the key aspects of learning
Throughout the entire essay, you should be geared towards bringing out all your unique features so that you can largely contribute towards the diversity of the program. Brainstorm about your qualities and characteristics and list them down in your essay. You might be a person with a broad range of interests and possessing multiple traits. So go ahead and list the combination of qualities that make you unique. Jot down the words that do people use to describe you - problem solver, risk taker, creative, academic, leader, goal oriented, dedicated, ethical, a good team member or an efficient manager. Do spotlight on certain incidents from your work or narrate a few past experiences where you have shown unusual uniqueness for problem solving approach.
What stops You?
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Any one essay, 500 words, single round reviewing with detailed feedback for improvement, no editing.
My first moment of true responsibility occurred when I was a young teenager, and my parents decided it was time for me to get a job and earn a little money. A local self-storage facility was looking for someone to clean their storage doors, all 500 of them, for about $4.00 an hour. I worked eight hours a day, Monday through Friday, for what seemed like years, in the hot Memphis sun, cleaning every door from top to bottom until all 500 were completely clean. Believe me, those doors had more mildew and grime than any door I have seen to this day. Yet it was at this storage facility that I not only learned the value of hard work, but also taught myself how to create my own budget, to allocate the money I earned. I bought my first stereo soon after finishing that job, and by living according to the budget I created, several years later bought my own car, purchasing my own gas, insurance, and clothes for high school. I continue to value hard work, following a budget and overall self-reliance to this day. These simple lessons could enhance the culture at Fuqua in an ethics class or case method discussion based on integrity or leadership decisions based on moral principles. Additionally, I might be able to push my teammates to work a little harder or longer when the time arises.
Some years later, I found myself at the first “leader engagement” of my first deployment, with a Sheik nonetheless, and what seemed like his entire known family and friends. I spoke a different language, wore very different clothing, and even sat differently than anyone else present. Sitting uncomfortably in the Sheik’s living room, the only person in the room I had any connection with was our Iraqi interpreter. We were there because my platoon’s initial attempts to bring farming supplies and equipment to the local people had failed, turning into a mad grab for what was needed, rather than an organized distribution, and we needed the Sheik’s help to turn things around. From our first conversation, I quickly realized that my normal meeting etiquette and conversation customs would be of little use. Over time, at each of our meetings, I began to pick up the Sheik’s meaning based on his tone of voice, and began to rely more on non-verbal communication, like the shrug of a shoulder, even after my proficiency in Arabic had improved. Soon I could determine the Sheik’s response even before it was translated. I also learned to recognize the different norms and traditions within this culture and apply them in our interactions. Meanwhile, my team helped the local famers in the community to create a sound and organized plan, their trust in us increasing as my relationship with the Sheik grew. All of these meetings and the growing bond eventually allowed the farmers to become sustainable and economically viable in a relatively short amount of time.
I feel that this experience would be extremely beneficial at Fuqua in our group meetings and classroom environments, where different communication customs or habits might hinder others from getting their point across. Effective communication is one of the most important aspects in any business action, and I hope to enhance that aspect both in and out of the classroom at Fuqua. I also believe that those lessons I learned in my international experience would allow me to bring one more perspective to Fuqua’s already diverse culture. There is an extremely delicate balance with the respect to values and what is right or wrong when you are immersed in an entirely different environment. I understand that balance, and I would be able to share those lessons I learned in my experiences with others on Day 1 at Fuqua. In addition, as a day-to-day platoon leader, I could help my fellow study group partners analyze complex negotiation case studies and contribute to varied project planning discussions. Further along, I feel that I could contribute significantly to other Fuqua MBAs interested in participating in the GATE program. I hope that my understanding of diverse communication and varied backgrounds in an extremely dynamic setting would help others better understand the different business environments or dissimilar groups we might encounter.
Recently, my experience at the Energy I worked for has also allowed for me to use my value set to make a significant impact. Prior to my arrival as the Production Manager, it was common knowledge that the specified directions or course of action to improve production numbers, given by my predecessor, were to be followed without question. I decided to change this custom. Thus, every time there was a question raised concerning a troubleshooting method or a technique required to solve a problem, I would ask the questioner what he or she recommended in order to solve the problem. I would not dictate what needed to be done solely on what I thought was correct. This not only forced them to come up with possible solutions to their issues, but also allowed for open creativity and new ideas amongst our team. We shared these best practices on a regular basis in our weekly team meetings, and it resulted in a net ten percent increase in our production volume. This joint effort in understanding differing problem solving approaches reminded our team that individual input is paramount in overcoming obstacles and achieving our production goals. This change was not easy. Only after my team felt completely safe to voice their opinions and provide input was this change in how we sought to improve our production numbers achieved.
At Fuqua, I could impart some new best practices I have learned, from both a developmental and a sustainability standpoint, into the many inter-disciplinary settings at the Duke EDGE Center. I feel that my recent group experiences at the company could definitely help others within the center create workable solutions to the energy problems we face, regardless of the setting or sustainability problem we approach. Listening to others and allowing everyone to provide feedback is vital to solving such tough issues as energy sustainability and environmental impact. I might even be able to provide a supporting perspective to other Energy MBAs on those subjects that some students might not understand due to my background in the industry. Or, there might be subjects or ideas presented by key speakers where I would be able to provide first-hand knowledge of the successes or failures I experienced working in the Barnett Shale. Whether it be a Mentored Study Project that focuses on the efficiency of a clean-tech invention and how it affects the environment, or the Duke Startup Challenge, where our group pitches a new renewable energy-based business plan to industry leaders, I feel that my experiences in both teamwork and communication could greatly benefit the not only the EDGE center, but also my all fellow MBA students at Fuqua.