Sample MBA Admissions Essays - Accepted by Stern and NYU (Courtesy of EssayEdge)
1. Think about the decisions you have made in your life. Describe the following:
PAST: What choices have you made that led you to your current position?
PRESENT: Why is a Stern MBA necessary at this point in your life?
FUTURE: What is your desired position upon graduation from the Stern School?
I like options, I like security, and I like power. With these wants, I knew at a very early age that I would enter business and thus I attended a college that specializes in the subject. In my first position out of school, I was hired by Dunhill Equities as a cold-caller. After several weeks of being hung up on by angry prospects, I decided that this career path would not lead me to success. I then moved within the firm to a position as sales assistant. While this was by no means my dream job, I learned a tremendous amount about business, and I gained useful exposure to the world of finance. Unfortunately, the company hit a period of instability, and after ten months I transferred with my boss to Coleman & Company. Thirteen months later, that company also began to fail, and I began to search for another path to advancement. With two strikes against me, I hit a home run and was hired by Sanford Bernstein into a challenging job with limitless opportunity for growth.
After almost three years at Bernstein, I am once again seeking career advancement. My education and work experience have provided me with an excellent introduction to business, and they have sparked my interest in finance. Taking into consideration my foundation and my interests, graduate business school is the next logical step. At this point in my life, I consider a Stern MBA to be necessary since I need to gain a broader understanding of finance and to sharpen my analytical skills in order to be successful in corporate finance. Stern’s MBA program will allow me to concentrate in finance, strengthen my global business perspective, and provide me with the opportunity to study with and learn from people with varied backgrounds. The school’s location in the financial capital of the world and in one of the most diverse cities in the world also suits me perfectly.
Aside from advancing my career, I would also like to develop personally. In college I did not join many clubs or organizations, and I did not participate in sports. Instead, I spent all my time studying, working, or dealing with family issues. Having been away from home and living in New York City for four years, I feel the need to make a name for myself and to develop a meaningful social life. I want to take advantage of the many benefits that extracurricular activities offer, and I want to be involved in the Stern community.
Upon graduation from the Stern School, I will seek a position as an associate within the corporate finance department of a large, Wall Street, investment-banking firm. In three to five years, once I have become adept in financial analyses, drafting prospectuses, preparing business presentations and other financial advisory work, I will move into a senior associate position. Here I will develop my abilities to anticipate client needs and to engineer solutions that address these needs. In approximately 10 years, I will have the experience necessary to take on upper-level management responsibilities.
Describe yourself to your MBA classmates. (You may use any method to convey your message: words, illustrations, etc.)
I grew up in a small fishing village in Maine, surrounded by family. Expectations and aspirations are limited in such an environment. I could have made a living exploiting the sea, but chose to do similar work as a corporate executive. Although I have no siblings, my hometown contains over fifty family members, and our agenda of family activities is always packed. Most of my family is employed in the commercial fishing industry, which instilled in me at a very young age, the concept of work. At age eleven, I started babysitting and mowing lawns, and at the age of fifteen I applied for my lobster license. The first summer with my license, I took a job as a sternperson with a fellow female. We were the only two females out there, which was definitely an experience. When the lobstering season ended that year, I took a job at a grocery store bagging groceries. I saved enough money to build a boat and to buy fifty lobster traps; I was on my way. The following summer I continued to work as a sternperson, and I also fished my own traps. I continued lobstering throughout the rest of high school and college, and it helped me finance my college education.
In addition to being ambitious and motivated enough to put my heart into even mundane, low-level tasks, I am also extremely organized. This is one characteristic that has always received praise. I pay particular attention to detail, which I believe has contributed to my success thus far. I take pride in my work, and I look at it as a representation of myself. In my position at Sanford Bernstein as a Consultant Liaison, I market my firm to the financial consulting community. Maintaining the integrity of the firm is vital and errors are disastrous. When training new group members, I stress this point most thoroughly.
I work in a group that currently has six members. The group serves as a central source of information for the firm, and its success relies on an extraordinary amount of cooperation from each of us. As a senior member, I am able to contribute to the group in several ways including: training group members, controlling the quality of the group’s output, managing and accurately completing multiple requests with short turnaround times, gathering and conveying information from senior investment professionals, collecting and calculating data, maintaining databases, overseeing projects aimed at making long-term improvements to the group’s processes, and strengthening my own foundation of knowledge to be used as a resource. Recently, as the result of a manager leaving the firm, I have also taken on some of the managerial responsibilities for the group including prioritizing and delegating assignments.
Though I am an excellent team player, in business school I would like to sharpen my managerial skills. I have found that I need to overcompensate for my “soft” appearance in order to get my point across. I hope to improve my negotiating skills and to gain more experience in getting group members to carry their own weight. At the same time, I do not want to become a tyrant. To be effective, it is important for a manager to maintain the proper balance of power and compassion. Only in this way, will I be able to lead a team of people to realizing the goals of a firm.
(Optional) Please provide any additional information that you would like to bring to the attention of the Admission Committee. If you are unable to submit a recommendation from a current employer, please give your reason here.
To satisfy my desire for success, I must continue my education. Of the six business schools to which I am applying, the Stern School is my first choice. I am very excited about entering an MBA program that will allow me to focus on my interest in finance as well as provide me with the career possibilities and exposure to resources, such as networks and learning tools, which I do not currently have. At Stern, I know that my investment of time, energy, and money will be well rewarded. At this point in my life, I believe I have great potential to gain much from a business degree since I have been exposed to the business environment for the past eight and a half years. I now posses a strong foundation to build upon, and I am ready to assume the rigors and challenges of the Stern School’s MBA program.
In addition to its academic program, the Stern community is itself very appealing. The three undergraduate schools that I applied to were Babson, Bentley and Bryant. Babson College became my first choice as soon as I visited its quaint campus and fell in love with the friendly atmosphere and cultural diversity. From someone coming from a small fishing village in Maine, it was refreshing to be surrounded by family. Living in New York City has broadened my exposure to include a fast-paced, career-minded atmosphere. The combination of these characteristics at the Stern School will provide me with an excellent learning environment, and I hope to attend Stern for many of the same reasons I selected Babson.
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Free MBA Sample Essays: Sample MBA Admission Essays
Sample MBA Essay 1
Just like Helen Keller who attempted to attain the summit of her life through her incessant perseverance, I have also been doing my best efforts to achieve constant self-improvement and to work toward my maximum self-actualization. Both Helen Keller and I share one thing in common, that is, we adhere to the same spirit of perseverance and self-perfection. Nevertheless, there is one essential difference. What Helen Keller was trying to do was to overcome her physical predicaments and constraints so that she could behave and do things like a normal person. Being a normal person, I would like to tap my potential to the fullest possible extent so that I can achieve academic and professional excellence necessary for becoming an elite of the emerging young generation. The rapidly growing Chinese economy seems to be providing us with an unprecedented opportunity to our personal fulfillment. Under such circumstances, what we should do is to become fully prepared to embark on our journey of life, to venture into deep waters. As a matter of fact, I have already been making some of the most important preparations for my ambitious undertaking in the future.
I completed my undergraduate education from 1998 to 2002 in the specialty of marketing at the Business Administration Department of Institute of XX. Although the Institute is by no means the most prestigious one in China, I have been one of the best students in this Institute. Drawing inspirations from Einstein’s assertion that diligence accounts for 99% of a person’s success, I have endeavored to prove this doctrine through my concrete action. At the very outset of my undergraduate program, I decided that I must make maximum use of all the educational resources available to improve and perfect my knowledge. By the time I graduated, I proved that my undergraduate life was a very rewarding one, embodied in my satisfactory academic performance, important extracurricular activities, a spate of honors and awards, well-developed personal qualities, and recruitment by my Alma Mater.
As part of my personal development, my undergraduate career was characterized by constant improvement in academic performance. By the time I became a junior, I was ranked top three in my class. My diligence, sound analytical ability and strong interest in my chosen specialty, all those factors contributed to my sustained scholastic success. Marketing is a subject that encompasses knowledge in economics, management, psychology and other disciplines. This interdisciplinary nature of marketing, plus the challenges of creative thinking that it poses to its learner, helped to strengthen my interest in it as I delved deeper into this subject. As a result, I managed to achieve quite satisfactory scores in all the core courses—Business Psychology, Marketing, International Marketing, Modern Enterprise Management, Public Relations, Market Survey and Prediction, etc. Meanwhile, benefiting from the systematic and rigorous training in economics and management, I have considerably enhanced my analytical skills, which gradually permitted me to grasp the essence of the matter amidst apparently complicated business issues. I also started to reflect on some basis but specific problems in our economy, such as “Why none of Chinese enterprises have so far failed to enter the world’s top 500?”
During my undergraduate program, my academic commitment did not in the least affect my extensive extracurricular involvements. On the contrary, those involvements served to develop my management capacity, interpersonal communication and teamwork. I was a journalist of our Institute’s Journalism Association, reporting on major campus events. I was the chief debater of our Department’s Debate Team and by working closely with my tem members, we won the first prize in our Institute for two consecutive years. My other extracurricular positions included assistant director of the Study Department of the Students Union, director of the Social Practice Department of the Institute’s Students Union, and a member of the Institute’s Students Committee. One thing that should be stressed is that, as director of the Social Practice Department, I successfully launched the final match of Miss Network in XX Province, which was part of XX The match, designed to popularize Internet knowledge and show the charm of the learned women students, produced quite a local sensation. As the main planner of the event, I met and overcame major challenges. I believe I will derive lifelong benefit from this experience.
To be engaged in high-level business management has always been my professional objective. As far as I am concerned, this challenging profession is what I am most interested in, one which can allow me to apply my knowledge and expertise to face challenges. With China’s reform toward the market economy, a large number of big enterprises have been created, but over the past two decades, no Chinese enterprise can be found in the world’s top 500. An important factor is that we lack true entrepreneurs and effective ideas of modern strategic marketing and management. This situation calls for well-trained business administrators with international perspectives. An important purpose of your MBA education is to provide systematic theoretical support for solving various business problems while equipping future enterprise administrators with all the necessary managerial skills. In addition, I am deeply fascinated by your MBA program’s competitive and international character. In my proposed program, I will continue to focus on marketing, with special emphasis on studying the advanced marketing strategies and concepts of the world’s top enterprises. It is my conviction that, against the background of economic globalization, an international education can give me far more than the mere knowledge and skills of business administration.
As a necessary foundation for my prospective MBA program, I will have accumulated two years of work experience (from 2002 to 2004). Upon completing my undergraduate program, due to my distinguished performance in academic, extracurricular and moral conduct, I was recruited by my Alma Mater to take up a teaching position as a teaching assistant while concomitantly serving as student councilor. For more than one year by now, I have been managing more than 700 students in an entire grade in XX.
Although my responsibilities are not those typical of an enterprise, I have derived much pleasure of successful management in ensuring the smooth operation of student life and activities, in addition to promoting my sense of responsibility and managerial expertise. Admittedly, there are important differences between the management of students and the management of employees in an enterprise, I have consciously and creatively applied my knowledge of human resource management that I learned in my management courses. This makes me realize that many theories and approaches of commercial and industrial management can be equally effectively applied to the management of non-profit organizations to improve their operation efficiency.
As one of the best-loved XX universities, XX University enjoys a very high prestige for its MBA education. What this University really attracts me is that your university attaches great importance to group research and small-class education whereby students are allowed to collaborate with senior professors to undertake various interesting projects. I believe that this highly interactive and competitive educational model will be very appropriate for me in that it can fully draw out my potential in business management and lay a firm foundation for me to become a business management elite in China. In my proposed study, I will stick to my usual way of self-development—constantly transcending my former self in pursuit of a life of sustained personal development. Just as what Helen Keller said: “The result of each attempt is a success, and along the ladder pieced together by each individual success, I will ultimately reach the grand altitudes in the deep of the azure clouds—the summit of my hope. ”
Sample MBA Essay 2
As a professional who graduated from Electrical Engineering Department of Tongji University, I would like to apply for MBA program at your esteemed university. Through this program, I expect to develop myself into an ideal brand of professional with interdisciplinary knowledge, with knowledge both in management and in a particular technical field of specialization.
This determination is the result of my work experience during the past decade. When I first worked at a HongKong company (10 DASCOM) to undertake software development, I experienced the advantages of teamwork. Later, I worked as manager of a sub-project of software development at Suzhou ZhongHao Electronics Company. I became increasingly conscious of the importance of management. I came to discover that in terms of software development, China lacks sound project management and software engineering. During this period, I conducted some practices according to the requirements of software engineering. The result was surprising—not only the efficiency was highly enhanced, the quality of the products was also significantly improved. The number of bugs in the software was greatly reduced. This result significantly aroused my enthusiasm to apply software engineering to the later-phase software development.
Since 1995, I have been working at Suzhou Broadcast & Television Information Network Co., Ltd, a larger-scale company compared to my previous working units. I was wholly devoted to the overall programming of several information systems such as that of charging and office, editing management system. My dedicated efforts finally elevated the comprehensive administration of internal affairs of the company to a higher computer-aided level. After designated as the permanent deputy director of the Office of Technology, I was in full charge of technological planning and complementation in all the aspects. One year later, in virtue of my outstanding work performance, I was promoted to manager of the Department of Technological Development. During my tenure of office, I undertook the construction of new-generation CATV network, which was the largest project in the company’s history with a long-term cycle and a vast number of department personnel. I took an all-round responsibility for this project from the very beginning till it was put into operation, and conducted a series of preparatory tasks, including investigation and study, planning, designing and marketing, which led to the accumulation of my abundant experience.
In 2000, I was mainly engaged in the projects of Digital TV and Access Network, which aimed at providing the users with digital TV and high-speed online services. Since these projects directly affected all the departments in the company, their successful completion could greatly enhance the organizational and managerial abilities of each department. When dealing with the new knowledge required by these projects, I proceeded it from two sides: on one hand, I tried to upgrade my own knowledge structure; on the other hand, I made every endeavor to cultivate and train the talented personnel, recruiting the talents we were in urgent need of and simultaneously training all the already existing technicians. Special efforts were also made to promote the communication and exchange of views between them and implant the concept of market in them. My painstaking and conscientious work finally paid off with an elite technical team. As a reward for my excellent fulfillment of my duty, I was appointed as deputy general engineer in 2001. For several consecutive years in my work, I was awarded the prize of Excellent Worker and Excellent Academic Pacesetter. Apart from that, I issued many articles on the collected works for the company’s exclusive use.
I should ascribe my outstanding achievements in management to my specialty, electrical and electronic technology. Tongji University, one of the top and most prestigious universities in China, enabled me to lay a solid foundation in professional knowledge. My interest was in computer, and I self-studied most of the compulsory courses for students majored in computer by every possible means. I became the computer genius in my department. Though my overall undergraduate GPA was not very high, my consummate computer skills offset this defect and contributed a lot to my later work performance.
My graduation design was Application of Image Processing in the Assembly Line, and I dealt with the part of image processing in this large project. By consulting vast technical literature and pondering deeply over it, I ventured to change the framework fixed by the supervisor, and successfully rendered a perfect and novel plan. I was then highly appraised by my supervisor with my bachelor thesis rated Excellent.
I began my graduate program in Electrical and Information in 1999 at Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. With in-depth understanding of the great importance of management science, I reckon I am in urgent want of an overall and systematic study of Management. Pursuing further studies abroad could enable me to grasp the most advanced knowledge of management, have a direct contact with western culture, concepts and way of thinking, and widen my breadth of vision. I showed keen interest in every facet of Management, particularly Tactical Management. The primary goal of my plan was to found a solid theoretic base, including management of business affairs, tactical management, technical management, risk control, and management of human resources. If I could successfully master all the knowledge in the field of management, I would then be back to my present company to put into practice all I have learned.
Edinburgh University is one of the six largest and most prestigious universities with time-honored history in UK. What most fascinats me is its excellent tradition, grave and down-to-earth intellectual atmosphere. My long-cherished dream in my life is to study in a top university like this. Its MBA program enjoys a great reputation in the world. In terms of pedagogical resources, academic achievements, and other conditions, Edinburgh University can be ranked first-class in every aspect. Thus I am determined to devote myself to studies and practice there, and keep myself abreast with the latest developments in my chosen field. Upon completing my degree program, I will return to China to serve my country. Though the road to my academic pursuit in a foreign country is not so smooth and beset with challenges, I am fully convinced that I have already been well prepared and qualified for meeting these challenges with great courage and confidence. Life is just for once for everyone, so in my mind, its true meaning dwells in facing up to the challenges until you eventually come out as a winner.