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[推荐]Sample Essay 2: Northwestern (Kellogg)

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发表于 2005-9-26 08:27:00 | 显示全部楼层

[推荐]Sample Essay 2: Northwestern (Kellogg)

QUESTION: What is the most valuable lesson you have learned in a leadership role?



During my junior year of college, as Director of [deleted](Sports Radio Broadcasting), I expanded our broadcasting realm from the traditional [deleted] men's football, baseball, and basketball, to other, lesser known sports such as field hockey, women's basketball, and soccer. The broadcasting team consisted mainly of sports junkies who simply wanted good seats during sporting events. Little did I know of the true challenge this plan presented. After a few months, I had a real disaster on my hands. The expanded coverage flopped as the staff consistently embarrassed [deleted] during the broadcasts of these smaller, non-traditional sporting events. The announcers showed up late, mocked many of the women players, forgot to mention certain sponsors, and mispronounced names. The [deleted] Athletics Media Relations Department grew increasingly angry, since it jumped through hurdles to help us announce those games. The station, which was already annoyed that I had requested twice the amount of time away from their precious programming, received numerous complaints from angry parents and fans. Two sponsors said that if things did not improve then they would not renew their contracts for the spring. I began to think that I would have to give up on my plan for change.



Blindly trusting the staff to do the job right led me down a disastrous path. To ensure these smaller sports stayed on the air, I realized that I needed to introduce team accountability. I set a new ground rule: to get the assignments they wanted, the announcers needed to make the effort to learn these smaller sports. I held pop quizzes during our weekly meetings. Poor performance on these quizzes was embarrassing to broadcasters among their peers, so they quickly learned the material necessary to cover games properly. I listened to announcers during games and gave them direct feedback when they made mistakes. To engage the staff in helping me with my quest, I met with each one individually to enroll them in our new direction. Within a month I knew who would make it and who would not. I slowly but surely knocked my staff down from twenty to eleven. This process left me with a core team of dedicated announcers. Once the staff's performance improved, I started to give them more control. I let two handle the advertisers. I encouraged the team to negotiate with each other to determine what broadcasts everyone would do. I knew things had finally improved when the staff started to hold each other accountable for performance. The impact was enormous. Within two months, I received no more complaints, and I even started to hear numerous positive comments about our programming from the athletes who played in these smaller sports.

My experience at [deleted] taught me an important lesson about teams. You rarely get to select your fellow teammates, so you must make the most of the team you have. To maximize team performance, I have learned to identify gaps in team processes and skills and then fill these gaps. Whether the team is lacking in leadership, knowledge, support, or communication, I must strive to somehow meet this need to ensure successful teamwork.


[此贴子已经被作者于2005-10-4 1:20:54编辑过]
 楼主| 发表于 2005-9-26 08:28:00 | 显示全部楼层

QUESTION: Briefly assess your career progress to date. Elaborate on your future career plans and your motivation for pursuing a graduate degree at Kellogg. (one to two pages double-spaced)



In "Remembrance of Things Past", the French writer Marcel Proust (1871-1922), said that "The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes."



Three years ago, back in [deleted], I decided to open my own shop. I brought my business on the road to success and it would be quite fair to carry on the course of my life and thrive in my little kingdom. But the feeling that led me to set up my own company three years ago is the very same that drives me now in my pursuit of an MBA at Kellogg School of Management. To me, this comes naturally as the next step in my career. Just as I decided to jump into the experience of opening my own business, today I reshuffle my cards and head for an MBA. I am not looking for new landscapes. Experiencing new challenges wouldn't do the trick. A profound change from the inside and new eyes on the world are what I need today. The experience of new heights would only then be truly enjoyable and enriching.

In [deleted], after 5 years working for big corporations and other smaller firms, I decided to set up my own company. I knew precisely what I was about to d occupy the strategic niche of mobile computers. Laptop computers were sold by existing computer resellers, but no one had ever specialized in that specific market. With some ads wisely placed in local newspapers and magazines read by decision makers, I reached the target market of my company. In addition, I built the company's website. Websites are powerful marketing tools that can make a difference. Clients can check from the website what is available at what price and make a decision quickly and more easily. I also managed to have an agreement with one local weekly newspaper where I could discuss in basic French, technological issues, internet tips, or new handheld releases. This showcase was a great opportunity to have the company known to the general public. The news quickly swelled: [deleted] was the company that dealt with all mobile computers, from handheld devices to powerful desktop replacements laptops. In just few months, the company's reputation was solidly established. That year, I also set up one of the first cyber caf?in the country. Internet is a big issue in developing countries, since many people view it as a way to lessen the information gap between developed and developing countries. In three years, I've been twice interviewed by international television broadcasting companies about the development of internet and technology in Africa. I also took part in a national TV debate about Information Technology Highways.

My feeling today is that I reached a peak of a mountain. My friends and relatives believe that I should say "THE peak of THE Mountain". But I am not of a nature to content myself with achievements. I can see higher mountains to climb, and to me, it takes an MBA to get to their summits.

My ambition is to acquire more knowledge in global strategy, marketing and build strong relationships with successful leaders and innovative thinkers worldwide. And I want to learn from the school renowned as the best for the quality of its faculty members and teaching methods. Kellogg is my first choice because it uncompromisingly addresses real life aspects of business. The way the learning model is organized through interactive means as study groups, analysis of actual real life business cases, classes and workshops provides the ideal learning environment for people with an experience to share. At Kellogg, the emphasis is put on the students. Curriculums, perfect combination of theory and practice, are updated with current techniques and technologies, and moreover, can receive inputs from students. The strong notion of community is also decisive in my choice. Furthermore, the commitment on ethics as an intrinsic part of the learning process is compliant with my conception of business. To me, business is about trust and honesty. And there is no way around it. Finally, the city of Chicago is a serious plus that will put me in the heart of one of the world's business capital. The proximity to the financial and cultural city of Chicago gives to the students at Kellogg a much richer set of opportunities.

Ultimately, my aim, after completion of my MBA at Kellogg, is to embrace an international career and work for a worldwide corporation at a decision level. I want to experience management and decision making in an international environment, particularly as a marketing executive. This will grant me with the background and business connections necessary to leverage my ambitions of setting up an African company developing IT solutions for the African market. I want to continue the experience I started in 1999 at a broader scale with stronger assets and a bigger market, Africa. My conviction is that Africa is a huge potential market for information technology. I deeply believe that the continent will be a key point for the next decades, one of the most promising emerging markets. And I want to be a major player in that development.

 楼主| 发表于 2005-9-26 08:30:00 | 显示全部楼层

QUESTION: What are your short-term and long-terms professional goals? How will an MBA program assist you in accomplishing your goals?



In the short-term I am interested in pursuing a new and increased role in one of [deleted] business segments. This new role will provide me with the opportunity to learn more about one of our businesses and will include operational and financial reporting, business development and managerial responsibilities. While in this role I will learn as much as possible about the business, its role within [deleted] and the total company's role in the marketplace. I will take advantage of the opportunities presented to become involved in mergers and acquisitions, internal business development projects, and the varied aspects of managerial and financial reporting. This new role will also provide me with the opportunity to manage multiple direct reports.



My intent would be to stay within one business segment of [deleted] for five to ten years so I can learn the business in detail. After that time I will consider looking for a new position in another business within [deleted].

In the long-term I will continue to progress on my career path, going as far as my education, talent and experience will take me. My long-term goals include becoming the Corporate Controller or Treasurer of[deleted], then moving into a higher management position (vice-president or CFO). Upon retirement I would like to teach part-time.

An MBA program will help me achieve my goals by providing me with the opportunity to continue my formal education, network with students from different disciplines and compare current business practices with people from other professional environments. An MBA will also show the level of commitment I have to my professional growth and will be recognized by my peers as an additional set of skills and experiences that I could bring to the company.

Continuing my education will give me the opportunity to receive formal and informal training from faculty, guest speakers and fellow students that would be very difficult to receive outside of a university setting. In addition to learning new management strategies, I will have the opportunity to learn from the faculty and students about their perspectives on current issues in the business world. I will also have the opportunity to practice my team management skills as I partner with other students in case studies, simulations and other team projects.

Networking with students and faculty from different disciplines and industries will provide me with the opportunity to learn more about the business world in general. Sharing different perspectives as we address issues in the classroom will help to expand my understanding of the different roles within our respective companies and the roles of our companies in the overall economy. In addition, these relationships could provide an ongoing resource to compare developing issues in our businesses.

Classroom and team settings will also provide the opportunity to compare and contrast different managerial styles, decision-making processes and business practices. As each student brings his or her unique perspective and business practices to the classroom, we will be able to compare what our own companies are currently doing and present our management teams with alternatives and new ideas. Sharing our experiences will result in an increased understanding of the factors that can drive success or failure.

Participating in an MBA program will illustrate the commitment I have to my professional development and will highlight the experiences and skills that I can bring to a new role in my company. As [deleted] continues to grow, the company's need for well-trained and experienced managers and directors will increase. Participating in an MBA program will highlight the commitment I have to developing my skills and experiences.


 楼主| 发表于 2005-9-26 08:31:00 | 显示全部楼层

QUESTION: You have been asked to sit on the Kellogg Admissions Committee. Provide a brief evaluative assessment of your file.



I have reviewed the file for Mr. [deleted] and have identified several strengths and weaknesses. Given the deep pool of highly qualified candidates, I will lead my evaluation with my assessment of his weaknesses in an attempt to save each of you valuable time in the event you feel that any particular weakness or combination of weaknesses precludes Mr. [deleted] from being admitted.

To be blunt, my first concern is that Mr. [deleted] may relish being a "Big Fish in a Small Pond" as suggested by his collegiate attendance at a mid-tier state school and his career at [deleted], rather than a better known New York financial services firm. I frankly wonder if Mr. [deleted] is deserving of the prestige associated with a Kellogg degree. In addition, although he closed out his college career with a cumulative grade point average above 3.6, that G.P.A. slowly deteriorated throughout his college career culminating in receipt of the first two 'C's of his life in the first semester of his senior year. Is this someone on the academic upswing? At first glance, it does not appear that way to me.

I also found that while he was active in community service in college, his public service experience since graduating from college has diminished. I want to be certain that we do not damage the Kellogg culture by admitting an unappreciative finance wonk who lacks compassion for his fellow citizens. And last but not least, his decision to write about himself in the third person and in memo format in this essay is a little confusing and reminds me more of a guy ridiculed in a Seinfeld episode than of a legitimate candidate for a degree from Kellogg.

Having identified these weaknesses, however, I feel compelled to provide the committee with some insight given my exposure to this candidate over the past 28 years. (I warn you, however, to please take my comments with a whole shaker of salt, because this candidate buys me lunch almost every day and I certainly want to avoid any perception of impropriety.)

First, to address the "Big Fish?quot; issue, I know Mr. [deleted] attended the University of [deleted] and participated in the Honors Program on full tuition and expenses scholarships that provided compelling economic incentive for his attendance. These scholarships were the result of his academic achievements in high school. Also, [deleted] has served Mr. [deleted]'s career well, as the company has allowed him to direct his own career path through multiple groups to acquire the skills he believes he needs in order to become a premier business leader. In addition, he was able to gain these new professional experiences while maintaining pay and promotion acceleration beyond the company's traditional pace.

On the topic of his declining grades, I know Mr. [deleted] sought to diversify his academic and extracurricular experience after attaining his goal of a 4.0 G.P.A. during a challenging semester in his sophomore year. He then shifted his focus toward his duties as Rush Chair for his fraternity and toward his position as the humor columnist for his campus newspaper. As Rush Chair he was responsible for acquiring the largest pledge class in his chapter's history and one of the largest of the year for his national fraternity. His position as a columnist taught him sensitivity for the subtleties of life and the discipline to channel his creativity within a rigid schedule.

In response to his modest showing in community service activities since graduating from college, I believe this remains a weakness for the application. However, I believe his response to question 4F provides adequate insight into his long-term community service goals. Lastly, in regard to his reference to himself in the third person, I can only say that he occasionally takes calculated risks that leaders must take to achieve great success, but unfortunately he can not always gauge the reaction or outcome immediately.

Notwithstanding the explanations provided above, I believe Mr. [deleted] has outstanding strengths that outweigh his weaknesses. I particularly believe he will be an ideal fit within the Kellogg culture as demonstrated by several elements of his application. First, his short-term and long-term career focus will enable Mr. [deleted] to maximize the Kellogg experience. Second, there is a consistent pattern of career achievement which supports the fact that Mr. [deleted]'s career focus is genuine and not simply a fabricated application gimmick. Third, Mr. [deleted]'s successful completion of the CFA program (while working full time) and his GMAT scores reveal discipline, a penchant for hard work and an aptitude for academic achievement in quantitative and qualitative courses within Kellogg's rigorous curriculum. Finally, the most important elements of Mr. [deleted]'s application, in my view are his small town values, breadth of interests, geographic diversity and team orientation that he would contribute to Kellogg's Class of 2003. Weighing all of these factors, I strongly recommend Mr. [deleted] for admission to Kellogg.

 楼主| 发表于 2005-9-26 08:34:00 | 显示全部楼层

QUESTION: Each of our applicants is unique. Describe how your background, values, academics, activities and/or leadership skills will enhance the experiences of other Kellogg students.



I was raised in a tight knit family that has only gotten closer and more important to me as the years go on. My father was in the military, and many times we were far from home and any extended family or friends. Through my family, I learned the value of independence, knowing that I have to be able to stand on my own to respect myself. I learned the strength of family love, and how it makes playing board games on a Saturday night seem like the most fun activity ever. I have learned the value of laughter and how it can cure every day annoyances and clear up misunderstandings. I know the importance of integrity and how it is vital to having a strong character. I have especially learned how a strong work ethic can help someone [like my father] go from a [deleted] farm boy to a Marine Corps Colonel and on to an executive at a major company. These experiences have deeply shaped who I have become, and influence my choices every day of my life.



I have realized that family is the only continuous thing in my life. Naturally, then, my husband's feelings were a big consideration in choosing a school - I want to share the MBA experience with him to keep our lives integrated, and have him sit by the sidelines while I have an incredible experience and learn with wonderful people. This led me to Kellogg and the sense of family integration I get from speaking with students and alumni. I was encouraged to learn that significant others participate in TG and in Joint Ventures activities. My husband and I look forward to becoming regulars at these groups activities. I will encourage fellow Kellogg classmates to do the same, thus creating a broader network of families experiencing the same challenges.

I have also always chosen a work life balance over 90 hour weeks to "get ahead." My work life balance takes the forms of a quarterly "sanity day" of vacation, joining other company related activities and committees or simply doing an activity that I enjoy, like playing soccer. These activities refresh me, and give me a chance to meet others and exercise different parts of my intellect not used in consulting. These are the activities that keep me human, rather than a tired, working machine. I intend to continue my work life balance while at Kellogg, both by becoming involved in extracurriculars such as Net Impact, Women's Business Association, and Creativa, and encouraging my fellow classmates to join me for some days of sanity.

One of my most obvious personality traits I have gained from my family and integrated into who I am is my fun loving attitude. I believe that almost everything I do can and should have an element of fun, and that fun enhances the working and learning experiences. I am extremely spirited, and often have enough motivation and enthusiasm for both myself and others. I have a history of injecting fun and enthusiasm into situations, like bringing Nerf and the Magic 8 ball to work during a stressful project cycle, and encouraging "decompression time" for the team. Now we reflect on our insane hours with some laughter and a smile. I will bring this attitude to Kellogg and work with the teams that I am a part to ensure that every person is at least having a little bit of fun while learning, studying, and sharing their future plans.

My values on work ethic are reminiscent of the simple farm boy I learned them from - work hard and you will get something for it. This has shaped my choices in my personal and professional life. I believe that hard work during work hours is the best thing I can do. In one instance, I feel accomplished that I added value at the end of every day. Secondly, I never feel guilty going home at the day's end and can achieve my work life balance. The values will carry me far in the intense Kellogg environment, and will enhance my classmates interactions with me by creating trust that I can work quickly, accurately, and efficiently.

A more recent development in my value system is the importance of mentoring women. Having been in the workforce almost 5 years, it is only in the past year that I have noticed the number women at my level starting to thin out. At one time, I was the most senior woman on our project of over 50 people. I began searching for a role model, one who was successful in work and had a family, and have only found 2. I have decided to start being that person, the role model, for women because I know women enhance the workplace and there should not always have to be a choice between being successful and having a family. The best way I have found to do this is to be a mentor to these women, spend time with them and advise them on life and career. I will carry this through at Kellogg, as I plan to both find some role models to emulate and to continue to mentor women who have not been in the workforce as long. I also intend to concentrate on recruiting more women to consider attending business school, because I believe that having more women reach the levels of upper management will create more role models for women like me who are actively seeking them.

发表于 2005-9-26 21:56:00 | 显示全部楼层
谢谢LZ分享,看来又是一座大山要爬。。。
发表于 2005-9-26 22:42:00 | 显示全部楼层
Thank you for sharing!!!
发表于 2005-9-27 12:05:00 | 显示全部楼层

大家有没有BS的朋友,这些essay怎么都这么长? (都有800字了)


BW上那些adcom们一再说最好不要超过10%的字数限制,不解。


[此贴子已经被作者于2005-9-27 12:11:29编辑过]
发表于 2005-10-2 11:13:00 | 显示全部楼层
这是不是真实申请人的essays啊?这样的字数远远超过“2 pages double spaced”的限制了!
发表于 2005-10-2 11:35:00 | 显示全部楼层

应该是来自businessweek的范文,bizweek说这些都是被录取了的学生的作品

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