Best Mba Essays Sample

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.

3.

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.

4.

(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.

For access to 100 free sample successful admissions essays, visit EssayEdge .

When applying to business school, the essay can make or break your chances of admittance.

Who are you, beyond the GMAT?

To get to know their prospective students, Harvard Business School asked applicants to answer the following question in 2015:

"It's the first day of class at HBS. You are in Aldrich Hall meeting your 'section.' This is the group of 90 classmates who will become your close companions in the first-year MBA classroom. Our signature case method participant-based learning model ensures that you will get to know each other very well. The bonds you collectively create throughout this shared experience will be lasting. Introduce yourself."

The Harbus, HBS's student newspaper, publishes an annual collection of successful answers in "The Essay Guide." One of the best examples of a strong essay, "The Balance Act," from the 2016 edition of the guide, is included below.

The applicant is a woman from the US who worked in manufacturing/engineering product management and operations before applying to business school.

"I've been to Reno, Winnemucca, Salt Lake City, Chicago, Buffalo..." What sounds like a verse from Hank Snow's "I've Been Everywhere" is actually the chain of cities I've crossed four times since 2011. You see, the first engineering position I took after college required that I relocate for new assignments every six months.

If you had peered inside my car during one of those moves, you'd have struggled to guess my age (more than 300 vinyl LPs lay stacked in the trunk), my profession (the back seat was jammed with boxes of cake decorating tools), or why a person with Illinois plates owned a Buffalo Bills football (as my Bills enter the 2016 season now having missed the playoffs for 16 consecutive years, I'm struggling with that one too).

The link behind these seemingly dissimilar interests lay on the dashboard, in a dog-eared page of Sheena Iyengar's "The Art of Choosing." On that page, a Wynton Marsalis quote read: "You need to have some restrictions in jazz. Anyone can improvise with no restrictions, but that's not jazz. Jazz always has some restrictions. Otherwise it might sound like noise."

The thing to know about me is this: my two favorite things are CHAOS and CONTROL. "Get Smart" reference aside; I love rules ("restrictions" for Marsalis), but also disorder. I love routines, but also spontaneity.

Contradictory? Not really. My desire for routine (jigsaw puzzles over coffee every Sunday) and my flair for spontaneity (impromptu urban taco crawls) at times reveal themselves in quite separate pursuits. But more and more, the two combine into structured, yet inventive projects (most recently, a Kanban inventory system for custom cookies in my four-person apartment).

My upbringing built in me the love for "control." My dad, a lawyer and a lifelong coach, taught me to trust rules and fundamentals. I started playing baseball, repeating daily the same basic drills on the batting tee. I taught myself to cook, studying family recipes and following them to a T. I listened to my parents' LPs, memorizing every lyric and mimicking every note on the violin or piano.

Routine ruled my life. And I loved it, particularly as an athlete. I was recruited to the [TOP U.S. MIDWESTERN CITY PRIVATE UNIVERSITY] Softball team, where I continued emphasizing the fundamentals: throwing, glove work, sprints. These fundamentals made the "fun" stuff — making diving catches, throwing people out, winning — possible. Where fans saw graceful, instinctive skill, I saw a series of assessments, decisions, and actions.

This unwavering faith in fundamentals would propel me to success until 2010, when, after 15 years spent perfecting the skills my sport demanded, I hit a slump. To respond, I worked harder at the same drills I had always known. I re-ran weekly our toughest workout (up every stair in the 48,000-seat football stadium) with the expectation that more practice would make me "good" again.

No effort I made led to improvement, however, and I was eventually benched.

I to that point had defined self-worth solely by athletic performance. So when I felt my career ending despite extreme effort, I almost lost faith in those fundamentals.

That same year, though, I had joined a campus group, [NAME OF CAMPUS CHRISTIAN ATHLETE GROUP]. A group leader one day called for someone to bring food to the meetings. Remembering studying family recipes as a kid, I volunteered.

I ended up cooking for [CAMPUS CHRISTIAN ATHLETE GROUP] every week for two years, earning the nickname "Chef [APPLICANT'S LAST NAME, WITH AN 'IE' AT THE END]." I quickly discovered that the thing I loved about softball, I too loved about cooking — that I could learn fundamental "rules" (like throwing a ball, or packing brown sugar) to do something bigger (like winning a game, or baking a killer snickerdoodle).

But I discovered a freedom in the kitchen that I had never experienced as an athlete. I was instinctively substituting an ingredient here, tweaking a step there, to create new recipes. Just as Marsalis and others did with their music, I was taking the cooking rules and now re-arranging them into improvised creations, such as the ever popular "Molson Maple Glazed Donut."

That small change in approach in the kitchen gave me the appetite to improvise, and even explore, elsewhere. It provoked me to take the rotational position that soon sent me packing to new cities every six months. It motivated me to embrace new cultures as I moved, rather than live inside my known rules. It led me to taste stinky tofu in Hangzhou, China, to become the biggest Buffalo Bills fan you'll ever meet, and to try hang gliding in California (I won't be doing that again).

Throughout these adventures, though, I've held onto rules, to traditions. I explore each new city by running its best stairs, to honor those [UNDERGRAD UNIVERSITY] workouts. And I fill each new apartment with my boxes of LPs and cooking supplies.

The rules, the routines are still important — in fact, necessary — for me to create.

That's what brings me here — that mix of rules and improvisation, of control and chaos. I want the rigidity of finance and engineering mixed with the volatility of interacting with real people. I want to study through Case, the perfect marriage of preparation and adjustment. I want to take my existing knowledge of operations in manufacturing and transform it to retail and consumer goods.

I hope you'll each introduce yourselves to me over the next few weeks. You can find me running Harvard Stadium on Fridays or watching the Bills at Bleacher Bar on Sundays, as I learn to combine my existing routines with this new school and new city.

And as we go through TOM, I'll create a miniature cookie "factory" in my kitchen for anyone who wants to practice the basics of production flow. I'm thinking we can make Heath Bar Sandie's.

The editors of the guide provide a brief analysis of the strengths of each essay. For this particular one, they point out that the author nicely incorporates her many interests, including "athletics background, her love for cooking and her regular travel as part of her job."

The author also shows how these facets of her personality make her a good fit for business school.

"Towards the end, the author ties in her theme with the HBS case method by describing the cases as a perfect combination of 'chaos' and 'control' — thus emphasizing, in a very innovative way, how the program will be a perfect fit for her," the guide says.

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