Business Schools

Career Progress Essay


In Great Application Essays for Business School, which will be released in December 2005 by McGraw-Hill, publisher of BusinessWeek, author Paul Bodine provides an inside look at successful application essays. Bodine offers suggestions throughout each of the essays to give readers an idea of what admissions committees consider a well-thought-out and insightful response to their essay questions. The following is one of four essays from the book that is being made available on BusinessWeek Online:

Essay prompt: Briefly assess your career progress to date. Elaborate on your future career plans and your motivation for pursuing a graduate degree at Kellogg. (1-2 pages double-spaced)

"You came all the way from Israel?" Though my initial reason for visiting Honolulu was in fact a study abroad program at the University of Hawaii, my tour guide at Olakino Life's international headquarters could have been forgiven for getting it wrong. My personal pilgrimage to Oahu to see the birthplace of the firm that epitomizes socially and environmentally responsible business on the Pacific Rim was one of the true highlights and lasting influences of my semester. My conversion was total: I studied Vance Nakamatsu's book "Pacific Healthy," visited Olakino Lifes all across the Pacific Rim, and even sent a letter to Mr. Nakamatsu himself. [Effective word choice ("pilgrimage," "conversion") convinces reader that Vassily is a true believer in corporate social responsibility]

Though I had learned about Olakino Life during my international marketing course at University of Hawaii, it only crystallized a realization that had been forming since my first marketing class at the Jerusalem College of Technology: marketing, not software engineering, was my real calling. [Deftly introduces essay's second theme-marketing-by tying it into story he opened essay with] I was gripped by the world of consumer behavior, brand management, and marketing strategy I glimpsed through that class, and after returning to Israel added a second major in marketing. Since that semester abroad, my career path has become an unconsciously choreographed dance between two themes: corporate marketing and social responsibility. My experiences with Olakino Life and Wolfgang Puck Worldwide have shown me that, with an MBA, it will be possible to fuse these two themes into one. [Wisely ties story into need for MBA at earliest opportunity]

I joined Tel Aviv Consulting after graduation because I knew that as a mid-sized management consulting firm specializing in marketing and sales it would offer me an ideal blend of functional focus and project variety. Over the next two years, I helped grow its first global product marketing strategy project to more than 35 people; rose to manager of the firm's flagship market analysis tool, MarketTouch; and, in my last assignment, helped plan the launch of a new $17 million data security product for one of the firm's largest clients.

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