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My essay on leadership experience, Duke Master of Management Studies 2017


Oliviasunsy 1 / -  
Dec 11, 2016   #1
Hey friends, this is my first time to post a thread on EssayForum. The website is just AMAZING! I'm currently applying for Duke's Master of Management Studies in 2017 Fall. I invite you to read the essay and raise your suggestions on it. Appreciate it!

Requirement:
MMS: Foundations of Business program is developing leaders who are able to effect change in the communities of which they are a part. Share a time that you were able to make a change in your community: at school, at work, or at home. How will you use the lessons you learned and skills you developed from this experience as an MMS: Foundations of Business student?

My Essay:
Where others saw poverty and backwardness in Inner Mongolia, as team leader of the 2014 Inner Mongolia Service Project, I saw decisions, actions, and hope for a change. During this three-week volunteer teaching mission, however, I encountered the toughest leadership challenge I had ever faced. This occurred when a girl in one of the classes we were teaching was caught snatching one of the volunteer's wallets into her schoolbag during lunch break. This unexpected incident frustrated and demoralized the whole team. But through this experience, I matured as a leader by negotiating with the different parties involved, and ultimately realizing a positive outcome.

Speaking frankly, the girl's behavior was very disappointing, not least given the 6 months of hard work we had put in for the voluntary project. To restore team morale while minimizing negative influences on the underage girl, however, I realized that the issue needed to be handled cleverly. Instead of blaming the girl, I turned to her fellow classmates for information and organized a home visit with other volunteers. As a left-behind child whose parents earned a living, she lacked sufficient care at the stage of puberty. To help the girl open up and admit the mistake, I facilitated a counselling for the girl and our volunteer. Appropriately treated with sufficient love and patience, she slowly opened up and returned the wallet to the volunteer.

I believe that in a community where stakeholders have competing interest, effective leadership is by no means making a black or white decision. Instead, it requires patience, communication skills, and emotional intelligence. From volunteer recruitment, negotiation with local government, to the pre-departure training, I mapped a down-to-earth perception of the region and was always aware of the social responsibility carried by the volunteer spirits. The service project succeeded in offering lectures of English, Arts, Chinese Ancient Civilization as a complement to local education.

Same would be applied to the business world, and I hope to lead that effort if I were to become a member of the MMS: FOB Program. I would bring a collaborative approach that incorporates and balances the needs of different stakeholders. Leadership is not about accomplishing one's own object, but about holding the team together. Therefore, I would create bonds with fellow MMSers through organizing regular team-based business cases for professional development and an extensive alumni network. Collaborating with the fellow schoolmates whose specialty and passion differ from mine would polish my negotiating skills and leverage my strength into a more versatile businessperson. By addressing issues in the fields of management, decision analysis, and business strategy, I would polish my negotiating skills in the market where competing stakeholders show distinctive value. Also, I am determined to create opportunities for the inter-cultural exchanges among MMSers. My commitment to voluntary projects equips me with interpersonal skills and the experience of developing teamwork with an intense commitment to the goals. The social innovation cultivated from various extra-curricular activities would further interplay with the business, championing each of us developing into a well-rounded person in a broader global context.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 11,224 3651  
Dec 11, 2016   #2
HI Olivia, thank you for your kind words about the work that we do here at the forum. Don't be afraid to ask for help whenever you need it. Everyone is family here and will always be willing to lend a helping hand whenever possible. I hope that I can be of help to you in improving your current essay. I would like to focus on the main topic that you decided to present for the discussion. Unfortunately, I do not believe that it is the correct incident to share with the reviewer.

As a business management MS student, you will have been expected to have some work or civic related experiences in terms of building the finances of either a business or a community related to work or your place of residence. You should have had some leadership experience that can show the reviewer that you have already used what you learned from your college degree to a certain extent in the real world. It would be best for your essay if you can present some sort of successful fund raising activity or some community service that helped to improve the lives of the people concerned, regardless of the degree of change you were able to effect. a positive change, is a positive change, no matter how small it is.

In this case, you focused on a specific person, the act of that person, and the outcome of what happened on a person. It does not show your leadership skills in a method that tells the reviewer that you are someone who has the acumen to survive masters studies in management.

You only discussed with parents in order to get the student to return the wallet of the person it was stolen from. In order to properly show you skills off in this essay, we need to present information about something more serious that had you negotiating with different sorts of personalities and representing different interests. After all, that is what business management is all about.

Right now, you have not presented any information that can relate to something usable during your time as a student at the university. So I suggest that you try to find a more relevant experience to share, one that can easily translate into an internship program you are looking forward to participating in or an idea as to how you are well trained to handle some more extensive demands of the course of study.
okorobiadimma14 6 / 82 50  
Dec 12, 2016   #3
Olivia thank you for your good remarks about this forum.

Surely I like your grammar constructions, although there is need for improvement, and the flow of your essay. But the context of the examples depicted in your essay matters a lot because that tells who you are (your personality).

Like Holt pointed out, while the reviewer expects an essay on leadership experience, the instance of leadership experience in your essay should be such that relate to Management Studies and/or Business. Like the prompt indicated, it could be at school, at work, or at home. So for your application to stand, you really need to think through and get something that can show your leadership experience in your field, which you hope to hone if given the opportunity of MMS: FOB program.

Having said that, I suggest you review your essay and then resend it.

Good luck.


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