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MBA demanding/challenging situation Essay


fsajjad 1 / 3  
Jul 13, 2009   #1
Hi, Please review the essay below especially its content, presentation and grammer. Thanks a tonne in advance. An early review would be highly appreciated.

Narrate an important/unusual incident of your life when you had to face a very demanding/challenging situation. How did you overcome the situation? What lessons did you learn from this incident? (750 words approx)

Securing a job at company T, a leading company in the field of communication, was overwhelming especially in a market scenario of 2002 when there was an overall slowdown in technology sector. Although the compensation offered was not up to my expectations, company T was still the lifeline as my family's financial position at that time was not very good, and my salary was crucial to meet the household expenses. "I will prove myself very soon to deserve a promotion and a considerable hike", I heard saying myself on the first day of my professional career. As days went by, my professional experience turned out to be completely different than what I had expected and dreamed of during my previous predictable student life. After a month of induction training I was assigned a project in 3rd generation wireless domain, a field totally alien to me. My job was very demanding and involved writing complicated code for advanced (3G) mobile phone application. Since everything was new to me I was finding the going a tad too difficult. It was during this time that Shankar, one of my colleagues, went out of his way to help me complete my assignments and he did this without any expectation. He helped me with my work for three consecutive months. As it happens with most things in life, this phase of challenge passed and I came up triumphant, thanks to the help rendered by Shankar.

At the end of the year, my contribution to the project was recognized and I was rewarded with good grades and a salary hike. I was happy that ultimately I could achieve what I aspired for but my happiness was short lived. I discovered that my friend, who had helped me during my project, had not fared well as his official contribution to this project was very less.

I was now faced with the tough question, whether to report my manager about my friend's role in my achievements or to just ignore the incident. The easy way out was to sit silently and bask in my newfound glory. On the other hand there was a potential risk of losing my hike and my reputation. I also risked jeopardizing my future growth in company T. Discussing the issue at hand with my parents and after a subsequent deep reflection, I finally decided to go ahead and share my manager about it. I was very nervous about how my manager reacts would react to the news. To my great surprise, my manager appreciated my honesty and courage and took steps to salvage my friend's appraisal in the light of these new revelations. I felt a surge of relief pass through me and felt that a great weight had been removed from my conscience.

I feel that my action then was justified not only because it was the fair thing to do but also because it did a lot of good to me in the long run. Apart from gaining a trustworthy friend, it established my credentials as an honest and upright man and helped me to get many positions of responsibilities later. Apart from my personal gains, my action did a lot of good to the work environment at my office, as people realized that honesty and helpfulness were a valued attribute and that it really paid to be nice guy!!

This experience reinforced my conviction that an ethical behavior is always the best option, no matter how difficult it might be in the short term.

EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Jul 13, 2009   #2
This is a very strong essay with a clear message that is likely to be looked upon favorably.

Here are some specific comments/suggested revisions:

Since everything was new to me, I was finding the going a tad too difficult.
"Tad" is used informally and has a light tone to it. Choose another word.

As it happens with most things in life,
This and similar phrases just take up space without adding anything to the essay. Omit them.

At the end of the year, my contribution to the project was recognized, and I was rewarded with a positive performance evaluation and a salary hike.

...as his official contribution to this project was much less.
Liebe 1 / 542 2  
Jul 13, 2009   #3
SecuringHaving secured a job at company T, a leading company in the field of communication, was overwhelming especially in athe market scenario of 2002 when there was an overall slowdown in the technology sector. Although the compensation offered was not up to my expectations, company T was still the lifeline as my family's financial position at that time was not very good, and my salary was crucial to meet the household expenses. "I will prove myself very soon to deserve a promotion and a considerable hike", I heard saying myself on the first day of my professional career.

As days went by, my professional experience turned out to be completely different than what I had expected and dreamed of during my previous predictable student life.

^the bold part does not quite gel in with the sentence. Consider revising it or just omit it.

After a month of induction training I was assigned a project in 3rd generation wireless domain, a field totally alien to me. My job was very demanding and involved writing complicated codes for advanced (3G) mobile phone applications . Since everything was new to me I was finding the going a tad too difficultfound things quite difficult . It was during this time that Shankar, one of my colleagues, went out of his way to help me complete my assignments and he did this without any expectation . He helped me with my work for three consecutive months. As it happens with most things in life, Eventually , this phase of challenge passed and I came up triumphant, thanks to the help rendered by Shankar.

'phase of challenge'...not quite feeling it.
how were you 'triumphant'.

At the end of the year, my contribution to the project was recognized and I was rewarded with good grades and a salary hike. I was happy that ultimately I could achieve what I aspired for but my happiness was short lived. I discovered that my friend, who had helped me during my project, had not fared well as his official contribution to this project was very a lot less.

I was now faced with the tough question, as to whether toI should report to my manager about my friend's role in my achievements or to just ignore the incidentnot . The easy way out was to sit silently and bask in my newfound glory. On the other hand there was athe potential risk of losing my hike and my reputation. I also risked jeopardizing my future growth in company T. DiscussingI discussed ]the issue at hand this issue with my parents and after a deep subsequentsubsequent deep reflection, I finally decided to go ahead and shareinform my manager about Shankar's involvement in my success . I was very nervous about how my manager reacts would react to the news . To my great surprise, my manager appreciated my honesty and courage and took steps to salvage my friend's appraisal in the light of these new revelations. I felt a surge of relief pass through me and felt that a great weight had been removed from my conscience.

I feel that my action then was justified not only because it was the fair thing to do but also because it did a lot of good to me in the long run. Apart from gaining a trustworthy friend, it established my credentials as an honest and upright man and helped me to get many positions of responsibilities later. Apart from my personal gains, my action did a lot of good to the work environment at my office, as people realized that honesty and helpfulness were a valued attributes and that it really paid to be nice guy!!

^The double exlamation mark does show an informal approach to this essay...

This experience reinforced my conviction that an ethical behavior is always the best option, no matter how difficult it might be in the short term.

^ethical behaviour difficult in the short term?

Few mistakes here and there. By the way, what was the challenging situation? THe project. Or telling the manager about Shankar?
OP fsajjad 1 / 3  
Jul 14, 2009   #4
Thanks a lot EF_Simone/Liebe for the wonderful comments and your prompt reply...I will surely incorporate these in my 2nd draft.
I have few comments which I have mentioned below:
1)

SecuringHaving secured a job at company T, a leading company in the field of communication, was overwhelming especially in athe market scenario of 2002 when there was an overall slowdown in the technology sector.

Liebe, don't you think the above change will create a dangling modifier as there is no immeadiate noun to which the participal phrase starting with "Having secured..." can attach.

Will this be the correct formation?

Having secured a job at company T, a leading company in the field of communication, I was overwhelmed especially in athe market scenario of 2002 when there was an overall slowdown in the technology sector.

2) "contribution to this project was much /lot less" Which one should I use : lot or much?

3)

how were you 'triumphant'...

Completing the tough assignments with the help of Shankar made me feel triumphant. Does this make sense?

4)

The double exlamation mark does show an informal approach to this essay...

Should I use double exclamation mark or not?

5)

By the way, what was the challenging situation? THe project. Or telling the manager about Shankar?

The challenging situation was whether to reveal the truth to the manager and risk losing all the accolades or help my friend and stand by my principles. Anyway, it seems that I could not bring about the challenging situation strongly :(. Any suggestions how to make it more apparent.

Shall I incorporate your suggestions and modifications and then post the 2nd draft?
Thanks a lot for your time and effort.
Regards
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jul 14, 2009   #5
Having secured a job at company T, a leading company in the field of communication, I was overwhelmed especially in a the market scenario of 2002 when there was an overall slowdown in the technology sector.

Yes. This avoids the dangling modifier which would indeed have been created otherwise.

"contribution to this project was much/lot less" Which one should I use : lot or much?

much

Completing the tough assignments with the help of Shankar made me feel triumphant. Does this make sense?

Yes.

Should I use double exclamation mark or not?

No. Not ever in anything formal.

The challenging situation was whether to reveal the truth to the manager and risk losing all the accolades or help my friend and stand by my principles

I think this is fairly obvious as is, actually. I suppose the opening might seem a bit misleading, as you do start out talking about how hard the job was -- i.e. that is was a challenge -- but the notion of your overall experience involving a double challenge seems reasonable given the prompt.
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Jul 14, 2009   #6
Should I use double exclamation mark or not?

Not.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jul 14, 2009   #7
In fact, I'd say you should avoid using even one exclamation mark. The sentence in question is not, after all, actually an exclamation or a command, and so its usage is technically incorrect.
OP fsajjad 1 / 3  
Jul 14, 2009   #8
Thanks a lot EF_Sean/EF_Simone for your valuable feedbacks..
OP fsajjad 1 / 3  
Jul 25, 2009   #9
Hi,

By the way, what was the challenging situation? THe project. Or telling the manager about Shankar?

As the essay did not bring out the challenging situation clearly, I have revised it and pasted it below for your kind reviews.

Narrate an important/unusual incident of your life when you had to face a very demanding/challenging situation. How did you overcome the situation? What lessons did you learn from this incident? (750 words approx)

Having secured a job at company T, a leading company in the field of communication, I was overwhelmed especially in the market scenario of 2003 when there was an overall slowdown in the technology sector. Although the compensation offered to me was not up to my expectations, company T was still the lifeline as my family's financial position at that time was not very good, and my salary was crucial to meet the household expenses. "I will prove myself very soon to deserve a promotion and a considerable hike", I remember telling myself on the first day of my professional career.

As days went by, my professional experience turned out to be completely different from what I had expected earlier. After a month of induction training I was assigned a project to develop a Navigator application in 3rd generation (3G) wireless domain, a field totally alien to me. The project would showcase company T's expertise in rapidly developing 3G technologies in US and European market. A successful project would fetch tall orders from operators such as Verizon and Vodafone. The project management team assigned a four star rating to the project, which meant it was quite critical to the company. Our team comprised of 4 Indian engineers and 6 Korean engineers. Based on my credentials and my interest in signaling technologies, I was chosen for this project. With the start of the project, our manager decided to conduct weekly meetings of all the teammates to assign, discuss and resolve various issues related to the project. In the very first meeting, I volunteered to implement the signaling part of the Navigator application. As I started implementing my module along with 2 Korean engineers and another Indian engineer, I found it to be quite challenging as it involved writing complicated codes for signaling in 3G domain. Being a freshman without a prior experience in 3G domain, I did not have a proper grasp on the intricacies of the technology, which was required for our project. During weekly meetings, I often noticed that my colleagues did not pay proper attention to the issues I raised, probably because of my less experience. Moreover, interaction with Korean engineers was quite difficult as they did not communicate well in English and I did not know Korean at all. It was quite frustrating to speak a single sentence to Mr Park, my Korean colleague, and then try to explain him what it means for another fifteen minutes. A conservative deadline, a not so friendly environment and a lack of experience made the project all the more difficult for me. At stake were not only my future career growth but also my self-esteem, which I believed I could redeem only after earning the respect of my colleagues.

To get a good grasp of 3G technologies, I started following a routine to devote at least 1-hour reading technical papers/journals on 3G domains available on the Internet. I bought a monthly subscription to IEEE forum to know about the latest trends in signaling domain and this gave me an idea of the future trends of mobile signaling industry. On weekends I use to meet Mr. Prakash, my college senior who has a strong expertise in signaling domain, to clarify my doubts and get his insights. After 3 weeks of study, I volunteered, in one of the team meetings, to present a power point presentation on "The latest trends in signaling domain" from the perspective of our Navigator application. During the presentation, I was surprised to see my team actively discussing with me the future trends in signaling domain and specifically my analysis with respect to Navigator application. After the presentation, my manager and my teammates praised me a lot for my effort. This gave a lot of encouragement to me and I felt extremely satisfied to earn the respect of my fellow teammates. From that day onwards, I always received proper attention in any team meeting. As the implementation stage progressed, my manager chose me to travel to Korea to interact directly with Korean colleagues to implement the final part of our module. The difference in the language made the interaction extremely difficult and the overall progress of the project became quite slow. With an approaching deadline, there was no option but to quickly move ahead and finish the project as soon as possible. To help me interact better with my Korean teammates, I joined an evening Korean class, where I learnt the basics of Korean language. In a month's time I graduated from just exchanging the pleasantries to speaking and understanding single sentences. I started interacting with my teammates in Korean language at every possible opportunity. As the language barriers were scaled to quite an extent, we were able to discuss various project issues with greater ease and comprehension. My Korean counterparts were quite happy to see a person learning their language and this enhanced their respect towards me and the work environment became friendlier. I could now see a rapid progress in the project and finally we could finish the project well within the deadline. Verizon and vodafone approved the Navigator application and they finally placed orders of eighty thousand mobile phones with company T. At the end of the year, my contribution to the project was recognized and I was rewarded with good grades and a salary hike. I was happy that ultimately I could achieve what I aspired for.

This experience was a turning point in my career and a self-confidence booster. A tough situation at the start of my career made me a more matured person, who can take pressure of any kind and now I can say with conviction that I can take any job, meet any deadline with perfect ease. Successful completion of the Navigator project inculcated in me a never give up attitude. Working with my Korean counterparts has helped me in developing into a more informed person and taught me the importance of interpersonal and relationship-building skills at work.


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