Is this essay good enough? Prompt: Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution, or experience that is important to you.
Sometimes I pretend my F.I.R.S.T. Robotics team is a neat little manufacturing corporation-and I am the operations manager. The F.I.R.S.T program sponsors teams across the nation to design and build original competition robots in the span of six weeks time. Because there are so many different aspects to building a competitive robot, I have always viewed my F.I.R.S.T. team as a company, rather than merely a robotics team. Our company is composed of diverse, complex sub-teams, ranging from public relations, to logistics, to programming-all of which are vital to the sustenance of the corporation. Armed with vigilance and Microsoft Excel, my job is to make sure all parts of the team operate smoothly in a cooperative manner.
As team manager, I plan and write task lists, delegate jobs to team leaders, and oversee productivity levels. In addition, I am the liaison between every person involved with our team: team members, team leaders, mentors, sponsors, and school administrators. I make sure the lines of communication are open from every side, so that everyone is giving and receiving crucial information needed to carry out various tasks and functions.
Like all team efforts, we have experienced bumps in the road. For example, there was the time our sponsor quit unexpectantly, or the year the school threatened to shut the team down, or the crisis we faced when we fell $10,000 in debt. In overcoming obstacles such as these, I have learned that my unofficial role as team manager is to keep morale alive. I have realized my attitude as a leader dictates how my team reacts to various challenges and roadblocks. Thus, my best tools are a good attitude and optimism, for if I lose hope or slack off, my team members are prone to do the same.
I am not an engineer. My contribution to my team lies in my management abilities and organizational skills; my source of pride as team manager lies in watching how my planning and motivation enables the manufacturing of a beautiful end product: the robot. In this, I have also discovered a pride in myself that lies in my willingness to contribute to something bigger than me, something worthwhile, something I am passionate about, even though I may lack necessary skills to contribute in other areas-but I give what I have. In addition, I find my knack for planning and organizing so intrinsic to who I am that I find great enjoyment in such managerial positions.
As much as I may fantasize that my team is a "top-notch corporation producing the sophisticated robots of tomorrow," I know that my F.I.R.S.T. experience was not really a true corporate experience. I am sure there are many pressures in corporations out in the real world that I am not aware of or have not yet encountered. No doubt I have numerous lessons left to learn about management and leadership. Nevertheless, I like to tell people that my F.I.R.S.T. team is my little high school business, and I am proud to have been a part of it.