This is my essay I wrote for an admission test. I want to point out following points:
- social engagement
- leadership & communication skills
- lessons learned for professional life.
Thanks for all feedbacks in advance :-)Topic: Describe your favorite hobby, pastime or sport and explain how it reflects your personality.
The day my classmate took me to a civil protection organization called Technisches Hilfswerk (THW) was the beginning of long and passionate pastime activity for me. Right from the beginning, I have admired the social commitment of this work and trained hard to become a team lead after two years. The organization itself and all members operate on a non-profit basis. The THW is specialized in rescuing people from dangerous spots such as high water or buildings in danger of collapse. It is an officially accepted institution by the government and is placed under the German interior ministry.
Even though we all pursuit for the good purpose we are all still different in the manner of communication and behavior. Within my team I had to anticipate the different educational level and social background of the companions when building the team. It was very challenging for me to manage a team of that heterogeneity. During that time I read management books such as Peopleware of Tom De Marco or Getting to Yes of William Ury a Harvard Professor, which gave me a number of good techniques on how to lead people and apply effective communication. I recognized that management and motivation does not only refer to professional work but even more for pastime activities where people are doing the work voluntarily.
The successes with my team have been the outcome of efficient employment of my qualities to understand and motivate people. I had my most successful achievement when my team was deployed to a critical mission where a building was collapsed and survivors are assumed under the ruins. Each team was assigned to work on a dedicated area to clear away the debris by hand because heavy mechanical equipments were not applicable because of potential survivors. I could never forget that summer morning when around 10am one of my team members stopped and gave the sign for a possible survivor. The hard work turned out into the most meaningful hours of my life. It was the first but unfortunately also the only survivor of this catastrophe. Nevertheless, I was very proud of my team that we were able to transfer the hard training hours successfully into a real mission so that we could save human live.
This pastime activity clearly reflected my personality in many different ways. It challenges me early in my life - before I started with my professional work - to lead people and learn to communicate effectively. I have earned valuable experiences in how to coordinate teams in critical situations and helped me to advance my ability to identify critical facts and prioritize tasks accordingly. However, I realized on the various missions that good management and hard work is not a guarantee to be successful but luck is also one important part in the game.
These experiences reflect my personality till to date when I am working with people and managing projects. It reminds me that I need my team and a dip of happiness besides the hard work to be successful.