Essays that actually worked

INSEAD GEMBA Program

In ABC city, we believe in getting things done fast, and the country prides itself in topping the world’s ease of doing business ranking. At a personal level, I have always thrived in this setting – be it at maintaining strict performance targets at XYZ airport, or ensuring wait time for patients are reduced at the PQR Hospital. Thus, when my Strategic stakeholder presented the proposal of our hospital’s research project to a Chinese business tycoon, and showcased to him the potential benefits of his philanthropic efforts, I expected that we would close the deal in a few months, if not weeks. After all, our team had exhaustively covered all aspects of the research proposal. However, I was in for a shock – not only did the Chinese take long to make a business decision, they preferred to wait till they got to know you well at a personal level.

An entire month-and-a-half had passed since we had made our pitch, and yet there was nothing to show for it. Our team had not only met the tycoon frequently, but had also interacted with his Manager. Though the Chinese tycoon and I belonged to the same ethnic group, there were fundamental differences in our approach. Unlike abc citizens, who love to get things done quickly and meet tight deadlines, the Chinese are a lot more relaxed and slow-paced. For them “guanxi” – building relationships – is of crucial significance. This entailed spending much time with one’s business partners outside of meeting rooms. Realizing that the Chinese tycoon was more comfortable conversing in his own language, I even got a Chinese-speaking colleague familiar with the cultural niceties of developing guanxi in China to represent the company. It took over a year of regular lunches, exchange of gifts, and calls before the Chinese gentleman agreed to donate to our research project.

Thanks to this deal, I can appreciate the fact that coping with corporate culture shock essentially comes down to preparation and learning more about how another country conducts business. Cross-cultural training is vitally important to conducting business. A visit to the country in question gives one a first- hand feel of the culture. Learning the language or roping in someone who speaks the language also helps. During my next encounter with a foreign business partner - a Bangladeshi professor who wanted to visit our hospital and get into a co-research opportunity - I was fully prepared: I had read up about his country’s business culture, about the importance of hierarchy there, and why it was important to address people by their formal titles. I also knew that their business etiquette demanded that business cards be exchanged, using the right hand, during the first meeting. Doing all this homework ensured that we got fruitfully engaged from our very first meeting.

Today, I have a natural empathy for the cultural uniqueness of people hailing from different traditions, and I am confident that I can establish healthy business ties with practically anyone from anywhere in the world.

Word Limit: 500

Service Taken: All in One

NYU Stern Business School

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” – Thomas jefferson

When US Congress failed to take up Comprehensive immigration reform in 2013, millions of legal immigrants including myself were devastated. The senate bill would have provided relief to immigrants from countries like India and China who have been stuck in Green card backlog to realize their dreams of finally being able to apply for better jobs and in start their own Ventures thus leveling the playing field and abolishing modern day slavery for people who’s work visas and permanent immigration petitions are tied to their current position and employer. On an average people have to wait about 10-15 years before their permanent residency petitions are approved and change in roles or employers amongst other economic factors can jeopardize their petitions.

While still relatively new to the United states and still assimilating I was confounded and found it difficult to understand why the most technologically advanced country which in the world would fail to take up the cause of legal immigrants time and again even though several independent research studies have suggested that high skills immigration benefits GDP and fosters a culture of Entrepreneurship and innovation.

I realized that in order to have a meaningful impact I needed to get actively involved and hence decided to join Immigration Voice, a grassroots immigration advocacy group, in 2014. After joining I got upto speed with the challenges at the New Jersey state chapter level and quickly realized that in order to be more effective we needed to organize ourselves and make a concentrated effort on a few fixes which could be done via the legislative and Executive branches. I convinced the state chapter to gain more publicity and members by highlighting our cause at different ethnic events. Next, in 2015 I got the team together to build a focused team from every congressional district in New Jersey who would work with their respective congressmen in the area to get them to co-sponsor the House Bill H.R. 213 which would remove per country limit on green cards and thus reduce the backlog. We are now starting to see more traction within the state for getting co-sponsors and will continue to work with Congressmen and there legislative staff in the next few months so this can be called for a vote in 2016. I am also working with NJ Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez in the state to convince them for tabling a similar bill in the Senate.

At the national level We have been successful in driving various advocacy events by volunteers in Washington D.C. every few months and directly working with Whitehouse staff in shaping the2014 Executive orders on high skilled immigration. I am also working on making key strategic alliances with other advocacy groups like Compete America and fwd.us backed by Mark Zuckerburg and Bill gates to drive a common immigration agenda and also rope in more alliance partners. It is my ability lead and organize to get results in face of adversity that I believe I would be an impactful business leader who would make common sense changes to business and society. At NYU, I will continue to leverage School’s resources to create awareness for this cause and work with the industry and academia to dispel the fear and myths of high skilled immigration.

Word Limit: 600

Service Taken: All in One

Michigan Ross Business School

In my first day in school, my mother said to me, “If anybody asks, say your father passed away.” She had good reason to worry. As a separated, single, and underemployed woman in a patriarchal society, she knew she had the odds stacked against her. And so had I - I led a solitary, diffident childhood in which I was both psychologically and financially insecure.

My resolute mother did manage to make ends meet by the sweat of her brow, but as I grew older, I realized that I myself would have to change my circumstances. Improving grades in high school helped me gain recognition, while participation in field hockey provided me a social and emotional outlet. Eventually, after much toil, I secured admission into Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute (GIKI), a reputable engineering institution in Pakistan.

My enrolment in GIKI dramatically turned things around - its inclusive culture and collaborative environment empowered me to overcome the inferiority complex I had developed. By organizing activities like science fairs, plantation drives, sports events, and blood camps, I learned the value of collaboration and the satisfaction of working in a team. Gradually, I was able to assume leadership roles that allowed me look beyond my troubled past. The school attracted recruiters from the most desirable employers nationwide and, utilizing the people skills I had acquired at GIKI, I exploited the networking opportunities it provided, paving the way for later successes at graduate school and two Fortune 500 companies. My progress at GIKI taught me that there was nothing like an empathetic environment to bring out talent and instil the perseverance needed for sustainable success.

In December 2013, I took over fifteen demoralized engineers who had been following a three-weeks-on-one-off schedule for some time; the industry norm, however, is two-weeks-on-one-off. Enabling me to understand their predicament, my own experience of struggling through longer-than-usual rotations earlier in my career inspired me to plead their case effectively with senior leadership. As requisitions to hire more people were processed, a neighbouring region provided immediate support. In one year, the there was a 10% gain in retention rate and a significantly better operational performance – an outcome I owed to the life-lesson I had learnt at GIKI. It is my transformation there that I am the most proud of, and the lasting impression it has left on me still drives my interactions in a diverse, competitive, and globalized workplace.

Word Limit: 400

Service Taken: All in One

IE Business School

It is an incontrovertible fact that the evolution of technology has had an increasingly significant impact on the way human beings work, study, and interact with one another. This trend is certain to continue.

Twenty years ago, when I was a kid, it was a different story. There were no portable phones, and my only friends were either from my neighbourhood, or pen pals with whom I maintained contact through letters. Today, kids have friends all across the globe, and stay in regular touch with them through mobile phones. Blogs, wikis, tagging, podcasts, and social networking websites such as MySpace, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube and mobile applications such as Whatsapp, Instgram have radically altered user interactions on the World Wide Web from a static, one-way, consumption model to a dynamic, multi-way, participation model. Broad user power and flexibility have changed how people engage in and experience their interconnections, interests, and collaborations. Over the next decade, online social interactions will evolve to address the growing needs of its user community, and thus enter many aspects of our lives. This evolution will result in a dramatic growth of the individual and collective power of people to contribute and share content, experiences, ideas, expertise etc. through the seamless convergence of multi-modal technologies, new applications, new domains, data mining and better navigational and search capabilities. Some of these changes will percolate into the workplace and impact the way we work: the concept of centralized office spaces will be eliminated through accessible virtual office rooms.

Online social networks will evolve to a stage where The Six Degree of Connection theory, according to which any person on the planet can connect to anyone else through a chain of acquaintances, will become a reality. New technologies like Google glasses will empower us to share moments of our lives even as we live them. Access to the cloud will invest us with the ability to ‘remember’ many more relationship events, so that no one will ever forget the name of anyone he meets even briefly.

Augmented reality and virtual reality will have far-reaching effects on different facets of our lives, from our relationships and social interactions to our education and the way we enjoy movies, music, and video games. These in turn will impact our value system. Simultaneously, technology-inspired improvements in medicine will increase human longevity.

The introduction of robots into the workforce will free humans from labor-intensive and time-consuming tasks, leaving us with more time to nurture personal and professional relationships. There is every likelihood that, over the next decade, the development of new technologies like the universal translator and the hologram will allow us to communicate more effectively with people globally.

Augmented reality and virtual reality will have far-reaching effects on different facets of our lives, from our relationships and social interactions to our education and the way we enjoy movies, music, and video games. These in turn will impact our value system. Simultaneously, technology-inspired improvements in medicine will increase human longevity.

Word Limit: 500

Service Taken: All in One

Indian School of Business

“I am a hard worker and good at executing tasks, but do these qualities set me apart from the crowd?” Many a times this question perplexed me, and the answer was always “no.” I was stuck to the simple rule of career progression – get a job, gain experience, and advance. But the individual inside me always wanted to know - how does iconoclasts do things differently? How does it feel?

The turning point was my involvement in a pilot project, for which CRISIL was competing with other leading financial service providers. I was to design a rating model. The options were either to draw something in line of a proven model, or to build something from scratch. The individualist in me had already chosen the second option. However, it was tough to convince my manager, who had doubts about output’s feasibility and acceptability by the client. After briefing him on my initial research and advantages of new process, I got the green flag. For knowledge gap concerns, I persuaded superiors to help me out.

After 3 weeks of work, the model was coming out nicely. However, our proposal was lacking a strategic differentiator. For this, I suggested adding the novel feature of automatic portfolio tracking through Bloomberg. This significantly increased our chances of landing the client, who now has a permanent account with CRISIL, adding $200,000 to the company’s top line. The automation tool has also been implemented in future projects.

This project is an important milestone in my professional life as it was my first step towards carving out a niche for myself. I believe that the reason for ISB to accept me as a final candidate is my newfound belief in my ability to propose solutions that are out of the shelf.

Word Limit: 300

Service Taken: All in One

I will strongly attribute my admission offers from Duke Fuqua and ISB because of the essay review service provided by Arijit and the CrackAdmission team. I will definitely recommend others

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