Essay for MBA Admission Prompt: An MBA is as much about personal growth as it is

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Jul 26, 2022


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Essay for MBA Admission
An MBA is as much about personal growth as it is about professional development. In addition to sharing your experience and goals in terms of career, we’d like to learn more about you outside of the office. Use this opportunity to tell us something about who you are… (250-word minimum)
Additional guide / instruction:
This essay should be between 500 – 750 words long (resist the temptation to write 1,000+ words here). I think you could use that to tell one in-depth story that illustrates for them “who you are” (perhaps if it really shows various aspects of your personality / “Boothiness” / value system in a strong way), but I think ideally it will be more like 2 – 3 examples (roughly 200 – 250 words each).
For each “story” told, I would set it up like:
– (Optional) You could start by stating which personality trait you think you’re demonstrating, but that also might end up being a bit heavy-handed
– Describe what the non-work activity / event / etc. is
– Give me a quick (~150-ish words?) anecdote about what you did
– e.g. an obstacle overcome, a new initiative you launched, etc.
– Try to include details that show you being “Boothy”
– If possible, tell me what sort of “personal growth” this experience has given you (given the opening part of the question text)
– However, don’t force it. If it’s a story from outside of work that shows you being Boothy, that’s most of the battle right there. A forced “this changed my world view” type of personal growth story will sound insincere, and thus, you may want to leave it out if in real life, this was a fulfilling / meaningful activity, but didn’t necessarily SHAPE YOUR LIFE in a dramatic way
The ideal story to use here will be:
“Personal” or at least, “not from work” (obviously, since it’s in the essay question directly) — that is, someone from community service, volunteering, a hobby, or personal / family life
^^^ This is the bare minimum, since a story ABOUT your job will signal to them that you can’t read instructions
Note, however, that IMHO there are many things that can happen in the work place, that are NOT “work related”:
e.g. Starting a mentorship program, leading a ToastMasters or meditation club, organizing the company basketball team, etc.
Ideally, you can tell an anecdote about your involvement in this activity that just so happen to show you being “Boothy”
I’ll re-visit those traits in the video below, but if you need a refresher, close this pop-up and re-visit the first advice section in this section
Even MORE ideally (and I know this is a tall order), at least one of your stories could have some element of personal growth for you, for example, an experience that expanded your perspective or had you change your mind about something, or that helped you evolve as a person
What I want to communicate in the essay:
Goals & Outline:
Overall essay theme is women empowerment (breaking the norms), mentorship,
and giving back.
There are 2 stories that I want to highlight
Women empowerment / mentorship -> breaking the norm
Growing up in traditional Asian family, where women is expected to
get married after finishing school (not pursuing career)
Being in areas where women are underrepresented (engineering
school, work)
Supporting evidence:
Support accountability of women KPI (via unpaid volunteering at
W20 – part of G20)
Coach & prepare female candidates for management consulting
Active in women work community to increase female retention and
reduce gender bias
Help engineering students to improve their communication & other
multidisciplinary skills
Engineering focused, hard to adjust and communicate in
multidisciplinary environment
Supporting evidence:
Mentor in university student-run consulting club (transfer
knowledge from mgmt. consulting such as story lining, slide making, and presentation
Need help rewriting on:
Refine sentence structure and grammar
Use better choice of words
Remove repetition of clause or words
Shorten & simplify the essay to 700-800 words (ideally)


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