During undergraduate school, while focusing on finance, I also took special interest in studying management. Constant interaction with people makes any type of management an ever-changing, thus interesting, occupation.
Towards the end of my first college year, I started working in the largest mortgage bank in my country. One of the first questions I asked during the job interview was whether the bank offers management training programs. Almost two years later, the organization’s training center publicized a tender for a new “Future Management Course”. The requirements included, among others, having commercial-banking experience, as well as a college degree – two demands I did not meet at the time. I did not let this stop me, however.
Knowing that I wanted to become a manager, I was determined to apply for the program. My supervisor supported this and gave me a recommendation for the tender, yet, he claimed that in such a large organization, applying without fulfilling all requirements was pointless. I had to persuade the admissions committee that I could handle participating in the program while completing my college education, and overcoming gaps in professional knowledge. The effort paid off. I was accepted into the program, thus creating two precedents: I became the first person to be accepted into this program before completing a college degree, and the first to do so without any previous experience. The program required that I move from the Mortgage Department to the Commercial Division, where I am currently employed as a Private Accounts Manager.
During college, I decided that when the time was right, I would acquire an MBA education. Now is the perfect time for me to do so. On the one hand, I have gained several years of work experience. On the other hand, I am still at the beginning of my career and believe that an MBA degree from a world-class business school such as Stern will help me mold an effective managerial style.
In addition to these considerations, I would like to make a career change. In my current, position I recruit new clients and market financial products. In the future, I hope to engage more with the essence of finance, rather than the marketing of it.
Upon completing my MBA, I hope to work as a financial consultant in a leading investment bank such as Goldman-Sachs or JPMorgan. More specifically, I would like to help companies develop their equity structure and financial strategy in order to maximize their financial utility. As a consultant, I will gain experience developing economic strategy by doing financial analysis, profit-cost considerations, and research regarding competing firms.
I hope to grow within my organization and become involved in the financial management of the firm, eventually reaching the position of CFO. In this role, I will be called upon to set the financial agenda of the bank, determining policy and deciding which industries to get involved in. I will be required to successfully manage dozens of people, having to motivate and guide them toward executing our strategy. Yet my aspirations do not stop there.
After gaining expertise in capital and equity finance, and acquiring leadership experience, my dream is to man senior positions in the public financial sector. I was raised on values such as actively contributing to my country’s security and future; my grandfather, a building construction contractor, helped build some of first towns in my country. He, my father and I have all been called upon to defend the country during wartime. While my grandfather built the country with a saw and hammer, I would like to build up its financial strength by developing its capital markets. I hope to assume leadership roles in such bodies as the Ministry of Treasury or the Israel Securities Authority. The path of gaining experience and expertise in international financial institutions, and then taking positions in the public sector, has been followed by a number of key figures.
My current position as a commercial banker has given me experience working with businesses from different industries, making credit decisions, motivating employees, and managing campaigns. To succeed as a financial consultant however, I will need to acquire skills in analyzing capital markets and quantitatively evaluating investment possibilities. An MBA from a program which combines a rigorous grounding in quantitative analytical tools will give me these skills.
Sample MBA Admissions Essays - Accepted by Stern and NYU (Courtesy of EssayEdge)
1. Think about the decisions you have made in your life. Describe the following:
PAST: What choices have you made that led you to your current position?
PRESENT: Why is a Stern MBA necessary at this point in your life?
FUTURE: What is your desired position upon graduation from the Stern School?
I like options, I like security, and I like power. With these wants, I knew at a very early age that I would enter business and thus I attended a college that specializes in the subject. In my first position out of school, I was hired by Dunhill Equities as a cold-caller. After several weeks of being hung up on by angry prospects, I decided that this career path would not lead me to success. I then moved within the firm to a position as sales assistant. While this was by no means my dream job, I learned a tremendous amount about business, and I gained useful exposure to the world of finance. Unfortunately, the company hit a period of instability, and after ten months I transferred with my boss to Coleman & Company. Thirteen months later, that company also began to fail, and I began to search for another path to advancement. With two strikes against me, I hit a home run and was hired by Sanford Bernstein into a challenging job with limitless opportunity for growth.
After almost three years at Bernstein, I am once again seeking career advancement. My education and work experience have provided me with an excellent introduction to business, and they have sparked my interest in finance. Taking into consideration my foundation and my interests, graduate business school is the next logical step. At this point in my life, I consider a Stern MBA to be necessary since I need to gain a broader understanding of finance and to sharpen my analytical skills in order to be successful in corporate finance. Stern’s MBA program will allow me to concentrate in finance, strengthen my global business perspective, and provide me with the opportunity to study with and learn from people with varied backgrounds. The school’s location in the financial capital of the world and in one of the most diverse cities in the world also suits me perfectly.
Aside from advancing my career, I would also like to develop personally. In college I did not join many clubs or organizations, and I did not participate in sports. Instead, I spent all my time studying, working, or dealing with family issues. Having been away from home and living in New York City for four years, I feel the need to make a name for myself and to develop a meaningful social life. I want to take advantage of the many benefits that extracurricular activities offer, and I want to be involved in the Stern community.
Upon graduation from the Stern School, I will seek a position as an associate within the corporate finance department of a large, Wall Street, investment-banking firm. In three to five years, once I have become adept in financial analyses, drafting prospectuses, preparing business presentations and other financial advisory work, I will move into a senior associate position. Here I will develop my abilities to anticipate client needs and to engineer solutions that address these needs. In approximately 10 years, I will have the experience necessary to take on upper-level management responsibilities.
Describe yourself to your MBA classmates. (You may use any method to convey your message: words, illustrations, etc.)
I grew up in a small fishing village in Maine, surrounded by family. Expectations and aspirations are limited in such an environment. I could have made a living exploiting the sea, but chose to do similar work as a corporate executive. Although I have no siblings, my hometown contains over fifty family members, and our agenda of family activities is always packed. Most of my family is employed in the commercial fishing industry, which instilled in me at a very young age, the concept of work. At age eleven, I started babysitting and mowing lawns, and at the age of fifteen I applied for my lobster license. The first summer with my license, I took a job as a sternperson with a fellow female. We were the only two females out there, which was definitely an experience. When the lobstering season ended that year, I took a job at a grocery store bagging groceries. I saved enough money to build a boat and to buy fifty lobster traps; I was on my way. The following summer I continued to work as a sternperson, and I also fished my own traps. I continued lobstering throughout the rest of high school and college, and it helped me finance my college education.
In addition to being ambitious and motivated enough to put my heart into even mundane, low-level tasks, I am also extremely organized. This is one characteristic that has always received praise. I pay particular attention to detail, which I believe has contributed to my success thus far. I take pride in my work, and I look at it as a representation of myself. In my position at Sanford Bernstein as a Consultant Liaison, I market my firm to the financial consulting community. Maintaining the integrity of the firm is vital and errors are disastrous. When training new group members, I stress this point most thoroughly.
I work in a group that currently has six members. The group serves as a central source of information for the firm, and its success relies on an extraordinary amount of cooperation from each of us. As a senior member, I am able to contribute to the group in several ways including: training group members, controlling the quality of the group’s output, managing and accurately completing multiple requests with short turnaround times, gathering and conveying information from senior investment professionals, collecting and calculating data, maintaining databases, overseeing projects aimed at making long-term improvements to the group’s processes, and strengthening my own foundation of knowledge to be used as a resource. Recently, as the result of a manager leaving the firm, I have also taken on some of the managerial responsibilities for the group including prioritizing and delegating assignments.
Though I am an excellent team player, in business school I would like to sharpen my managerial skills. I have found that I need to overcompensate for my “soft” appearance in order to get my point across. I hope to improve my negotiating skills and to gain more experience in getting group members to carry their own weight. At the same time, I do not want to become a tyrant. To be effective, it is important for a manager to maintain the proper balance of power and compassion. Only in this way, will I be able to lead a team of people to realizing the goals of a firm.
(Optional) Please provide any additional information that you would like to bring to the attention of the Admission Committee. If you are unable to submit a recommendation from a current employer, please give your reason here.
To satisfy my desire for success, I must continue my education. Of the six business schools to which I am applying, the Stern School is my first choice. I am very excited about entering an MBA program that will allow me to focus on my interest in finance as well as provide me with the career possibilities and exposure to resources, such as networks and learning tools, which I do not currently have. At Stern, I know that my investment of time, energy, and money will be well rewarded. At this point in my life, I believe I have great potential to gain much from a business degree since I have been exposed to the business environment for the past eight and a half years. I now posses a strong foundation to build upon, and I am ready to assume the rigors and challenges of the Stern School’s MBA program.
In addition to its academic program, the Stern community is itself very appealing. The three undergraduate schools that I applied to were Babson, Bentley and Bryant. Babson College became my first choice as soon as I visited its quaint campus and fell in love with the friendly atmosphere and cultural diversity. From someone coming from a small fishing village in Maine, it was refreshing to be surrounded by family. Living in New York City has broadened my exposure to include a fast-paced, career-minded atmosphere. The combination of these characteristics at the Stern School will provide me with an excellent learning environment, and I hope to attend Stern for many of the same reasons I selected Babson.
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