Москва, улица Красина, дом 27, строение 2,
подъезд 2, 4 этаж, М. Маяковская

Эссе в бизнес школу: цели и планы.

Эссе в бизнес школу: цели и планы.

The mission of the Yale School of Management is to educate leaders for business and society. In this context, tell us your career goals and your plans for achieving them. Please be specific. Describe how your previous experience will help you to reach your goals. (1,000 words)

"I want to someday work in one of those big buildings in the city. Do you think I can do it?"

This statement from Tammy, one of my female inner-city students in the Great Lakes Foundation, a nonprofit I founded to bridge the gender and racial gap in senior management of hi-tech companies, reaffirmed my vision for the future. My long-term career plan is to establish a national nonprofit centered on workforce development for diverse communities that is supported primarily through corporate philanthropy. I envision creating an entity that trains individuals in a range of skills including basic PC use, data analysis, problem solving and effective communication. I will collaborate with corporations to fill entry-level positions with well-trained workers, but also work on issues around sustainable employment and upward mobility.

I believe I am uniquely qualified to pursue such a bold undertaking. As Director of Marketing around corporate philanthropy at the International Helpers Association, I have developed both a deep expertise and admiration for corporations and their social initiatives. This expertise, coupled with my role as a social entrepreneur with the Great Lakes Foundation and my experiences in the technology sector, has provided me with the backdrop to pursue my social mission.

As a headhunter for Wolf Systems, a national recruiting firm, I developed a proficiency in building teams and connecting professionals from diverse backgrounds. More importantly, I gained an insight into the necessary skills and training needed to succeed in a position from both a business and a technical standpoint. I pursued a master's degree in computer information systems because I was convinced that being "tech-literate" was a prerequisite for many of the jobs of the future. At Toledo Corp., a strategy consulting firm, my exposure to "e-learning" confirmed that even "traditional" sectors such as education and medicine would be leaning more and more on technology, and therefore, a technically skilled workforce.

With a diverse set of skills in sales, marketing, and leadership, I founded the Great Lakes Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, so I could engage, educate, and empower young minds in the business side of technology. I designed a six-month after school training program and piloted it at TechCleveland Academy (TCA), a new a Cleveland public school, funded by The Paul Allen Foundation. I recruited Carnegie Mellon students who served as guest teachers and partnered with Compaq and its Multicultural People in Science Project to design some content for the program. The pilot year was a success and I decided to continue the program again at TCA, with a larger intake of students, more guest speakers, and a variety of different business simulations.

As I sought support for the Fellowship, I presented my program to the International Helpers of Cleveland (IHC). Through my interactions with IHC, I was offered a Director of Marketing position. Although I was having success with my own nonprofit, I decided that a post at IHC would enhance my experience and bolster my credibility for the Fellowship. In my role, I work with members of IHC's senior management team to design the marketing strategy around corporate philanthropy. I have acquired a deep expertise around how corporations allocate their dollars to advance their social missions. I have devised and executed marketing strategies to help raise millions of dollars from companies including Citigroup, Intuit, Deloitte, and Met Life. It has been invaluable to develop this insight into corporate philanthropy in parallel with my entrepreneurial pursuits.

As I work towards my goal of national social entrepreneurship I realize I have come to a breaking point in my career. Without a deeper understanding of areas including finance, strategy, and operations I will be not be able to effectively expand any nonprofit. Beyond these academic areas, I need to gain exposure to a group of peers, professors, and alumni whose experiences can help me create and sustain a nonprofit. It is challenging to start any organization, but it is far more difficult to sustain and build it into a national entity with long-lasting social impact.

With this in mind, an MBA is critical to my success, and no other program can provide me the breadth and depth of knowledge than the Yale School of Management. On my numerous visits to see my brother, a 2003 graduate from Yale College, I was impressed by the university. I became interested in the SOM after meeting a social entrepreneur from the SOM, speaking with several alumni, and attending the Yale SOM/Goldman Sachs Nonprofit Ventures Conference. The students and professors from Yale inspired me by their dissection of critical issues that cut across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. It was clear that a degree from the SOM would prepare me for a career in any field.

Since then, I have researched the SOM and would relish the opportunity to learn from professors across disciplines including Sharon Oster for social entrepreneurship and William Goetzmann for finance. Yale has a robust set of electives including a "Workshop on Entrepreneurship in the Nonprofit Sector" and "Understanding and Evaluating Financial Statements of Non-for-Profit Organizations," that would be invaluable to my education. Beyond learning at Yale, I look forward to applying my background to contribute to the Program on Social Enterprise, and campus organizations including the Double Bottom Line, SOM Outreach, and Blending Sectors.

After graduation I plan to join the corporate philanthropy division of a large multinational corporation such as Cisco Systems or IBM. In particular, this role would give me the opportunity to leverage the skills gained from business school including finance and strategy. I envision a role that includes the evaluation of and investment in nonprofits, the setting of strategic direction of the division's funding initiatives, and active participation in workforce development and community partnerships. I would collaborate with other corporations, thus building a personal network of contacts for my own nonprofit. The position would serve as a critical springboard for my entrepreneurial calling, and after achieving a senior management position, I would like to take the leap and start my own venture.

I am convinced that we have an unprecedented opportunity amidst corporate ethical uncertainty to create organizations that are values-driven and view success in terms of social as well as financial returns. These are my guiding principles as I embark on my mission to transform the core of corporate philanthropy and its role in the development of the global workforce.


- Maggie has put together a terrific essay. The goal of every applicant is to display fit with a school and to demonstrate uniqueness vs. the rest of the applicant pool, and Maggie has done both:

* Fit: Yale is very explicit about its desire to train leaders "for business and society." After reading about Maggie's interests and future career goals, no Yale admissions officer can doubt that Maggie shares Yale's learning philosophy.

* Uniqueness: Maggie's accomplishments working in the non-profit sector set her apart by themselves. While many applicants hope to have a decent amount of community service activity to discuss in their essay, Maggie's application story is entirely built around it, which will set her apart even at a service-minded school like Yale.

- Maggie also does a good job of communicating her interest in the school. While we discourage applicants from going overboard in rattling off a bunch of classes and professors' names, it is clear that Maggie has done her homework.

- The only real weakness in this essay is in the paragraph where Maggie says, "I realize I have come to a breaking point in my career." She explains that she needs to gain more skills in order to build a successful nonprofit, but doesn't go into enough detail. Right now this part of her essay sounds a lot like many other applicants' essays. She can bolster her essay here by perhaps providing an example of how her career growth has slowed because she lacks a certain skill, or how she has seen another nonprofit fail because of a founder's lack of business skills.

- Overall, an outstanding essay. It obviously helps that Maggie has a lot of great experiences to write about, but she also communicates them in a clear, sincere, and passionate way. We expect her to do well this application season.

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